How to run a business in lockdown: Rush, Founder of R&D Physio

How to run a business in lockdown is our series about how small business owners are leading their companies through the coronavirus crisis. To share your story, message us: hello@tide.coFacebook or Twitter.

Rush Savla, R&D Physio. Photo by Jai Shah
Rush Savla, Founder of R&D Physio

Tide member Rushabh Savla is a physiotherapist and founder of R&D Physio. You might have spotted Rush on the Tide website before, where he’s has given us tips on working from home safely and why back pain isn’t caused by your posture.

We caught up with Rush to ask how R&D Physio has adapted to work during lockdown and about their plans for 2020.

How have you adapted to run your business during lockdown

The R&D Physio business model and team culture means they’ve been able to keep operating during the UK coronavirus lockdown. Their clients have been overwhelmingly supportive of the company’s initiatives to continue their service:

“We had an incredible outpouring of support from clients. As we moved over into online physiotherapy, we communicated with them throughout and saw how much we meant to their wellbeing! It’s been a humbling experience.”

No longer travelling between appointments, Rush has had some extra time to himself so he’s stepped up his self-development and expanded his company’s online service. This has been more effective than he imagined:

“I’ve become an expert at prioritising and that’s helped us pivot even faster. Doing more online physio consultations has had the unexpected benefit that we can help clients in different countries. I’ve just finished a video consultation someone in Seattle, Washington.”

Rush works with a team of six others and he hasn’t furloughed or let go any of them:

“I’m a firm believer in people over profits. As Simon Sinek said, ‘It’s the time to count hearts and not heads.’ I’ve been impressed at how the team has adapted, stayed resilient and overcome challenges. We all decided to take half our salaries for the lockdown months to make sure our company thrives.”

Will you get any Government support?

Although the R&D Physio team work from business premises, the properties belong to other people so Rush’s company isn’t paying business rates – and this means his company isn’t eligible for a Government Small Business grant.

“We would have loved to get a grant but sadly we’re not eligible. But at the moment, we’re okay. We’re considering getting a Bounce Back Loan. The Government is doing a fantastic job of supporting small businesses but I believe the real effort has been by the banking sector. It takes courage to help so many people and Tide have been exceptional.”

Thanks Rush, we’re blushing!
If you’re interested in getting a Bounce Back Loan from Tide, register your interest.

What plans have you had to delay or change?

R&D Physio was having a record month helping people and generating revenue in March.

“We had moved to our state-of-the-art facilities – they include football pitches, a golf club and a gym. We were ready for a great summer.”

The team delayed a charity fundraiser and some workshops which Rush hopes might happen later this year instead. They’ve also put on hold their plans to expand.

Rush is closely following announcements from the Government and physiotherapy professional bodies but found he had to make decisions rather than wait for official guidance:

“Physiotherapy clinics are technically allowed to open now if we want to. But we took the proactive decision to stop meeting clients face-to-face because we believe it’s the responsible thing to do.

“What would be great to see from the Government is a phased plan that everyone can agree with and adhere to. That way, there won’t be a second wave of coronavirus in the UK.”

What have you discovered about yourself from working in isolation?

Rush is one of those people who is ‘always on’. So although he’s able to work from home, is he burning himself out? It turns out he’s had chance to reflect:

“As a leader, I’ve found an extra gear, more resilience than I knew I had, and I’ve reinforced my can-do attitude.

“Working in isolation is challenging but I’ve found it helpful to keep to a routine, to give ourselves daily goals and to set a focus for the week that’s linked to our yearly goals.”

And of course, we didn’t expect totally serious answers from Rush. He adds:

“Oh and my cooking skills have definitely improved! And I’ve also learned to slow down a little. But only a little…”

Are you feeling optimistic or pessimistic about the rest of 2020, and why?

Rush is hard-wired for optimism and helping people function at their best:

“If we want our businesses to survive, we have to remember what Charles Darwin said: ‘It isn’t the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It’s the one that’s most adaptable to change.’

“We’re healthcare practitioners who coach people out of pain and help them return to what they love doing. Optimism and positivity are at the heart of what we do. 2020 is just another challenging year. We’re confident that our country will bounce back and so will we. We’ll do everything with a smile and we’ll be fine!”

What are your tips to help other small businesses thrive in 2020?

To create a recovery plan, Rush set himself and his team the challenge of answering 12 questions. You can read them in this other post:
Create your 2020 recovery plan: 12 questions to ask yourself, by Tide member Rush

At Tide we’re proud to serve R&D Physio and we wish them every success. Meanwhile, if you’d like to get that pesky injury or niggle treated by Rush’s team of online physios, ping them an enquiry here on their website:

Have your say

How is the coronavirus affecting you and your small business? We’re keen to hear from you – get in touch with us on LinkedInFacebook or Twitter.

Suzanne Worthington

Suzanne Worthington

Senior Writer