A journey from start-up to business-growth
We often talk about our clients embarking on a ‘journey’ of business growth delivered through support and one-to-one guidance; this is never truer than for Senara Occupational Therapy.
Sisters Morwenna Boisseau and Tamsin Jones were passionate about providing high quality occupational therapy, in particular Ayres sensory integration therapy. They struck out alone, initially as self-employed OTs, subsequently as a start-up launching Senara Occupational Therapy.
The meaning behind ‘Senara’ is poignant and forms the underlying mission for their business: a traditional Cornish girl’s name, Senara is thought to have been a mermaid that was able to swim through the worst of storms, protecting the Village of Zennor. Senara reflects Morwenna and Tamsin’s Cornish roots and their hope to provide a beacon of help and support for families in need.
Jamie Smith, their first Breakthrough Business Development Manager (BDM) met them when big decisions were pending, even if Morwenna and Tamsin didn’t realise it.
Morwenna reflects, saying:
Jamie helped us to change the way we thought about the business. He shook up the finances; we had no business head at all, we were really just therapists.
In practical steps, Jamie helped them to focus on their fee structure, website, advertising and, crucially, customer segments and referral-sources. This was also when they decided to focus only on children, having previously offered therapy to all ages.
To highlight Breakthrough’s versatility, in 2019, nine months after mentoring ended, they were back, but with different needs. By now armed with a strong business model, they wanted their new BDM, Beckie Pascoe, to help them progress further: better premises, employing staff, and a rebrand so Senara’s identity would match their vision: less corporate, more friendly and personal.
I remember sitting with Beckie and feeling like she was one of the team. From the first meeting, she gave us the confidence to be brave – to believe in ourselves.
This journey has led to the launch of two dedicated therapy rooms within the clinic’s premises secured through an Unlocking Potential grant (small amounts of funding designed to help businesses kick-start their plans for growth). The opening of the new space has given Senara Occupational Therapy the chance to take on new casework.
Because we’ve been awarded the grant money to open our therapy rooms, we’ve been able to expand our business to increase capacity. This also means that we’ve recruited an additional Occupational Therapist to help us meet this capacity.
The Senara OT clinic has evolved to become more child-friendly, incorporating “caricatures, soft pastel colours and a fun under-the-sea theme” explains Morwenna.
Because their new business plans represented an innovation in their business sector, Senara OT were also eligible for support through the Future Focus programme.
We also knew we needed to update our online presence to be ‘less corporate’, in keeping with our new brand image. With funding support in place from Future Focus, we’ve launched our new website.
Over the last few months Tamsin and Morwenna have adapted to deliver tele-therapy sessions through Zoom and over the phone. Since the opening of their new specialist therapy rooms and relaunch of the website for face-to-face therapy sessions, they have seen an influx of new enquiries. Senara are now also in the process of recruiting an Occupational therapist to add to their existing team of occupational therapists, speech and language therapy and a Dyslexic specialist assessor and special needs tutor. Additionally, they are expanding further with the imminent launch of a third therapy room in North Cornwall.
Business Development Manager, Beckie Pascoe, said:
Working with Tamsin and Morwenna over the last 12 months, supporting them on the Breakthrough programme to push their business objectives to the next level and react to their customers needs has been incredibly rewarding. Their supportive, family-focused, and inclusive values have developed a brand which is highly regarded and in demand. It’s been a journey that I have been proud to have been part of and I’m excited for their next stage of growth.