With statistics telling us that a large proportion of small businesses fail within the first five years, it’s great to see one thriving local business preparing to celebrate their 10th birthday this month. From very humble beginnings, Mid North Coast Physiotherapy has grown to be one of the leading healthcare providers in the region. FOCUS caught up with director Aaron Hardaker to hear about how they’ve made it 10 years and what’s in store to celebrate.
How did Mid North Coast Physio start out?
After spending four years living in the UK and Ireland, I decided it was time to get back to my home on the Coffs Coast. I soon saw a need for better access to quality physio services for the community of the Northern Beaches, which led to me starting Northern Beaches Physio in Woolgoolga.
It was a very simple set up in a rented room in the old gym in Woopi and started out only one afternoon per week. This quickly grew with the support of new clients and referrals from local doctors, leading to a new location and expanded days and hours.
From there, we expanded to Urunga to meet a similar need, before adding two more clinics in recent years in collaboration with Coffs Coast Health Club at Toormina and Moonee Beach.
We changed names from Northern Beaches Physio and Urunga Physio a couple of years ago to be more reflective of the reach of the businesses across the region; Mid North Coast Physio seemed to be much more appropriate.
Why do you see the 10th birthday as an important milestone?
More than anything, I think it shows we’re doing good things with helping clients achieve their goals. If we weren’t, we certainly wouldn’t have lasted this long, let alone grown significantly over this period.
I’m really proud of the fact we’ve been able to help over 6,000 people so far achieve better health, improved quality of life, less pain and more happiness – that’s why we turn up every day! It’s also an opportunity to reflect on the successful transition from being a basic standalone physio clinic to offering over 15 different healthcare services across our clinics. This has been a key goal and something we continue to build on – to bring collaborative healthcare to the region – so taking the time to recognise the achievements so far is important. If you don’t stop to celebrate the successes, then you lose sight of what you are really doing it all for.
How important have your staff been in reaching the 10 year mark?
They have been an integral part of everything that we’ve achieved. So far I’ve employed nearly 40 people in a range of different roles, all who have contributed and added value for our clients. Some of our team have moved to the area to take up a role with us from as far afield as the UK, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand and Tasmania.
Others have been locals returning to the area, like Zade Goodenough and Jack Gillingham; both grew up here then moved away to study, before returning to the area to take up an opportunity to work with us as physios. Our longest serving team member is Jen Cumming, our admin manager, who was the first employee to join me early on with Northern Beaches Physio.
As many of our clients would tell you, she is the person that keeps the wheels turning on a daily basis and is the familiar voice on the end of the phone solving people’s problems.
I strongly believe your team is your most important asset and it’s vital to support them, develop them and empower them to grow and shine. I would like to think that this is something we have done well over the years, to ensure we have a team full of great people, not just great practitioners.
Being a born and bred local, you seem to have a strong focus on the Coffs community – tell us about your community involvement.
Being a part of the community is something I have always placed a high value on, both personally and professionally. I believe we all have an obligation to contribute where we can, whether it be giving time, sharing skills and knowledge, participating in events or providing financial support where possible.
Mid North Coast Physio has supported everything from local sporting teams, surf lifesaving clubs, schools, seniors’ groups and business chamber initiatives, to community and individual fundraising events and Christmas Carols.
We have recently jumped on board to provide support for parkrun to officially launch in Coffs Harbour, which will be happening on June 10th.It’s a great initiative to encourage people to be more active and join lots of other likeminded people for some fun and exercise on a Saturday morning.
How can we join in the birthday celebrations?
We’ve decided to do things a little different to celebrate this birthday. Instead of receiving gifts or having a big party, we’re going to giving some gifts. Because we love what we do, we want you to come in and experience it firsthand.
The first 20 people who call and wish us a happy birthday can choose to have either a 60 minute massage for the price of 30 minutes, a FREE computerised Gaitscan foot assessment OR $20 off an Initial Physio consultation. All you need to do is decide which special gift is best for you, give us a call on 1300 273 747 and wish us a happy birthday to secure your appointment.
We may even come up with something extra special for anyone who is willing to sing Happy Birthday!