Developing a Small Business: Tola Health Case Study

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Developing a Small Business Tola Health Case Study

Local business owner, Morag contacted us through the South West Growth Hub initially to get some help with developing her reflexology business, Tola Health.

She had been trading for nearly two years at the time but wanted to grow her business to the stage that she could dedicate herself to it full time.

We sat down and went through the support that was available to her through the Growth Support Programme and started to look at how Morag could develop a business plan to help her achieve her goal.

Together a strategy was developed that included a 12 month marketing plan that Morag could use to start improving her marketing activities. This included looking at redesigning and optimizing the business website and making better use of social media to promote her business.

It is still very early days but following the various amendments made to her business model the traffic to her website and its ranking is showing significant enhancement and Morag has a strong plan and the skills to develop her business into the future.

Tola Health: Morag’s Story

Tola Health Morag

I wish I had known about the support offered by Business Information Point when I qualified as a Reflexologist in 2015 and started my business, Tola Health.

As part of my Reflexology Diploma I had developed a detailed business plan and financial forecast based on being able to operate the business full time.

As I could not afford stop working for a regular salary I began operating the business just one day per week. With little income from the business I tried to keep my outgoings low, creating and printing leaflets and building a website myself.

I continued like this for 18 months. I had a small core group of regular clients buying blocks of treatments and did many one-off taster and gift voucher sessions. I only managed to increase my regular client base by one during this time.

I had abandoned my business plan and was despondent about my chances of ever increasing my client numbers to enable me to run Tola Health full time.

In March 2017 I was able to increase my business hours to two and a half days per week. It was at this time I was put in touch with Business Information Point and started to work with business advisor Chris Langan.

Working with him through the Growth Support scheme has taught me a lot and reinvigorated my enthusiasm for my business. I am now confident I can make it successful.

Following feedback from Chris and his team I began to see that I was making false economies both financially and in terms of my own time by trying to do things myself. To this end I have vastly improved my leaflets, using a professional template and colour printing service.

In doing so I have reduced and improved the wording for greater impact on potential customers. The digital marketing training made me realise that my website while informative and attractive was not fit for purpose in terms of search engine optimisation etc.

I am now in the process of working with a website designer to build a new site which will work more effectively with Google and other web browsers. I am more proactive on my Tola Health Facebook page and have bitten the bullet and joined Twitter.

I still have a lot to learn about how to use social media effectively but with the start-up information from Business Information Point and support from friends who operate small business, I am confident I can make these into a powerful tool to advertise my business.

Chris made me revisit my business plan and develop a detailed 12 month marketing plan. I was reluctant at first to do this work again but it has been a really useful exercise. I have added other therapies to my business but these were not included in my costings and financial plan.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed by having to market the business with no idea how, creating a marketing plan has given me a focused structure. The plan builds on my strengths and works with the seasons and special events suited to my business.

This has taken the pressure off and I now only have to worry about marketing as I introduce each month’s offer.

I have a long way to go but the programme has given me the confidence and skills I need to make my business grow.

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