The owner of a Preston-based mobile wellbeing and therapy business is expanding and plans to set up a national franchise after receiving start-up support from Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub.
Cheryle Britton, an experienced marketeer in consumer products, was inspired to set up her own business after returning from a family trip to Sri Lanka. YOLO Wellbeing offers workers a unique sensory experience that combines massage and meditation in a specially designed YOLO van that Cheryle drives to the client’s workplace.
Having a marketing background in health and beauty products spanning 20 years, Cheryle had many creative ideas for the business but lacked some of the basic knowledge to run a business. She first approached Boost in 2019 after an introduction through Cotton Court, and received guidance from Boost business advisor Yusuf Musa. Cheryle attended Boost’s Flying Start suite of workshops, learning about business planning, sales and marketing as well as using strategic and planning tools to prepare a business plan. Through the Boost workshops she also met like-minded people all starting on their business journey, some of which she is still in contact with.
Cheryle said: “The support Boost has provided through the funded workshops and coaching programme has been invaluable. Starting a new business is scary and there were a lot of things I didn’t know. “My Boost coach Yusuf has been incredibly helpful throughout the journey, sharing his advice, providing referrals and recommending workshops and support to fill the gaps in my experience and knowledge.”
Boost is Lancashire's Business Growth Hub and is led by Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership). It is supported by funding from Lancashire County Council, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. As a funded business support service, Boost helps Lancashire business owners and leaders navigate the local, regional and national public and private sector business support landscape, to find the right support for their business.
Boost also delivers a number of funded programmes for start-up, established and fast-growing businesses. As well as the Boost programmes Yusuf introduced her to UCLan’s Law Clinic to help her with terms and conditions and to support her with other regulatory requirements. She also joined the Access to Finance’s Investor Pitch Perfect Programme, to prepare her in making future plans and seeking investment.
The business came to a halt due to COVID-19 lockdowns, whereby Cheryle launched a range of online services to help employers look after the musculoskeletal and mental health of their homeworkers. As COVID-19 restrictions eased Cheryle visited local NHS hospital trusts and offered workers complementary massages and relaxation sessions in her van. She is now contracted by a number of these NHS Trusts.
YOLO Wellbeing has continued to grow since the easing of lockdown. Cheryle has recruited a part-time administrator and three associates and has gained over 48 clients in just two years. Her clients, predominantly based in central and West Lancashire, include businesses in the healthcare, aerospace and public sectors, as well as manufacturers and professional services. For 2022, Cheryle plans to appoint YOLO Experience therapists and aims to get the second YOLO van on the road.
She then hopes to raise investment and go nationwide forming a franchise network for YOLO Wellbeing Ltd. Cheryle added; “It’s only when you look back that you appreciate how much help you’ve had. Everyone along the way have been so keen and happy to help. The support from Boost has been brilliant.”
Boost’s Flying Start programme is designed to help entrepreneurs get their business off to a flying start by defining their growth plan and helping them to create a strong environment for sustained success. If you want to speak to a someone from the Growth Hub about business support, contact us online or call 0800 488 0057.
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