Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Christine Laidman, Owner of Engage Wellness Solutions and LAIDBACK, located in Dover, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We have two businesses, Engage Wellness Solutions for corporate customers and our retail store, LAIDBACK, which caters to the residential market. Both businesses focus on wellness using premium, intelligent massage chairs. Corporate customers buy and rent chairs from us. They also hire us as a managed service - we bring chairs into the office to massage their employees for the day. Residential customers are buying chairs for their homes. Customers range from people who work hard/play hard to those with chronic pain. The chairs allow people to relax, refresh and rejuvenate.
Tell us about yourself
My husband and I are passionate about being active and taking care of our bodies. We discovered the intelligent massage chairs from Infinity Massage Chairs and knew that others would find them equally amazing. We recognized that employers, to be competitive and reduce costs, were investing in wellness initiatives. While many employers were already using traditional chair massage (neck/shoulder focused), we knew our chairs would appeal more, given employees get a full body massage and they're not being touched by a stranger. Fortunately, that proved to be correct.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We began our business by bringing massage chairs to employers to help them with employee appreciation and wellness initiatives. With the arrival of COVID-19 and offices closing, we needed to find another way to promote our company, so we opened LAIDBACK in the Natick Mall, and we're finding sales to the home have become a significant part of our business. We were able to save the business because of this.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Hours, part-time help, finding your audience, and learning the best way to promote a company across all platforms, and specifically, changing people's perceptions about massage chairs are all challenges we faced and continue to face. Impossible to say one of these is harder than the others.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know your customers.
- Be patient - it doesn't happen overnight.
- Embrace change - what you initially thought may not prove to be true - you may need to pivot.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
In addition to the chairs, we added a body composition service to help people understand the physical makeup of their bodies - information that will help them make better decisions about what to eat, the value of staying in shape, and how sleep can throw everything off. We also take this to employers, sports teams, and events. We're continuing to look for additional wellness services we can offer employers.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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