Lincoln Canine Creche

Business Name:  Lincoln Canine Creche

Support Received:  Start Up Loan and Start & Grow

Location:  Lincoln


With a background in business, dog walking, and supporting dog owners with dog behavioural issues, when an opportunity arose to establish a luxury canine crèche, Helen Grimsey was perfectly placed to seize it.

We spoke to Helen about achieving her business dream.

Tell us more about Lincoln Canine Creche.

Lincoln Canine Creche Ltd is part of the Canine Creche Group, and launched in March 2017.  We offer an activity hall, chill out zones, and outside play area, and much more.

We provide exercise and social interaction, relief from boredom and loneliness for pooches.  Owners drop off their dogs, go to work, and collect their very happy, tired and contented pet at the end of the day.

I have considered every aspect of the dogs’ enjoyment, as well as their owners’ peace of mind that their pets are well cared for.

What steps did you take to become a business owner?

Following a recommendation from the owner of the Canine Creche Group franchise, I sought the advice of Nwes.  With support from Business Advisor, Jessica Collin, I was able to negotiate the path to becoming a business owner by producing a business plan, which enabled me to successfully apply for a Start Up Loan.

I have always wanted to work with dogs, and I have embraced all that my new venture has taught me.

What has been the impact of receiving a Start Up Loan?

The support of Nwes and receiving a Start Up Loan have been instrumental in my start-up.

It has been great to have the ongoing support from Jessica throughout the process, both for advice and as a sounding board.

Receiving finance was a real turning point.  In addition to my own investment, it meant that I was able to secure premises for the business.

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“I’m enjoying being responsible for everything and being empowered to make decisions.  I only have to answer to myself!”

Did you encounter any challenges?  How did you overcome these?

There have been some challenges as I needed to overcome property owners’ concerns regarding mess and noise.  It was a case of understanding and educating, but this did mean that the hunt for my perfect premises took around five months longer than anticipated.

How did you feel when you secured premises for Lincoln Canine Creche?

The obstacles were worth it when I found the ideal home for Lincoln Canine Creche Ltd.  I took out a five year lease on an industrial unit, which offers 2,000 square feet of space.  Now my canine customers enjoy ball pits, paddling pools, climbing frames, playhouses, toys and games, which ensure they receive exercise and receive social interaction.

All dogs are temperament tested to ensure a safe happy play day!

I always wanted to work in a dog based environment and this was the perfect opportunity.  It recognises where dog care is going in the future with regards to licensing and regulation.  As part of the Canine Creche Group, I’m following a proven business model and have high levels of support across all areas of the business.

How does it now feel to be a business owner?

Having received my first paying customer on my second day of business, I am in no doubt that starting Lincoln Canine Creche has been a wise decision.  I am now relishing being my own boss.

I’m enjoying being responsible for everything and being empowered to make decisions.  I only have to answer to myself!

What are your ambitions for the future?

I am currently running the business myself, with the support of an apprentice and a volunteer.  I have ambitions to grow the Lincoln Canine Creche over the coming months by employing a further apprentice.

Within two years, I hope to be working 80% on the business and 20% in the business, rather than the other way around as it currently is.

Do you have any advice for others?

I would encourage other potential business owners to do your research. Make sure you can talk confidently about the market research and your business case to anyone without any preparation. Know your figures. Be realistic about your cash flow forecast. Over-estimate outgoings, under-estimate income.

Finally, don’t wait so long! Just do it!

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