15 Nov Member case study: Miriam Wynne, EBR Physio
In our first member case study, meet one of our foundation Beyond Business Groups members – Miriam Wynne. In these case studies we will demonstrate how our learning program is helping small business owners, what they see as the biggest benefits, and what they have done to strengthen their businesses.
Miriam is Practice Manager at EBR Physio, a family-owned physiotherapy business where her husband Michael is Principal Physiotherapist. The practice was established by Michael’s mum in 1963! EBR pride themselves on providing a reliable, ethical, professional service. They aim to get people back to doing what makes them smile as quickly as possible. Thus their tagline ‘Keep your body smiling’. (A new addition since starting Beyond Business Groups, but we’ll get to that later.) EBR currently has four physiotherapists as well as a receptionist working in the practice.
I talked to Miriam about her Beyond Business Groups experience.
Why did she join Beyond Business Groups?
Although EBR is a long-established business, Miriam wanted to do more work on the business and make improvements. She joined Beyond Business Groups in our inaugural intake in February 2019, and is in her second year of membership. ‘You can continually improve and there are always areas of your business that you aren’t doing that well. I wanted to work on our business in a more formal way, and a more social way.’
‘Even though I work in an office with other people, I still felt quite isolated because my work was quite separate to the others. Plus, Michael and I can be too close to the business – it’s nice to have others who are impartial to his ideas and my ideas.’
What are the biggest benefits of Beyond Business Groups?
‘I think a big benefit is getting a different perspective on ideas. Sometimes you’re not sure if your ideas are a bit tired or if they sound OK. And to have other people that don’t know so much about what you do is a good sounding board. They can help to come up with fresh ideas you hadn’t thought of.’
Other than different ideas and perspectives, Miriam cites having accountability as a huge benefit. ‘I need accountability! I don’t exercise unless it’s face-to-face. I’m not a self-motivated exerciser. And it’s the same with working on the business – I know I should go and pursue business development activities , but the day-to-day jobs get in the way and working on the business doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Without the commitment to Beyond Business Groups I know I probably wouldn’t do it!’
How did Miriam find our peer learning delivery model?
To give some context, here is a quick overview – our members sign up in their groups for an annual program of 11 Modules (none for January) that work through each aspect of business. The Modules come out on the first day of the month, and individuals then read the materials, work on the activities and can use the recommended resources to explore the topic further. Towards the end of the month they meet face-to-face (or via videoconference!) to discuss the topic, share and socialise. Just like a book group.
‘The style of having a topic and exploring it I think is really good, and also the way that it flows on so that you’re always building on your work – I think that’s really clever. You start with the foundations of knowing your purpose and unique selling proposition, and you build more layers on top of this, including branding and the many aspects of marketing.’
‘I probably need to be a bit more disciplined with doing the preparation more than a few days beforehand and using more of the extra resources – I haven’t really made the best use of those.’
How participation helped take her business ‘beyond’?
The biggest improvements Miriam has made to EBR since starting in Beyond Business Groups is branding. She reviewed and revised the brand positioning, visual identity and brand voice, and has taken a holistic approach to customer experience.
‘The business has been going a long time, so the brand identity was a bit stale and a bit dated. We hadn’t revisited who we are and what we are for some time.’ Our core values hadn’t changed but the brand messages needed refining.
‘We reviewed the mission statement and tagline, and clarified the messages, making them less technical. And we developed a more coherent style and applied it through our different touchpoints. We also thought about the ways we communicate with clients – considering customer experience as a whole, rather than individual elements.’
Would Miriam recommend BBG to others? Why?
‘Definitely, and I have. I’ve spoken to people who come into EBR who are looking at starting up a small business and they’re not quite sure where to start with developing a business, branding, and how it all works. I think Beyond Business Groups is ideal for people who are starting out, and just as applicable for people who have been in business a long time and haven’t had that sounding board and the other perspectives. I think it’s really hard in small business, whether you’re isolated physically or just mentally, if you don’t have someone to share ideas with and bounce ideas off.’
Find out more
If you like the sound of Beyond Business Groups you can find out more details here.
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