Helen Richards – The Little Calm Company

Helen Richards worked in challenging environments, having spent her early career in the Royal Navy and then Hampshire Constabulary….

Here she became an unofficial masseuse after giving a colleague a massage to help relieve their stress. Helen then realised how her massages improved morale and helped relieve tension in the workplace. 

Helen became qualified in massage and set-up The Little Calm Company in 2018 providing massage treatments and desk yoga in companies and organisations across Hampshire. 

“I worked hard to establish the business and I had about 100 corporate clients, but then the pandemic struck, and I was no longer able to go into offices. It was a long time before bookings began to pick up again. But during this time, I was approached by a local hotel that didn’t have spa facilities and wanted to offer massage to guests. It worked well and so I began to wonder whether this service would be of interest to other hotels.”

Outset Start and Grow supported Helen to investigate this opportunity and awarded her a grant of £4,899.35 to further develop the concept and bring it to fruition. 

“The funding has been a real boost to my business. I’ve added a new section on my website for hotels and built the functionality for guests to book a massage directly with us. We provide the therapists, equipment and take care of the risk assessment and insurance, so all the hotels need to do is promote us to their guests. 

“We’ve started a marketing campaign and we’ve had some great leads including a chain of hotels and one luxury rental business that has about 500 properties across the UK!”

Helen has also been able to recruit a member of staff to support her, thanks to a bursary provided by Outset Start and Grow. 

“Donna is a massage therapist and is employed with me full-time to help me grow the business. When the bursary ends, I hope to be able to employ her permanently.”

In addition to the hotels, Helen is still focused on wellbeing in the workplace and now that many people are returning to the office, bookings are picking up again. 

“Right now, I’m making sure our new service delivery to hotels works well alongside the established workplace side of the business. We’re striving to recruit new therapists in all the different locations and develop plans and processes to co-ordinate the bookings.

“It’s a very exciting time. As the business grows, I’ll need more permanent members of staff and I’d like to eventually develop an app to reach more people who would benefit from our services.”

Follow Helen’s journey and find out more about The Little Calm Company: littlecalmcompany.co.uk

Find out more about how Outset Start and Grow can support your business to get off the ground or reach the next level.