In a PhysioUpdate Q&A, Fiona Moir discusses goPhysio – the business she runs with her husband Paul
goPhysio has gone from strength to strength as a practice since its doors opened in Hampshire two decades ago. Now partners – in a business as well as in a marital sense – Fiona Moir and Paul Baker are ready to share the secrets of their successful model with ambitious physios harbouring aspirations to create their own thriving businesses.
Find out what Fiona told PhysioUpdate editor Ian A McMillan.
Tell us about your background
I fit the cliché. Why? I have always been interested in how the body worked, exercise, sport and connecting with people. I originally wanted to be a doctor, but, as A-level chemistry was a bit of a challenge, I decided on physiotherapy.
I trained in Bristol at University of the West of England, qualifying in 1997. This is where I met Paul [Baker], my husband and co-founder of goPhysio. My physio career began at Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham. I did rotations in a huge teaching hospital for a few years, before ‘locuming’, travelling and settling back down in the south of England – a very typical young physio's journey in the 1990s.
How did you set up goPhysio?
Paul came from a family background of running a business. His dad had a butcher’s shop in Ireland, so it was always his intention to set up a private practice, whereas having a business had never been on my radar. When we settled in my home area of southern England, I worked in the NHS but through a few contacts and being in the right place at the right time, a room became available in a new David Lloyd gym, so we leapt at the opportunity and goPhysio was born in 2001.
We grew quickly and secured a great contract with the Ministry of Defence, expanded to rent another room in a GP practice and took on associates. Once we started a family, the NHS didn’t work for me and goPhysio was getting busier, so I joined Paul as a physio in the business. Over the years, we continued to develop and grow, riding the small business rollercoaster and juggling all the balls, human resources, marketing, operations, logistics and so on.
By 2006 we opened our first stand-alone clinic and I hung up my physio tools and focused all my attention on learning more about running a business. We really started focusing on our ethos, values, business development and growth, eventually condensing all our satellite clinics into a single location and purchasing and renovating a freehold clinic, where we could provide a range of services, the best facilities and a place to grow further.
It sounds like you never stand still as a company
You just can’t! Physio has started to become like many other commodities, with businesses offering exactly the same things in the same way. This means customers aren’t loyal or are under-serviced. We always go above and beyond and are driving forwards with what we offer and how. I continuously look for ways to improve and do things better.
We invest heavily in training all our team and have created The goPhysio Way – so have our unique way of doings things. We employ all our team and have a huge, local and loyal customer base with an ecosystem of services, that not only help people when they’re injured but also beyond.
Practice With Profit is your latest venture. Tell us more?
Physios, in general, really struggle with the concept of ‘business’. We are naturally very caring, empathetic people and find it hard to mix business concepts with that caring nature. So little time and resources are spent investing in business education.
We experienced ourselves how hard it is applying sound business skills to a healthcare business and wanted to help others learn the skills, so they can run their healthcare businesses more effectively and efficiently and not be afraid of ‘profit’. We’re developing an online learning platform, packed full of training videos, resources, worksheets and a community, so we can help other healthcare business owners, particularly those already established and wanting to start extracting themselves more and have more freedom from their business.
What three messages would you give physios wanting to open or develop their own business?
- don’t undervalue yourself, get your pricing and offering right
- start with the end in mind, set your business up right from the start
- invest in business support and training, both physio specific and not
How do you relax?
I’ve got three teenagers and a spaniel puppy, so relaxing doesn’t feature much in my life. Covid has taught me it’s about the simple things: socialising with friends and family, eating out, exercising, yoga and walks. Also, the odd holiday would be nice!
For more information about goPhysio, visit: https://gophysiotherapy.co.uk
For more information about PWP, visit: https://practice-with-profit.mykajabi.com
Author: Edited by Ian A McMillan