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A business which helps its clients achieve physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing is looking to grow after receiving support from Business Northumberland.

Directors Nicky Robertson and Claire Hawes set up Back to Balance together in 2017 after years of referring their patients to each other.

Nicky, who has worked in the wellness industry for 22 years, and Claire, an osteopath and former mental health nurse, realised that their skills and experiences could come together to help patients realign their minds and bodies.

With a focus on holism, Back to Balance offers classes like yoga and Pilates as well as a range of massage treatments and psychological therapies.

Although still a new business, Back to Balance is already going from strength to strength, taking on members of staff and receiving excellent feedback from patients. With this business growth, Nicky and Claire have had to quickly get used to their new roles as directors. “We have two hats on”, Nicky explained. “We’re therapists and we’re learning to become businesswomen.”

This transition into running a business was helped by support from Business Northumberland. Nicky said: “We are therapists first and foremost and when taking on a business this size we knew we needed some help with training and coaching.

“I met Business Growth Adviser Chris Dawson at a networking event I went to, and I just wanted to find out a little bit more about Business Northumberland. We were enthusiastic to talk to Chris and he sat down with us to point us in the direction of courses and events we could attend.”

This meeting led to the pair working one to one with an industry expert, who was appointed to help Nicky and Claire ease into their new roles as business leaders.

Nicky said: “We were lucky enough to get a high growth coach, we had 12 hours with her and I can honestly say she was a lifesaver, she was like an angel!

“There were a lot of things that Claire and I had to learn running a business this size because it was something we hadn’t done before. She came in and worked with us and helped us grow and develop the business. She helped us with marketing, business development and strategy. It was incredibly beneficial, as were all the other courses we attended with Business Northumberland.”

Alongside the support Back to Balance received from a coach, the business also benefitted from some of the courses available through Business Northumberland.

“We attended a Canva course, so we use that on all our social media and it’s changed the look of our digital footprint,” Nicky said. “We’ve learned business presentation skills. Within two days of that course we were doing business presentations and it really helped us to feel far more confident, it really gave us the knowledge and skills we needed. Claire recently attended an Ignite Your Business full day course and came back full of knowledge and enthusiasm, clarity and insight.

“We feel that everything we’ve engaged with so far has been exceptionally valuable and we feel really lucky that we’ve been able to have so much support from them.”

Since receiving this support Back to Balance has gone from strength to strength. Having already taken on one member of staff this year, Nicky and Claire would like to see their team expand further in the coming months, as well as attracting even more self-employed therapists into the business.

In the long term the pair plan to take on new premises, eventually expanding into more wellness centres throughout the region. In the short term though the pair want to use their newfound business skills to strengthen Back to Balance and promote their vision of holism.

Nicky said: "Our strong ethos in Back to Balance is holism – we really focus on the clients’ sense of care and we’re looking bring on more therapists who share that passion.

"That’s how we work in back to balance, we support each other and our clients to really improve their wellness. We’d love to see that on a bigger scale."

Case Study developed in partnership with BQ.
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