Running your own business isn’t easy, and running one from a garden shed is even more difficult. That’s what Emma Jane Sanderson has been doing for the last five years. Located in Carlisle, Cumbria, Scallywags Dog Grooming has grown tremendously since its inception in 2010. Sanderson is a member of the British Dog Groomers Association and the Pet Industry Federation, but recently her business had grown to full capacity so she decided to expand.
Sanderson says that running her business from the garden shed had its limitations, which is certainly understandable. She says that she had to consider her neighbors so she didn’t open early or work late. The size of the shed was her largest limitation. In fact, she could only groom medium and small breeds. She says she couldn’t groom any dog larger than a springer spaniel. On average she could only groom about five dogs per day.
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Now Sanderson is welcoming new customers to her new business location on South John Street in Carlisle. The new unit gives her 500 square feet of space. She can now groom any size dog, and she’s able to open at 7:30 a.m. and stay until 6:30 p.m. Her interest in grooming started with her own pet Chihuahua.
She began a 10-week course at Newton Rigg and then went on to train further at multiple grooming facilities. She had always worked in the pub trade before starting her adventure in dog grooming. Her mother owned a pub, so naturally Sanderson fell into working in the family business. She knew nothing about dog grooming or running a business, but she thought the 10-week course may be worth going to so she could groom her own pet at home.
She enjoyed grooming so much that she continued her training and went on to work under successful groomers to learn about the trade through experience. She says her best form of advertisement is word of mouth, and that’s what she really credits to helping her business grow. Sanderson is excited to add some new features to her business now that she has the space, like a waiting area for her customers with a sofa and television as well as a board with animal care information from local veterinarians and pictures of local lost pets.
Right now Sanderson’s grooming package includes a bath, fluff dry, clipped and scissor cut, nail trimming, tooth brushing, and a fragrance. All pets are returned with a bow as well, even the males. She’s hoping to incorporate more services now that she has a larger space, and she’s also planning to add a small accessory and grooming supply shop inside the salon as well.
If this woman was able to start a dog grooming salon inside a garden shed and run it successfully for five years, it just goes to show that anyone with determination can start their own business. If you offer a great product or service and you focus on providing quality customer service, word of mouth will eventually start to spread.
I’m sure there are some people that would not think it was very professional to run your business out of a gardening shed, but Sanderson is a great groomer and treats her clients and their families well. If that’s all she had to start out with, then who’s to judge her for that? There is nothing wrong with starting small, as long as you’re still running a top-notch business. Take a lesson from Emma Jane Sanderson – as long as you’re good at what you do and you’ve got the determination and drive to make your business work, you can succeed.