Mum shares tips behind business success while raising young family

By 1news.co.nz

Mum-of-two Nina Eghani breaks down how she launched her business, Wyld Chiropractic. (Source: Supplied)

What does it take to turn an idea into a successful business? Fiona Connor chats to business owners about the challenges and the successes.

Doctor of Chiropractic Nina Eghani launched her wellness and health business with her husband Tom in 2020. Within three years, the couple opened a second location, offering chiropractic services as well as acupuncture, massages and naturopathy.

Here she explains what it took to get off the ground, how they expanded and what has helped to keep moving forward.

Tell me about how you decided on your career?

I grew up with both my parents working in the hospital, so I always was quite inspired by the body and health. When I was at high school, I started getting quite intense pain in my back, and my mum took me to a chiropractor who was a close family friend. After I got adjusted, I felt a sudden release and felt I guess ‘awake’ which is what inspired me to become a chiropractor myself.

The main thing that appealed to me was helping people with just my hands and not having to use medication. At the time, I was inspired by the fact that by being a chiropractor, you can help people in any part of the world. All that was needed was my skill and a table.

How far into your career did you decide you wanted to have your own space?

I moved to Wellington after graduating and spent eight months there. Even during studies, I spent at least a month away a year, going to different parts of places like Africa and South America. So after eight months, I decided I wanted to head to the other side of the world and ended up practising for half a year in Spain and then settled in London for seven years. During my time there and seeing how different practices ran their clinics throughout Europe, it became very apparent to me that starting my own practice and putting my vision of what I thought could be an amazing space could be and how best I could really serve the community. I have been planning it ever since.

When did you decide to launch the business, and what did it take to get it off the ground?

As I went through the motions of making my business plan, I realised that starting a business in London wasn’t where I wanted to be and, in fact, wanted to come home to Auckland, my home city. In 2020 I was making serious plans as to what and where I wanted to create, but it ended up being Covid that gave me the final push. My husband Tom and I left the UK at the outbreak of Covid, two weeks after, proving to be quite a mission logistically. Quarantine and lockdown had a silver lining in that it gave us lots of time to plan the logistics. So three months later, after finding our location, we started WYLD.

Wyld Chiropractic operates out of two spaces, one in Ponsonby and one in New Market.
Wyld Chiropractic operates out of two spaces, one in Ponsonby and one in New Market. (Source: Supplied)

What funds did you have to start your business?

Over the last few years of my time in London, I was working three jobs with the goal of saving for my own business. By the time we started, I managed to save a runway of around £70,000 ($145,000). This was to pay for equipment, lease, and deposit, and the kind of fit-out we wanted.

What work went into opening the doors?

Probably 95% more work than I thought. Having a business and being passionate to make sure it’s the best that you can do for the community, I think, is much more time-consuming than the kids we’ve had in the last two years. The first and most difficult step was finding a space that was most suitable for our vision. We had a very clear picture of what we wanted the space to feel like and be.

Over what timeframe did you expand, and how did you achieve that?

We opened our doors in Ponsonby in April 2020 with just me working as a Chiropractor and Tom, who is co-director of WYLD (my husband). We now have four chiropractors within the Ponsonby team, four massage therapists, two naturopaths and two acupuncturists, along with five front-of-house staff. We opened in Newmarket in January 2023, almost three years later and after we’d welcomed our second born, Noémie. The Newmarket premises has two chiropractors, three massage therapists and two naturopaths.

If I was to give advice in growing a business, whether in terms of staff or locations, I would say that the team you build is everything. When you are the sole worker, it’s very difficult for the mission to be diluted as it’s just you. But as you bring in more voices and ideas, it’s so important to find people who believe in the same mission. We’ve been really lucky to find and work with some really incredible people who not only ran with our vision but expanded it.

How hard is it to work out the cost of your services, and did you approach this?

We invested tonnes into both spaces to make sure that not only were the services offered at a premium level but that the space felt amazing to be in. I think design and how a person feels come hand in hand, so we wanted to make sure it was unlike any other healthcare facility we had been to. Every bit of furniture and colour we incorporate into our brand and type is to represent our healing philosophy.

In saying this we set the price as to what we feel is representative of the service offered. If clients don’t see the value in the services offered then cost always becomes an issue. It needs to be reflective of the service of the value we give to our clients and the community. Ultimately the client will decide what is fair.

The couple run their business alongside raising their young kids.
The couple run their business alongside raising their young kids.

How do you balance drawing a salary, paying staff and offering a service at a reasonable rate and keep the business moving forward?

It’s definitely difficult, I’m not going to lie. We always said we didn’t want to be like other businesses that just run and never update anything and care too much about taking money out to grow. So that comes with its hardships at times, we put most of what we make back into the business, whether its design, marketing, new staff or new facilities. We really want WYLD to be the best possible experience that we can realise.

I think a good business needs to always have those things mentioned in balance. There’s always waves being a business owner, and you just have to learn to ride it and always be ahead of the game so that you don’t reach those low points. Being proactive and taking action is always needed to make sure things are balanced. Without that time, energy and focus spent on it it can be easily noticed. We’re always looking for ways to push our mission and vision to new unexplored places, we spent a lot of energy and money on our new Hot & Cold contrast therapy rooms in WYLD Newmarket so we hope this becomes another valuable offering for our clients and community.

What’s been some of the biggest challenges in your business, and how do you overcome them?

For Tom and I as we are husband and wife and also the owners and directors of WYLD it can be quite a challenge to keep things balanced within our lives. WYLD is not just a business to us but it’s been a collaborative process for both of us coming together with our strengths and weaknesses. Tom’s background is in film and TV, he is super creative and his passion has always been telling stories. I also run a design business so have always been inspired by design in all things. The biggest challenge is always making sure we are proud of what we have made and that we feel we are always providing premium care and serving the community to the best of our ability. Also making sure you have a team that has the same ethos is a massive factor, as having the same vision is a key to a successful business and really helping people.

What are some of the complexities of being a business owner in New Zealand?

I think running a small business has difficulties that are more or less universal, marketing, payroll, service. These are a concern anywhere. I do think that the main difficulty of business in general is managing risk. Taking risks is really the bread and butter of being successful in business but it’s also the everpresent factor that can end everything. It’s something Tom and I think about a lot as our business has grown, we now employ a lot more people, so we bear a responsibility to make sure the business is both lucrative and stable so they can live their lives happily and stress free. Now that our family at home has expanded just makes that fact more real. Eight months after we opened WYLD Ponsonby I was pregnant with Florence and when we opened WYLD Newmarket Noemie was 4 months old. So the responsibility of the business supporting us and everyone who works here is something we take very seriously.

New Zealand in some ways was the perfect place for us to start, overall we’ve found that people are invested in their health. Everyone is active and wants to enjoy this wonderful country. There was also the advantage of Tom bringing an English perspective to some things.

Best piece of business advice you were told that you’d like to share with others?

Be inspired by what you do. Start a business that brings all the things that excite you in life together so things never get boring. If you are not willing to put every ounce of your energy and focus into it, then don’t do it. Also, starting a business with your partner I would say is a really special thing. Having the same goals and focus and combining your weaknesses and strengths in a collaborative setting is quite fulfilling and in many ways has made our marriage stronger. Also helps when you have two young kids

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

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