Kent and Medway Growth Hub – Business Support Groups
Sandra Daruwala – The Recovery Well
Why did you ring in on the Kent & Medway Growth hub hotline?
I run a complementary therapy business in Ramsgate and, when lockdown happened, we were one of the first sectors to be completely closed and one of the last sectors to fully re-open, so we were in a very challenging situation. I heard about the support available via the joined the networking sessions as I wanted to be ready for re-opening and was using this time to go on business courses to help me develop my business.
What were you hoping to get out of it?
I was very keen to get support and information from other professionals. I had attended some other on-line networking events and the information seemed to be mixed messages. I wanted to make sure I was up to date with all the funding options and business advice which was absolutely what the business support network groups delivered.
What was your experience of the business support you received from Philip and Tim?
We were given plenty of business tools to experiment with. Thinking about re-working my pricing model was particularly useful as I was clearly under charging before. I secured new premises during lock down and was kept very busy decorating it and sometimes attended the groups with a paintbrush in my hand! I really worked on the profit and loss numbers for my business and am still working on the business plan we started on with the group which was very useful.
Did it change the way you were running your business? What did you get out of your experience?
It was particularly interesting to hear the positions of other businesses and what they were doing to navigate the difficult times we found ourselves in. Different perspectives are always so useful. I changed my pricing model to ensure it reflected my services properly coming out of lockdown which has proved successful. One member of the group has since become a client and another is providing stock for The Wellbeing Shop I established in the new premises which is really pleasing and I may work with another member on a filming project in the future. It has been a great way to meet businesses and we are all supporting each other wherever we can
How are things now for your business and what are your future plans?
I have now fully opened my business and am thinking about recruiting new staff members which is great. I have lots of bookings in the diary and the future looks bright. I may bring on a kick start employee and want to be able to rent out my therapy rooms to other therapists to offer complimentary treatments and I have a podcast studio I can rent too which is exciting. I am looking to continue getting business support but hope to make use of 1-2-1 sessions moving forward to focus on my business development
Did you get any help or support elsewhere during the pandemic?
I did attend other business groups and webinars to learn about social media marketing and other business skills. There was a lot of on-line training and I really made the most of it. I am now a finalist in the Kent and Beauty Awards for complementary health practitioner a resilience award and for the business of the year award which I am really excited about so watch this space!