Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Ben Lomond on my parents’ property, which ran cattle and goats. Then I attended PLC Armidale for high school, where I was sports captain. When I graduated, I spent a year overseas, and when I returned, I moved to Townsville to study physiotherapy at JCU, followed by a year’s rotations at Rockhampton Public Hospital. Being an Armidale local, I returned here for a year in private practice before returning to uni for my masters, specialising in musculoskeletal physiotherapy, at UQ in Brisbane. I’m a mother to a four-year-old daughter and a keen aviator, currently doing my commercial pilot’s licence. I love gardening and being outdoors; my new hobby is wakeboarding.
What does En Pointe Health do?
En Pointe Health assists people to manage pain and physical dysfunction, whether it is from an acute injury or a chronic, recurring health issue that impairs everyday life. It offers high-quality treatment for injury, joint mobilisation, soft tissue management, realignment of the body and restoring movement.
When did you start your business?
This is the fourth year of En Pointe Health. I started my own business after six years of practice. It felt like the next progression in my career. In Armidale at that stage, there was no one-point stop, so I opened in January 2017 to do physiotherapy, massage, Pilates and exercise physiology.
Why did you choose physiotherapy?
I was very sporty at school, playing tennis and hockey as well as doing cross country. The team physios influenced me, and I learnt such a lot from them about how to manage my injuries through movement rather than medication. I became a physio because I wanted to help people by giving them the knowledge to get themselves in a better physical condition.
What have been some of your challenges?
As a new business owner, I was juggling part-time clinical work with part-time business management. I had eight team members and we were humming! Then with COVID-19 being what it was, I had staff and clients not wanting to come in. We also outgrew the building, so I shut down and relocated the business to my home. Now I am the sole physiotherapist. I ran Pilates classes out of my living room last year, and I filmed classes and started telehealth online for isolated people. This worked well. I have stopped the classes now but have retained home visits to clients.
What do you like most about running your own business?
Physiotherapy is such a practical career; I can do it anywhere around the world. People’s bodies work the same way wherever you are. I love to travel and running my own business gives me such flexibility. There is a lot of depth to being a physiotherapist – I like treating such a variety of people, from elite athletes to Saturday sports players.
What advice would you give a business just starting out?
Owning a business is a big commitment. Be willing to learn from past failures. Develop systems and strategies to avoid burnout for yourself and your staff members. Systematise everything you do! What I mean is, if the systems are there, it doesn’t matter if people come and go, new staff members can pick it up. Avoid having your business structure in someone’s head – if they leave, then you have to spend a lot of time on retraining. Having systems has allowed me to scale up. I am building an intranet that will be the ‘go to’ for the business, for everything from booking and ordering to turning on the washing machine.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by people’s willingness to ask for help, especially in the country, as the culture is not to reach out. I’m in a privileged position – a lot of trust is placed in me by people who share their story with me. That’s humbling and it inspires me to do my best for them. I’m here to deliver results, but that can only happen when people feel safe to continue reaching out for my help.
What is your secret for success?
As a business owner, I am willing to ask for help through a business coach or mentor. I was mentored by a physio from Sydney and now have a mentor in Queensland. I’m upskilling through leadership training to prepare myself to ‘go again’ with a team and to know how to look after them. I recently attended a seminar in Queensland with other practice managers and award-winning physios. To develop the team culture, I put our practice manager, Trindle Brennan, through a Diploma of Business and Leadership, from which she recently graduated.
What’s next for En Pointe Health?
My goal is to open multiple sites and provide outreach services for places in remote parts of Australia. Breaking down the geographical barriers is a big issue in this country because towns are so far apart. I have already opened a practice in Noosaville (Qld) and I fly up every second week.
The Armidale practice will relaunch in the near future. Armidale is home. At the end of the day, I was brought up here and it’s a good place for my daughter’s schooling.