This article outlines the main reasons why Barefoot Therapies is a flourishing business. I am sharing this story and the key elements not because Anna is one of my clients but as an example to emulate.
In my article which two Cs need to underpin your biz strategy I talked about the importance of collaboration as part of the new ways of doing business. Today let me share with you an inspirational story about Anna Clifford the woman behind Barefoot Therapies who is modelling new ways of doing business in the way she operates.
Anna and I have known each other for about a year now and I value the relationship we have because she always speaks her mind and because I learn from her every time we have a conversation. I was with her earlier this week to talk about some work we are thinking of doing together and I got a desire to share her story.
We first met at a local networking event that is very much based on the old way of growing business. The focus is on doing a one minute pitch which to my mind rarely works because often people are worrying about what they are going to say or wondering how well it was received rather than being present for each person as they stand up and do their thing. Anna is not a fan of it either however she has managed to make in-roads into the group and build some amazing collaborative partnerships. In other words she does not judge people, she meets them where they are at.
The interesting thing is that not all of her ventures have been successful however that has not stopped her she has never given up. Rather she has tweaked ideas until she has found a system that works. Currently she works in two ways with others. With facilitators she either pays them a fee to deliver their service and then she takes care of all the admin around the event or she rents out a room for an event and the facilitator or therapist remains in charge of the bookings.
This is only one part of her strategy. She has recognised which areas are not her strong points and built relationships with local providers of those services. For example she buys in catering for all her events. Some of it is quite simple lunch fare and yet there’s more. Anna has a relationship with posh plates and posies who do wonderful high teas on vintage china which often works well for the bookings she receives for special birthday treats that tend to involve a certain amount of pampering like a manicure or a reiki massage. She is also working with Oasis Flowers who do some of the floral arrangements for her events.
This has been her ethos since she started her business. My favourite story is the one about her relationship with another sports massage masseuse which she developed at the outset. Soon after she and her family moved into the manor house, she booked in for a treatment with Nicky at Amber Health because she needed a sports massage. As soon as they met, she explained who she was and that she was offering similar services. Each of them has seen the other as an opportunity rather than a threat – in other words they have never viewed each other as competition. So 18 months on they go to each other for treatments, so money exchanges hands. More than that they have started to cross-refer because as they have got to know each other, they have realised that they don’t have exactly the same skillset so some of their clients would benefit more from working with the other. It just goes to show that no two therapists are the same, they have their own unique take on what they do.
Most recently she has entered into discussions with a business owner who I would consider to be very business focussed with little appreciation of the energetic side of things. Anna is able to accommodate that by saying that it is just one part of this person and is the front she chooses to show when doing business. Her flexibility is also part of the reason she is doing so well because she is able to meet folk where they are at.
If this has whet your appetite, please note that I will be running an introduction to mindfulness
day at Barefoot Therapies on 22 March so do let me know if you want to book a place. It will be a great opportunity to relax, unwind and explore some of the two acres that the Manor House is set in.
Kate Griffiths has worked as a change consultant and coach in a range of organisations for over twenty years. She now works primarily with conscious business owners and leaders that recognise the old paradigm way of doing things does not work and want support in determining what the new ways of doing business look like. She is passionate about creating conversations that lead to change and has developed her own process to do that called connection through conversation. She also leads mindfulness workshops and leadership programmes for business owners.