Explore how our extensive support framework equips franchisees for success as Master and Multi-Unit franchisees.
Physical Therapist Owner Partners with FYZICAL and Transforms His Practice
FYZICAL's Business Intelligence and Franchise Support Game-Changer for Physical Therapist
When physical therapist Tony Macaluso opened his clinic doors in 1992, he was a young physical therapist ready to serve his community and help patients achieve their therapy goals.
He served his community for almost a decade, but declining reimbursements resulted in major profit losses for his clinic. He was looking for ways to become profitable but lacked business expertise. After all, Tony went to school to become a physical therapist - business classes weren't part of the curriculum.
Tony credits FYZICAL's "Vital Statistics," "Pillars of Success," education and training, and unique franchise support for his ability to save his clinic and become profitable. Ten years later, he's not only profitable, but he recently opened clinic number 3 with 4 more on the way and an exit strategy - which he had never considered before - in place for the future.
We sat down with Tony to discuss his journey and how FYZICAL's business strategies helped guide him to multi-unit success and profitability. Here is his story:
You owned your own clinic for many years. Why did you decide to reach out to FYZICAL?
Tony: I was in private practice for many years. Over time, I saw a steady decline in reimbursements. I wanted to grow, but I couldn't because everything I tried on my own didn't work. I was really getting frustrated. I have physical therapy knowledge, but I didn't understand the business of physical therapy. So, I reached out to FYZICAL for help. My first conversation, which I expected to last minutes, lasted an hour. I was really intrigued. I decided to travel to an event in Houston to learn more. I had many questions, but they answered them all in their presentation. The hours I spent with them felt like minutes. Afterward, I asked them to come to my clinic to meet with my wife and me. The city, however, was shut down due to the weather. The FYZICAL representative still made it, and after hearing all about FYZICAL, she wanted to partner with them as much as I did. We've never looked back.
How did FYZICAL's business knowledge boost your practice?
Tony: When I first partnered with FYZICAL, I was thrilled to have the brand behind me. I knew they were extremely successful and had years of business experience to help my clinic. After a year, I realized I wasn't doing everything they advised, only what I thought I needed to do. Once I started following their business plan, I noticed a huge change in my business. We have more than doubled in size since joining FYZICAL; if COVID hadn't happened, we would have tripled. I live, breathe, sleep, and eat FYZICAL. Without FYZICAL, I would have had to close my business. They've helped us stay afloat, grow, add clinics and people, and create new lifestyles for people. It's been a great experience, and it's a game-changer.
"We're trained to be therapists. We're not business people. We NEED business people; we really do. I've learned a lot with FYZICAL, and I'm still learning and growing. It has been a good marriage. We were promised a lot, and they have delivered."
What surprised you the most with FYZICAL?
Tony: The wealth of knowledge that I was missing and how much I was failing at my business. I had money in the bank, so I thought I was okay. But there was so much more I was missing and so much I realized I was not doing. I had to overcome a lot of fear and educate myself. When you partner with this company, they give you all the tools, resources, training, and support - every support team member is either a physical therapist or has managed a PT clinic. That's unheard of in the franchise industry. The company gives you the tools to run a successful business.
What business guidance, specifically, has helped the most?
Tony: Their Vital Statistics, Pillars of Success, and 10-Point Management System all gave me new ways of looking at my business. This was the first time I had looked at my business like that. It's funny - as therapists, when we evaluate people, there's a whole list of things we must run through to treat patients properly. But in business, we say, "I'm just a physical therapist, and I can run my own business the way I want." But it doesn't work that way. It's silly that we would go to such lengths for our patients but not our own businesses. We think the business will take care of itself, which is crazy. You have to run a good business, and FYZICAL helps you do that.
Would you recommend FYZICAL to other physical therapists?
Tony: If what you're doing isn't working well or yielding the results you were hoping for, reach out to FYZICAL. I tried so many things, and they didn't work. As therapists, we're trained to be therapists, not business people. We didn't go to business school and don't know the ins and outs of marketing, operations, key performance indicators, or planning exit strategies. FYZICAL guided me through every step of learning, with support at every corner. In fact, their support team is comprised of people who are physical therapists or have owned or worked in FYZICAL clinics - that's almost unheard of. I've learned so much, and we're still growing.
