20 years ago, Jones graduated from physical therapy school in Nigeria and has been working in the industry ever since. When he moved to Canada in 2005, he began working at a clinic in Fort McMurray before moving to Calgary a few years later. In 2012, he branched out on his own and started Stargate Physical Therapy Inc., which offers physical therapy, medical rehabilitation, and other specialty services.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS IN HIS BONES
As a new Canadian, Jones began working at a clinic so that he could gain experience and see how the system works, but his goal was always to set up his own practice. He traces his entrepreneurial spirit back to his mother, who owned a variety of businesses. Growing up, he always knew that he wanted to be on his own, creating jobs rather than looking for a job. It’s impressive to see that he has done just that! His business recently moved to a new, larger location, and employs four other people.
“I grew up with that mentality that I just really wanted to be on my own. Instead of looking for a job, I can create jobs and at the same time live my life.”
STRUGGLES AND TRIUMPHS
With all the success he’s had recently, Jones reflects on how he got to this point. Often, it is hard for new businesses to find financing to start, so like many business owners, Jones financed his practice with his personal savings. As he started running the business, he found himself having some challenges with cash flow and navigating everything involved in payroll and tax management. Things got to the point where he almost gave up, but in the end, he knew that wasn’t an option. He credits his resilience and desire to make the business a success as what kept him going through the tough times, enabling him to ultimately overcome his challenges.
Realizing the importance of adapting to the changing economic situation, Jones began networking, which led him to discover Business Link—which also helped him to keep going with the business. As he began redeveloping his business plan to approach banks for financing, we assisted him with some critical market research pieces. The information gathered helped him to understand some general industry trends and to benchmark himself against the industry, which led to his receiving that bank loan!
BUSINESS HEALTH TIPS
With everything he’s learned through his own business, Jones has some great tips to share with others who are hoping to venture into the area of business ownership, or who have already started:
There are many dimensions to starting a business, so seek help like education. Having the skill to run the business—i.e., physical therapy training—is not enough to make it a success. You also have to become well educated on how everything comes together for a successful business operation—that includes taxes, payroll, marketing, networking, and so on.
Develop resilience and a determination to make it work. There will always be ups and downs, and you need to be able to get through those tough times.
THE FUTURE IS HEALTHY
From the get-go, Jones planned to have multiple locations for his business throughout Calgary. As soon as his new, bigger location is up and running, he plans to get to work to set up a second location for Stargate Physical Therapy! Everything the business does is to benefit the people of Calgary, and we can’t wait to see that influence grow in the near future.
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