New business owner, Lynda Addy, is celebrating after finding out that her Wakefield-based shops are on track to turnover more than she expected in the first year.
A few months ago Lynda, 49, was looking for something new to do when she overheard the owner of two local health-food shops talking about selling his business.
Health-conscious Lynda, who was a regular customer at the shops, decided to buy the retail business but admits that she had reservations to begin.
She said: “I knew I wanted to do something different but I didn’t know what then at a Buddhist meditation class I overheard the shop’s previous owner talk about selling-up.
“At first I thought I might be too old to run my own business but I decided to go for it. The shop’s customers remained loyal and the business is doing better than I expected.”
“I didn’t believe my accountant when he first told me that the business had done really well in its first three months because I didn’t think it would happen so quickly.”
The two shops based in the Wakefield and Pontefract markets were re-opened in November last year under the new name, LA Health Gallery with five part-time staff.
Lynda is part of a new programme being delivered by West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency for job seekers who have a business idea but need help to get it off the ground.
Participants on the programme are paired with a volunteer from the business community who acts as their mentor as they prepare to start trading and beyond.
“My mentor helped explain the financial side of the business to me, things like looking after the books and paying wages,” said Lynda who lives in the Knottingley area.
As part of her place on the programme, Lynda was also able to take advantage of free business workshops and a £1000 loan which she used to cover some of her start-up costs.
Melissa Healy from West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency said: “In six months we’ve seen over 160 people in Wakefield who want to set-up their own business but they need help.
“We are looking for business people who can spare at least one hour every two weeks to support someone as they write their business plan and start trading
“Whether you're a sole-trader, business owner or experienced professional, your support could make a huge difference to someone who is starting out on their own.