Louise McNair, McNair Care Equine Therapy
Broadmeadows VIC | December 2018
What is your business? How long has the business been operating?
Equine massage therapy. I’ve been operating for a few years. Equine therapy is an expensive therapy for horse owners. It is too expensive for many. Throughout the years I have been riding I have seen horses breakdown and it is often because the owners can’t afford the therapy. I am in an area where there a many semi-professional riders and clubs and I saw an opportunity to open up this business to these riders at a more affordable rate.
What were you doing before you made contact with Many Rivers? What was your previous work experience?
I was nursing up until mid-last year. Nursing wasn’t for me and I got an opportunity to ride in Melbourne. When I moved to Melbourne my qualifications didn’t apply in Victoria, so I had to work out what I wanted to do. In a new state and not knowing anyone, I wanted to focus on what I loved and so decided to pursue a career with horses.
Who referred you to Many Rivers? When?
My mum utilised a NEIS program a long time ago and she suggested it. I was referred through NEIS when I discovered I needed help running a business. I have never done this before so needed support and advice.
Why did you want to go into business?
I didn’t want to work for someone else, I wanted to be my own boss. Eventually I want to open up my own range of massage products. Help horses become more comfortable under saddle.
What services did you receive from Many Rivers? How did it help?
I really didn’t know how to gain any finance, I didn’t know how to go about that. I didn’t have any backing. Many Rivers helped me work out what was going to work and what wasn’t. They helped me with my business plan and how to run a business. I learned about business in school, but it isn’t very practical. You have no idea about the reality of it. You don’t know things like when you start a business it could take 3 to 5 years before you start turning a profit and the cost of setting up. Many Rivers made me think of these things. I would have had no idea if I had to do this on my own. I wouldn’t know what to do.
What did you find the most useful about the assistance from Many Rivers?
Gina has been great. She is especially helpful when I am unsure around a decision I need to make. Especially around spending money. It is good to flesh these decisions out with her. Having a mentor has been the greatest help. Someone you can call on. We meet up fortnightly and we go over things and set me up for the next fortnight keeping me on track.
Did you get a loan from MR? How did you use the loan?
Yes. Because I am a mobile service, I mostly used the loan to repair my car and upgrade a few things. I couldn’t start my business without a car.
What has been the biggest challenge to date?
I am studying equine therapy at the moment and whilst I am doing my course I can’t charge for my services. I am almost finished my course and then I can start charging my clients.
What has been the biggest success to date?
Just being able to say I’m starting my own business. I’m only 21 and I don’t know many people my age who are making this kind of commitment. Starting my own business allows me to do what I love. If you said to me 2 years ago that I was going to start a business I would have thought you were mad.
What has been the biggest change for you/your family since you started your business?
I am taking on a big challenge. It is a big move for me but things that would have held me back before don’t hold me back anymore. I used to wonder if I was good enough and I had a lot of self-doubt. I’m more confident now and believe that I can turn any situation around. Now I have someone backing me I feel more confident. Without Many Rivers, I would have no support or structure for me and my business.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
I really want to be Australia’s top supplier of remedial equine products and services.