Occupational Therapists Take a Positive Step

Kate Coghlan and Tamala RansonKate Coghlan and Tamala Ranson

When Kate Coghlan and Tamala Ranson left their hospital-based occupational therapy jobs early in 2010, it was to fulfil a long-held ambition to create a business of their own, providing care and rehabilitation for people in the comfort of their own homes.

Combining 25 years clinical experience in acute care, rehabilitation, disability, function, aged care and community care, Kate and Tamala have now launched “Positive Step” which brings occupational therapy to the client.

“We wanted the opportunity to run a successful business and make our own decisions,” Kate said.

“We saw a gap in the market for an occupational therapy service that was responsive and able to meet the needs of clients who want to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. Our aim is to provide treatment and rehabilitation to help achieve that.

Positive Step is registered with health funds to provide eligible clients with refunds, and receives referrals through public and private hospitals, general practitioners and clients’ families, but like most businesses, Kate and Tamala are looking to expand their client base.

“We are now increasing our marketing efforts to focus specifically on general practitioners so they are aware of our service and how useful it is for people who may be experiencing difficulty with their everyday activities,” Kate said.

Kate and Tamala recognised their need to know all about running the business, so cashflow, bookkeeping and taxation were high on the list.

“The workshops held at the Small Business Development Corporation were
absolutely fabulous,” Kate said.

“We did four or five of them in the early months and that answered all our questions about business planning and the early steps of getting started.

According to Kate, it has been very helpful being in business with someone else.

“It’s really good having someone to talk to about the business, how it’s going and where it’s going. We are lucky in that we share similar values and we support each other well.

Kate’s advice for others is to get the groundwork right from the beginning, and learn from those who know.

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