Case Study: Hands On

Business Profile

Hands On is a mobile holistic sports massage service, visiting nursing homes, offices and leisure users.


Health & Wellbeing


Bridgwater, Somerset.

TDA Business Support

  • Business diagnostic to understand current business plan and aims
  • A programme of business support to develop the business covering Finance and Marketing delivered as part of the ERDF Start Up programme
  • Partnership and Funding (Small Business Award) signposting
  • Networking support and event signposting.

As a qualified holistic therapist, in September 2017 Tracey Hooper enrolled on a Sports Massage course at her local College. By combining both techniques, Hands On could now appeal to a much larger audience and opened up new opportunities for Tracey to deliver her passion of helping people. The business has grown from a sporadic client base to a loyal following of repeat bookings, as well as tie-ins and partnerships with offices, local nursing homes, leisure centre, sports groups and a network of similar professional providers.

The Challenge

Tracey wanted to find more clients and was looking for some support and assistance to channel her ideas and build her business.

The Solution 

During the initial three-hour diagnostic session Phil Riste; TDA’s Business Advisor and Tracey were able to map out Tracey’s ideas and aspirations and formulate a business plan to put ideas into practice. The ERDF Start Up and Grow programme provided a total of 12 hours of support, delivered through a series of one-to-one mentoring sessions and social media workshop.

Working with Phil, Tracey formed a business plan and strategy for growing a client base. The business plan identified ways to promote and encourage repeat bookings and loyalty from private and corporate customers.

Tracey’s skill set meant that she was able to reach out to organisations and promote her services. The support from TDA included reviewing implications of working in partnership, and at new locations.

The Results

Meeting with an independent advisor has given Tracey a confidence boost, Tracey said; “In 12 months I have experienced a huge amount of change. Working with Phil has given me the confidence to build my business; I now do perceive myself as a business which I don’t think I really did previously.”

Significantly Hands On is now building a network of different organisations and groups to work with. Repeat bookings have been confirmed for March to October 2019, and Tracey is now working with clients ranging from equestrian establishments to chiropractors.

Tracey has developed a support network with other local therapists to respond to demand at peak times, “One of the challenges I didn’t expect was with more work coming in, and only one of me! I needed to have a workaround to cover requests. Working with other therapists has provided another way to grow connections and support others.”

Phil Riste, TDA Business Advisor, said “Tracey’s business appeals to a lot of potential clients. We discussed focusing Tracey’s marketing efforts by sector, and have explored digital and social platforms, with Tracey attending one of our popular social media workshops. I am thrilled by the progress Tracey has achieved to date. I have witnessed a huge confidence shift in Tracey which matched with her enthusiasm can deliver great results for the business in 2019 and beyond.”

The Future

Tracey is looking to continue to expand her client base and explore new fields to enhance what she offers. Developing relationships with nursing homes is an area Tracey is keen to evolve in order to promote health and wellbeing to everyone in the community.

TDA will continue to support Hands On with the opportunity of further free of charge support from the Growth Support Programme.


Visit Hands On Website or visit Hands On’s Facebook page for more.

Find out more about the Somerset Start Up and Grow business support available at:


The Heart of the South West Growth Support Programme project is receiving up to £904,945 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit The accountable body for this programme is Devon County Council, working with the following delivery partners: BIP, Cosmic, North Devon +, Somerset Business Agency, TDA and YTKO

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