Can you introduce your start-up? What is it, and how did it come about?
isoshealth is a place where you can finally access the qualified expertise of health professionals in mind, body and nutrition for better, more effective ways to look after yourself. We believe in digital empowering people to get better results, and nowhere is that more needed than in managing our own health and wellbeing.
Where are you in your startup journey?
We’ve just had our 2nd birthday and opened our doors to our community of Health Practitioners at the beginning of the year. We’ve designed and developed our first release with a great tech team at Activate Media, and we are now concentrating on engaging with consumers and building a scalable acquisition strategy. The sector is moving so fast, and human conversation with target consumers is vital to our success.
To date, what has been the biggest triumph for your business?
Our biggest triumph is our teamwork. Taking a concept from a drawing board into reality takes commitment, focus and contribution from many people. Being able to draw on that and put it to effective use is a key skill for a startup team. We’ve had some great boosts along the way. At concept stage, my co-founder, Abi Wilson, was also nominated to BIMA Hot 100 in 2016, And we are supported by an amazing Advisory Board, who are leaders in their fields, including Paula Radcliffe MBE. Their belief in our service and its efficacy is very powerful.
How have you found being a sole founder, and do you have any advice you would give to other sole founders?
I am the sole founder but not by default. I was up until May 2016, working with a talented Dietitian, building isoshealth before she passed away. And so now I am a sole founder and I am not going to pretend that is a walk in the park – far from it. However, never underestimate the power of other people and how they can lift you up. So my advice would be to surround yourself that don’t only support you but drive you and your business forward. Hire others that can do what you want to do but better, faster and more effectively. It is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.
How do you manage to balance growing a start-up with having a personal life?
My business is my life, but I find a good balance – It is my passion, and so naturally I tend to focus on it for most of my time. I have some hobbies, like motorcycling and live music that is all about the experience. My partner and my family are all also fundamentally part of a strong support network as well.
How do you cope with the pressures that come with building a business?
We all handle pressure differently. My business experience has taught me perspective. I have worked in Healthcare for many years where people’s lives are your daily business, you focus, do the best job you can. I also have strong advisors/counsellors and a coach – I invest more in myself now than any business I worked in ever did.
What advice would you give on pitching for investment?
Well, there is plenty of advice out there, but I had expert help – and I’d recommend getting expert help. Work with someone who you really connect with. You will then come to understand what people need to hear, not just what you want to tell them. Once you’ve got that nailed, practice, practice, practice.
If you could name one thing that you wish you knew when you started, what would it be?
It would take longer than I wanted to do things well, and not everyone who wants to or is in a position to help you.
To date, what has been your most important lesson?
I make a daily commitment to myself that I am on the right track, in the right place, and if I don’t feel that to be true I will work to change it.
Do you have any tips or advice for anyone thinking about starting up their own business, or who have just started their journey?
Talk to those who know you best, take on board their thoughts, their ability to support, guide, help you – professionally and personally – then plan your leap.
What has been the most challenging part of your start-up journey so far?
Accessing the right people at the right time – the landscape of people and services you might need is fractured and messy in places. Investors to Advisors, to service providers. Accountancy and Legal in particular where you are likely to be reliant on these people at very critical times.
What’s next for your business?
Bringing our services directly to people who need them, in a safe and affordable way. Everyone deserves good health and we must do something now to ensure the standards we set for our children changes the inevitable outcome of the current health crisis, 40% of recorded deaths in the UK are lifestyle related. We want to change the health of the nation.