This week ARTI is chatting to Owen Feeney ARTC, a recent graduate of the BSc in Athletic Therapy and Training programme in DCU. Owen set up his own clinic in January 2018, just a few months after graduating.
Owen is based in UrbanHealth, Ranelagh for the last 5 months. “The space is open plan and shared between various therapists and instructors, including myself. Equipment and gear is brought in prior to each session and is often shared which is helpful, especially when starting off. It helps to keep initial costs to a minimum.”
Owen treats a mixture of patients, many of them coming from teams he works with. “The majority of my clients are athletes from the teams I work with. Time constraints mean I don’t get to treat everyone on match days. I also see individuals from gyms who often have issues from overuse, impeding their return to full activity. I treat office workers whose issues arise from a lack of activity or repetitive daily actions that cause them issues. The treatments are often quite different which makes it interesting and challenging.”
Owen shared some advice with us on important things to consider when setting up on your own. Owen believes the location of your clinic is key when considering setting up on your own. “Take your time making this decision as it will influence business. Thankfully for ARTCs, we don’t need a huge workspace and we can do a lot with a little when it comes to equipment.”
“One of the things I would never have considered before finishing college would be how to sell yourself and advertise as well. Be it social media, business cards or flyers you should consider how to advertise optimally”.
Planning is important but don’t give up at the first hurdle. “You will do things right and wrong and it will take time before you understand the business side of it. I haven’t completed a business degree, so it will take time and research. Seeking advice from someone with a business or marketing background may really help. I was lucky enough to have such a person and honestly, I wouldn’t have thought about half of the things I needed without their help. It is ok to ask for help and ask for advice, you’re only fresh out of college, no one expects us to be the Bill Gates of the ARTC world so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Owen highlighted the importance of maintaining involvement in pitchside work. “Getting involved with a sports team will help with spreading your name and building a client base.
Pitchside and clinic-based rely on the same body of knowledge yet are so vastly different. Working in both environments, you learn that one compliments the other. I think it would be best to think of one as an extension of the other.