Niamh Murphy helps out in her mum's business.
A Derry company has paid tribute to Derry City and Strabane District Council's BIG programme for helping them grow their business.
Orla Murphy is the owner of Dozers Dogs, which facilitates dog walking and behaviour assessment.
Orla established the company in 2017, and it has since grown steadily in size from just herself and a small number of dogs, to the current team of walkers that serve a wide range of customers and their dogs across the locality.
After taking part in a previous council programme around business finance, Orla then applied to the Business Innovation & Growth (BIG) programme seeking assistance around building an online presence.
"The BIG programme gave me the incentive to work on this project, which had previously been sidelined," said Orla. In the initial meetings with my Full Circle advisor Patricia we tried to nail down my vision for a website, what content I would like to put there and what messages I would like to send out to a potential customer.
“With no coding or web development skills I felt I would be lost in the designing but with Patricia motivating me I discovered that I could use online tools and do the whole job myself.”
Orla continued: "In our online meetings I felt supported and understood by Patricia, she was not just peddling a standard format of teaching, she was listening to my business model and providing guidance based on what she knew I personally wanted to achieve.
"It really was an eye opener from start to finish. I couldn't begin to list the benefits, it was an endless stream of personal, business and financial know-how that will stick in my brain and launch me towards future success."
Orla explained that taking part in the BIG programme was equally challenging and inspiring and has transformed the way she looks at many aspects of Dozers Dogs.
Orla has now set up a fully functional website, and has a dedicated social media presence including Facebook, Instagram and TikTok accounts.
"The programme allowed me to achieve a long-standing goal in record time and to take pride in having created my own personal site for my very own business.
“Every week was highly motivational. I have notebooks full of plans, now I just need to keep trying to make them real.
"Working with Patricia was a personal experience, I felt like she was invested in my plans and I really valued her input.
“It gave me a real sense of accountability and I went to great lengths to make sure I achieved the benchmarks we were setting out," explained Orla.
The BIG Programme provides one to one mentoring support covering topic areas such as general business planning, finance, sales, communications, digital marketing, cyber security and e-commerce.
Themed workshops and seminars will also become available throughout the programme aimed at enabling business growth and equipping businesses with the additional skills and development to complete within a digital global market.
Businesses from within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area with less than 50 employees, and the potential to create at least 1 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) job as a result of the programme support are eligible to apply.
More information about the project is available on the council's website.
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