If there was ever any truth in the adage that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, Sharrie Carter has definitely disproven it.
The exercise physiologist and Director of Physical Solutions, a growing allied health business in Perth’s northern suburbs, turned her entire career around at the time many people start fantasising about early retirement. At 45, she threw in her lifelong bank job and enrolled at university.
After completing a double degree in sports science and psychology at ECU, Carter was snapped up by Physical Solutions and recently opened the business’s second practice in Clarkson (the first is in Joondalup).
“When I came on board, it was on the agreement that we’d open at Clarkson – the area is booming and the Joondalup practice has really proven itself, so it’s a good progression,” says Carter, who also signed on last year as a Director – one of three. “We’re becoming well regarded for being very good at what we do. We get a lot of referrals from surgeons, often to undertake work that prevents surgery, not just for rehabilitation after the fact.
“I do keep my hand in with the treatment side of things, but running two practices is certainly a full-time job.”
Carter’s top tips for growing a small business
– Listen to your staff. If you treat them well, they’ll reward you. And if you’re clever enough to employ the right people, you’ll have them forever.
– Become involved in the community. Join business community networks, engage with people and make a difference.
– Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
– Always have someone to bounce off ideas on. It’s dangerous to work in isolation. Ideas always sound better or worse when you say them out loud to someone else.
– Don’t assume that success begets success. Just because one business is going gung-ho doesn’t mean that your next one automatically will. You need to do your research beforehand and market yourself properly. Never assume that just because you’re good at what you do, everyone else knows that. Marketing is vital.