Going virtual with Business Gateway’s DigitalBoost programme
Following support from Business Gateway, a Tayside-based physiotherapy centre has launched a series of online consultations and classes, delivering up to 60 per week, to navigate the impact of COVID-19.
Launched in 2004, Heal Physiotherapy Limited is a first-class physiotherapy service offering a range of treatments including private GP care, specialist sports physiotherapy, massage therapy, podiatry, and psychology.
Prior to the pandemic, business owners Lynne Falconer and Sally Kiddie accessed DigitalBoost – Scottish Government’s leading digital skills programme, delivered by Business Gateway, to improve the company’s online and social media presence. As the effects of lockdown were felt through the closure of its sites in Dundee and St. Andrews, the business owners have used these skills to create engaging digital and video content for the website and social channels to reach customers during the pandemic.
After closing its doors for face to face consultations, Heal Physiotherapy adapted its offering to deliver virtual appointments and Pilates classes in a bid to keep patients active and mobile throughout lockdown. This included planning consultations; changing administrative systems to take payments online and engaging on social channels to attract new customers.
To support wider efforts to tackle COVID-19, the team at Heal Physiotherapy is working with a local developer to adapt the NHS screening app to make it suitable for business use. This will be made available to reassure patients that when it is safe to do so, they will be able to resume face-to-face appointments.
Business Gateway also directed the team to relevant support that was available for the company including one-to-one business advice, strategic HR support and marketing to customers. Since, Heal Physiotherapy has utilised the furlough scheme and accessed a small business grant and applied for rates relief.
Commenting, Lynne said: “The first thing we did when lockdown was announced was call the Business Gateway team who have offered continued support throughout this period and kept us up to date on crucial guidance.
“It’s only now that we realise the full potential of social media as a tool to reach our customers and fortunately, we were equipped to do this effectively thanks to Business Gateway and the DigitalBoost service. We have used this knowledge to communicate with our patients, stakeholders and community, which has been crucial during these challenging times.
“We’ve had to completely adapt the way we do business – for a profession where human contact is deemed essential, we’ve been pleasantly surprised at how effective Zoom appointments have been. We’re (virtually) working tirelessly to ensure our patients get back to work, sport or their hobbies as soon as possible when the centre reopens at the end of this month.”
Ann Kerr, Business Adviser, Business Gateway Dundee, said: “A business often requires a varied mix of support as it grows from a start-up to a more established operation. It is great that we’ve been able to help the team at Heal Physiotherapy at a later stage of their business journey and navigate the impacts felt as a result of COVID-19.
“Lynne and Sally have used this period to adapt the business to be more digitally-focused, supported further through the DigitalBoost Programme. This useful package is filled with free support services including one-to-one digital consultancy, a digital health check, access to webinars and guidance with switching current services online.
“At a time where human interaction is limited, it’s rewarding to be able to help the team at Heal Physiotherapy to continue trading and deliver essential treatments to patients during the pandemic.”
For support and advice on critical business issues during the pandemic visit Business Gateway’s dedicated Coronavirus Hub which is updated with new information daily