Jos Drew is an osteopath. Six years ago, she set up Nurture Your Health, an osteopathic and complementary health clinic. Jos treats patients of all ages, from new born babies through to adults.
What inspired you to set up your business?
I lead a nomadic lifestyle and have spent time in Africa and the Middle East supporting my husband in his job. Fortunately I have always been able to make the most of these opportunities but it was always hard leaving places in the UK I had enjoyed working in each time we had to pack up for the next posting. Closing down clinics that I had built from scratch and saying goodbye to patients who had become loyal to me and how I work was extremely hard. Before we set out for our last posting I set myself the challenge that by the time we came back I would have a business plan for my ideal clinic. And one that could function without me in it if we went on a posting again. My light bulb moment came when I was sat by a pool watching my children – NOT supping gin! I can promise you it was not exotic. I realised my approach to caring for my patients was like a parent nurturing their children. I wanted the best for them. I wanted a place where a patient who, say, suffers with headaches, could choose which therapist they felt drawn to the most or have a multidisciplinary team approach to their needs.
What makes your clinic special and where are you based?
We are now based in Petersfield town centre. When I first set up I rented two rooms in a business park in Froxfield. I loved it. The views were amazing and the sheep in the field opposite were very entertaining. Every time a new patient walked through the door and looked out of the windows you could see them be struck by the view of open sky and green space and their breathing would deepen without them even realising. The space was very simple, nothing flash, but it was a place where parents could come with their children and not worry that they had to be quiet, that they could play. In fact, my toy box was a great incentive for kids to be happy, to come and play patiently whilst their parents were treated, or be distracted by when they were treated. I think the coffee machine helped, too, for the adults. In time, with success came the need to move. I collaborated with friends and colleagues and moved in to town. I think the biggest surprise in my career so far was what the impact of moving into a town location. The phone rang off the hook. My numbers doubled in the first month. I had not realised that even though I loved my rural location, not everyone else did!
How do you use social media to help promote your business?
Social media has had a profound effect on the the growth of my business. To be honest I am not one for much self promotion. But the word of mouth effect is magnified by how people use social media, I think, in particular Facebook. I’m also on Twitter and Instagram. The amount of times I’ve seen someone pose a question for a recommendation for an osteopath or help with a particular issue and that person has found me is very humbling.
What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
“Just do it, have a go and see what happens!”
What has been your greatest challenge?
Hmmm, this is an interesting and on-going one. Becoming injured myself. I am usually pretty resourceful and can find a solution to any problem. But this has made me realise there are some things that you just have to be patient with and let it take its course. It’s not the end of the world either. Fortunately new ideas are taking shape.
How do you switch off?
Dog walks with my mad springer spaniel.
Where do you go on holiday?
My favourite places to holiday are ones that mean you can be outside, with and observing nature. South Africa has been my highlight so far. But when my shoulder can cope with going out on a rib I want to go seal and dolphin watching off the Scottish Highland coastline.
What lesson do you wish you had learnt at school?
Time management. I’m getting better but it’s not my strong point.
What app/website/twitter account (other than your own!) would you recommend?
osteobiz. Gilly Woodhouse who runs Osteobiz is passionate about osteopaths and helping us spread the word about what we do. Her son was very poorly when he was little and she saw first hand how much osteopathy helped his recovery.
Where do you see yourself/your company in five years’ time?
In light of my injury I’m taking a break from treating all ages and I’m going to focus on developing my cranial and paediatric skills. I would love to set up a specific children’s clinic one day. Hopefully in five years’ time I will be back to doing more of the big hands on stuff again, but if not, that’s fine. Fortunately there is so much more to osteopathy than the clicking and clunking. I’m also developing an idea of how I can support other osteopaths run their clinics.