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Starting from the bottom, now we are here!

Wondering why we created Bia formations? Learn about our process of creating the company 5 years ago!

We remember the years 2015 and 2016: the creation of Bia Formations!

2015 – We Simmer the Idea

Melody, Anne-Sophie and I – Amélie – are 3 physiotherapists who graduated from Laval University in Quebec City in 2015.

Anne-Sophie completed her master’s degree in the entrepreneurial profile. Amélie and Melody completed their masters in research with a focus on shoulder pain and lower back pain.

We are 3 friends – we’ve been friends for a very long time – who have common passions: physical activity, learning, innovation, and organizing events. These are the passions that brought us together.

One thing is certain, we have always wanted to do better, and do it differently.

The creation and organization of the Maîtrise ton Avenir event in 2015 – a networking evening between graduates and employers in the region – was a hallmark of our passion for entrepreneurship and event management.

Then came THE question: why not start our own business that will combine physical activity, learning, innovation, and event management?

Simple like that!

2016 – Our BEGINNINGS in entrepreneurship!

There are so many steps to think about! Completely unknown stages… May I remind you that we are physiotherapists? We don’t know ANYTHING about management! We THINK that we know how to create and manage a business because we have managed a lot of events during college but – let’s face it – we DON’T KNOW MUCH! NADA.

What will be the name? What is our logo? How to make a website? What’s an SEO? What’s the REQ? What is our status as a company, a general partnership? An INC?

The only thing we know is that we want to get into continuing education, and that our training is multidisciplinary. We firmly believe that each professional has a lot to learn from other professionals in order to collectively promote and develop all health professions!

It’s good to have the idea, but to start a business we really needed two things: a business name and money!

As for the name, we decided to choose Bia among the proposals received. Did you know that at first, we wanted to call it JYO? Phew, we made the right choice! In fact, we had a crush on “Bia”. It’s short, it sounds feminine, it’s 3 letters and there are 3 of us, and – above all – Bia is a Greek goddess personifying Strength and Bravery! The name reminds us of excellence and rigorous work, with a touch of madness and pleasure… just like us! We’re crazy about it… and now we’re off!

As for money now, in reality… we didn’t have any! So we took part in several contests, and won about 10,000$ in grant money! We were so excited!… but still far from having sufficient funds to start a business! However, we had to move forward anyway, so we open an account and a margin and we go for it!!! The first step after the market analysis and our business plan was to have more money, and for that we absolutely had to make pre-sales, BUT for that we needed a transactional website… OUCH! that costs 10,000$… we already had no more money, BUT we now have a WEBSITE!

What’s next? We position ourselves on our mission, our vision, our values. We spend on marketing, on veeeeery basic branding. We officially incorporate on June 2, 2016!

We create our first indoor training – Yoga and Weightlifting – in the fall of 2016 to build the very beginning of our community of health and sports professionals. 2016 is something new, and only new! It’s exciting and stressful at the same time.

Finally, we end the year by building our continuing education calendar… to officially start our operations in January 2017!

Thank you to Manon Lortie, market analyst – our first mentor – for guiding us through these first steps.

2017 – Bia Formations Operations 

Our first year of operations!

We have created and operated 25 indoor training courses in the cities of Quebec, Montreal, and Sherbrooke.

We have created 2 online training courses.

We organized Maîtrise ton Avenir, a networking event between graduates in rehabilitation (occupational therapy and physiotherapy) and employers in Quebec in 2 universities in Quebec.

And we hired our first part-time employee, Catherine!

We loved this year, because the indoor training allowed us to meet, discuss, and collect all the comments from health and sports professionals. Talking to you directly was very instructive: we were able to understand what you needed in terms of continuing education!

2017 was a beautiful and breathtaking year. We were young women who really took a leap into the void (Amélie and Anne-Sophie were 27, Melody was 26).

Did you know that for each training we had to transport all our equipment in our small cars? Did you know that we stored everything in our apartment basement, a bit at Melody’s in Montreal, a bit at Amélie’s in Quebec?

There is a strong feeling that still lives in us today when we think about it: the feeling of pride every Sunday evening after our training weekend!

In 2017, we are still full-time physiotherapists and we are working on Bia part-time. We have huge working weeks, the nights are short, but the learning curve is accelerating at a pretty impressive rate.

