Hemel woman wants to inspire others to start their own business after her company wins award
Amy set up her business two and a half years ago
A woman from Hemel Hempstead is sharing her story of starting her own business to inspire others after winning a business award with Prestige Awards.
Amy Dobson-Smith, owner of Spot On Dog Walks and Adventures, has been dog walking for around five years and set up the business in 2018 and recently won Dog Walking Service of The Year at the London and South East Prestige Awards.
The business is an Adventure Dog Walking business, Amy wanted to provide a service that was beneficial to not only dogs but for their owners too. It is slightly different to the average dog walking business as it focuses specifically on interaction, stimulation and structure.
She said: "The idea came around when we brought our own puppy home and realized that there wasn’t any services we deemed fit enough to use for him.
"We wanted something that would fit in with his lifestyle, exercise routine and training… that’s when Spot On Dog Walks & Adventures was born!"
Amy collected her award at an award ceremony in Woking.
The 29-year-old said: "After two and a half years, my little business that I kickstarted with so many nerves and battled through a global pandemic, is now an award winning business doing exceptionally well.
"Obviously that has come with hard work and determination, but my point is, this was my dream, it was a risk, but I still went for it and it has been a success.
"The award was for ‘Dog Walking Service Of The Year’ which we were nominated for.
"The judging panel base their decisions upon areas such as service excellence, quality of the product/ service provided, innovative practices, value, ethical or sustainable methods of working, as well as consistency in performance'.
"If I’m being honest I was totally shocked about winning, but equally so proud.
"Working on your own and running your own business alone can be really tough so being recognized for all the hard work, including all the little bits that people don’t realize, felt incredible!"
Amy wants to share her story to help inspire others to start their own business.
She said: "If anyone else is sitting on the fence about whether to start their own business, or just follow a dream to get their dream job, you’ve got to go for it!
"It definitely takes guts, but if it’s what you dream of doing every day, you’ve got to take that leap and tell yourself that you are going to do everything in your power to make it work.
"For me, as a young lady who never really knew what I wanted to do until I reached my mid-twenties (which can be scary with so much pressure from people who constantly ask what you want to do for a living or for the rest of your life), not only did I never imagine I’d be doing what I love every day, but I never imagined the hard work I put in could pay off.
"A lot of work and dedication has gone into it but by doing so, it has literally changed my every day life.
"Just doing something you are very passionate about encourages you to work even harder, I think positively everyday and I’m just very grateful that I took this leap and risk to start a business that is slightly different and with so much competition.
"The advice I’d give to anyone thinking of starting their own business is to believe in themselves entirely. You won’t succeed if you don’t believe in yourself and whatever it is your offering.
"You also need to be in love with whatever it is you will be doing, if your heart isn’t 100 per cent in it, it’ll be 100 per cent harder and more likely to fail.
"The best thing I can take away from starting my own business is self-appreciation, self-belief and self-care. I am no good to anyone if I’m not good myself and that’s the key.
"If you want to be on top of your game all the time, you’ve got to look after yourself. You also need to believe in you and what you’re doing and appreciate yourself for your own efforts.
"Hard work pays off, but you’ve got to be willing to put in the hard work!"