Interview: Malcom Sloan, founder of Sportsinjuryfix.com
Tech Dragons recently caught up with Malcolm Sloan, who founded Sportsinjuryfix.com. It’s a free website that makes it easy for people to find the right treatment.
The ambitious entrepreneur wants to build his company into the Just Eat of the rehabilitation world and expand across Europe, Australia, America and Canada in the future.
TD: Why did you set the business up?
MS: I’ve wasted hours over the years trying to find a physio that understood my sport. I started to learn about other professions that could also help such as osteopaths, podiatrists and sports therapists and realised that it was as much about the person and what they specialised in as their profession.
I thought wouldn’t it be great to have them all in one place, explain the differences between the professions and let you search by expertise in your sport and/or injury? I bought a URL and found someone who helped me knock up a website to test out whether people thought the same.
More than a year on, the proof of concept website has really taken off and has come on leaps and bounds. I managed to bring 9000 open source listings into one place and of them 900 businesses comprising of over 1300 therapists have signed up listing what they specialise in.
The feedback from people has been incredible providing lots of help and guidance to shape the website and maximise its usefulness. It’s something they want and thus are keen to help shape it.
TD: What problem is it solving?
MS: People with sports injuries find it hard to find good treatment. In our survey at the National Running Show 2018, 55% said it was hard or very hard to find good sports injury treatment and just 22% said it was easy or very easy.
The trouble is, at present, the industry is full of silos with multiple professions all claiming to be the best. And people find it very confusing and expensive, with 74% having tried at least 2 or more providers till they found a good one. 36% are still looking.
Over 60% felt it was very important for their treatment provider to specialise in their sport and/or injury, and my website lets people search for treatment in this way, by how they want to and the feedback has been incredible.
TD: What’s been your biggest success, and biggest obstacle?
MS: The biggest obstacle has definitely been time. I’ve set this all up whiLE holding down a full-time, stressful job with a long commute and having two kids under three at home. It’s certainly forced me to become an expert at time management.
The biggest success has been seeing how the website has grown in such a relatively short space of time. From nothing to having a monthly column in Mens Running Magazine, being in the final of the upcoming Wales FSB Digital Business of the year awards, and having 12 therapists and two industry association chairman representing Sports Injury Fix at the National Running Show.
TD: Do you have any advice for budding entrepreneurs?
MS: Don’t dwell on an idea until it’s perfect and stop talking yourself out of it. Whatever the idea is then start talking to people, start getting feedback and use it that to turn it into something people really want.
Friends and family are a start, and social media gives you incredible reach and access to people you never used to be able to get near and perhaps more importantly, scale. This is free.
Even then you can knock up a landing page for a very small amount and seek to gauge interest in your idea meaning you validate it before you commit serious time and money.