Marvellous mum of 2, Margaret Trevillion has a passion for feet and helping others and with this she set up Walk This Way Podiatry. Margaret shares her journey to how she’s found a happy work/family life balance.
• Which part of the Chilterns do you live?
• Family members (names and ages):
Callen is 4 & Olive is 13 months
• Sum up your business in a sentence:
Feet are our passion and we provide superior foot & ankle healthcare in a modern dynamic podiatry practice.
• What’s your career background?
I have always been a podiatrist and previously worked in the NHS, Ministry of Defense and Marylebone Village, London.
• How did your career change after becoming a mum?
My career took a back seat & my main focus became being a mum and improving my work mum balance. I struggled with this initially, especially as I was so career driven. Now not at all kids, husband, friends & family come first! Baby no. 2 has been much easier.
• What first inspired you to start Walk This Way Podiatry?
We moved from London to Chesham when our son was eight weeks old. We wanted a slower pace of life, to be near the country side, bigger house and good schools. I returned to work part time when he was six months old. I was commuting to Marylebone three times per week and started to resent my job and the demand it had on my family life. 9 months had pasted I was working full time in the NHS (Greenwich) & Marylebone, stuck one morning in 3 hr traffic on the m25 & decided right that’s it, no more!
My passion is feet and helping others, I wanted to invest in my belief and provide superior foot & ankle healthcare.
So, with the combination of personal circumstances and my passion Walk This Way Podiatry was born & after a few months of planning my first client was on 2nd July 2012.
• And how did you move from idea to actually taking your first business steps?
I researched the local area on existing podiatry practices, what services they provided and where I would fit into the existing market. I’m a musculoskeletal specialist and no other podiatrists had my qualifications or provided the level of biomechanical examination and gait analysis as I do & this was an advantage. Lots & lots of marketing and financial advice and implementation were needed. More importantly, I reconnected with why am I doing this and what do I believe.
• What skills or experience from your career do you use in your business?
I have an MSC in Clinical Podiatric Biomechanics and I use this qualification every day! I use it to diagnose, assess, manage and treat lower limb MSK abnormalities and walking problems. My experience working as a civil servant for the military involved rehab of lower limb injuries based on medical principles which I apply to my everyday practice.
• Who is your target customer and how do you find and market to them?
In an ideal world anyone with a foot and ankle problem. It has been very challenging as not many people know what a podiatrist is and the extent of my skill set. I divide the market up i.e. sports, paediatrics, +55, nail surgery etc. I then market in different places with different adverts marketing different things and services. My adverts aim to be educational / informative. I have 16 things a month which keep rolling all year round which are planned 4 months in advance. It’s important to measure the success of marketing to change & tweak it if needed. I have wasted a lot of time & money, it has taken a while to work out what works & what doesn’t.
• What are the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in starting your own business?
In the early days starting a new business takes up a lot more of your time, so again I struggled with the work-mum balances. Now it has paid off as I only work the hours I want to work & I have a happy, successful team of people & a business that functions without me. Another one initially was cash flow, I worked for the military whilst I was building the practice and this worked very well with career journey and re-investing back into Walk This Way Podiatry.
• Your biggest successes to date?
It is simple, I am very happy. Regardless of the success, money and status – happiness is what it’s all about. My successes are my clinical caseload and making a difference to patients’ lives and also to the lives of my employees coming into a stimulating, caring and challenging environment to provide the best foot & ankle healthcare to our clients.
• What’s your vision for your business?
My vision is all about passion & feet!! To raise the professional profile of podiatry and to provide superior foot & ankle healthcare both locally & nationally (one day).
• What has most surprised you about yourself in starting your business?
With the right help, support, clarity and vision it has been a journey that I have embraced, loved & will continue to do so. The thing that has surprised me the most is how easy it is.
• How do you juggle running a business and family life?
I’m very disciplined when I work and this is coordinated around school times (three days) and my husband’s schedule. I’m also very organised and plan months in advance.
• What advice do you have for other mums who want to start a business?
Invest in your dreams, passion and get the professional help – you can’t go wrong.
• How do you relax?
I like to meditate and read regularly. I’m yet to start back at pilates, but will do soon.
• What do you love most about where you live?
A great community near the countryside and has all the things we need.
• What’s your favourite tipple?
An ice cold peroni
• Your simple pleasure?
A cold sunny day
• Favourite film?
• Favourite book?
The colour purple