Congratulations to Bury St Edmunds Canine Creche, who recently scoped, not just one, but three business awards!
In July, they were handpicked by ex-Dragons Den star and business entrepreneur Theo Paphitis, as winners of his “SBS” twitter competition. The prize was a re-tweet by him of their business to his half a million followers and, since then, their social media presence has quadrupled in size! Then in September, they found out they were finalists in the National Apprenticeship Awards Regional Final as Apprentice Employer and were also shortlisted for the Bury Free Press Business Awards – Best New Start up Business. Getting nominated for both of these was a huge achievement in itself, but they then went on to win both awards!
Here to explain about the business is the owner Jon Kay…..
We started the decision-making process back in March 2016, after a somewhat turbulent previous year. We were looking for a change and stumbled across an opportunity to franchise to a well-established dog day care that we had previously used for our dog Loki. What started as an initial enquiry quickly turned into a business idea! Suffolk Canine Creche already had a great reputation, which gave us a solid foundation and a boost into the industry.
Why KEITS and Apprenticeships?
The key to our success is matching the right people to the right job; KEITS and the apprenticeship programme was a great opportunity. Not only do we have the ability to train, nurture and develop young people into our canine carers, but we also had the benefit of a great support network from KEITS.
We feel the growth of our business can be attributed to our early investment in two apprentices – we now have a third apprentice, some 6 months earlier than planned. As with all our recruitment, the goal is to not only offer an Apprenticeship, but a guaranteed job at the end of their course. They can then either continue with us as an employee, or take up the chance to move into further learning. I believe the Apprenticeship route has given them a solid foundation to grow and also focus on the areas of the industry that they may like to pursue.
Winning both awards was hugely overwhelming and surreal. It reflects the hard work my team has put in for the first 10 months of operation. Two lovely trophies to make us proud and drive us further.
We plan to continue to invest in apprentices, as well as nurture the existing ones. We want them to further develop their own careers while continuing to be a huge asset to our business. I am planning to promote one of them as an Apprentice Champion and/or Ambassador; helping in reaching out to local schools and colleges by promoting apprenticeship opportunities.
As for the business, we hope to grow and diversify. We opened in December 2016 and we’ve been helping the Bury St Edmunds community with their dog care needs ever since. We are continually registering new clients and, as well as offering our doggy day care and advice/training, we’ve started to offer more services such as: Puppy Parties and an excellent Puppy Insight Day, hosted by one of the best trainers in Suffolk, Steve Andrews, so next year is looking even busier!