After being made redundant Paul Lamplough decided to start his own business, walking and house sitting dogs. His Disability Employment adviser put him in contact with a business adviser and an appointment was made at his home to discuss his business plans.
The business adviser helped him with his business plan to determine if the business had a chance of success. After completing the business plan, Paul and his adviser started to look for financial support to start up the business.
Through Job Centre Plus Paul was eligible to join the Test Trading scheme which allowed him to trade whilst on his benefits for 6 months. This support let him concentrate on building up his customer without worrying about pay his household bills.
Paul the applied for grants which totalled £600. He used this money to pay for some advertising fliers, poster, business cards and a jacket with his contact detail written on the back of it. He hand delivered is flier to households and businesses in his town and networked with potential customers at local events.
He used some of his profits to purchase a website www.k9-solutions.net which attracted more customers and a van so he could pick up multiple dogs from different area and walk 4 at once. With his business adviser he applied to Access to Work which funded a support work to drive the van as he was unable to drive because of his visual impairment.
With this extra support, Paul soon built up a loyal customer base and is now walking up to 25 dogs per day. He is now looking into renting a property and offering a dog crèche service where dog owners can drop there dogs off, so not to leave them for long periods of time.
Paul said “Thanks to the support i receieved, I was able to start my own business and get me back into work. I did not realise the support available and I know they are always there if I need advice.”