New Business Success Stories
Helen Mart – SMARTs Mobile Dog Grooming
Helen found herself unemployed, after being made redundant from the Department of Work and Pensions after almost 24 years’ service. Despite having a long and successful track record in administration, she was struggling to find employers who were willing to interview her because she is deaf. After thinking long and hard, Helen thought that self-employment maybe a better way forward to get her back into work quicker and obviously remove the barrier of interviews. Helen undertook a course in dog grooming to obtain the qualifications to become an officially qualified dog groomer. She then decided to start a dog grooming business, it has been a long term ambition for Helen to run her own business, she has kept dogs for many years, and always wished to turn her passion into a business. This now felt like the perfect opportunity.
After claiming JSA for 18 months, Helen was referred to the NEA programme by her job coach Richard Bunting from Belper Job Centre, and worked with her business mentors Graham Howarth and Tyna Burnett, to develop her business model over a 7 week period.
SMARTs Mobile Dog Grooming has now been operating for approximately 9 weeks, and is a self-contained dog grooming business working from a fully equipped, self-sufficient van. Helen visits clients at their own homes within the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire area, and is able to offer a full dog grooming services to clients’ dogs from her custom made van.
Helen reports that she feels immensely proud knowing that she has broken down the barriers faced by her disability, and is finally doing the job that she really loves.
“I’ve groomed one of my client’s Crufts dog Matilda and she got 3rd place in her class at Crufts. I’m quite proud and chuffed”
One of Helen’s customers emailed her to see if she could hand-strip her dog, a wire haired Vizsla, named Matilda for Crufts in January. Helen felt a little apprehensive although willing to hand-strip her dog, but made the customer aware that she didn’t have a great deal of experience or specific understanding of the breed when it comes to show dogs like hers and would hate to make any mistakes. The customer insisted to book Helen. She was really pleased with the results.
An email form the customer to Helen:-
Just wanted to let you know Matilda got 3rd place in her class at Crufts.
It was out of 13, so a large class with some very good bitches in there.
We have shown for a year so was delighted with her and the result.
You can now say you groomed a Crufts girl!
Hope you are happy and well.
Helen was obviously really chuffed to hear this brilliant news.
Helen’s business is going from strength to strength even in the first few months of trading
Shane Anthony Beaver – Your Ancestry Revealed
Shane had worked for the Royal Mail as a postman for 18 years but had to retire due to a back injury. He had been looking for work but the back injury prevented him for doing any physical work. He had therefore, been claiming ESA for two years, and was referred to the New Enterprise Allowance programme by his adviser Vivien at Ilkeston JCP.
For over 20 years he had studied his own family history during his spare time. This led him to believe he could turn this into a business that he could run from home. ‘Your Ancestry Revealed’ is a family history tracing service, offered throughout the East Midlands area.
Shane has been trading since October 2016 and all clients are extremely happy, impressed and satisfied with the work produced for them. Shane has just commenced work for his first client outside of Derbyshire, which is great as it means word of this fantastic new business is moving fast. Shane also has a huge task ahead of him – another client wants him to research the family name, which is…..Smith! He claims this will be a very daunting task as you can probably imagine!
Shane confirmed that he is extremely happy and impressed with the support he received and continues to receive from Erewash Partnership Ltd in all areas, including assistance with the development of his business plan and attendance at networking events etc.
Sally Aukland of My Personal VA Rocks
Sally was referred to NEA back in August 2016 by her adviser David Coates, of Alfreton JCP. Prior to joining the NEA programme, Sally was a full-time parent to her little boy, before this she worked as a legal secretary for 9 years at a law firm in Nottingham.
My Personal VA Rocks is a remote virtual assistant business. Sally provides secretarial services and office support remotely from home in Alfreton, Derbyshire, to businesses throughout the UK.
Sally worked with her mentor Graham Pidcock through Erewash Partnership Ltd to produce a business and financial plan for her new business idea over the course of 7 weeks. Sally commenced trading in October 2016, so has only been trading for 3 months.
The main challenge has been knowing that she has got enough work on and having to say no to people, she finds saying no very hard! Her main achievements have included being able to secure work easily through contacts, without having the need or expense of marketing/advertising.
The NEA programme gave her an easier route into self-employment ‘without it, I don’t think I would have taken the leap. Graham’s expertise and advice was invaluable during the business planning stage and working on the business plan really opened my eyes up to everything I need to consider to trade successfully’.
