Local entrepreneur Annmarie established Reiki Rocks in early 2020. She tells us “It is not easy, but it is definitely worthwhile when you can sit back and watch your dream become a reality and then go from strength to strength.”
Did you always aspire to be self-employed?
I always wanted to be my own boss but had never envisaged it actually happening. I only really decided to take the bull by the horns in 2020 when I had a bit more experience under my belt.
How long did you have your business idea before meeting with a Business Adviser to discuss?
Approximately 6 months. Again, due to COVID and the industry swinging between being open and closed it took longer than I’d anticipated.
What does your business do?
I am an holistic therapist offering Reiki Energy Therapy and Indian Head Massage. I also offer meditation programmes and oracle card readings and am currently undergoing training in Reflexology to diversify my offering.
I have a retail side to the business whereby I sell crystal products to my clients both directly and online.
How long have you been trading?
Are you happy that you went into self-employment?
I am beyond delighted. I now have the flexibility of being able to earn money and provide the services I love to the people that need them. I find that now, more than ever, people are making a conscious decision to care for their general wellbeing (both mentally and physically) and that is where I come in to help them achieve their goals. I absolutely love everything about my work and I love the feedback I consistently receive from clients. This helps to keep me motivated and on the right track.
If you were to give one piece of advice to someone starting up in business what would it be?
I would say do not put it off! If you have the idea then you have the potential to create something fabulous. I would encourage everyone to try a start-up, especially if it is something they are passionate about. It is not easy, but it is definitely worthwhile when you can sit back and watch your dream become a reality and then go from strength to strength.
Was the Go For It programme beneficial to you? If so, how?
The Go For It programme was a godsend! My background was in accounts and I am great at helping other people with their financial forecasts and projections, but I was useless with my own.
My Business Adviser Sandra Young was able to put things into perspective for me and call me out on some of the less realistic ideas which gave me food for thought and made me rethink the way things were going. This was fantastic! It was the reality check I needed! The expertise and mentoring that I received was invaluable.
What was the best part of the programme?
When it is your own business you care so deeply about its success that you don’t specifically look for potential pitfalls. The Go For It programme allowed me to see where those pitfalls would be and prevent them from occurring. Initially I had been thinking about renting a store for my retail business and therapies. The rent would have been high but I was confident in my ability and unwavering in my decision. Once I enrolled in the programme and Sandra and I got into the nitty gritty of business planning I soon realised that the rental option was not financially feasible. This helped me change direction and I now operate my business from a Cabin in my garden (shown below) which is named The Reiki Rocks Zen Den. The best part of the programme, in my opinion, was the reality check.
How did you finance your business?
I used my own savings to fund the equipment and Cabin. My business can be operated with minimal overheads, therefore once the initial funding was secured I didn’t need to worry about the rest!
Where do you see your business in 5 years time?
Thanks to the programme I envisage it to be very profitable. Currently, I still work in employment 2 days per week due to the uncertainty (due to Covid) of the close contact industry but in 5 years I will definitely not be working there and will be able to commit more time to my own business venture.