FRANCHISE TIMES - FEBRUARY 27, 2023
FYZICAL has been named best buy in franchising by Franchise Times as part of its annual Zor Awards program designed to recognize brands in 10 of the industry’s most exciting and accessible categories. The Zor Awards is an industry-exclusive award program designed to answer the question, "What's the best franchise to buy?"
Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers is well-situated in a booming health and medical category that is attracting interest from physical therapists who want to convert their independent clinics and from those who see an opportunity to diversify their portfolios.
The Sarasota, Florida-based brand, which as its name suggests provides physical therapy and balance services along with orthopedic and other rehabilitation therapy, opened 166 new units between 2019 and 2021. (It also closed 50 during that span, a number prospective franchisees should inquire about during their due diligence.) It crossed the 500-unit mark this year.
Fyzical came out on top in our research, receiving the top score using the return on investment metric, and the level of detail in its Item 19 is useful to prospective owners evaluating the concept.
Pennsylvania operator Karla Mazza was Fyzical’s franchisee of the year in 2021 and said when she and business partner Christopher Bailey opened their first clinic in 2016, she viewed it as “being on the front of change.” In addition to being a first-mover with its balance offerings, Fyzical also gives franchisees the opportunity to offer specialty, cash-based services such as deep tissue laser therapy.
Before coming to Fyzical, Mazza was the marketing director for a franchisee with multiple Burger Kings in the Erie region. Bailey is a physical therapist who before switching to Fyzical ran a private practice with his father.Karla Mazza owns four locations with Christopher Bailey in Pennsylvania.
“I did not have healthcare experience prior to coming on with Fyzical, but the model they have set makes that fairly simple,” Mazza said. Their first location in Corry was followed in 2019 with a unit in Erie; they opened two more last year.
Growth, said Mazza, “exposed their weaknesses,” and pushed the pair to better utilize Fyzical’s playbook. “When you’re seeing every patient, you get a feel for how many people you need to see in a day,” she said. “We took a step back and really took a look at the basics.”
This included reexamining the business from the ground up. Mazza said they broke down the numbers for metrics and profits in order to ensure that they were attracting the volume of patients needed to be successful at both locations. Doing so ensured more stability, and once they had the gameplan in place at two units they began to look at a third.
Jignesh Domadia, a franchisee in Arizona, came into Fyzical in June 2022 after decades of experience in food and hotel franchising, including as a multi-unit owner of Little Caesars, Super 8, Best Western and more. When he and his partner, Jiten Dungarani, came across Fyzical, they began working quickly to add it to their ever-expanding portfolio.
“I was so excited to join this brand when I found out about it the first time a year and a half ago,” Domadia said. “My plan was to move into the health industry and I was looking for an opportunity to get with a great brand.”
Domadia called out two aspects he loved: support offered to franchisees and the uniqueness of the concept. He saw that balance services addressing dizziness, vertigo, concussions and other vestibular disorders weren’t offered in other physical therapy clinics.
“I opened three locations in six months, and if I can do that, I believe everyone can,” said Domadia, as he noted he was able to draw on his previous business experience despite the differences in concept type. Once he had a handle on the first unit, he found it “easy to operate the business” and transfer learnings to clinics two and three.
The two franchisees called out a lack of brand awareness as a challenge and emphasized the need for robust marketing to introduce the concept and attract patients.
With his three clinics performing well, Domadia decided to purchase the Phoenix territory as the master franchisee. “When you want to grow and make money as a franchisee, you have to have more than one, two, three clinics,” he said. “As a master franchisee, I also want to sell the franchise to doctors in the area.”
Fyzical’s master franchisees earn 65 percent of territory fees from sub-franchised units and 35 percent of royalties from those sub-franchisees. In addition to selling franchises, Domadia, who noted he’s found it fairly inexpensive to build out clinics, plans to open two more locations of his own this year. Mazza, meanwhile, is likewise eyeing more development.
“I’m imagining myself 10 years from now if I’m still doing this,” she said. “I would love to continue to grow and continue to seize opportunities as they present themselves.”
See the article here.
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