According to the Australian Psychological Society, work-related stress can cost Australian businesses an estimated $11 billion per year. Workplace wellness is more important than ever, and a new sector of businesses are tapping into this emerging need.
Square seller Twosix Wellness started as an online community for freelance and contract workers. “At the time of conception there were so many wonderfully talented people and businesses doing amazing things in Melbourne, yet the scene really lacked an online lifestyle space that brought all this talent together” says Bree, co-founder. “After a year as an online platform, everything changed and grew organically and our Twosix Workplace Wellbeing Programs began.”
Bree and her co-founder Emma Udorovic had both worked in a traditional corporate environment for over a decade, experiencing the sedentary lifestyle first-hand. They quickly realised that their schedules made it hard to prioritize their health and wellbeing. So they set out to help others in their situation find work-life balance.
We sat down with Bree and Emma to hear about the journey behind Twosix Wellness and how the company is tapping into an emerging segment.
Describe a day working at Twosix Wellness. Who’s the customer, and what do you focus on?
We spend our days creating tailored Workplace Wellness packages that focus on a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, as well as running our online lifestyle hub. We have a customer base through our online magazine, a customer base of corporate clients, and a customer base that we reach through our events.
What makes your business unique?
What separates us from our competitors is our personal attention to our clients. We like to spend time with our new clients and work out the right solution for their business and staff. As the programs and relationships grow, we make sure we meet and check in regularly with our existing clients and keep them up to date on the advances and new trends in the health and wellbeing industry. Our countless connections (established through our online magazine) help us create programs that are chock full of fun and exciting local services and produced by the best in the business.
What was the first year of business like?
Ha! It was a learning curve, as all the years have been. We spent our days meeting people and growing our relationships with suppliers and brands that connected with ours, there was no exchange of money – which meant we weren’t making any money! It was tough, but it allowed us to create relationships based on merit, authenticity and a mutual love for what we do rather than it being about how much money can we make off you.
Then within that first year, Bree fell pregnant — which wasn’t so much a challenge but a gift, because we were forced to let go of things that didn’t play a pivotal role in the growth of the business. It also meant we needed to hire contractors. That decision lead to a huge growth in our business but a whole new set of lessons to learn.
Your online presence is big part of your marketing strategy. How do you use it to grow your business? What’s your objective, and how do you measure return on investment?
Our online presence has always been based on an honest approach. We never wanted to trick our audience into thinking we were something we weren’t. At times this approach has been tough, but on the other hand we are both confident that everyone who likes or engages with us is legitimate and it remains true to our personal approach to business.
Our objective when writing our blogs or posting on our social media channels is to reach those who may not yet know they need us, and to keep those who do know engaged. We hope to inspire people to lead a healthier happier life all round. Our ROI is measured by the number of sign ups to our online magazine and, ultimately, the number of new clients booking our Corporate Wellness programs.
What surprised you when you first started the business?
Just how many people had no idea how their bodies and minds were designed to feel. What you do for your mind and body affects everything in your life — for instance, taking regular breaks at work to walk around and get fresh air means you will reach your KPIs or targets sooner because you are much more productive after time spent away from your desk.
What’s your work-life balance like?
Because we spend our days encouraging and promoting a healthy and happy culture to our corporate clients, we make sure we are living the advice we sell. We’re both mothers to young boys and feel fortunate that we’re both able to shape our weeks around how we’re feeling.
If we’re having a trying week, we encourage each other to shut off (technology) and step away from the business and do what we need to get back to our best selves. This is key to sustaining a healthy and happy life. Balance is different for everyone — it’s not about equal time spent in work and outside of work. It’s about finding the right balance that makes work just as healthy and enjoyable as life outside of work.
What tools do you implement to help create more balance?
It was a complete moment of luck and elation when we discovered Square. We were in the middle of planning our market space for a huge Wellness Festival in Melbourne, and wanted to be able to sell items from within our community as well as Corporate Wellness Packages. We didn’t want to set up a merchant facility through a bank — it was too time consuming, and we wanted a system we could carry with us at any time around the market.
Square was the perfect fit. We could accept payments on the spot, collect data from our clients and keep an online register of all of the payments we were processing.
Square has allowed us to service more clients and consumers who want to pay with credit cards, and cutting down time spent on invoicing and payroll payments. We have also been able to sign clients on the spot and take payment up front, which means our back-end system is more efficient.
How has your business grown?
We’ve grown organically from an online platform to this incredible multi-faceted business with Workplace Wellbeing Programs, events and an online store. Emma and I also teach yoga & pilates at large events. The fastest area of growth has been our Workplace Wellbeing Programs, as companies now understand the value of looking after the health and wellbeing of staff with the ROI becoming more apparent.
Where do you see your business in one year’s time?
We want to be leaders in the corporate health industry — we already have a wide base of clients and suppliers and we are working hard to grow further. Our focus right now is building and fostering partnerships with the right brands and businesses to complement what we already offer to our loyal clients.