Several options were on the table. Among them…
a) Academia – a chance to develop the Physiotherapy profession
b) Continue my career in professional football – a sport that has given me so much (but equally taken so much of me in terms of time, commitment and lifestyle)
c)…should we…could we…a decade long ambition…a blank page to create what we considered gold standard in Rehab and Performance
Fast forward to October 2020 and I have registered Rehab4Performance, Trade name Rehab 4 Performance, on Companies House for £12; it turns out R4P has a nice ring to it too, that was by accident!
– eliminating the medical jargon that prevails in the industry
– removing the red tape so EVERYONE can access elite healthcare and performance services
– this is not a physiotherapy practice, it is a facility within which the Performance Gym is centre stage and exercise is the management strategy of choice
– we are obsessive in our mission to get people better…Your injury becomes our injury.
Whilst the vision or mission statement (Jerry Maguire, 1996) rolls off the tongue now, it was not always the case. Chris and I knew what we wanted to create but nailing the detail involved several meetings to discuss values and lay the brand foundations for R4P – lots of coffee meetings over Zoom and in person fitting in around our full time jobs. A challenge to actually describe your values and beliefs, a great process though – have a go!
A key one for us – feeling exclusive and inclusive at the same time. Is that even possible? We think we got the balance.
How do I write a business plan? A big hurdle but a necessary one and a fluid document that went through several iterations.
Moments of doubt, is now the moment (mid-pandemic) to be opening a new business. We needed each other for reassurance so many times.
We found a premises at the Matchworks, Liverpool, but the procurement was not straight forward. Acoustic survey, Building Control, Planning, Fire Safety were some of the potential pitfalls that had to be navigated before securing the site to facilitate a licence to alter application and subsequent renovations.
Reflection 1: we profited from obtaining excellent support from our IFA, Accountants and Contractors. Without them R4P would not have become the reality it is today. Ambition without knowledge is like a boat on dry land (NariYoshi Miyagi, 1994).
Gym design was an enjoyable process….my playground….it contains some of the most progressive technology currently available to assist both rehabilitation and performance.
Site management – coordinating several companies, largely assisted by Oakwhite Contracts, to ensure that the facility is fit for purpose within a 3-week timeframe to enable us to start trading.
August 9th – we open our doors. If you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything (Emmett Brown, 1985)
200 days on and it has been a blur. I have relished the combination of general population and elite athlete contact. A unique blend that provides wonderful variety and challenge. We have added educational experiences to our service provision and are embarking on some research projects in conjunction with Universities.
Reflection 2: Some aspects have gone better than predicted, some have gone worse. We are a fairly unique company and this has to be expected.
Reflection 3: I consider myself very fortunate to be supported by an exceptional staff, masters in their fields and fundamentally good people.
Reflection 4 – no matter how good you are as a facility and organisation; people need to know about you and that means engaging fully with social media / website quality / SEO – an area which was totally alien to us and we have had to learn (and continue to do so) on the job.
What next….gaining registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). CQC registration ensures that we meet critical standards in all aspects of healthcare, which ultimately guarantees excellence for our clients – this has been a huge undertaking but is something which we again feel will set us apart.
It also paves the way for one of R4P’s Directors and Chief Medical Officer for British Cycling, Dr Nigel Jones, to contribute to our service provision, the final piece of the jigsaw..for now.
200 days open, almost 2 years since our “talk” turned serious and we decided to take the step; and probably 20 years in the dreaming since our days in the NHS –
we are just getting started.