Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Joon Nah, founder of Cornerstone Physiotherapy, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Cornerstone Physiotherapy is regarded as one of the top physiotherapy providers in our industry. We were founded in 2008 by physiotherapists who believed that rehabilitation could be done better. This meant truly understanding what a patient-first experience entails and fostering a team environment that focuses on looking forward and never settles on the status quo.
Since then, we have grown from our humble roots in central Toronto to five locations throughout the Greater Toronto Area. And through the years, we've helped tens of thousands of patients reach their recovery goals, forged tight-knit relationships with our local communities, yet still continued to deliver the personal touch that was the hallmark of Cornerstone's early years. And in both 2021 and 2022, we were proud to be voted Top Physiotherapy Clinic in the Greater Toronto Area (Top Choice Awards TM).
Our fantastic team includes highly qualified physiotherapists (FCAMPTs, fully-credentialed McKenzie therapists, as well as clinicians with special training in niche areas of rehab such as pelvic health and dizziness/concussion treatment. We are supported by a kind, friendly, and efficient front desk, and administrative team members.
Tell us about yourself
I knew I always wanted to be doing something that physically helped people, but I didn't always know that it would be as a physiotherapist. It was by chance that a volunteer opportunity presented itself to me as an undergraduate at a sports medicine clinic in London, Ontario. From that point on, I was hooked and eventually undertook my degree in Physical Therapy at Western University. There I met my future business partner Adam Brown. Our mutual experiences in clinical placements provided us with lots of debates over beer and wings, the agreed-upon consensus being that the average physiotherapy experience can be done better. This became the initial spark that one day grew to be Cornerstone Physiotherapy.
My drive and motivation are fueled by excellence and the desire to be at the top of my game. To me, this means optimal patient outcomes, where our clients are getting better faster than they believed they would. It means team members that can't imagine working anywhere else. It means having an unshakeable reputation among our local medical communities. It means running a physiotherapy clinic where other physiotherapists go for care.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is the team that we've assembled, mentored, and grown. Our clinical staff members are among the most talented, empathetic, and selfless individuals I know. They are proud to be a part of the Cornerstone team and proactive in helping us ensure that our future is always greater than our past. We spend a proportionately high degree of time and funding to mentor all of our staff to improve all aspects of their role as physiotherapists. They are our company's primary assets, and they deserve all the recognition they get.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As cliché as it sounds, one of my greatest challenges as a business owner is to respect my work/life balance. Especially during the turbulence of the pandemic, so much time and energy were spent quickly reacting and adapting to the stressors placed on our business. I also love what I do, so it's easier for work-life to weave itself into the fabric of my home life. I've tried to adapt by setting aside specific "no-work" hours, no work zones in my home, and more delegation of tasks that don't require my regular input.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- If you can, find a partner who shares your vision and work ethic. There have been countless occasions that I've appreciated having someone to discuss a complex issue with and shoulder some of the big responsibilities. I don't mind sharing the glory with a dependable partner and friend.
- When you're estimating your start-up and ongoing costs versus revenue, add a large buffer to the expenses side of your income statements. As prepared as I'd like to think I am, I was and sometimes still am surprised at factors that I didn't anticipate would hack away at the bottom line.
- Invest in your team. Figure out what they value and grow their strengths by spending the time, energy, and resources needed to make them industry-leading assets.
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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