Welcome to the Talk Local Podcast: a weekly chat with business owners in Victoria, Vancouver, and throughout British Columbia to learn what they’re doing to create stronger connections with local customers.

This week’s episode is sponsored by Time2getonline.com and hosted by Alan Ford. 

Opening a business during COVID-19 with Jana Kolankiewiczova of Active Therapy, a multidisciplinary health clinic based in Lonsdale, North Vancouver, is what we dug into for this week’s iteration of the Talk Local Podcast.

How Active Therapy Came to Be

Having opened its doors shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic directly hit Canada in March 2020, Jana says that the timing couldn’t have been worse. “We incorporated the company in January 2020,” she reminisces. “We started renovating our space, started setting up our clinic… and then the pandemic hit. 

“We had to shut down,” she says. “Everything was closed. But, as soon as we were able, we started treating patients in our new clinic beginning in mid-June.”

The length of that closure isn’t lost on Jana: now offering a blend of holistic services such as acupuncture, TCM, clinic counselling, cold laser, homeopathy, naturopathic medicine, osteopathy, registered massage therapy, and structural integration, Active Therapy went through a significant stretch of time where they couldn’t put their clinic to use due to COVID-19 regulations.

Active Therapy’s Challenges

This was particularly difficult for Jana’s business partner and spouse, Michal. Having established himself as a trusted osteopath before making the move to Canada, Michal hoped that opening Active Therapy as an independent clinic would give him and his team of practitioners room to grow financially.

When registering their business here in British Columbia, Jana remarks on how surprisingly straightforward it was… but says that there are many other things she wished they had known before opening Active Therapy’s doors. “We should have incorporated much earlier,” she says. “Right now, we are in a position where we are not eligible for any grants from the government. It’s a roadblock because we aren’t getting any financial help, so if we could have incorporated sooner, that would have definitely helped us and would help other businesses like ours who are thinking of opening.”

How Jana and Michal Have Reeled In Customers and Made the Best of Their Unique Situation

Despite their many hurdles, however, the Active Therapy team has found effective ways to communicate with customers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. These include:

  • Shifting to the digital space and kickstarting a strong online presence
  • Emphasizing the importance of a well-designed, functional website
  • Opting for virtual treatments when possible
  • Continuing to maintain a positive mindset

Active Therapy currently hosts eight practitioners in order to offer the wide array of services that they do. “We have it so that Active Therapy is a one-stop-shop for our patients,” Jana explains. “We have caring practitioners who love what they do and sincerely want to help. That personal approach is what sets us apart from other clinics.”

Tune in for more tidbits from local business owners just like you by subscribing to the Talk Local Podcast today!