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Case studies | Mar 27

Diversifying services to create a sustainable business model

Case studies | Mar 27

It has taken David Bowmaker ten years to reach full capacity at his rehabilitation clinic Life Fit Wellness. He has done this by diversifying the clinic’s services and expanding its reach through digitalisation

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David Bowmaker has Scottish blood flowing through his veins. He was raised and educated in and around the Edinburgh area. But after completing his undergraduate degree in Physiotherapy at Queen Margret University, Edinburgh, David travelled south of the border to pursue a MSc in Sport Science at Loughborough and then to the other side of the world to study for a Masters in Physiotherapy at the University of South Australia.

David graduated in 2001, but while studying managed to secure a posting at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. It was in this 12-month window that David was initiated in one of the highest levels of sport in the world. Australia has a long and deep relationship with sport which is intertwined with many of its social institutions. This has led to a highly competitive and progressive approach to sports therapy. David knew that it was this approach to treatment that he wanted to bring back to Scotland.

David returned to Edinburgh in the early 00s and quickly established himself as one of the top therapists in Scotland, applying his knowledge and experience at the Commonwealth Games, Winter Olympics, and eventually securing a lead role with the sportscotland institute of sport for nine years.  

Throughout his time within British system of sports therapy, David couldn’t shake the feeling that the approach was too passive, he felt there was a there was a gap in the market for his approach to physical therapy. And in 2011, David decided to take the plunge and start a practice of his own called Life Fit Wellness in neighbouring Falkirk.

‘We were extremely fortunate with the site. I was contacted by a property developer who was offered us our own custom space. We designed it for functionality and our approach to therapy. The building is shaped almost like a circle and the rooms are seamless as the patients go through the various stages of their treatment.’

David admits the move was risky for two reasons: firstly, they didn’t have the client base to warrant such a large space; and secondly, therapy isn’t like a PlayStation, it doesn’t fly off the shelf. The customer base builds up slowly over time through word of mouth and referrals. But the opportunity was too good to turn down due to a gap in the market and in July 2011, they signed the deal and opened the doors.

It has taken David and his team ten years to reach capacity, but to do so he has had to diversify his offerings and make a proposition, one that relies on face-to-face treatment, inclusive for people all over the UK through the digitalisation of his product.


From Life Fit Wellness’s inception, David has had an eye on a far broader offering than most physiotherapists. He felt the advanced techniques he had learnt in professional sport over the years needed to be translated to the private sector. This includes a strong focus on pelvic health, something David’s wife specialises in.

‘I’ve built relationships with dozens of likeminded physios over the years. It was important to get them into the business when we started. Over time, that just naturally led to a broader offering as they all had their own specialisms. Alongside physiotherapy, we also have the equipment in place to offer shockwave therapy, ultrasounds, steroid injections, among others. Our next investment is a machine that records power output so we can track our client’s progress.’


Today, Life Fit Wellness has a broad range of services for those suffering from muscular or skeletal pain. But as a business based in Falkirk, a medium-sized town in the south of the country, David wanted to expand his services beyond its immediate borders. This is where digitalisation and the Help the Grow: Management Course came in.

‘The Help to Grow: Management Course has been instrumental in digitalising the business. We have launched an on-demand service and started creating digital packs for our clients. This means that we can now work with more clients who live further afield because we only need to do face-to-face visits once a month, increasing our reach.’

David acknowledges that ‘every man and his dog has an on-demand service these days’, but does not wish to fully change his business model. He says that all the data points towards assisted treatment being the most effective as people don’t exercise on their own. Instead, David is acknowledging the swing of the pendulum, especially since Covid-19, that some form of digital offering is now expected and there is an advantage to his business in offering this.

Life Fit Wellness is now one of the premier clinics for physiotherapy in Scotland. The proposition has been refined and tailored through years of experience in the industry. This offering has been emboldened and expanded by a diverse staff who bring in various specialities. But what has led David to excel is making his product accessible, despite it relying on face-to-face treatment.

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