Name: Gillian Flanagan.

Age: 42.

What is your business called?

Uddingston Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Clinic.

What services does it provide?

Physiotherapy services.

To whom does it sell?

The general public – we have a mix of self referrals, doctor referrals, insurance companies and occupational contracts.

What is its turnover?


How many employees?


When was it formed?

March 2013.

Why did you take the plunge?

I wanted to provide a service that took people from injury/illness to their full potential health and fitness under one roof. I had sadly gone through a divorce and it was a great time to have a project to focus on and build a new life for myself and I met my now husband and business partner through the process.

What were you doing before you took the plunge?

I have been qualified for over 20 years and started my career in the NHS working in both hospital and clinic environments. I then moved to private practice after five years due to growing frustration with ever-increasing waiting lists and the restrictions imposed on the service due to this problem. The advantages of private practice include being able to see clients immediately at point of need and having more time to spend with them and to supply services to fit around clients’ work and family lives.

How did you raise the start up funding?

The start-up funding was raised through money from selling my home, a very kind cousin who gave me a loan and a company called Corporate Medical Finance who are business finance specialists. In total it cost me £120,000 to fit out the clinic, buy computers, treatment couches, electrotherapy machines and the gym equipment required. For me it was a terrifying amount of money to pay but I knew I had built up a good following from working in the local area for 11 years. I hit the ground running with a caseload of clients. The loans involved a five-year commitment and have, thankfully, now been paid off.

What was your worst moment?

Near the start when I was juggling everything alone. I was seeing clients back to back for 10 hours a day, managing reception, keeping up with patient records, doing insurance paperwork, working on marketing and cleaning the clinic at the end of the day. I relished the challenge but was incredibly stressed at the same time.

I had met Ricky (my now husband) who at the time had an electrical contractors company but was looking for a complete change. Due to his lifelong involvement in bodybuilding he had a real interest in what I was doing and decided to study sports massage at university. He arranged and carried out my shop fit and was very supportive, offering advice on every aspect of running your own business. He started coming in to shadow me and see some clients while he was a student and had a keen interest, natural ability and a great understanding of the body that has made him become a skilled and knowledgeable masseur. By the end of year one Ricky had come on board full time and was helping me run the business as well. I bring the clinical expertise and knowledge of running a physiotherapy clinic and Ricky brings his business acumen and great networking skills.

What do you enjoy most about running the business?

I love the mental and physical challenge of the job, every day is different and we get to meet so many different people from every walk of life and help them meet their challenges. The best part is discharging a happy client who goes on to give us a great review or entrusts friends and family to us which is the best compliment we can get.

What do you least enjoy?

Admin. One of our best decisions was to employ a practice manager who took a huge burden of admin from us and allowed us to focus on staff training, marketing and business development and Ricky to keep the clinic and equipment in excellent working order.

What could the Westminster and/or Scottish Government do that would most help?

One of my biggest disappointments with the Scottish Government has been the business rates system. When we took the property we use on we were under the £10,000 rateable value and therefore had 100 per cent business rate relief so when we heard the threshold for business rates had been raised to £15,000 we were delighted.

However, when the local valuation board came in to re-evaluate the property we were utterly shocked to find they rated us over the £15,000 threshold. The effect of this combined with rule changes regarding the designation of the basement and the installation of CCTV meant we went from £0 to £560 a month in business rates, which was a major financial blow.

What was the most valuable lesson you learned?

You need to be prepared to push yourself out of your comfort zone to grow both personally and as a business. I am first and foremost a Physiotherapist so running a business and becoming a manager of a team has a been a huge learning curve.

How do you relax?

Ricky and I lift weights and do boxing training. We also love walking our beautiful cane corso dog, Bia.

It’s easy to let your business take over so while we love having each other to talk shop to we also make sure we spend time with each other and ban business talk and focus on each other.