After qualifying as a Registered Dietician in 2013 Katherine worked for the NHS and in a private practice, juggling work with high-level competitive road-cycling. Searching for a more stimulating career, and a flexible lifestyle that allowed her to travel, Katherine created Nude Nutrition in 2017. Nude Nutrition provides personalised 1-1 nutrition advice and coaching.
“I always knew I wanted to work for myself but I didn’t think I’d do it this early,” says Katherine, who quit her job in 2018 to focus full-time on Nude Nutrition.
“I knew I had a big mountain ahead of me. I had the time and energy to do it, but I didn’t know where to go with it. I didn’t know where to start with it, I didn’t know what was a priority, what was important, what was not important.” Feeling overwhelmed and needing to connect with a community of entrepreneurs, Katherine searched for the right accelerator programme, and found Hatch’s Female Founders’ Accelerator.
When she joined the programme, Nude Nutrition provided general services and Katherine had decided to focus in on niche services – but was unclear about how to position herself. As a result of the expert session, “I properly landscaped out my competitors, which I’d never done before…that’s helped me decide on my next steps”.
Branding mentoring clarified Nude Nutrition’s direction and branding – “Someone else has confirmed to me that what I’m doing is fine, and the way I’m talking about it is fine. That was a huge thing hanging over my shoulders, and when I had that clarified, I felt free”.
The programme’s marketing mentor ‘helped me with going through my website, front-end, and saying you should move this around, basically looking at my digital ecosystem with me’. The immediate impact was impressive: website hits more than doubled, organic searches doubled, the website bounce rate dropped by 10%, and online course subscriptions have more than doubled. “I’m getting lots of new enquiries coming through” says Katherine, and “newsletter subscribers are rapidly increasing”.
It’s not all been plain sailing though. The conversion process is slower and focussing on a niche has meant a short-term sacrifice, notes Katherine, but sales mentoring has helped. “He was just brilliant. He helped me with structuring my sales calls, because that’s one of the core things for me”.
“During the course, I felt like I had that connection and community” says Katherine, “and anything I got really stuck on, I had the 1-1 sessions, and I could iron everything out”. “Knowing I was on a programme, and getting support made me feel really relaxed. It calmed me down a bit… I thought, ‘right, I’m dealing with all of this’”.
Other female founders provided inspiration, reassurance, and a sounding board, while expert advice helped Katherine think differently about doing business and discover new ways of doing things. After the HR session, Katherine hired a remote intern who helped develop a content strategy for Nude Nutrition, and provides accountability for Katherine. “Now, I have someone that’s knowledgeable about this kind of stuff. It feels like I’ve had a weight off my shoulders to allow me to do the bigger picture stuff and think more about the bigger picture and strategy and driving forward,” reflects Katherine, “I’d have never had done that without the course – I didn’t know any of that was possible.”
Katherine also has a much better grip on her finances. “I didn’t have anything in place for that, I didn’t recognise the importance of financial forecasting. I’d looked back at what I’d achieved, but not really looked forward. Now, I feel that I have more targets for every month, and for the year ahead – what do I want to achieve and why.”
“There was no single thing, but the collection of everything” says Katherine, on how the course helped her and the hard work she put in along the way. “It’s been a slow grind. And me slowly chipping away every day at something.” And Katherine’s efforts have paid off. “Towards the end of the course I looked back at my notebook from the beginning and then I realised that I’d addressed everything”.
Katherine’s excited about the future, with fresh ideas about moving Nude Nutrition towards a product-based model. “It feels like I’ve started from the beginning. But it feels like I’m getting more interest, and I feel like I’ve got more direction. I know where I’m going, I just need time.”