Having spent most of her career working with animals, mainly in veterinary surgeries, Amanda Powell identified a high proportion of pets with dietary intolerances and allergies, which gave her the idea to develop her own range of specialist edible treats for animals with sensitive tummies.
Although Amanda had always wanted to own her own business and she had ideas for products, she didn’t know how to turn her ideas into a profitable enterprise. Feeling daunted by the prospect of starting up on her own, she got in touch with Outset Torbay; a local business start-up support programme which provided free workshops and support in her home town of Brixham.
It was with Outset’s support that Amanda was able to research and test her ideas for her products and business.
“The Outset programme is delivered in a very visual way,” says Amanda. “The advisors made it fun and innovative so that the content really stuck in my mind, and the group really pulled together for encouragement and idea progression.”
Amanda completed both the Introduction to Enterprise and Business Start-up programme of workshops, taking advantage of additional one-to-one support from her advisor before going on to launch Pets-Be-Friends, a Brixham-based bakery creating hypoallergenic pet treats and celebration cakes.
“Before Outset Torbay I had very low confidence with figures and bookkeeping. The programme has shown me that I can keep things simple and now I am able to manage my own business accounts.”
After spending a year developing her product range and building a client-base, Amanda has been able to fulfil her long-standing ambition of opening her own pet shop in the centre of Brixham, where she offers a range of pet foods, treats, accessories and toys for dogs, cats, small animals, exotics, fish and wildlife. She also provides pet microchipping, nail clipping and free advice on many of the day-to-day issues that pet owners face.
Having a shop front base has been a boost for both the local community and economy, and Amanda hopes it won’t stop there.
“Owning my own pet shop has been a dream for a very long time. Now that I have the shop I will be increasing product lines and ranges, as well as services I can offer such as prescription dispensary for flea and worm medications. I hope that next year I will be stocking pets and employing staff. I can’t wait to see what the future brings!”
For more information on Pets-Be-Friends visit www.pets-be-friends.com or visit the shop at 48 Middle Street, Brixham, TQ5 8EJ.
Outset Torbay has been funded by the ERDF Competitiveness and Employment programme and Torbay Development Agency.
For more information on how Outset Torbay could help you develop your business idea into a reality, call us on 0800 032 2905, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.outsettorbay.co.uk.