TDA Case Study: Massage, Physiotherapy And Wellbeing

The Project

Sarah Tompkin, a fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist with twenty years of experience working in the physiotherapy and massage industry, had a dream of launching her own business focusing on massage, physiotherapy, and wellbeing.

After graduating from the University of Worcester with a physiotherapy degree, Sarah worked for the NHS and private practices in the fields of orthopaedics, neurology, women’s health, and more. Having gained extensive experience over the twenty years, Sarah was ready to realise her dream and start her own business.

The Challenge

Sarah had a clear idea of how her clinic should look and feel. When asked about her motivation to start her own business, Sarah said:

“My reason to go self-employed was because I wanted to be able to give the time to my clients that they needed. I didn’t want to have to rush them – or my treatment – in order to fit within given timeslots that I had to work to, which can happen in other private practices and within the NHS.

“I wanted to be able to treat my clients more holistically, instead of just treating one area of the body. I also wanted to give my clients flexibility, and being self-employed will enable me to do all these things on a daily basis.”       

But despite her ambition to open her own clinic, Sarah lacked any real experience of setting up and running a business. Looking for guidance, she approached our Business Advisors.

The Solution

At Enterprise South West (ESW) – a wholly-owned subsidiary and part of TDA Group – we offer a wrap-around business support service for start-ups and established businesses of any size. Our advisors offer friendly and impartial advice and support within both a 1-2-1 and a group environment.

After she discovered ESW online, Sarah made an appointment with Business Advisor, Kim Thornton.

Kim went through the start-up loan process and explained how to apply for funding, as well as how to go about registering a new business.

Kim also supported Sarah when she was writing her business plan and made sure to always be available to answer questions and give words of encouragement. Remaining on-hand via Zoom, telephone, and email from the very first meeting up until the clinic opened, Kim also provided advice on marketing, business promotion, and the right kind of therapist business software to use.

The Results

In May 2021, Sarah realised her dream and opened the doors to her clinic – Torbay Massage, Physiotherapy and Wellbeing, located on Preston Down Road in Paignton. The first few months have been a real success and Sarah has welcomed both new and returning clients.

Sarah said: “I can’t thank Kim enough for all the guidance and support she gave me. She gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams and quit secure paid employment.

“It was great to have an experienced advisor to guide me through all the stages of starting a new business and to provide me with the encouragement I needed. I would fully recommend that anyone thinking of starting up their own business should approach one of the Business Advisors
at ESW”.

Her Business Advisor, Kim Thornton, added: “With Sarah’s experience and expertise in her career, her business choice was an obvious one. She has worked incredibly hard in getting all the foundations in place alongside working in her paid employment. It has been a pleasure supporting Sarah through her journey and I am delighted that she has launched successfully”.

For more information about Torbay Massage, Physiotherapy and Wellbeing visit:, email or find them on Facebook using the tag.

About TDA

Enabled by the European Regional Development Fund – Enterprise Coaching Project, TDA supported Sarah Tompkin through the early stages of business start-up.

TDA provides fully-funded business support to start-up businesses in Torbay through 1-2-1 sessions and workshops. To find out more about the support available, contact or call 07824 889100


You can find further information on setting up your own business, and the available business support, at: and

Start up Torbay

A fully-funded business support programme, designed specifically for businesses in Torquay, Brixham, and Paignton, whether you’re at concept stage or already up and running.

Through a series of collaborative workshops and 1:1 sessions, you will learn all you need to get to grips with turning your idea into a reality.

Spread across five workshop sessions, the programme will cover the basics of starting a business; including business planning, marketing, financial planning, and promotion.

Who Are We?

We are a local, friendly team of Business Advisors, with a passion for helping businesses.

We have helped hundreds of people across the South-West unlock their potential to become self-employed; aiding budding entrepreneurs to start their own business and not look back.

This service is available free of charge to all Torbay residents from all backgrounds, with the aim of harnessing local entrepreneurial talent. This project is fully-funded by Torbay Council and the European Regional Development Fund, and delivered by TDA.

Sign up FREE today on 07824 889100

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