Life never stops teaching. It’s a lesson that Gordon Dowall-Potter continues to learn. Nurturing a new business as the pandemic hit, he adopted a new mindset to grow MANtenatal – the antenatal course for fathers and birth partners, endorsed by the NHS.
The entrepreneur in every parent
As a father of four, Gordon attended a handful of antenatal courses over a ten-year period. Feeling that they didn’t offer ample support for men on the journey to fatherhood, he noticed a gap in the market. With fellow fathers and birth partners, he designed a four-hour course to be completed at home. And so MANtenatal was born.
“We wanted to capture the spirit of caring for a little one and create a brand that says what it does. We started in 2019 just as COVID hit, originally planning face-to-face sessions. We decided to take the entire concept digital and are now able to offer the MANtenatal experience to dads and birth partners across the world.”
“We created a brand that says what it does.”
Passionate about providing for his family, and sharing the knowledge he has gained in fatherhood, he is able to prepare others for what to expect – from labour and birth, to mental health struggles. An open and safe space to talk, MANtenatal is where passion meets profit.
“My favourite part of running MANtenatal is receiving photos of newborn babies with the words ‘thanks for helping my dad prepare for my arrival’. Success for me is hearing and seeing the positive impact we have on lives – when others share how much more confident and prepared they are for the arrival of bump. Mums tell us that they love MANtenatal too… they get a guy who is ready, able and willing to step up. It’s a win-win!”
Finding opportunity within obstacles, the pandemic encouraged Gordon to provide a fully online experience for his antenatal business, reaching more customers than he could’ve imagined. Lockdown gave this business owner the time and space to make it work, and it has. Today, MANtenatal is endorsed by the NHS.
“COVID came and I had to think differently. It was time to go virtual.”
The business birth plan
Adaptability was key for this business, but the characteristics of tenacity and perseverance have also helped Gordon along the way. His advice to anyone starting out is to grow through mistakes and accept the learning curve.
“Persevere with your passion and be prepared to make many mistakes along the way. ”
“Do not reach for perfection, it does not exist. Instead focus on progress and learn from your mistakes. At least you were brave enough to give it a go in the first place. Try and think outside the box for opportunities to collaborate with others, and remember it is not a failure or weakness to seek help… It is actually a strength to recognise that you do not have all of the answers. Start sooner and do not wait.”
MANtenatal’s founder also believes that anyone can start a business, but taking care of business is where things become difficult, requiring a special kind of determination. On growing his antenatal courses for men, he explains: “Starting a business is the easy part to be honest… maintaining it and nurturing it to grow is what makes it really tough.”
This is where GoDaddy came in, giving Gordon all the tools he needed to get seen and succeed online. When he realised his dream domain was taken, he used GoDaddy’s experienced brokers to negotiate the best price for his domain.
“The brokerage service was amazing. Without it, we could not have purchased the .com as quickly and cost effectively as we did. We chose GoDaddy because they are the best in terms of customer service and response times. Our values align and they add a personal touch so you do not feel like a number.”
“The website is the fundamental part of the platform. It’s the home of everything we do.”
For a business that’s all about support, encouragement and development, GoDaddy were glad to welcome MANtenatal to the family of small businesses thriving online.
If you’re inspired by Gordon’s story and ready to start your online journey, we’re standing by ready to help.
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