Today we meet Alexis Managing Director of Fortis Therapy. Fortis were formed in 2012 and offer therapeutic services. Based in the Humber and working across the whole of the UK.
Tell me a little about you and your business
I am proud to be a Psychotherapist and the Managing Director of Fortis Therapy and Training, a multi-national award-winning provider of therapeutic services and training in Lincolnshire, East Yorkshire, and beyond. With my team of passionate, non-judgemental therapists, we offer mental health and emotional wellbeing support to businesses, organisations, local authorities, schools, and private clients of all ages, genders, and circumstances across the whole of the UK.
Why did you start your business?
It is my own experience with trauma and mental health support that has motivated my business journey. When I was 19, I had two car accidents, one after the other within minutes of each other. I was injured badly by the second accident and eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and felt I had lost my identity and my purpose. So, I accessed therapy. Unfortunately, the therapists I worked with, had ways of working that I later realised, were unethical and unprofessional (I was too ill to realise at the time). I didn’t want other people to have the experience I had, especially when they are at their most vulnerable and so several years later, I completed my training to be a psychotherapist. In 2012, I set up Fortis to provide a mental health and training service that treats people as people, not as a number, giving them access to high quality services that are boundaried, trustworthy and caring.
What do you love most about owning your own business?
I love that I work with a great team of like-minded associate therapists who are just as passionate about quality mental health care as I am, who share the same vision for Fortis’ way of working and want to help create a more mindful environment. I also love that we have the freedom and flexibility to be creative and to run with ideas.
What do you least like about owning your own business?
As a psychotherapist and business owner, I can be juggling working long hours, with spending time with my family and friends, which sometimes, depending on what is happening, can be hard. However, I know that the work we are doing at Fortis is making a positive difference to many people’s lives.
What do you have planned for your business in the future?
Fortis has grown so much in the last few years alone and I am excited for where it is heading. We plan to increase our work across the UK and across all sectors, attending more events, expos and conferences (and I am doing more public speaking, too!) so we can raise awareness and share good mental health and wellbeing practices across the country – and beyond!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business but not knowing where to start?
One of the greatest pieces of advice that I ever received from a mentor is to ‘work six months ahead’. Think about where you want to be and what opportunities you can create. I always start with ‘yes’ – and then I figure out how we will deliver whatever I have said ‘yes’ to.
What are you most proud of when it comes to your business?
I am most proud of the quality of the services that we provide to our clients. They are at the centre of everything we do. We work hard to make sure they aren’t placed on a waiting list, that our environment is comfortable and welcoming, and that they are treated exactly how we would want to be treated ourselves. I am also proud of our innovation – we work with organisations and we are constantly evolving new ideas and solutions.
Do you think local businesses are well supported in North East Lincolnshire?
I believe there is a lot of support for the business community,and largely from the small business community itself. Whether it’s workshops, networking events, online communities, businesspeople are more than willing to offer advice and recommendations.
How do you feel the business culture has changed in North East Lincolnshire?
Over the past few years, I feel that a spotlight has been placed on the local small business community, and they are doing an excellent job of shouting about what they do and why we should all should support our local businesses. We are also good at reciprocity – in that we work to help each other’s businesses and this helps to support the community to continually grow.
Where can people find you both online and in real life?
Fortis is on Facebook (https://facebook.com/fortistherapyandtraining/), Twitter,Instagram (@fortistherapy), and YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSITK8syI1S15AqLZZYTepw). You’ll find Fortis HQ at 10-12 Abbey Walk, Grimsby and we also have therapy spaces in Scunthorpe and Hull, too. For anyone who’d like more information about what we do, give us a call on 01472 241794, visit fortistherapy.co.uk, or take a look at my TEDx Talk, Why Hide the Repair? https://youtu.be/_ROZqvNgFIU
Thank you so much Alexis for giving us an insight into your business and the wonderful work you do!