Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shawn Williams, founder of Shawn Williams Physiotherapy, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business, Shawn Williams Physiotherapy, is a unique concierge-style physiotherapy practice that provides treatment in the comfort of the patient’s home or office in Toronto. I offer hour-long one-on-one visits so that the patient receives the highest standard level of care. My physiotherapy service helps busy working professionals suffering from pain or injury quickly return to running, exercise, sports, and an active lifestyle. My treatment approach focuses on manual therapy, dry needling/Acupuncture, therapeutic exercise, patient education, and patient empowerment.
Tell us about yourself
My physiotherapy career started by taking my MSc PT at McMaster University, and I graduated in 2006. I am a physiotherapist with advanced manual therapy training that is CAMPT certified, making me a Fellow of the Canadian Manipulative Physiotherapy (FCAMPT). This is an internationally recognized certification for post-graduate training in hands-on therapy. I also have high-level training in dry needling and acupuncture. I have also been a mentor and course instructor for physiotherapists looking to develop their clinical skills and a clinical instructor for physiotherapy students on clinical placement.
I have always had an interest in sports and running. Throughout my youth, I competed in hockey and running events. Some of the highlights were playing Junior A Hockey, running university track, and completing marathons, including the Boston Marathon. My sports background over the years has given me exposure to physiotherapy, which helped me recover from various injuries. This early exposure and positive experience with physiotherapists is why I think I chose physiotherapy as a career path.
Since I started physiotherapy, I have been passionate about my career and developing my clinical skills. This inspired me to start a practice that could offer the highest level of care rather than be rushed from patient to patient. One of the greatest parts of being a physiotherapist is helping people achieve their goals. It is rewarding to help someone who has given up doing an activity because of pain get back to that activity again.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being a relatively new entrepreneur, my biggest accomplishment as a business owner is running a successful solo practice with my dream practice model. I truly believe that my one-hour physiotherapy visits of one-on-one patient care allow me to identify all of the factors contributing to the patient's condition and plenty of time to ensure that the patient receives exceptional quality care.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about becoming a business owner is prioritizing which tasks to do to move the business forward. As a business owner, you need to understand marketing, accounting, sales, building relationships, and being prepared to work hard.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start building online content and website six months to a year before starting your business.
- Start your business as a side hustle while working your 9-5 job. This will allow for time to build up a client base and for you to learn the skills that are needed to become an entrepreneur. It will also allow you to build confidence to be an independent business owner.
- Read and get coaching/take courses on building a business in your field. This has helped me develop my business skills and confidence.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you are in the health care industry, I recommend that you first concentrate on developing your clinical skills. After gaining clinical experience, it will be easier to work on the skills needed to develop a physiotherapy practice. If you want to start your own business, there will never be a perfect time, so the best way to start is to believe in yourself and take action, even if it is in small steps.
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.
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