Right step forward for Whiteley podiatrist as she bounces back from tricky 18 months with award hope

A PODIATRIST from Whiteley has been recognised for steering her business through the pandemic.

Emily Ball at work
Emily Ball at work

Emily Ball, the director of Active Step Foot & Ankle Clinic in Whiteley, is a finalist in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, which attracted a record-breaking 4,800 entries across eight regions for 2021.

Launched in 2012, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards were created to celebrate the entrepreneurs behind brilliant businesses.

Emily is shortlisted in the ‘Pivot Entrepreneur of the Year’ category, which recognises entrepreneurs who have adapted their business during the pandemic.

Emily Ball, from Whiteley

Emily said she is delighted to have been selected as a finalist after such a challenging time for her business.

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She said: ‘Before the pandemic our revenue came from delivering podiatry treatment to patients and selling podiatry-related health products in our clinic. When patient numbers dropped due to Covid restrictions, we became extremely vulnerable.

‘I had to adapt our strategy to meet the changing climate, and it’s wonderful to have the work we put in during what was an extremely difficult time, acknowledged. I’m over the moon to be shortlisted!’

When the pandemic hit, Emily changed her strategy and promoted Active Step as an essential service that could alleviate stress on GP provision, walk-in centres and emergency services.

She shifted her marketing strategy and focused on existing patients, keeping them informed and offering advice where needed. Emily also launched a subscription service that would give her predictable and recurring revenue.

She said: ‘We have had to update our approach in a way that no one could foresee, but by promoting our services in a different way, we have managed to weather the storm of the pandemic and come out the other side on a positive footing.’

Emily is now looking ahead to the next 18 months and plans to create a corporate wellbeing platform for key workers who are at high risk of foot problems. She also intends to use her experience of workplace risk assessment to offer corporate webinars and provide consultancy to businesses in the local area.

And, she is using her experience to write her first book – How to build a robust and resilient healthcare practice in the face of an uncertain future.

Winners of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards will be selected over the next few months and regional finals will be held in September.

Story by Kimberley Barber

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