“It’s mine and I love it” – how Saxilby business owner Jenny Clarke continues to provide a popular, thriving health & wellbeing centre

Date published: 11 October 2020
Saxilby Physiotherapy and Well-being

Saxilby Physiotherapy is owned by Jenny Clarke, a HCPC registered and chartered physiotherapist with over 20 years experience. Located on Bridge Street in Saxilby, they offer a wide range of services that provide a thorough in-depth assessment and treatment of patients’ conditions.

Jenny has been running her business since 2005. She qualified in 2000 from the University of Teeside and started working at Lincoln Hospital with no plans to own her own business. It was when she was talking to a local shopkeeper about a condition he was suffering with, that inspired her to start her own private physio service.

“It all came about after a random conversation with a local shopkeeper. He was limping about in pain and I commented it looked nasty. He tried to say the name of the condition he had, which is notoriously hard to pronounce (plantar fasciitis). So when he struggled, I said it for him. He was shocked and asked how I could have known that so I told him I was a physio.”

He recommended that she visited The Haven, a local business nearby where they did beauty therapy and complementary therapy and were looking for another therapist to take on the third room. After visiting, Jenny came away more inspired than ever.

“I had no intention, inclination or knowledge of how to start a physio business but half an hour later I came away so excited that I WAS going to start a private practice.”

With a bank loan and the support of her family and friends, Jenny signed a contract and never looked back. She forecasted that it would take 6 months to build a client base to breakeven but exceeded all her expectations and broke even within the first week! 

“I printed a few thousand leaflets and asked friends and family to help me deliver in Saxilby and I then continued on my own to deliver to every house in Skellingthorpe, Sturton and Stow. Within the first hour of delivering the leaflets in Saxilby my phone was ringing with patients wanting appointments. My first week I broke even and have never looked back”.

Work was non-stop and Jenny worked late evenings and weekends, including home visits to keep up with demand. Her client base soon grew and the popularity of home visits meant she was travelling as far as Woodhall Spa, Market Rasen, Navenby and Retford.

Eight years later some new premises became available to rent which allowed Jenny to expand. This provided two additional treatment rooms and a full reception area and office space. The extra space also gave the clinic full shop front visibility, allowing the business literally to grow over night by almost 40%.

Because of increased demand, Jenny had to stop home visits to work in the clinic full time. This was until early 2019 when she was able hire Julia, another physio who purely does home visits for those who are unable to come to the clinic for health or mobility reasons. The clinic now also has a full time complementary therapist specialising in aromatherapy massage and a part time podiatrist both renting treatment space. There is also a counsellor/hypnotherapist on site but has struggled to return to face-to-face sessions due to COVID restrictions.

Jenny works incredibly hard and this is reflected in her loyal customer base who recommend family and friends on a regular basis. This can be new clients or existing patients that return with new conditions.

When the country went in to lockdown earlier this year, Jenny had no idea if her business would survive.

“Lockdown was terrifying as I had no idea if my business could survive. As a health professional we weren't forced to close but without childcare neither I nor Julia could work for many months.”

Jenny tried her best to help her clients and did some video consultations but felt it did not work for her or her clients.

“My patients often recommend me on the basis that I am more hands on with my assessments and treatments than some physiotherapists and video appointments took this option away. It was difficult to accurately and safely assess the patient's condition from a purely visual assessment and of course the range of treatment options being limited to just advice and exercises meant the quality of service I was able to offer was not the standard I aim to provide”.

The clinic was able to reopen in June once childcare was able to resume. Jenny quickly introduced strict policies and cleaning procedures including the use of full PPE. Work was still tough having to juggle home schooling and being a mum as well as being a part-time cake decorator! Within weeks, she was back to full capacity and inundated with requests for treatments.

“My business is still on a knife edge with the threat of having to isolate for 2 weeks if my children’s bubbles close, but thankfully I feel secure that my patients’ loyalty and trust in me over the years will mean they will come back even if I have to temporarily close.”

Just a few weeks after reopening in June, Jenny was able to purchase her current premises and finally call it her own. It was not a straightforward process and Jenny endured a difficult 18 months prior, having tried to purchase bigger premises in the Enterprise Park just outside Saxilby village with plans to expand.

Sadly, this wasn’t meant to be but Jenny is still planning to expand in the future with the hope of finding bigger premises in years to come in order to fulfil her aspiration of becoming a multi-therapy centre. This would include more treatment rooms that would provide more space for her current tenants, plus a talking therapy room for mental health practitioners to use for their services. Eventually she would even like a private GP on site.

“It may be little and I really need more space but it’s mine and I love it. I still dream of getting the bigger premises in order for the business to reach its full potential but for now I am thrilled to still have my busy thriving little business when so many other people are loosing theirs.”

Jenny is now in the process of rebranding after changing her business name to Saxilby Physiotherapy & Well-being. A little bit of renovation work is needed which will include installing air-conditioning and heating control as well as a lick of paint.

Soon Saxilby Physiotherapy & Well-being will be looking and functioning even better.

For more information about Saxilby Physiotherapy & Well-being, visit saxilbytherapy.co.uk.

This business is listed on West Lindsey District Council’s Think Local directory, which aims to encourage the residents of West Lindsey to support their local independent businesses. For more information or to register your business for FREE, visit www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/local

For the latest news on West Lindsey District Council visit our council news pages

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