As Certified Orthotists and Pedorthists, we are trained in a mix of academic subjects, including anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, and material science. You could likely add a few others pertaining to more specific areas of our work but certainly none of them would be found in a Bachelor of Commerce program.
As professionals with no formal business training, we are forced to learn on the fly through new experiences. However, we’ve learned that if you take advantage of readily available programs you will find more than enough support along the way. In early 2013, we contacted the CBaSE program at the Univeristy of Guelph through the College of Business and Economics (CBE) for some assistance. The Centre for Business and Student Entrepreneurship (CBaSE) offers the opportunity for businesses to describe a challenge or problem for a student or group of students to investigate. In return for their work, the students will receive academic credit. It is the sort of experiential learning that universities have been criticized for not having enough of, but CBE at Guelph has embraced.
In the fall semester of 2013, Applied Biomechanics partnered with the CBaSE program and asked the students to come up with strategies to find ways of increasing our patient base. Their most significant recommendation was a ‘brand refresh’. We have been in business for 20 years and our brand has developed organically. It has developed into one that values a patient centric ideology and community driven partnerships, but we have never explicitly made branding decisions based on this. The students suggested the place to start would be with a new logo and to re-energize our web presence by incorporating social media – including this blog. In addition to this, they had suggested we get in contact with Intrigue Media for some promotional efforts. This has culminated in the production of this video aimed to “tell our story, through our patients’ stories”.
You can now find us on Twitter and Facebook, and of course on our newly designed website. We hope that the CBaSE project was as valuable and rewarding for the students as it was for us, and we hope that they recognize the tangible impact that it has had on our business. Right now though, now we need to get back to being Orthotists and Pedorthists because in the end that’s what we do best.