Dog-grooming business gets help to put best paw forward

Go For It Programme helps dog lovers to set up their own pooch pampering business, The Pawdressers, in Newtownards

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A couple with a passion for pets has opened their own dog-grooming business in Newtownards after working with the Go For It Programme. 

The Go For It Programme is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme.

Trained dog-groomers, Phil Glover and Emma Shanks, both from Comber, had always dreamt of owning their own business. They wanted to put their passion and expertise into a project of their own, but without the business know-how needed to start a business, they had only ever worked for other people.

Phil said: “We’re both dog-mad and have bred, trained and worked with dogs our entire lives.  Our pets go with us everywhere and we had talked endlessly about turning our passion into a business.  One night we were watching television and a Go For It advertisement came on. We decided right then to give them a call – we had nothing to lose.

“Within a few days we had met with the Go For It business advisors in Ards Business Centre. We had nothing, no business plan, no idea about finances or book-keeping, nothing. They worked with us to bring all of that together and to create a plan which was realistic and manageable. Meeting with them was the best thing we ever did.”

The Pawdressers officially opened in October 2017 and has since gone from strength to strength. Phil said: “The support we have received from people in the local area has been incredible. Like most businesses we have busy days and quiet days, but no two are ever the same and we love every minute.

“We hope to continue to grow our business and soon offer a range of other pet-related services too, like training, boarding and maybe even photography packages.”

Tamsin Evans, Business Advisor, Ards Business Centre, said: “Phil and Emma initially came to us for help with a business plan, but we worked with them to bring the entire business to life. Since they opened the doors of The Pawdressers at the end of 2017, the business has flourished and continues to grow. It was a pleasure working with them – we are delighted to see them turning an obvious passion into a successful business.”

If you have a business idea you’d like to develop or if you are thinking about starting a business visit; call 0800 027 0639; or visit your local enterprise agency for free, independent advice.