Today we have a Covid-19 Survey response from Claire McGillycuddy who is the founder of Balanced Life Physiotherapy based in High Corn Mill, Skipton. As with some of the other business owners we have spoken to recently around the area, she started her business practice during the Covid-19 crisis. Read on to find out how she and the team have done their utmost to ensure the success of this fledgling enterprise.
When you first learned of the Covid-19 outbreak, was there any initial concern relating to public health and your business?
As a health professional with many other skills that support health and well-being it became clear to me it was increasingly important for people to look after their health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally--it was scary opening a new premises in the Pandemic but I knew the experience and skills I have would be of great value for the community.
The way that Claire describes her mind set prior to and during the opening of her new venture is an inspiration. Not only has she “Felt the fear and done it anyway” but she has taken a passion for helping others and turned into what will hopefully become a very successful business model. As she correctly states, her services will indeed be of great benefit for the community as people are continually struggling to come to terms what is happening in their lives right now. One of the worst things for most people is the lack of control in their day to day existence and keeping a sense of purpose. This kind of therapeutic treatment is likely to become really prevalent and more essential than ever moving forward.
Once changes to the nature of your sector began to take hold, how was your business affected and changed?
The day to day running of the business is much more complicated, the appointment system changed, use of PPE and cleaning and protocols to ensure that I practice in a COVID secure manner-but also being mindful of not adding to the fear. It is important my patients and clients feel confident to visit a safe but calm environment.
As with virtually every business around the country, Balance Life Physiotherapy faced an uphill struggle to keep the business open and convince their clientele of putting their safety foremost and making it of paramount importance to the staff. Not only do companies have to deal with the practical, financial and physical limitations and implications of plying their trade through this crisis but also manage the fear and confusion their client base are experiencing.
If like most small to medium businesses your trade suffered a significant downturn, did you manage to find any unique and innovative ways to address it and try to keep revenue flowing?
I took my business online where I could- this was a steep learning curve for me- I prefer face to face but technology has allowed me to still help my patients and clients.
Like so many business owners Claire was forced to re-evaluate the way she approached and conducted her business, taking on and mastering new challenges, ways of working and technologies. It’s amazing how well so many people have managed to adapt and grow in the face of adversity during this pandemic and it’s really encouraging that so many have made it work for them and their customers.
Did your business and/or you receive any help from the Government by way of grants/loans/financial support or other types of assistance?
Yes, I had one grant in the 2nd lockdown
Thousands of people just like Claire have had little or no support through these unprecedented times and many have not been as successful at managing to survive it. Fortunately she was one that did and we look forward to watching her business flourish as we emerge on the other side of this dark period in our history.
If you believe you might be eligible for any kind of help, funding, grant, loan or reduction in costs don’t delay, check out all the Government Guidance as soon as possible and make sure you claim all you are entitled to. We all need to do what we can to put the GREAT back into Britain and ensure our communities and families bounce back from these troubles. We advise that everyone who believes they may be entitled to any of the support packages which have been made available throughout the pandemic so far to check their eligibility on Government help schemes and you can access the details here.
How do you think/feel your business has fared in comparison to others around you in the same or similar sectors?
It is hard to say as I grew my business in the pandemic, but I feel I have had a positive response-I would like the community to know that they have a hub to support their physical health and well-being during Covid-19 and beyond.
Balanced Life Physiotherapy Centre - 2
We all need support and guidance now more than ever and we find it very reassuring that there will be people and businesses like this one there to lend a hand when we come through on the other side. The fact that Claire actually STARTED her business in such adversity is testament to her courage, desire and belief which are the foundation stones of success.
Have things been more/less challenging for you and your business during the current lockdown period than the first? Yes-I had to cancel and change so many things- it has been so frustrating the second time and it has been hard to keep the drive and motivation to keep thinking outside the box- but I will not give up!
It has been difficult at times to interpret the information from the government, it is important to me that I have acted responsibly as I am classed as an essential service and I take my role very seriously.
You get a real feeling of the depth of feeling and passion in Claire’s responses to our questions and they are very reassuring to the casual observer, giving a sense of safety and care. Her determination as with that of thousands of others including some of our respondents to this survey, are an inspiration to others and we should take heed of the lessons they are freely giving us.
Do you think/feel that what has happened over the last few months has brought communities together more or divided them?
Together- it has been heart-warming to hear and see how people have acted in these stressful times- it is what has helped support me through this time. There have been so many sad stories and situations but the way Skipton has pulled together to support and help each other has been amazing-I feel lucky to live here and will help out in the community wherever possible.
We keep hearing similar responses to this one time ad time again about how the community have rallied round and supported one another in a concerted effort to fight back against adversity. We can probably all regale stories of local heroes who have gone out of their way to offer comfort and assistance to others, often at great personal sacrifice. This is what the heart of any community is about and we should never lose sight of the fact once Covid-19 is defeated!
What plans and hopes do you have for your business post lock-down and how optimistic do you feel about being able to sustain or grow it?
It will grow, I have so many ideas that I will be able to implement when life becomes more ‘normal’- I am excited about the future and having the opportunity to achieve my dreams of having my Wellbeing Clinic.
I have a full range of services to be able to offer a Holistic Solution with my Medical background-I have a lovely small team of like-minded colleagues and I am looking forward to adding more services-we have an amazing Clinical Reflexologist joining us in the New Year.
It sounds as though there is no holding this lady back, her drive and ambition only seem to be matched by courage, conviction and a big heart. We sincerely wish all the team at Balanced Life Physiotherapy a fabulous and prosperous New Year.
In December and January we are offering 10% off all services for the Emergency services and NHS staff as a thank you for their tireless hard work through the pandemic.
Balanced Life Physiotherapy - Flyer
If you work for any of the emergency service, the NHS or know someone close to you who does, please contact Claire and the team for details.