European Regional Development Fund European Regional Development Fund

Animal loving entrepreneur delivers magic touch after securing support from Launchpad

A North Notts animal lover is hoping to set tails wagging after forging a new future for herself by using her healing hands to launch a unique canine massage and therapy business.

Jayne Strange, who lives in Carburton near Worksop, has quickly established herself as one of just three qualified canine massage therapists operating in the Sheffield City Region after calling upon help from Launchpad, a unique business support programme which delivers free support and advice to help new entrepreneurs transform ideas into a commercial reality. After engaging with the programme, the 48 year-old former personal assistant decided to launch her fledgling company, K9 Bodycare, earlier this year.

Inspired by a TV documentary which explored how massage therapy is used to support dogs with a range of ailments including trauma, surgery, orthopaedic conditions and social issues. Jayne has devoted the past two years to completing an intensive training programme with the Canine Massage Therapy Centre.

Originally intending to pursue the pastime as a hobby, Jayne’s plans quickly changed when she faced redundancy. Using her newly developed skills, she decided to launch her own canine massage business and decided to contact Launchpad for advice.

Forming part of the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub, Launchpad provides free business support to new entrepreneurs and early stage businesses by delivering workshops, training and guidance from experienced business advisors and mentors.

Working alongside her personal business advisor, Jayne fine-tuned her plans and formulated a marketing strategy, which enabled her to utilise social media channels to promote her business. She has also successfully accessed funding, helping her to participate in the Canine Massage Guild’s Continuous Professional Development Programme.

Just three months after launching K9 Bodycare, the support she has received from Launchpad has seen the business grow beyond her wildest dreams, with some dedicated dog owners travelling 200 miles to access Jayne’s massage services, giving her the confidence to invest in building a purpose-built therapy room within her home.

Jayne Strange said:

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed about working with animals and after seeing the TV documentary which explored how massage can help to dogs to overcome a wide range of issues they face, I felt as if I had found my calling in life.

“When I faced redundancy it felt as if I had been given a sign to pursue those dreams: It was a now or never moment. My business journey has been exciting, daunting and challenging but fortunately the Launchpad team have been on hand to offer support and guidance, allowing me to formulate my business ideas.

“The help and support I have received from Launchpad gave me confidence in my ideas and to act on them. As anyone will know, losing a job can be a life-changing experience and I am extremely grateful for the both the practical and indeed emotional support I have received from Fiona and the rest of the Launchpad team.”

Fiona Humpage, Business Advisor, SCR Launchpad said:

“The Launchpad programme is designed to provide essential help, support and advice to individuals who are thinking of exploring entrepreneurship, as well as business owners who have been trading for two years or less.

“As business advisors, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing someone develop a business which is built around their passions in life, but it can be easy to fall into the trap of believing that simply because one person is passionate about a particular subject then others will share that desire. The work we have undertaken with Jayne has helped her to identify who her customers are and help her to think about how to target them. Since working with her, she’s never looked back and we wish her every success for the future.”

Further information about K9 Bodycare can be found on Jayne’s website: www.k9bodycare.co.uk and she can be contacted on 07834 897 661

Launchpad is a unique scheme which forms part of the Sheffield City Region Growth hub. Funded by the European Union Regional Development Fund and delivered by Local Authorities within Sheffield City Region and the Princes Trust, the programme provides free help and support to budding entrepreneurs in the Sheffield City Region who are thinking of starting their own business, or have started trading within the last two years.

For more information on the Launchpad programme and how it operates throughout the Sheffield City Region, contact the SCR Growth Hub Gateway on 03330 00 00 39 or visit www.scrlaunchpad.co.uk