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Tail of success for dog grooming entrepreneur

A professional dog groomer has moved her home-based business into new premises within just six months of its launch.

Dog lover Victoria Parkin was working part-time in the hospitality industry when she decided to pursue her passion and enrolled on a City & Guilds Level 3 Dog Grooming course.

Upon gaining her qualification, she spent a few months working for dog grooming companies and started taking on the occasional private client herself, basing herself in her unused dining room.

Her service proved so popular that Victoria had to turn away new clients and realising the opportunity to grow her burgeoning business Victoria Paws, she contacted the Let’s Do Business Group (LDBG) for assistance.

Through the Start-Up Loan scheme, LDBG offers Start-Up Loans of up to £25,000, with up to 5 years repayment terms, to new business owners across the South East who have a viable business proposition.

Victoria met with LDBG advisors at the Business Terrace in Maidstone, where members of the team are on hand to give business advice on a drop-in basis. She received mentoring to help put together a business plan and LDBG loaned her £5,000.

She said: “It had become apparent that I needed to scale up the business far earlier that I had anticipated as I was turning clients away, even though I had stopped working part-time.

“But I hadn’t built up the funds to achieve this on my own. That’s where LDBG came in. They gave me the encouragement, knowhow and financial support to drive Victoria Paws forward. I wouldn’t have been able to develop my business or have the confidence to do so without their fantastic help.”

Victoria used the money to buy grooming equipment that allows her to work with larger breeds of dogs and cut down on appointment times, giving her scope to increase her client base. She plans to take on an assistant in the future.  Her mentor, Phil Pocock, said “I was delighted to meet with Victoria at the Business Terrace in Maidstone and it was clear that she had worked hard on her business plan.  We have regular contact to review her progress and discuss ideas to help her business grow.”

Ian Smallwood, Head of Business Services at LDBG, said: “It was clear that Victoria’s grooming business had growth potential and we were delighted to help her with the mentoring and finance she needed”

The Business Terrace at Maidstone Borough Council, offers start-ups, home-based businesses and entrepreneur’s flexible workspace in a collaborative, friendly and professional environment. The LDBG team are on site from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Wednesday. For more information on the Business Terrace visit www.businessinmaidstone.co.uk

LDBG provides an alternative to high street lenders and over the past 5 years has helped over 3,300 new business. For more information about how the LDBG can help your business, visit www.letsdobusinessgroup.co.uk, call 0845 943 2988  or email loans@ldbgroup.co.uk.

Visit www.victoriapaws.co.uk or phone 07746 745879 for details about Victoria Paws.