Wow! It’s September already, and a lot of Stockport businesses have had that ‘back to school’ feeling. Many of us have been waiting for the extra time September brings.
However, we aren’t out of the woods yet. I have spoken to many small business owners who are feeling fatigued. I think many people can relate to that. The last six months have been tricky to navigate. Others are worried about the next few months. Not knowing what’s going to happen can leave people feeling anxious and nervous.
Despite the news, there is still a lot to celebrate, and this Stockport Business Blog includes three more incredible business owners. All three businesses are community-focused, and it’s great to see them all striving forward with their plans.
I’ll stop blabbering now and pass this blog over to them.
After 11 years as a teacher, I decided to make a career change and in 2016 re-trained to become a clinical reflexologist. Reflexology is an incredibly relaxing complementary therapy that involves the manipulation of reflex points on the feet, and occasionally the hands and ears, to address any imbalances within the body. I’d experienced the positive effects of reflexology during my first pregnancy and often used the therapy to relieve periods of stress and anxiety that are so often associated with the teaching profession.
In 2018, I set up Sole Clinical Reflexology, and I’ve never looked back. I’m based at The Natural Health Clinic, Gatley, three days a week and also now teach at The Contemporary Reflexology College on the level 5 Professional Reflexology diploma course.
My professional interests are within reproductive reflexology, mental health (PTSD, stress and anxiety) and more recently in neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of such sufferers. I’m currently working with Parkinson’s UK to initiate some research into the efficacy of reflexology in reducing the symptoms associated with the disease.
I simply love my job.
Somebody asked me recently what the best thing about my profession was and I explained that for me, apart from the benefits of being self-employed, it was the innate reward that I experience purely from helping a client/patient recover from whatever it was they’d presented with.
Just last week, one of my fertility clients, a lovely lady in her early 40’s, who’d been trying for a baby for years and had come to see me after having recently experienced a failed IVF cycle, told me she was pregnant – after only five reflexology sessions. Although this isn’t an unusual outcome in the world of fertility reflexology, it never ceases to amaze me. The wonders of reflexology!
If you haven’t tried reflexology yet, but would like to see how it might help you, don’t hesitate to get in touch by dropping me an email at email@example.com. Alternatively, you may also wish to visit www.soleclinicalreflexology.co.uk for more information.
I’m Hannah from Hannah Is Social (original I know!), and I am passionate about social media and the positive use of it for small businesses and entrepreneurs. During my maternity leave three years ago, I informally offered social media support and PR management for local firms. When I was furloughed from my current role in marketing for a market research company, I decided to run with the branding idea I’d had two years ago. I channeled my geeky obsession and new-found spare time to help local Stockport businesses in lockdown when online was basically all we had!
I held complimentary workshops for over thirty wonderful businesses in a wide range of industries and built up such a great network and catalogue of testimonials that I decided to push myself and offer my services outside of my local town.
Social media is vital for businesses nowadays. It was pre-Covid, but even more so now our physical interactions are somewhat limited. Your audience is online now more than ever, and you should be too. However, you should do social media well, or you might as well not bother.
Here are my top tips for making the most out of your brand’s online presence.
Identify where you’re best placed
Rather than trying to straddle five different social media platforms, posing for the ‘Gram and breaking your neck learning TikTok dances, assess where your demographic hangs out and put your efforts there.
If you’re going to be creating a virtual shop front for your brand then as I’ve said before, let’s do it well. Canva and Lightroom are two of my must-have apps for creating content that’s going to stop people scrolling, and I always advocate making the most of some good light and a bit of spare time in your day by setting up some ‘behind the scenes’ shots for when you might not have anything planned to post.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail – I like to utilise the slower pace of my Sundays by drafting and scheduling content for myself and my clients. Block out a couple of hours during your week to at least get some ideas together for your profiles that align with your overall marketing strategy.
Work smarter not harder on platforms like Instagram. I understand the juggle struggle that many small business owners go through so by spending targeted time on social media rather than mindlessly scrolling you are pleasing the algorithm, boosting your engagement score and curating your community too!
Posting with Intention
As I’ve mentioned, posting without any real messaging or call to action on your social media platforms is a waste of your time. Make sure that all of your content is aligned with your KPI’s.
For more social media advice, follow Hannah here 🔽
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/hannahissocialmcr/
Like many women featured in this blog series, my two children who are my business motivation.
Having grown up in Wilmslow and completed a B.A Honours Degree in 2011, I set up a business which hosted a range of family events across the U.K. It was incredibly successful. We received sponsorship from Orbit Developments, Co-op Travel, Majestic Wines, Subway, housing associations and numerous other businesses. We also gained a great deal of publicity and exposure through speaking live on BBC Manchester Radio and Manchester Evening News, Wilmslow Guardian, Cheshire Independent and Stockport Express. Our social media following was also large as we harnessed free marketing channels.
Over the years, thousands of people attended the events, including M.P.s such as George Osborne, David Rutley and Mary Robinson, as well as the Mayor of Cheshire East Council and Stockport Borough Council. To confirm our success, we were delighted to be finalists for the Community Impact award for the North East Cheshire Business Awards.
It all looked, from the outside, incredible. However, I was suffering from burnout.
In 2017, I re-branded and launched Cheshire Marketing to give a better work-life balance.
Within 15 months, we had clients such as The Gym Group and Alderley Edge Parish Council, as well as various retailers, opticians, event companies, local artists, corporate businesses, restaurants and more.
To make a business work, you have to be absolutely determined.
I push myself to get out there and meet people. Networking is key. But also distributing well-designed leaflets, being consistent on social media, speaking to businesses directly, public speaking and not letting fear hold me back have all helped grow Cheshire Marketing.
We gained excellent reviews, which helped the business to grow and the online Cheshire Business Directory being born in October 2019.
Most businesses struggle to promote themselves on social media. I offer a range of packages to help businesses target the right customers to grow successfully. I also found I missed events, so it made perfect sense to start hosting business events which have also been a brilliant success.
Despite the pandemic, the online directory is a brilliant success with many more projects developing.
My best tip is never to give up, be consistent and forge ahead.
To find out more, follow me on social media.
A little note from Becky
Based in Stockport, I write soulful words for small business owners who want an authentic presence online. I specialise in website copy, blog posts and social media content. Get in contact here and we can discuss how I can support you.