31 Mar Happy Birthday – to us!
Today, 1 April 2020 Hands On At Work celebrates 10 years in business.
When we started ten years ago, workplace massage and wellbeing was seen as a luxury rather than a necessity, the concept was misunderstood, an unidentified priority on business agendas.
Thankfully something that was seen as warm and fluffy now has a place as companies realise how looking after their staff results in healthier happier staff who in turn are in a much better position to work at full capacity and more productively.
These are some of the things we have learnt and achieved over the past decade.
- How effective is networking to grow your business?
We developed our networking strategy by focusing on specific events. When we first started, we had a scatter gun approach to networking, attending absolutely everything but without a clear goal in mind. As the business has developed, we realised which events worked best for us, who we needed to talk to and built relationships and trust with other businesses. Now, whenever we meet anyone networking, we take the time to understand their business, goals and how we can help them achieve that. For us as a company, it’s not about what we can get from other people, but how we can solve their problems and how we can help each other’s businesses grow. As they say, it’s good to talk.
- Defining your target market
A huge part of networking and business in general is establishing business relationships and that has been a key part of growing Hands On At Work. In the early days, asked who our target market was, we would say it’s everyone but the problem there is you end up marketing to no-one as it is too vague. Now that we have a network of established clients, we concentrate on those sectors and how we can improve health and wellbeing considering their specific needs and providing added value to our service.
- Recognising when you need help
I think a lot of new businesses struggle with this. You get to a stage where the business is growing but to get to that next stage you need to take on extra help. The worry here is whether you can afford to do so, or do you stay as you are? For the first five years I was still combining the corporate massage with my private clients. I wanted to expand the corporate side of the business but with just one pair of hands that wasn’t going to work. So, I made the decision not to take on any more private work. At the same time, I needed help to get the business name out there to a wider audience.
This is when I took on the services of Chantall, a freelance Business Development Manager. Chantall has helped enormously by maintaining and improving the profile of the business on social media sites and developing our social media presence. She also attends networking events and has created our CRM system which was desperately needed as the business was growing.
- Ditch the Excel Spreadsheets
I am a spreadsheet queen! I love my spreadsheets but we had reached a stage where the accounts needed something more and so I took on the services of a bookkeeper who put me on to the Xero accounting system and instantly freed up so much of my time and no doubt a huge relief for my accountants – no more carrier bags full of paperwork to sift through!
- Things we are most proud of
Five years ago, we had 16 therapists and were only covering the West Midlands, fast forward another five years, we now have over 100 therapists covering the whole of the UK offering wellbeing services. The team has grown by thinking bigger. With a new dynamic website we were soon receiving enquiries from all over the country and so we adopted the ‘say yes first’ approach and then sourced therapists from other areas to do those assignments and very rapidly the number of therapists signed up to consultancy agreements flourished.
Two years ago, we pitched for a contract with an NHS Mental Health Trust in London to provide staff massage sessions. We’re pleased to say we secured the contract which is still ongoing. We secured it due not only to our excellence in delivering the massage itself but our professionalism, eagerness to talk through the issues facing the Trust and how we could help, our administration procedures and our personable approach.
- Core Values
One of the core values of the business is our fun, personable approach to the business. As a team we are full of personality and we let that shine through. The whole team are dedicated on how they can improve health and wellbeing and the feedback we receive from both the therapists and our clients is always excellent and enthusiastic.
What does the future hold?
Many of the therapists on the team have other skills in addition to the seated massage and so we are engaging those skills to develop wellbeing packages to include activities such as Yoga, Pilates, Reflexology and Laughter Yoga. We are also working with other wellbeing providers to deliver workshops on subjects such as stress management, mental health and nutrition.
We are keen to help businesses understand wellbeing and what this means for the workplace and to assist them to implement strategies to embed in the culture of the business. It’s more than just keeping staff healthy, it’s also about motivating and supporting staff to feel they are part of the team and engaged with their work and achieving goals.
If you are looking to develop your health and wellbeing policy and would like to have a chat, we would love to hear from you.