There’s nothing like a good clear out, especially when it’s a New Year’s one. The “out with the old” mentality inspires the ruthless filling of rubbish sacks leaving the feeling of being clean and organised for the year ahead.

To be honest, the Kneads Must office clear out actually started as a general tidy but quickly turned into either an early spring clean or a really late one.  In the drawers that time forgot, I managed to find some CD’s that I was convinced had been stolen during my car’s last MOT (sorry lads!), an essential oils diffuser I’d bought years ago (ah, the aroma of sandalwood) and my massage tool prototypes, which had been MIA for some time.  So, despite the sore back and calves, my office clear out was totally worth it. Luckily, I have a handy massage tool to sort out any aches and pains.

All change is hard, otherwise everyone would do it and bask in the glory – but it’s necessary to grow and evolve.  Although I had intended to write this end-of-year blog much earlier, general sloth and my New Year’s festivities took priority.  Now, I’m glad I waited, because I think the view from this point is a lot clearer.

Looking back can be useful

2016 was a good year for Kneads Must with some lovely points of note. Increased Kneader sales, growth in Kneader Massage clients and a greater participation in events and tradeshows means our brand has a higher profile. We also won our first industry award in the ‘Star Product of the Year’ at the Holistic Therapist Magazine Awards. The Kneader Onsite Massage course was finished, accredited and started running, which is a huge step forward for our onsite business. So far, I’ve had the good fortune to teach clever students who’ve treated me gently. Finally, the wonderful Drew London updated our old website into a new and beautiful therapy platform, complete with booking pages for courses and client massage. So, for all that (and a lot of other good stuff not mentioned), I’m grateful.

What now for 2017?

We need to keep building the momentum. Growth in the wellness market is great but means that we now have to connect with our clients in a vast sea of competitors (some of them with large advertising budgets). Thankfully, the Drew Crew are helping me out with my social media & marketing in exchange for regular massage! The best way to get out there is online, so we’ll be dowloading more free Kneader massage clips for everyone to keep massaging in 2017. We’re going to make it simple and move-orientated to avoid any language barriers, which will help open up our EU market, whilst increasing our UK and US audience.

The services and treatments part of the industry is expanding, so we’ll really concentrate on our onsite business. That means me teaching more onsite massage therapists to spread the joys of our wonderfully relaxing and effective Kneader Onsite Massage, because it’s all about getting the Kneader out there. To that end, I’ve also entered us into the World Massage Championships in Copenhagen this June.  For me, it’s not about winning, it’s about introducing the Kneader tool and the Kneader Onsite Massage routine to an international audience. So, bring it ON!!

Going forward…

A whole new year lies ahead just waiting for us to fill it up with good things. I wish every business out there, especially the small and the brave ones, all the very best for 2017 and hopefully we’ll all meet back here next year for a recap on a wonderful 12 months.  Please remember that the best upkeep you can do is on yourself, so take frequent work breaks.  Always find time, at least once a day, to:

(i) turn away from your desk,

(ii) put on some relaxing sounds and

(iii) reach for your Kneader to give yourself or another (where possible, massage swapsies should be encouraged) a quick shoulder, neck and arms rub followed by some desk stretches.

Giving yourself 10-15 mins of relaxing and mindful massage and stretching is best practice to help keep your body and mind fit – you owe that to yourself and to your business.

Namaste and good luck!

The Kneader