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Maroondah Osteopathy and Sportscare
Building a healthy business
A qualified osteopath with experience in sporting clubs, aged care and private practice, Megan Kenney wanted to run her own business. Her dream was to offer her own interpretation of good osteopathic practice to the local community.
Maroondah Osteopathy & Sportscare opened in 2010 and now has 13 employees. It offers osteopathic, remedial massage and exercise physiology consultations, stretch and strengthen classes and Pilates. It also sells rehabilitation equipment, braces and sports taping.
The practice boasts thorough 45 min consultations with qualified and experienced practitioners. “We listen to our patients and assist them as best we can,” Megan says. “We run on time and offer a wide range of services.”
Megan had a solid business, but after attending a Leading Ladies Workshop series at the Maroondah Council and meeting SBMS mentor, Elizabeth Raut, she realised she could do with some help. While she was well qualified as an osteopath, she had no formal business training.
Elizabeth spent 10 years as the Victorian manager of the Australian Institute of Architects, where she worked on all aspects of running an organisation including financial management. Before this she worked in the health sector in a range of business-related roles.
SBMS is a non-government, non-profit organisation of volunteer expert mentors who give their time and experience to help small business. It is supported by Small Business Victoria, which refers clients to it.
Megan had nine sessions with Elizabeth over two years through the City of Maroondah Leading Ladies program. Mentoring is continuing. They worked on a number of issues and Elizabeth encouraged Megan to:
- Use an electronic calendar for all her commitments, personal and professional, and book travel time slots so that she did not run behind.
- Relocate her banking to a local shopping centre branch, which was much closer.
- Draft a family budget for the financial year and a cash flow forecast and breakeven analysis for the business. This enabled Megan to identify issues she could delegate to her accountant.
- Promote unique points of difference on the website and focus on these for all marketing activity.
- Document the “real value” of 45 minute appointments, which are a point-of-difference, listing the advantages for clients.
- Promote her practice “value” statement and have a “one-liner” to clearly and crisply articulate the clinic’s essence.
- Build a team of part-time reception staff and provide professional development opportunities for the osteopaths.
- Encourage senior osteopaths to participate in Biz Maroondah events.
- Achieve a work-life balance after having her first baby.
Elizabeth says during their sessions Megan developed a lot of confidence and addressed issues she raised, such as needing to delegate specific administrative and marketing tasks to her administration and reception staff.
At Elizabeth’s suggestion, Megan also developed a three-year plan to factor in having children and arranged professional help at home so she could practise part-time. Her goal is to expand the clinic to six full-time practitioners supported by a team of knowledgeable reception staff.
Megan soon had some “quick wins” with staff accepting responsibility for work that Megan could relinquish. “This included reviewing the Google analytics data to identify trends and provide Megan with an analysis of the information and posting on Facebook,” Elizabeth says.
Since she started the mentoring, Megan’s belief in herself and staff management skills have improved, she is better able to delegate and she has achieved work-life balance. She has also leased space next door, incorporating new consulting rooms and a Pilates studio.
“I am a person who likes to feel they have everything under control,” Megan says. “I have always had the mantra ‘you want it done properly, you do it yourself’. This is now not possible with the quantity of work. Elizabeth has taught/encouraged/told me I need to delegate.
“I now have much more confidence in training my staff as to how I want things done, so they are able to do certain jobs/roles and I feel confident asking them to do it.”
Now a parent, Megan says time management is essential. “Improved time management reduces stress and scheduling in regular breaks is essential for me … as a health professional and a business owner.
“My mentoring sessions have honed in on my personal strengths and weaknesses and taken into consideration my whole life and not just my work life. Obviously environments change at home and at work and it is important to keep evolving and changing to suit.”
Megan says her overall business is now stronger. In five years it has gone from one to nine practitioners and established a good reputation in the local community. In the past year the number of patients has doubled and sales have risen.
The business has more reception hours and the capacity to introduce more practitioners. Megan hopes to eventually move to an even larger facility that the business can own.
“Working with Elizabeth has kept me on track to continually improve and evolve my business,” she says. “It has been especially helpful in planning and time management and streamlining processes, which has enabled me to spend valuable time with my son.
“Elizabeth also takes the emotion out of some of my decisions and helps me work through logically issues that the business has encountered. I see my mentoring as an investment in my business and in myself and I feel privileged to have Elizabeth’s experience and insight to guide me.”
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