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.

Claire McGillycuddy - founder of Balanced Life Physiotherapy

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.