This is the time of year for reflection; reflecting on the successes and failures in clinical practice. What are the things that stand out, what have we observed in our clinic last year? It has like all years past, been an interesting one, made challenging by the political and economic landscape of the country. Last January we made the big decision to concentrate purely on the podiatry aspect of Compleet, so said goodbye to the aesthetic side of the business. It proved to be a great decision as more time and energy could be utilised to promote all things podiatry and look at what areas needed to be improved.

One area we identified which made us weak as a ‘complete’ foot care business, was we didn’t sell specialist footwear. Part of a podiatrist’s role is to recommend ‘good, functional’ footwear, but all we could do was make suggestions. There lay the issues. Our clinic is in a town with one shoe shop and many of our patients don’t drive. The other presenting headache is the distinct lack of footwear which caters for people with real foot related problems, hence our decision to source out the very best in podiatry appropriate brands to sell. A big gamble when the high street is struggling, and people only know us as a clinic, but we identified a genuine need.

It has proven to be a success, but also a steep learning curve. Timing, selection, cost and room to stock the shoe boxes! We have had to do so much jigging around. The waiting area has changed, and we have employed 2 new members to our team. We hope the initial outlay and running costs will be worth it in the long run.

Building up and establishing a specialist shoe business requires patience and dedicated staff. It has been a huge undertaking with a new online website being developed to back up the in-house retail sales. UK customer purchasing habits have considerably changed with the advent of online buying. Businesses need to be more proactive and reach a wider audience if they are to survive, but it certainly creates more work. I spend a large part of my time doing marketing. I need to get the word out there that Compleet sells ‘amazing, brilliant, super fitting, functional’ footwear.

I am in a very fortunate situation as I and my podiatry colleagues are one step ahead of your standard shoe retailer. We understand what a patient or customer requires for their particular needs. We are experts in musculoskeletal assessments and foot health. All our shoes have a unique selling point; fit, design or function. We currently sell Joya, Vionic, Cosy Feet and Fidelio. New for 2019 will be Birkenstock, Strive and On Foot.

Currently, our top selling shoe is the Swiss designed Joya; the ‘softest shoe in the World’. It is a podiatrist’s dream shoe to recommend patient’s as it offers the ultimate in functionality and comfort surpassing all other footwear. The cleverly designed multi-component sole corrects poor gait, relieves joint and muscle pain and literally puts the spring back in one’s step. A serious shoe for serious problems or simply for supreme effortless, comfortable walking.

Our foray into selling shoes does not mean we are taking our focus off our main podiatry business. We continue to be leaders in our field and are not your average, what is regarded in our industry ‘cut and come again’ podiatrists. We still are leaders in providing successful and effective results for the most difficult of verruca and fungal nail infections and offer fat pad volumising treatments for the sole of the foot.  We are one of only a handful of UK clinics which perform specialist foot cushioning dermal filler injections. Real competition for the Joyas!