Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kari Lambden, owner of Bonavista Physical Therapy, located in Calgary, AB, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Bonavista Physical Therapy is a locally owned and operated community physiotherapy clinic in South East Calgary. We are the ONLY McKenzie Clinic in Western Canada. The McKenzie Method (MDT) approach to assessment has been well researched and proven by its results to create programs that speed up recovery and reduce the risk of re-injury. All of our therapists are specially trained in this method.

We have tracked our patient outcomes against national averages. Using the McKenzie Method, our patient outcomes are in the top 5% on average. It is not like traditional physiotherapy. The better we do our jobs as MDT therapists, the less you need us. In fact, four sessions are usually enough. Patients are empowered to self-treat using individually prescribed very simple exercises and postures. 82% of painful conditions can be identified and resolved within 3-5 sessions. As many as 70% of people with back or leg pain (acute or chronic) rapidly improve when given the correct treatment. Our work is based on practical, manageable exercises and lasting results.

Tell us about yourself

Our inspiration is our patients. We love helping people return to life, sport, or work. Improving our patients' quality of life is extremely rewarding.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Successfully operating in the same location for almost 30 years has allowed us to grow up with our community. Seeing generations of families coming through and growing our business from 3 therapists and one support staff to 12 therapists and five support staff is humbling. Our team is strong, and each team member takes ownership of the business's success. We have had several staff stay working in the business for 15-25 years, demonstrating that we have a fantastic clinic culture. Developing a strong team and being recognized for excellent patient outcomes has been a huge accomplishment.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

As a business owner, you have to wear many hats: tech support, H.R. specialist, accountant, bookkeeper, social media coordinator, mentor, supervisor, therapist, Mrs. Fix it, etc. Being proficient in all these areas is a huge learning curve.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Build a good team that takes ownership of the business's success!
  2. Know your areas of expertise and what you are weak at - then get expert help when needed.
  3. Keep striving to be better.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Being different from the run-of-the-mill physiotherapy clinic is challenging. Patients, doctors, and other therapists sometimes don't understand what we are doing, so it is extremely important to keep educating everyone we come into contact with on how a different approach is sometimes exactly what is needed. It is important to get fast results in these challenging financial times. Patients can't afford to come for weeks and weeks.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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