Interview: Samia Elhage | Founder and Director of Dogs and Doos

Interview: Samia Elhage | Founder and Director of Dogs and Doos

Meet our buyer in focus for the month of November. Samia Elhage is the Founder and Director of Dogs and Doos. Located in the Melbourne Bayside area, Samia is dedicated to making sure all your pets’ needs are met by ensuring continuity in their routine, especially while you are away.

Established in 2011 and still going strong, they have over a decade of experience improving the lives of our two and four-legged friends with their pet leisure services. During this time, they’ve had well over 200 satisfied clients, many of whom were referred by other pet care professionals.

Samia and the team have extensive professional and personal experience working with dogs and stay up to date with the latest in dog and animal behaviour, including their health and wellbeing, through their network of veterinary and dog trainer friends. They believe in having a great time while doing what they love, and they LOVE what they do, I can vouch for that!

Recently, Samia was referred to CircleSource by one of her clients. So, we thought we’d have a chat with her to find out more about her experience using the CircleSource platform.

How did the last 18 months with COVID-19 restrictions impact your business?

Like many small businesses, we have been able to successfully manage our way through the last 18 months of COVID-19 -19 restrictions and lockdowns. During this time, we were only able to provide our services to pets of permitted workers. Naturally, that had an impact. However, it did provide me with the opportunity to think about business. In particular, new service lines I could introduce to the business. I’d been thinking about expanding our grooming services and adding an accessory and product range that compliments the business.

Recently, you used CircleSource to find a Web Design expert to refresh your website. How did you hear about CircleSource?

My website had never been updated previously. So, it was the perfect time to refresh the website, update our brand and business story and introduce the ecommerce capabilities we needed to support the new product, accessories and service lines we were introducing. I’d asked people in my network who recommended providers they thought could help me, but I just couldn’t find the right supplier to help with my needs. One day, I was talking to one of my clients, who also runs a business, about my problem, and she told me she used CircleSource to find the independent experts and specialist service providers she needed for her business.  So, I checked out the CircleSource website and signed up.

What was your experience with CircleSource?

As a business owner looking to source services, CircleSource is free to use. It was so easy to use. The process of creating and posting a job is simple and streamlined. The templates guide you and step you through the process of creating your job brief. There are drop boxes, explanations of what to do, options about where you like the work performed and when, as well as your budget estimates. It helped me clarify and explain what needed to be done on my website and the experience and qualities I was looking for in a service provider. When you finish your job brief, you simply post it to the market and offers from suppliers pitching for the job come in.

Did you find the right expert to refresh and redesign your website?

Yes, in the end, I awarded the job to Christina Cannes, of Big Beautiful Sky Media. She was great, and I loved working with her on this project. And I’ll use her again in the future too! I actually received 11 or 12 offers from experts pitching to refresh my website. It was great, and I was a bit overwhelmed by all the interest. They were quality Australian Website Designers, and I was able to work through and drill down to the 2 or 3 that best met my brief. I was able to speak directly with them to clarify their offer and satisfy myself that they had the skills to meet my requirements. When I was ready, I was able to accept the offer and award the job to the supplier who best matched what I was looking for. I felt in control of the process all the way.

What was a key point of difference for you when using CircleSource?

Apart from the intuitive and simple technology CircleSource provides users, CircleSource makes the process of finding and engaging experts and specialist service providers for my business needs easy. It streamlines the process, saves me time searching for suppliers on the internet or via my networks. It’s just super convenient. A key factor for me is that CircleSource is only for Australian businesses. I think that’s great, because I’m an Australian small business, and you know that when you use CircleSource, you’re dealing directly with and supporting another Australian small business. It makes a difference knowing the work you need done, is actually being done here. I’ve had experience dealing with offshore service providers in the past, which hasn’t been great.

Would you use CircleSource again?

Absolutely. I’ve told people in my business network to check it out. Keep pushing it because it’s all about helping and supporting Australian businesses. 

It was great to talk to Samia and hear about her experience using CircleSource to find and engage the experts she needs for her business. Some key takeaways to note included;

  • Samia found CircleSource so easy to use and streamlined.
  • Creating the job brief actually helped her clarify what she needed done. The template guided her through creating the brief, with drop boxes, tips along with the ability to define where she wants the work done, by when and her budget range.
  • Samia said CircleSource saved her time searching for suppliers on the internet or asking for referrals from her network which took time. Suppliers actually came to her when she posted the job.
  • A key factor for Samia was by using CircleSource, you know you are dealing with only Australian experts and specialist service providers. You know the work is being done in Australia and you are supporting another Australian small business.
  • Finally, Samia’s advice to us at CircleSource was to keep pushing it and get the word out into the market about CircleSource because it’s all about helping the Australian small business community.