With 15 years’ experience under her belt, Jo Lade has mastered the art of balancing her reflex orthopaedic massage profession with her business skills, resulting in a successful practice. She helps her patients in Cumbria and Wensleydale to recover from, and manage pain. Here she tells how her journey began.
What’s the story behind your business? How did you get started?
I’ve always been fascinated by bodies! I originally trained in 1994 but took the opportunity to go and live in Australia for a year soon after qualifying and came back with debts to pay off. I had to take a job and get straightened out – this turned into about 10 years of distraction! But during those years I acquired the skills which mean that running a business – advertising, marketing, spreadsheets, admin etc, aren’t onerous tasks now.
When I finally created the opportunity to begin my self-employed career and start my massage practice I took the view that what was most important was getting my head down and doing a good job – word of mouth would grow my practice along with carefully selected advertising and marketing activities. This has proved correct and my practice has grown year on year over the past almost 15 years – apart from when I have taken time out to study or build a house(!)
What’s a typical day like for you?
What’s a typical day!?! My routine varies quite a lot – most days start between 6-6.30, every day is a mix of family and parenting, home and work. I see patients in Tebay three days a week, and Wensleydale two days a week. We’ve been building our own house for the past three years so if there is any time to get a bit of work in I could end up on the roof slating, laying blocks outside, decorating or mixing mortar.
I try to get some exercise every week which these days seems to be mainly swimming which I love, and if I’m lucky I’ll get time to do some Crossfit based exercises too, or go mountain biking. Then there’s keeping in touch with my business – social media activity, admin that kind of stuff which has to be done daily, and recently I’ve been working on the launch of a pain education course.
What’s the toughest part of running your own business?
Fitting everything in! Juggling, prioritising, and not being a drama queen when it all goes wrong!
And the best part?
Hearing my patients’ stories and being part of their journey – making a treatment plan and seeing it all work. One patient told me without my support and treatments she would have ended up in a wheelchair – that’s worth more than any amount of money!
What are your top three goals?
- Launching my new Pain Education course to employers and individuals.
- Continuing to grow my skills and expertise within my massage practice.
- Achieving the above while staying sane.
What’s your top marketing tip?
All your marketing, advertising and promotional activity is a waste of time if you can’t deliver the goods – get your head down and be the best you can possibly be in whatever you do, and the results will follow you.