25 Feb 2019
This series will offer insights from four entrepreneurs covering four very different industries. In this installment, we will hear from Helena & Shelley, co-founders of eastbound hounds.
Entrepreneurs in Focus: Q&A with Helena & Shelley
Name: Helena Gvozdenovic & Shelley Hodges
Age: Early 30s
Business: Eastbound Hounds
We offer a variety of pet care services including; dog walking, doggy daycare, dog obedience training, pet sitting, pet taxi and pet visits.
Yes, this is our full-time occupation.
We are still a pretty new start-up, we're 8 months in now and have already built up a solid client base and are continuing to grow.
We met working at a pet care company where we discovered we had a lot of similar creative ideas for how we would go about advertising and providing services for dogs in a set catchment area (the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney). We both have a huge love of pooches – great and small and we really just set out to build a more personalised and fun set of services.
When you work for someone else, it's hard to get your voice heard – suggestions and opinions you may have can be overlooked. In a big company especially, you can feel like just a cog in a wheel and you probably don't get a true sense of the priorities of that business. When you work for yourself every decision, be it good or bad, is yours to make and with that, you are constantly learning. It was also about the belief we both had in our concept and execution of what we could achieve and taking that leap.
Short term we'd like to continue to grow our client base until we are both at full capacity with dogs we both can personally take care of. Long term we would like to employ staff, potentially franchise and spread the eastbound hound word.
Fear. The fear that we may not succeed, that we had left job security to pursue a dream of starting our own business and now would solely be dependant on ourselves for income, insurance and super. However, that fear is also the thing that drives you to achieve your goals and to keep working hard.
Entrepreneurship is not really discussed as a possibility at our schools and universities. If it was introduced at an early age it could encourage teens and young adults to seriously think about their future career path. Also, the world we live in is expensive – giving up a steady job to start something new is scary and financially risky but ultimately has the potential to be very rewarding.
The firsts. The first client, the first follower on social media, the first Google review, the first word of mouth booking. It's a very special feeling!
Don't be afraid. If you have an idea, research it, explore the avenues you will need to take to really get your plan off the ground and turn your dream into reality!