A desire to share ideas with other physiotherapists is at the root of Nick Lagos' sustained success.
Career path: Core Physio’s Nick Lagos
Nick Lagos and his wife Nicole Brammy – both physiotherapists – started out with joint ownership of just one practice, which was also co-owned by Nicole’s sister.
Core Physio and Pilates‘ CBD practice is at Level 3, 55 Gawler Place, Adelaide and there are 11 other Core locations across South Australia’s suburbs.
Now, the couple head the Core Physio and Pilates network of twelve businesses, with a thirteenth soon to open. The growth, though, is not like that of a regular business venture.
“We’ve been growing since 1993, and it hasn’t been a meteoric rise,” says Nick, laughing. “But the idea has been to just build this group and network and then sort of get back to clinical practice myself.”
While Nick and Nicole – who has stepped back from the business a little since the couple had their third child – might own the Core name, they don’t actually own all the businesses that operate under it. Instead, individual practices are owned by the physiotherapists who run them, and the network acts as a sort of support mechanism.
“The network has really allowed us to be a group and share ideas,” says Nick. “You win in some cost savings and bulk buying and stuff like that but I think the network is really more about being part of a team.”
It’s a unique model – sort of like an IGA group for physios – and one that grew from Nick’s genuine desire to share his methodology around patient care.
“Back when we started, to have an appointment with someone for half an hour, or for that person to only see you as their physio and not four other people from the practice at the same time – that was a really unique thing,” he says.
“Now, it runs like a network of individuals who all have the same philosophy about working. We are working with people who had the right ideas, had the right attitudes about how they wanted to deal with clients.
“I don’t feel like it’s a big business – it’s lots of little businesses that work together to provide their communities with great things and the fact that we do it together means we can do it better.”
Bringing Core into the city by opening a central practice about six years ago was Nick’s response to how he saw Adelaide evolving.
“We just saw the CBD changing – more people are coming back to town and I think people are working here and living here. It’s evolving, and people want that lifestyle as well,” he says.
“That’s why we put our office on South Terrace as well – because people love working there and it would be sad to move from there out of town. We have about six people working there.”
His genuine commitment to Adelaide (“I would never live anywhere else,” he says) and his patients has kept the Core brand growing for Nick, and it’s the appearance of businesses like his in the city centre that help our population density grow too.