Nikki Macphee runs a speech therapy service from Crieff.
How and why did you start in business?
When we moved from the west coast of Scotland to Crieff in early 2019, it presented the ideal opportunity to start afresh. I wanted more flexibility and control in my work and to focus more on personalised bespoke speech therapy.
How did you get to where you are today?
My husband had run his own business when we lived in Fort William so I had some familiarity with what it means to be a business owner. I spoke to other speech therapists in private practice and took advice from our professional body, the Association of Independent Speech and Language Therapists. Initially, I started with one client who wanted to keep working with me from Fort William and it built from there.
Who has helped you along the way?
I’ve had great support from family and friends, as well as from the parents of previous NHS clients who wanted me to be able to deliver the services they wanted themselves which being in private practice allowed me to do.
What was your biggest mistake?
I wish I had done it sooner!
What is your greatest achievement to date?
I’ve gone back into further education to revisit and enhance my theoretical knowledge, which allows me to continually improve and expand the support I can offer. What is hugely rewarding is seeing the impact that speech therapy has on the lives of my clients, how their lives change and improve.
How has coronavirus impacted your business?
The work I deliver is all done through face to face contact and that has obviously had to stop. I’ve had to adapt to a new way of working and that’s where GrowBiz has been so crucial to helping me during the pandemic. They’ve been an amazing support in providing digital training so I could quickly upskill and take my business online.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
I had a very good reputation in the Highlands for my clinical skills and I want to build the same reputation across Perthshire. Because I covered such a large and remote geographical area, it allows you to build up really useful skills for running your own business in terms of being flexible and resilient and I want to use these transferable skills to build a strong private practice for clients in Perthshire.
Do you want to recruit in the future?
I may need administrative support at some point further in my business journey but from a clinical perspective, I want keep things manageable and focussed on supporting teenagers and adolescents with language and processing disorders as that’s my specialised area.
What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
Trying to switch off! I’m always thinking and planning clinical sessions as well as juggling the mechanics of running a business.
Any advice to wannabe entrepreneurs?
Have some savings behind you so you can invest in the business to get it going. And find a mentor so you have someone whom you can turn to for advice and support. Having someone who understands what it means to start and run a business means you have a sounding board for bouncing ideas off, which is so important.