What’s your business called?
Baby and Mummy Massage
Can you describe it in one sentence?
Massage for bumps, babies and beyond!
When did you start it and what inspired you?
My daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis 6 years ago; she was suffering from severe back pain and I wanted to be able to help her. I had always been interested in complementary therapies so I decided to train as a massage therapist. After discovering the amazing power of massage, I decided I wanted to specialise in pregnancy massage, so after I qualified as a therapist in 2011, I did a pregnancy massage course. Then one day, one of my clients asked if I did baby massage. I did some research and was amazed at how beneficial massage could be for babies. So I trained as an infant massage instructor. I am now also a Massage in Schools Instructor.
How did you find your start up?
It has taken a few years to get my business off the ground. I worked part time as an Adult Education teacher and NVQ internal quality assurer for the first three years of starting my business, but last December I felt confident enough to leave that job and concentrate on my business full time.
How do you manage working around your children?
My daughter is 22 now, so this isn’t an issue for me
Can you describe a typical day?
Not really! Some days I just run baby massage classes, some days I also spend time on marketing, but I also run classes for older babies (Massage, music and Movement) and for 2-4 years olds (Song and story time massage), as well as working as a Massage in Schools instructor. I also work with parents with children with special needs, on a 1-2 basis. I still work as a massage therapist too, and do some occasional freelance work as an internal quality assurer. Every day is different!
What have you found hardest?
Marketing- getting people to hear about my business, and to appreciate / recognise that massage isn’t just something to have as a treat every now and then; it has tangible benefits too. I am now reaping the rewards of persevering though, as many of my clients now come via personal recommendations, and I am also starting to get clients coming back with their second child, which is wonderful.
What’s the best thing about being self employed?
The freedom to be able to do what I want, without having to ask permission, or answer to anyone.
What are your plans for the future?
I would like to do more work with parents with children with special needs, as massage can be so beneficial for children with certain medical and other conditions. I would also like to grow the pregnancy massage training part of my business, which I started this year. I have no desire to become a huge business; I like being small, as I have a good life / work balance, but I would like to keep diversifying and adding new elements to what I do.
What advice would you give for someone just starting out?
Believe in yourself. Develop your USP and stick with it. Don’t give up, or be afraid to ask for help. Ask for feedback and try to accept it graciously, even if it’s not always what you want to hear. Build up a good network; support and promote other small local businesses. Don’t criticise other small businesses. Offer your clients incentives to stay with you, such as loyalty discounts.