A Sunshine Coast psychologist has shared her tips on succeeding in small business, especially during difficult times.
PsychHelp Director Dr Mary Gregory has been recognised as a Local Business Champion by Sunshine Coast Council and says the learnings from PsychHelp’s business journey have helped the business adapt and evolve.
“Change is always occurring, and you need to be ready to adapt to stay relevant,” Dr Gregory said.
“This means constantly updating policies, procedures, and the way you do business.
“Everyone involved in the business needs to be an expert problem solver, ready to take ownership of issues that come up and find solutions that work for everyone.”
Dr Gregory’s top tips for local businesses to remain successful include:
1. Embrace technology: There are so many exciting innovations occurring.
2. Relationships are key: Developing and maintaining relationships is what keeps a business going.
3. Create jobs that you would want to do: This makes it easy to recruit key staff. With technology the job market is changing, and people expect more flexibility from their workplace.
The COVID-19 pandemic and availability of Telehealth has resulted in more people accessing support and care for a range of mental health concerns.
PsychHelp is a Sunshine Coast-based psychology clinic and has expanded its services over the last four years to meet the growing demand for psychological support, particularly in rural and remote areas of Australia.
Dr Gregory believes this service is becoming a standard option for many types of health appointments because of an increased awareness of Telehealth.
“Psychology is particularly well suited to embrace Telehealth, and I think for many people this will increasingly become a more common means of engaging with their psychologist,” Dr Gregory said.
“Our goal is to create jobs locally by providing staff with a flexible work environment, while supporting people across Australia who are struggling with their mental health.”
In 2020 when the COVID lockdowns began, Telehealth Medicare items were extended to include people in cities and regional areas. In response, PsychHelp has grown to accommodate the increased need for online psychological support.
“Many people who previously felt unable to seek assistance have now been able to access support and care,” Dr Gregory said.
“Some of the reasons people contact PsychHelp are related to COVID, such as the additional stresses of lockdowns, social isolation, family members passing away in traumatic circumstances, and separation from relatives.
“Other people have found the ease of accessing Telehealth has allowed them to address long-standing mental health concerns. These people were unable to access support previously due to work commitments, lack of assistance with childcare, disabilities which made attending appointments difficult, or lack of access to local psychologists”.
The increased COVID-related referrals meant that PsychHelp had to rapidly adapt to the extra workload by being innovative and using technology to connect to other areas of Australia.
“We have increased the number of psychologists we work with across a national network. We have also reviewed our processes and systems to ensure we are operating as efficiently as possible while continuing to ensure we provide individualised care,” Dr Gregory said.
Sunshine Coast Council Economic Development Portfolio Councillor Terry Landsberg said PsychHelp was another great example of small businesses delivering important services for our region and beyond.
“I’d like to congratulate Dr Gregory and her team on their work to provide accessible mental health support at a time when it’s needed most.
“Council also recognises how important small businesses are to our local economy, which is why we developed the Local Business Champions series as part of Council’s Economic Resurgence Plan,” Cr Landsberg said.
Local Business Champions: Sharing Stories highlights the success and capability of our local business community.
The series acknowledges local business efforts, whether it’s a change in their business models to grow current or new business; new business ideas to recover from COVID; or an inspiring story from a local business owner.
Are you a Local Business Champion or do you know of someone who is? Get involved and share the stories of your Local Business Champions via social media using the hashtag #localbusinesschampions
Read more Local Business Champion stories.