Jenny Donoghue had always loved pets and after previously attempting to start up her own business, she was not defeated. In 2016, Jenny pursued her dream career in the dog walking industry. Paws For Adventure provides dog walking, pet/house setting and pop in visits for owners who work or are away from home. ‘Every day is an adventure, and every dog deserves to enjoy their day.’ After recently focusing on her business in January 2017, things are going exceedingly well for Jenny.
Before taking the plunge into her business, Jenny previously worked in various retail jobs. She worked within the pet retail sector for 8 years and then became employed at The Works where she was for 5 years. It was the sad loss of her dog, Molly, in May 2016 which was a ‘Kick Starter’ for Jenny to follow her dreams. In October 2016, Jenny reduced her works hours, going from 27 hours down to 10, ‘to allow more time to focus on my business.’ It was then in the new year that Jenny decided to hand in her notice at work; ‘Scariest thing ever!’
Prior to this, Jenny had attempted to start up her own business but unfortunately, things didn’t work out. Jenny came across The Women’s Organisation through Halton Borough Council’s website where she received advice and support from Senior Business Advisor, Mike Marsden. After her meeting with Mike discussing her business idea, Jenny says; ‘I came out of the meeting on cloud 9.’ The Women’s Organisation were able to give Jenny guidance which at first seemed daunting, but ‘It all added to the confidence boost I needed.’ As well as this, Jenny attended our training courses with Bernie; Planning for Success and Building a Social Media Strategy. The support given gave her that confidence boost she had longed for.
‘The WO gave me the confidence to go forward and pursue my dream.’
During the process of setting up her business, Jenny learnt to juggle her social life and work life. Being a family orientated person whilst running a business meant Jenny would often have to sacrifice time with family and friends for clients. Jenny is learning to find that right balance. ‘You have to try and be disciplined with yourself, and say in an average month I will have X amount of time to myself.’
Since starting her business, Jenny’s initial fear and lack of confidence no longer stands in the way of her success. Jenny tells us of her achievements so far, ‘I took my first pet sitting booking for 2018 and the calendar for this year is busy- March, May, September and October are all fully booked.’
Being in control and setting your own schedule is just one of the many aspects of running your own business that Jenny enjoys. ‘I love that I don’t have a set routine… I’m not restricted to 9-6 within 4 walls.’ The ability to work in the industry that you are so passionate about is another reason why Jenny loves her job. Despite her part time employment, Jenny has always had a love for animals. ‘I love dogs, so watching them enjoy their walking adventures is a dream come true for me.’
Jenny’s advice for anybody thinking of starting their own business is to ‘Get advice from someone like The Women's Organisation. There are companies out there who will give you advice but because The Women's Organisation are a charity and have helped lots of people at different stages of starting their business, they cover a wider spectrum.’ And most importantly Jenny says, ‘Have faith in yourself, if you believe that you can make it a success then the positives outweigh the negatives.’
What does the future hold for Jenny? In terms of her business, she says ‘I just hope to continue to grow, to have lots of happy dog walking customers.’
If you’d like to find out more Paws For Adventure or access the services that Jenny offers, you can use the contact details below!
And if you’ve been inspired by Jen’s story and would like to see how The Women’s Organisation can help you with your business idea, get in touch with us. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring us on 0151 706 8111