Matt, tell us how you came to call the Coffs Coast home?
After finishing school in Canberra, I went on to complete university in Albury-Wodonga. When I finished my degree, I was offered a job as a physiotherapist by my cousin (and business partner to be) Rob Hoy, to join him at Baringa Private Hospital – and I guess the rest is history. Coffs became my home and where I will raise my kids and continue to surf some great breaks!
You’re a qualified physiotherapist; why did you choose this field as your career?
After a few Rugby injuries, and as you can imagine, quite a bit of time spent at a sports physio practice as a patient, I thought hanging out in a busy practice full of athletes looked like great fun. So, I gave it a shot, got through the degree and have thoroughly enjoyed my journey so far.
Recently your business has undergone some exciting changes; can you tell us about them?
Over the last 14 years, our physiotherapy business has grown to include three practice locations at Coffs Harbour Jetty, Sawtell and the newest location, Toormina Medical Centre. Our team has also grown to over 30 professionals, across a variety of health disciplines. Rob and I decided that it was time to reposition the Hoys Physio brand to encompass all of the allied health services that we now offer our patients, as well as our philosophy of bettering patients’ overall wellbeing, so that they live their life to the fullest. Hence, our new name – Hoys Allied Health + Wellness was launched this year.
The new brand really embodies our approach to caring for our patients’ injury and ailment recovery and chronic disease management, so we are helping them to improve their overall wellbeing and to live a hopefully better lifestyle.
Being an allied health care provider, what services can you provide people?
At Hoys Allied Health + Wellness, we can assist in your recovery from injury or surgery, helping you manage your pain, stiffness and weakness and to get you back on track to better health. We also assist in helping you to manage chronic disease with an individual exercise and diet plan, to improve your overall wellbeing and lifestyle.
Our services include Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology, Occupational Therapy, Nutrition and Dietetics, Remedial Massage, Core Strength and Group Exercise classes, Hydrotherapy, Women’s Health Physiotherapy, and Radial Shock Wave Therapy. We also are a registered provider for the NDIS and offer Medicare and health cover rebates.
All services are available from our three convenient locations at Coffs Harbour Jetty, Sawtell and Toormina Medical Centre, with the exception of Hydrotherapy, which is run at Coffs and Toormina public pools, and our core exercise classes, which are run at our Coffs Harbour Jetty practice. We welcome any new patients!
With any service-based business, and in particular health care, marketing your services can be costly and restrictive. What have you found to be the best marketing channels?
There definitely are a lot of restrictions put on the health care industry, and rightly so; after all, it is a highly qualified and individualised care industry, so advice needs to be taken on a case by case basis. Restrictions include things like how we refer to our service expectations and even to online reviews. However, what we can tell you is after nearly 14 years of tracking how our clients came to find out about us, word of mouth and doctor referrals have both been equally responsible for over 30% of our new business.
Our communication with our patients is something we are conscious of, considering that as a business we have evolved to include more complimentary services that they may not be aware we offer.
How has technology played a role in improving the business and the customer experience?
With three business locations, having paper medical records, different booking systems and phone systems present daily challenges with communication and getting therapists the information they need in a timely manner. With the improvement of technology and Coffs Harbour getting the NBN, we were able to utilise Cloud-based paperless systems for both patient booking and medical records, which is a massive advancement in open communication and records. Also, having a linked phone system has ensured that the admin team can help patient enquires from any location.
Running a business means at times you are juggling a number of balls at once. What key lessons have your learnt along the way?
Taking time off the tools, so to speak, is part of my plan for the coming year. As a business owner you always feel the need to work extra hard to ensure your business is performing well, earning money and keeping staff and patients content; all the while making you time poor for all the important things that allow a business to grow and flourish. Once we have a plan for what we want to achieve i.e. growth, offer new services, we then set out planning for what would be involved in getting it to work. A good plan allows you to be aware of what your weaknesses are, so you can either outsource or upskill in this area.
When we first started out in business, we would always try to do everything ourselves, even if it was an identified weakness, but we have found that getting help from other industry professionals, branding ideas for marketing, budgets from our accountant to be viable in a new venture make a big difference to not only executing a good plan well, but also in helping to find a better balance with all the balls a business owner juggles on an ongoing basis.
What do you love most about your work?
I really enjoy the challenge of helping people to get better, knowing what an injury is when diagnosed is the easiest part. Knowing why it occurred and what specifically will help the individual makes a speedy and durable recovery is the challenge and makes every injury unique and interesting for me. It’s also nice to help a patient get a better quality of life back after injury or ailment too.
Fast forward five years; what does Hoys Allied Health + Wellness look like?
I would really like to think that the Allied Health team approach that Hoys have adopted will start to make a real impact on preventing and reversing chronic disease that is on trend, and not in a good way, to becoming a bigger and bigger problem for the ageing Coffs Coast population, putting more stress on the local medical system.
Hopefully, by providing a wide range of complimentary Allied Health services and professionals, we can do our bit to improve the health and wellbeing of the Coffs Coast people.