Case Studies

Investment helps Orkney physio gallop ahead

A keen horse rider who competed for Scotland as a youngster has launched her own physiotherapy business working with both animals and humans.

20th August 2018

Karoline Bain set up KB Elite Physio after moving home to Orkney last year, offering human, equine, canine and feline treatments to a steadily growing customer base.

With support from Business Gateway, Karoline has now invested in specialist machinery aimed at aiding horses which has allowed her to increase the number she works with.

Karoline said: “I competed for Scotland on my pony at the age of 12 and since then I’ve wanted to be a veterinary physiotherapist. The only route to this was to become a human physio first so I gained my qualifications and began working with NHS Grampian. But when I moved to Orkney last year and there were no local NHS vacancies, I knew it was the perfect time to realise my dream. I gained a post graduate diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy and from there KB Elite was launched. I wanted to provide a unique service that wasn’t available on the island and so far the response has been very positive. My client base is continually growing and I’m fully booked at least a week in advance six days per week.

“My Business Gateway adviser, Euan Smith was a fantastic help. He helped me develop a business plan and offered advice on a number of areas including marketing, finance and general start-up topics. With Business Gateway’s help I was also able to secure a new business start-up grant from Orkney Islands Council which I was able to put towards equipment which has given the business a big boost.”

I wanted to provide a unique service that wasn’t available on the island and so far the response has been very positive.

Initially Karoline travelled to clients’ homes but she has now created a treatment room within her house and is planning to convert an outbuilding into a rehab centre. She is also able to travel to Caithness and Shetland on request.

Karoline added: “Like people, animals can get great benefits from physiotherapy as it can help promote healing, ease pain, increase strength and improve function. My skills and experience in both forms of physio allows me to provide unique services such as being able to assess both horse and rider to ensure a seamless partnership. My main aim is to build a purpose built centre to cater to both humans and animals with additional services such as an underwater treadmill for dogs.

Claire Kemp of Business Gateway said: “Karoline’s business is another great addition to our local business community. Our support and expert advice helped Karoline launch successfully, but also put her in a strong position for when she grows and develops the business. Karoline accessed a range of support from us, including putting together a detailed business plan and signposting to potential funding avenues.”

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