Linda Inglis Care
Linda was referred to the NEA programme by her advisers Emma and Laura at Alfreton Job Centre. She had been off work for a total of 20 months and had claimed ESA for 8 months and JSA for 3. Prior to her claim, she worked as a County Council Carer for 20 years, but had been off work through illness as she had broken a bone in her back and was unable to continue in her role so had to look for alternative employment.
Linda’s business idea was to continue with what she knew best and she has set up providing one to one care in the community. The objective of the business is to provide a more person centred approach on a one to one basis of care. She has over 25 years’ experience in this field and throughout this time has come to realise that some clients really do benefit from continuity of care with the same carer. She already has a few local clients and is now building a more solid customer base. Linda has now been trading for 7 weeks.
Linda really benefited from the support provided by Erewash Partnership Ltd, Roger Taylor who conducted the initial assessment put her completely at ease, Linda was then matched to her mentor Graham Pidcock who helped her over a period of 7 weeks to develop her business plan, sales forecast and cashflow etc ready for her to commence trading. Continuation of support will be offered to Linda by Erewash Partnership Ltd for a period up to 6 months.
The main challenges have been building up her client base, but his is now starting to come together nicely, and this is where the NEA allowance has been very useful and helpful allowing her to build her hours up gradually.
Katie Conroy – KD Collections
Katie Conroy was made redundant on 12th April 2016 and began claiming Jobseekers on 9th June 2016. It was at this point she learned of the NEA programme and an appointment was made for me to discuss it further with a colleague of my work coach, Julie Adkin at Long Eaton JCP, who knew more about it. John then asked Katie to go away and have a look at preparing a business plan, she was then referred to the NEA programme. She transitioned to the NEA on 30th October 2016 and so had claimed Jobseekers allowance for just over 20 weeks.
Prior to making her claim to JSA, Katie was working full time as a Senior Account Manager for the Middle East and Regional Director for the UK, Middle East, Africa and Asia at an Online Travel Company. She was home based in Long Eaton but travelled weekly to the head office in London along with a minimum of 8 international trips per year. The company Katie worked for was bought out by a competitor and they were all made redundant. There were jobs available if she was able to relocate to London or the Middle East. This unfortunately, was not an option for her as her husband had a stable job in Derbyshire. She was kept on for an extended period to aid in the transition period of the buyout. On completion of the transition period I she made redundant.
Katie is now the proud Owner and Creative Director at KD Collections, which is a Luxury Wedding and Event Planning service offering a wide range of tailored solutions for a wide variety of events, based from home in Long Eaton serving the East Midlands.
The business was launched on Monday 31st October 2016 and has now been trading for 12 weeks.
“Initial branding and market position were a key achievement to ensure that the image was right for the clientele we want to attract. Social Media marketing and web presence was also a priority and continues to be so. We have held a successful birthday party and are planning another one, we have also secured 1 bride on a consultancy contract and the priority is to continue focusing on lead generation”.
The support to put together and the Business Planning was fantastic and the meetings I had with Graham Howarth my mentor through Erewash Partnership were very interactive and helpful with some great ideas generated by us both whilst talking it all through. The Erewash Partnership have simply made it so I can focus my attention on really building my business.
Hipley Cottage Crafts
Jayne Elizabeth Henderson was claiming JSA for four months before she was referred to the NEA programme by her JCP adviser Jackie at Belper JCP. Prior to being made redundant in June 2016, she was a Field Sales Representative for Loss Management Group, who specialise in post loss assessment and replacement of jewellery. This involved visiting clients in their own homes to secure sales for replacement jewellery items. Jayne also has four step children from two relationships, aged between 8 and 25.
Jayne was mentored on the NEA programme by Graham Pidcock through Erewash Partnership Ltd, she set up Hipley Cottage Crafts from home in Belper, which is a bespoke supplier of costume and precious metal jewellery and also hand painted glassware and other gifts. Jayne has now been trading since 1st December 2016, and is doing well to date.
Jayne reports that the main challenge has been learning to find the right level of online promotion and suitable events at which to trade. She has also been working hard to learn new skills to expand her ranges to include precious metal items.
NEA and Erewash Partnership have given Jayne the focus and determination to succeed within a structured framework, which has been incredibly useful.