Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sarah El Queisi, founder and owner of Physiotherapie Avantex, located in Montréal, QC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Physiothérapie Avantex, a physiotherapy clinic that specializes in treating concussion and vestibular disorders (dizziness and vertigo). Our clients come from all walks of life; we have clients who are Olympic and professional athletes, as well as children, adults, and older folks.
People with vertigo, dizziness, and persistent concussion symptoms often have trouble finding professionals who believe them and who can help them. Our mission is to provide high-quality, evidence-based care to these people who, unfortunately, are often brushed off or not believed.
We also provide outreach and educational seminars for medical and paramedical professionals to help spread the word that yes, there is an effective treatment for these disorders and to teach front-line professionals what the optimal early care should be.
Tell us about yourself
I planned and opened Physio Avantex in 2019 while I was on maternity leave with my first daughter. After a decade of working in private health care, in settings that often seemed to prioritize volume over value, I decided to open PhysioAvantex in order to be able to provide the type of care experience that I look for as a client. Our philosophy is based on the quality of care and taking enough time to make sure that we really listen to our clients, learn what their needs are, and make sure that we are helping them work towards their goals. To focus is on quality, not quantity, and making sure that every client feels cared for.
I also wanted to create a workplace that allowed me to be present for my daughter and not miss any special moments with her. With a new baby at home, I needed to make sure that I could find a balance between work and family and offer that same balance to my team.
What motivates me to keep doing what I do are my clients! Having someone thank you for believing them when no one else did or helping them when they had been told that no improvement was possible is what keeps me going every day. Seeing our clients go on to achieve their goals, whether that means competing in the Olympics or just getting out of the house every day, is worth everything to me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been managing to keep the business growing since we opened. The pandemic hit when PhysioAvantex had been open for only six months, so that didn't give us much time to build a reputation or client base! We have so far managed to weather the ups and down of each covid wave and the lockdowns that accompanied them. I've also just given birth to my second daughter, so learning to how to keep the clinic running smoothly while caring for a newborn has been a major accomplishment as well.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner is learning that being a good clinician doesn't equate to being a good businessperson! There has been a steep learning curve for me! I'm confident that I am an expert physiotherapist, but I still have a lot to learn on the business and admin side of things.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Stay flexible! The last two years have been a rollercoaster of openings and closings, and navigating ever-changing public health restrictions. Being able to adapt quickly has been key to the success of my business.
- Learn how every facet of your business runs; don't outsource until you know exactly what you need. I have at one time done every task that my business requires, from web design to payroll, physiotherapy to reception.
- Trust yourself! You know your business best, and you are best placed to make the decisions that affect it.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Don't be afraid to reach out for help. The support of family, friends, and some valuable mentors has helped shape PhysioAvantex into what it is today. And now, I'm the one that people are turning to for advice.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.