Starting a Business: Q&A with Helena & Shelley

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.

How do I start a business?

First things first – you need to do your research. Find out exactly what you will need to invest to bring your business to life, as well as the time and planning that will be required to turn this dream into a reality. You will also need to establish whether your business will start-out as a side-hustle or will you need to dedicate yourself to it full-time? Will you need investors or can you financially back it yourself? When do anticipate it will become profitable? These are just a handful of the many questions you should be asking yourself.

Every business is different, that is why we asked four different entrepreneurs, who operate across four different industries, to offer us their insights. Learn from those who have first-hand experience in setting up a business, so you have the confidence to start your own.

In the first installment of starting a business, we spoke with Simon Barratt (founder of NCHE). Simon spoke about the challenges and triumphs he faced starting his own wetsuit brand; if you want to read more of Simon's story please click here.

In this second installment of starting a business, we will be hearing from Helena and Shelley co-founders of eastbound hounds: a pet services provider.

Helena and Shelley will offer some advice and motivation to get you started. Learn from their challenges and be inspired by her wins as you discover the trials and triumphs that come along with setting up a business.

Also, keep an eye out for our other featured entrepreneurs who will be sharing their insights shortly.

So, what are you waiting for? Let's get started!


Entrepreneurs in Focus: Q&A with Helena & Shelley


Name: Helena Gvozdenovic & Shelley Hodges

Age: Early 30s

Business: Eastbound Hounds


  1. What products and services do you offer?

We offer a variety of pet care services including; dog walking, doggy daycare, dog obedience training, pet sitting, pet taxi and pet visits.

  1. Is this your full-time occupation? If not, do you hope for it to be and how do you juggle your workload?

Yes, this is our full-time occupation.

  1. What stage is your business currently at?

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.

  1. What inspired your business idea?

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.

  1. What motivated you to take action?

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.

  1. What are your current core business goals (short term and/or long term)?

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.

  1. What have you found to be the biggest hurdle throughout this process?

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.


  1. Why do you think so many millennials are discouraged from the following the career path of an entrepreneur?

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.

  1. What have you found the most 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!

  1. What advice would you offer other budding entrepreneurs?

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!