I am now celebrating the 2 year birthday of Macclesfield Physio Pilates! What an amazing learning curve these past 2 years have been!
When you are starting a new business you hear many words of wisdom. The most common being the first two years are the tricky ones. So it feels a real achievement to be at this point! One quote that I always remember is ‘starting your own business is like falling off a cliff and making a plane on the way down!’ Well I think I have thankfully made the plane before the point of impact and am now mastering flying it!
One way I thought I would mark this milestone was with a Reflective blog!
So what have I learnt?
Passion & Conviction
If you are passionate about something and about it being done right that it is worth sticking to this as plenty of people will respect this. People like to feel comfortable in what they are doing and so it is sometimes worth doing just one more individual Pilates session before joining the classes.
One piece of advice I was given was not to spend much on advertising and it is so tempting when you first appear on the internet and you have lots of marketing businesses calling you with so many tempting but often expensive ways of advertising. My clients are my best advert and I am always so delighted when they refer on one of their friends or family.
What I love about being a Physio and a Pilates instructor is helping others to help themselves and seeing that improvement. One of my favourite Christmas cards this year was from a client who came to the Pilates classes for a couple of blocks travelling over from Buxton. When winter drew in she decided to try continuing on her own. In her Christmas card to me she said she was doing really well, doing Pilates for 20 minutes a day and had turned down an appointment at a pain clinic, as she didn’t feel she needed it now!
I have been blessed with the loveliest group of clients who are aware that our bodies need a bit of TLC taking into consideration how we use them most of the time and are prepared to invest in them at least once a week. Some of my clients, who were in my first class, are still doing classes with me now!
Plan, Pace, Prioritise!
Sadly, I realised early on that I am not superwoman, and that I can only keep so many balls in the air at once (and definitely not with the spiky variety!)
The advice I give as a physiotherapist has had to be applied more to myself: Plan, Pace Prioritise! I have mastered the skill of focusing on the work to be done and leaving any chores that need to be done (even if they are winking at me), as I’m sure any home-worker will be able to relate to.
Search and Socialise
Thanks to a very successful cousin of mine who runs 4Ps Marketing, I learnt the importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). This was a whole new language for me but definitely one worth learning!
Matt and his team also stressed the importance of social media. This has been another steep learning curve, as at the start, I was on neither Facebook nor Twitter personally, and was quite happy being in the dark ages!!
I feel I still have a long way to go on maximising the benefits of these media. I was also encouraged to write blogs and have found that when I am inspired and make the time to do them that I do enjoy writing them. This is one particular area that I will be aspiring to be improving on over the next two years.
I’m sure you have now got the hint that this whole process has made me a lot more IT literate but would it be awful to admit I still prefer pen and paper for some things?!
When setting up this business, I have been very fortunate to have been supported so well by family, friends and colleagues. I have been reminded what an amazingly supportive husband I have, helping me in so many ways from formatting my website to looking after our boy while I run classes. Without him, Macclesfield Physio Pilates would definitely not be running now.
I am also very grateful to John Griffiths of John Griffiths Physiotherapy Clinic (where I run my individual Pilates sessions) for his support over these two years.
Many thanks too to Elizabeth Curphey of The Therapy Rooms for referring some of her lovely patients on to me and apologies that they then don’t seem to need to come back!
I also am very grateful to a wonderfully supportive fellow small business woman, Nokomis aka CocoaNoko Makes who made these amazing gingerbread with my logo on to celebrate Macclesfield Physio Pilates' second birthday that all my clients loved:
Many thanks to Sue for skilfully designing my leaflets, and creating my logo (seen on everything from this website to gingerbread!).
My plan going forward now is to give out a client questionnaire in the next few weeks and take stock. What do my clients like, do more of that, what they would like to change and change that.
Finally, a big thank you to all my wonderful clients!