In business, physical therapists often avoid doing something they don't understand or something that makes them uncomfortable. Be uncomfortable. Take the leap. I did, and I'll never regret it.
FYZICAL's Business Education Inspires Physical Therapist to Develop Multiple Clinics
As a physical therapist, you focused mostly on treating patients. What were some of your business pain points prior to joining FYZICAL?
Tony: I was working mostly by myself and didn't have the time or wherewithal to understand the business. We had decreased reimbursements, did not have retail, and without business experience, I didn't know how to market properly, understand billing, manage day-to-day operations, or have any tools to tell if my business was prosperous. I was a physical therapist, not a businessman. I wanted to serve my patients, and I was, but my business was not doing well.
How did FYZICAL's business acuity and guidance help alleviate those pain points?
Tony: FYZICAL taught me to look at my business daily and plan for tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year, and I had never done that before. They taught me how to manage day-to-day operations, evaluate profit, maximize my clients, use marketing techniques in the community, train employees, increase insurance reimbursements, find affordable vendors, find new referrals, and so much more.
Now, I walk through all my clinics and have conversations with my team daily to continue moving in the right direction. Before that, we just hoped everything worked out on a full caseload. It did not.
How has the support team at FYZICAL played a role in your success?
Tony: Before I partnered with FYZICAL, support meant sitting with my staff and trying to figure things out. Now, it's an entirely different ball game. I have a Franchise Regional Consultant whom I can contact at any time with questions, continuing education to keep my staff and me up-to-date with therapies, a support team at FYZICAL who has either been a physical therapist or managed a FYZICAL clinic before (unheard of in franchising), or anyone in my FYZICAL network. That's a huge change. I have a whole team of people working for me and with me so that I can be successful.
A FYZICAL liaison is a game-changer. Back in the day, I'd build relationships with my doctors. But I need to treat patients, so the liaison works for you and marketing for you daily, building relationships with doctors. They also help keep us on track with our business metrics.
"I wanted to grow but couldn't because everything I tried wasn't working. I was really getting frustrated. Now, I live, breathe, and sleep FYZICAL because it has helped me get where I am. It's a game-changer."
How have your clinics grown with FYZICAL?
Tony: We've doubled our business and just opened our third clinic. We are planning for four more clinics in the next four years. I would never have been able to do this without FYZICAL. And it's not just about growth - it's about being a part of a family and network that all work together. In the PT world, that's not always the case. There's a lot of competition. The relationships I've made, and the great minds I've been able to tap into have been incredible. We're all here for the common cause. We're all a family.
How has FYZICAL's proprietary Balance Program affected your clinics?
Tony: Before partnering with FYZICAL, I did zero Balance and Vestibular therapy and operated like an ortho clinic. I can now offer this at all my clinics and help patients who might not even know they need balance therapy. Nobody does balance like FYZICAL. Currently, 33% of my business is their #1 Balance and Vestibular Therapy, and we're growing enormously. We've not fully tapped into the balance and vestibular market and still have a long way to go. It's exciting.
Tell me about your exit strategy.
Tony: Before FYZICAL, I never had one. I figured I'd work until I die. FYZICAL taught me how to think about long-term strategies and work ON my practice, not IN it. If you want your business to grow, you must take yourself out of the clinic. When I did that, we really took off. That is how I'm able to keep opening clinics. Most of us only think in the short-term, such as, "Do I have enough money for a vacation or a car, or can I upgrade my house?" With FYZICAL, I not only think long-term and plan for the future but I've been given the tools to value my business. If I decide to sell, I know what my business is worth. With FYZICAL, I can support my family and exit if and when I want to.
"FYZICAL has given me the tools to look at my business differently to help it grow and to serve patients better. Without FYZICAL, we probably would've had to close my business."
Do you have any advice for physical therapists considering FYZICAL?
Tony: We all know that the business of physical therapy is very rewarding. We're in this business to help people achieve their goals but also help employees improve their bottom line. If I hadn't partnered with FYZICAL, I'd likely be working for a hospital or for someone else. I was making less and less every year, and my business was dying.
FYZICAL impacted my life drastically. It helped me understand and implement the business of physical therapy. It gave me the tools to look at my business differently, to help it grow, and, therefore, to serve people better.
As a successful physical therapy business owner, it's nice to go to bed knowing that we're helping people. But we would not be where we are today without FYZICAL.
People Also Ask:
Resources You'll Love: