Name: Elma McElligott
Businesses: Acupuncture Space Clinic
Mum to: Aiden 25 & Niamh 23
What is that you do, and how long have you been in business? I am an Acupuncturist and I started in 2007. I have an established clinic in Bexhill and recently joined The Courtyard Clinic Practice in the town of Crowborough where I also have lived for the past 12 years having lived in Pembury before that.
What did you do before you started your business and what led you to setting up? I have been a Registered General Nurse with Midwifery training for the past 29 years. I have worked mainly in the area of Women’s Health, which is also my speciality within my Acupuncture Clinic. I was a unit Sister in Pembury hospital, Tunbridge Wells for just under 5 years.
A growing dissatisfaction with the stresses, strains and time constraints of working in a large hospital setting, coupled with a wish to give more quality time to my patients. I had acupuncture to help me with a personal health issue as I could no longer work the long 12-hour shifts and then decided to retrain as an acupuncturist. It was the best thing I have ever done!
When did you start coming to TW MIBs and how do you benefit from it? My first meeting will be on March 6th 2013! I am looking forward to meeting women who understand the challenges of being self employed, as it can be somewhat lonely when you run a business by yourself and it will be great to have contact with other self-employed women.
What have been your greatest achievements so far? Getting my practice off the ground and seeing it develop as I had envisioned with the satisfaction of helping my clients towards a better quality of health and wellbeing. I have wonderful clients and nothing gives me more pleasure than to help them to feel better.
What have been your biggest challenges and learning curves? It was quite daunting to be working by myself having been employed in the NHS for many years. Getting to grips with my computer and laying out my website myself has been a massive learning curve!
And how do you find balancing motherhood and a business? How does it compare to your “previous life”? As a mature mum, I do not have the same stresses as someone just starting out with a young family and a new business. However, I have always combined work and family life and it is not an easy balance whatever your age or stage!
What are your goals for the next year? My business goal would be to grow and develop my Crowborough practice to the point where it would be my main Clinic. Personally, I want to develop the pregnancy and fertility aspect of my practice as I have been seeing more clients in this sector of late and I am booked to go on the necessary CPD to deepen my knowledge in this area.
Where would you like to be in 5 years’ time? I don’t normally plan more than 18 months ahead. Life tends to get in the way in my experience! Ideally, I would like to have my own acupuncture clinic and staff in either Crowborough or Tunbridge Wells.
Your top tips for other mums considering starting a business?
- Regularly return to your base plan and tweak things as necessary.
- Expect the unexpected, it’s not always a bad thing and can often be an opportunity in disguise!
And finally, tell us something about yourself that we might not know I am originally from Limerick in Southwest Ireland, have lived in the UK for 29 years, and have three Chihuahua/Bichon Frise crossbreed dogs that are completely crazy.
Find out more about Elma…
Visit Acpuncuture Space website – Twitter
Special offer for TW MIBs: Initial free consultation 20-30 mins long for current members registered in the TW MIBs Directory. Please phone me on 0758 4434976 to arrange.
Interview date: 20th February 2013