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Lead the way with people management

Get started and build a healthy, happy team.

Top tips

  • Surround yourself with good mentors
  • Always have a dream and visualise the steps to acquiring that dream
  • Build a strong staff culture
Shane Buntman from Melbourne Sports ClinicShane Buntman from Melbourne Sports Clinic Practicing on a patientDr Jessica Fetterplace and Dr Shane Buntman, owners of Melbourne Osteopathy Sports Injury Centre

The business

Melbourne Osteopathy Sports Injury Centre began over ten years ago when the two owners, Dr Jessica Fetterplace and Dr Shane Buntman began working together in the UK.

Their clinical aspirations grew as they worked side by side in many osteopathic and sports injury clinics in England. On returning to Australia in 2010, they were determined to develop a clinic that applied the wealth of knowledge acquired to meet today's health needs. Taking inspiration from mentors and a dedication to professional development, has seen the owners transform the health and sports industry.

Located in the heart of Melbourne CBD, the aim was to provide the community with a Health Care Centre that would not only treat health issues but also provide education on how to live a healthier life. The Centre now boasts some incredible practitioners and instructors that provide Melbournians with a place they can turn to for all their health needs. The Centre offers osteopathy, pilates, massage, myotherapy, exercise rehabilitation, exercise physiology, running and cycling analysis - all delivered from the one versatile location.

The interview

What were some challenges you faced when starting up the business?

With any small business you have to be prepared to put in the hours, especially during the initial stages of development. I've had a lot of experience working relatively long hours, however, I think that some people are a little naïve about the commitment it takes to run, and more importantly, start up, a successful small business.

Becoming responsible not only for your own livelihood, but also your employees' can place added pressures that you are required to own. Choosing a group of motivated and passionate employees is one of the greatest challenges faced but if you can manage to surround yourself with professional co-workers then this can take away a lot of the stress and pressure. I see my employees as my greatest resource and asset to my business and I always strive to nurture their goals and aspirations.

What is the best thing about being a small business owner?

I would love to say the lifestyle and being able to take time off (laughs). But in reality, it is being surrounded by a great group of individuals and being able to build relationships with all of my staff. In some large organisations you can often be seen as a 'small fish in the sea', however, with my business the employees are more than simply co-workers. Mentoring up-and-coming osteopaths and watching people learn and grow gives me great pride and a feeling of achievement.

I enjoy all aspects of running the business and with such great staff I am now free to work more on developing the Centre, knowing that they are able to run the business so competently. This has led to some great initiatives being put in place and enabled us to move forward and expand as an organisation.

Best success moment?

Success can only be measured by the quality of the people around you and what others say about your business. Our best success moment occurs every single day, each time a client comes into our Centre, ready to improve their health and well-being, and leaves with a smile. It's not always easy, but knowing that we can help guide people to put in the work necessary to improve their lives is a very powerful feeling.

The commitment to our Centre that our clients demonstrate is the biggest reward that our staff and myself could ask for. They are our business and we strive to better ourselves in order to improve their lives. We aim to create a healthier community, by continual learning, development and education of our staff and clients.

The advice

Surround yourself with good mentors

I never once tried to tackle my business journey alone. At the end of the day I make my own decisions, however, I have found it very valuable to learn from others who have walked a similar path and were once in a similar situation. There is no right or wrong way, however there are definitely decisions that need to be calculated. Taking into consideration someone else's advice and learning from their successes or mistakes can be very valuable for your own business.

Always have a dream and visualise the steps to acquiring that dream (always start with the end in mind).

Like any business plan there needs to be an end goal or objective. For me this is a 5 year goal. Within this end goal I have 6-monthly milestones followed by smaller tasks which are delegated. I find that writing down these milestones and holding yourself accountable is very important. To be a successful small business owner I think you still need to adopt principles used by larger organisations and be able to see the broader scope and direction of your small business.

Build a strong staff culture

Human resources are the backbone of any organisation and I feel it is very important to build and maintain a strong culture among staff members. In my business, I ensure that we have regular staff meetings, so everyone can have their voice heard. We also regularly run team building days and up-skilling sessions to build strong relationships with one another.

It is essential to get all staff involved in projects (large or small) that work on building the business together and supporting the culture and vision of the brand. With highly competent and valued staff members I know that the services the business provides are of a premium quality.