2018 – We Needed Help 

In 2018 we told ourselves: we need help!

We decided to improve our brand image because we found it a bit too “sporty” for our taste. Today, looking at our old logo really makes us laugh… it was totally unreadable!

So we changed everything: logo, writing, promotional material, everything, everything, everything! We even restructured our entire website!!! It was pretty crazy, but it was worth it.

We have improved the content and logistics of all our classroom training sessions and have created 6 new online training courses! In 2018, we officially launched our first online training viewing platform. The idea was above all to make continuing education accessible to health professionals in the regions, and to respond to the requests we were receiving from Europe.

We are proud of this online shift in 2018, because the structure was ready for the 2020 pandemic!

We had a lot of help in 2018: we participated in La Ruche Académie, we were admitted to Le Camp, a start-up incubator, and we were mentored by Mr. Claude Cossette, founder of Cossette Communication. A huge thank you to all of you, who believed in us.

Writing these lines, what makes us most proud is that we have really started to build a community of healthcare professionals who are loyal to our training, committed, and generous with their time. Recognizing faces from last year’s training was such a success for us!

In 2019, we have 3 years of existence and 2 years of operations behind us.

We are 75% full-time in the company, and part-time physiotherapists (what can I say, we love our job!) 😉

It’s stimulating but very scary at the same time. The reality is that we have big ambitions but very few resources. It costs a lot to dream! We also lack structure, because we want to do everything at the same time.

 

We improve our structure: we now do strategic planning retreats every quarter. We love it, it’s so stimulating! In addition, we take the opportunity to “say things straight”. We name our fears, we discuss our good moves and our bad moves. All with a good cocktail to warm our hearts!

Our community of health professionals is growing, and we welcome it with great pride and gratitude.

What we are most proud of in 2019: we still have our part-time employee, but now we also have several subcontractors. It’s very gratifying to say that we offer work to other professionals: graphic designer, videographer, translator, blogger, accountant, programmer, designer, etc.

2020 – Full time, digital shift, and hiring!

2020 – That famous COVID-19 year.

All of our classroom trainings and events are canceled = that was our only revenue (help!) We lose 75,000$ in one month because we reimburse all the participants. We already had 9 online training courses and a platform ready… luckily!

2020 – It’s make or break (for real real)

Amélie is on maternity leave. Melody and Anne-Sophie are full time in the company: we were left with no other choice… honestly, it’s a bit of panic stations.

Today, we are able to laugh a little more about it. We often say that we created a “monster” with our 35 new online training courses!

We hire Catherine, our administrative assistant who was initially part-time (good joke!) and who quickly became more than full-time. She becomes our right hand in our many projects! Phew, we are lucky: she’s essential! She was able to adapt to the hubbub of our new online service offering. She helps with the structure, she brings us back to order – thank you, Cath.

We hire Justine, who takes care of logistics and social media. We got to know her during our face-to-face trainings. WOW, big crush for this woman! Cheerful, determined, and full of ideas, her opinion is always impactful and relevant. She is creative and has an eye for “what is beautiful and what is well said” – thank you, Justine.

We also hire 3 part-time employees – 2 content creators and an accountant (Roxanne, the one from the glorious 2016 photo!) New faces at our Zoom meetings!

We are developing our market in English Canada and in Europe since we have excellent online training to offer them.

At the end of 2020, honestly, we’re exhausted. We are also proud and serene. The future is bright! Thanks to you and our team.

2021 – Growth 

2021 is our year of growth.

Our mission is well defined in our heads and we would like to share it with you:

We aim to be the most stimulating and diverse educational center on the lookout for the latest scientific evidence for all healthcare professionals.

We want to support you in your professional development for the next few years – with pleasure and rigor.

We want to enrich your thirst for learning and discovery. We want to provide you with the best trainers, the best blogs, the best educational capsules, and the best training.

We are 5 years old, and we have several years ahead of us!

Thank you for believing in our dream, we are doing it for you – for the people too. So that each and every healthcare professional can offer the best of themselves to the population.

We now have:

We would like to share with you our 4 values, on which all our decisions are based:

Finally, we would like to say thank you.

Thank you for being there and for trusting us.

The Bia team

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