Twelve months on from graduating in June 2015 Sports Therapy graduates Natalie Jones, Sophie Minor and Kate Highy are all reaping the benefit of the entrepreneurial, business and transferable skills at the heart of its programme design. On completing their studies all three of these graduates took the first brave steps into the world of work by setting up their own sports therapy businesses. In a competitive market, all three have successful developed their business drawing upon the skills and knowledge gained throughout their studies to ensure they have been able to survive the initial challenges that all new businesses face in its first year and have now begun to establish a strong reputation for their practice.
Reflecting back on their studies Sophie stated “The business proposal assessment we had to complete has helped me massively in setting up my “Sophie Minor Sports Injury and Rehabilitation Clinic” based in Blythe Bridge. I’ve been able to use the materials acquired in the module and my 3-year plan in almost identical to that which I submitted for my assessment, allowing me to put my knowledge into practice”.
Adding further to this Natalie stated that “Having to complete the work placement module really helped to confirm to me which path of sports therapy I wanted to follow, and gave me a really insight into how to effectively use my time during appointment, and being able to develop communication skills with patients. From this module it became an easy decision to base my “Natalie’s Sports Therapy and Massage” business out of LS Health Club in Stafford. I know love being in a working environment that I feel comfortable in and having a positive impact on people’s lives”.
All three of these graduates have utilised the increasing importance of online and social media marketing of their businesses and describe the importance the role of this in generating the initial client base. Natalie said “A lot of behind the scenes work is needed to simply get clients through the door such as advertising, of which word of mouth is highly underrated. It’s also become abundantly clear to never stop studying or stop learning about lesser known conditions.” While Sophie added “The hardest thing was drawing people’s attention to my business to allow my reputation to build; therefore i put on a new offer each month to gain this attention. This has worked really well and I now notice that word of mouth is the best form of advertisement which has brought many people into my clinic.”
To illustrate the impact that Staffs students are now having further afield than Staffordshire, Kate Highy has successfully overseen the growth of her own Sports Therapy business in Windsor. Similar to Natalie and Sophie, Kate has shown how the development of her understanding of the role that social media can play in driving new businesses by using her Kate Highy Sports Therapist Facebook page to promote her practice and drive new custom. Kate said “It’s been great being able to set up my business and make an income to fit around my life. The hardest part was having belief in myself and being brave enough to make the first steps, but the confidence I gained from being out on placement during my course, and gaining that understanding of the financial aspects of running a business helped give me that confidence. Now each time my client leaves feeling improved from before their treatment just boosts my confidence further”.
The Sports Therapy course at Staffordshire University was ranked 1st place in the UK when rated against the National Student Survey 2015-16 with 100% Overall student satisfaction and recently ranked 13th in the 2017 Guardian League Table for sports courses. To find out more about our Sports Therapy course click here.