I started Body Motion Physical Therapy in September 2017. 3 months after I delivered my second child (2 kids under 2).
I knew I was sick of home health and was craving to see outpatient clients again and wanted to get back to doing women’s health.
Staying home wasn’t an option but outpatient didn’t pay enough for me to cover childcare and all expenses.
So I went back to PRN with the home health company and started to launch my business on the side.
I started as a mobile practice in Seattle, WA. Every part of starting was uncomfortable.
I didn’t want to be mobile, I wanted a fancy clinic where I could really deliver a spa experience. That would all come in due time.
The mobile practice started to take off and by February 2018 I was able to stop the home health agency and focus solely on my business.
I started working with adult athletes but still had my women’s health niche.
After taking Accelerator in September 2017 I learned how to niche my practice into not just women’s health but pre-natal fand post-partum specific clients.
fThings took off from here thanks to a big referral source and a place that let me give seminars and workshops.
That venue went out of business in December 2018 and I knew then that I had no choice but to really implement all the Accelerator strategies.
I started planning to open a physical location now that I had proof of concept. In September 2018 I opened about 20 minutes north of Seattle in the majestic coastal town of Edmonds, Washington.
I kept doing home visits and did a few days in the clinic. By December I got the confidence to hire my first admin. She started January 2nd 2019 and that’s when things really started to take off (she is still with me and is a huge reason for the growth of the company).
I started to see that by having more people I could get so much more done. This also helped the stress start to decrease. She was and still is a huge gift to the business.
Having her helped us develop many modes of marketing and exploded our presence in the community. She is also a huge liability that I am currently trying to de-risk.
By May 2019 her impact really started to show, the schedule was getting busy and consistent and we started to talk about decreasing home visit days.
By December 2019, I wrapped up doing home visits and was in the clinic 100% of the time.
A big reason for that was so I could also be in the clinic to onboard a Physical Therapist. By December I hired a very established pelvic PT with a good reputation. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as skilled at training and once she proved she could do DV’s, I let her run with it.
She started at the end of January 2020 and immediately, I saw how having 2 providers was absolutely amazing for revenue. More than I could get alone. In February she had a vacation to Hawaii (planned before hiring) and fell in love.
That is when I noticed she wasn’t as “into the work” and being here. It was the first red flag. I had bought out a loan she had to her previous company and so she owed me at least 2 years (I will never do that again).
By the time Covid happened, and everything was shutting down, she informed me on March 17th that she was quarantining at home and wouldn’t be coming to the clinic.
I decided to close the business and immediately switched what we could to Telehealth. The next day, I came with plans to start developing our online programs and she had asked me if it would be possible for her to do Telehealth from HI and she wanted to quarantine from there.
This all should have been red flags.
She just wanted to move and be laid off like all her PT friends. But I wanted to try to keep the cash coming and keep things moving. I dealt with her behavior until May when I let her go for good.
We came back into the clinic in April and it slowly picked back up. By May I was very busy again and knew I needed another PT. So I started recruiting right away.
I hired a new grad who I trained for two months before she started her caseload. This was the best lesson for me. I got to make her a spitting image of how I treat.
Teach her to use the protocols I have developed for fertility, pregnancy and post-partum.
She got to become everything that Body Motion was built on. This is how I learned that every new hire will be put through a two-month mentorship program.
She was off and running by September 2020. At that point I went back to focusing on recruiting a SDR (my admin really does that and the first interview). This was the second SDR hire and I had one hired by November but realized she wasn’t actually what we needed.
The clinic is small and we thought it would be best if she worked from home, but that didn’t take enough off Devyn’s plate and she was still doing tons of sales.
So we are back to searching for a customer care and sales person combined into one. Who will do the meet and greet of clients and take calls and follow up, etc?
This will get Devyn (Ops manager, marketing and sales) out of the office to focus 100% on marketing and operations. I will get a small office for her and I to grow business temporarily as I look to completely move premises.
We started PT #2 in January and she is currently in the mentorship program and will start her caseload in March, I will transition to treating 7 hours per week and then will be on maternity leave starting in July. (I am due with baby #3).
Five Marketing Campaigns’ That Boosted Our Profit
1: Online Workshops Advertised On Social Media – We did paid Instagram promotions for 8 of our 10 online workshops.
This increased our followers by over 800, over 500 leads came from online workshops, targeting a certain demographic and requiring them to provide their contact information adds them as leads to Infusionsoft.
Not only do they get our emails for that specific event follow up, they continue getting our bi-weekly broadcast emails and then follow up calls to see if there is anything specific they want reviewed at the workshop, which created a more personal pull to the workshop.
They are then ‘gifted’ a free discovery visit for RSVPing/attending. Follow up calls continue post workshop.
2: Google Ad & Website Updates – An ad running on Google at all times. We targeted 4 main subjects incontinence, pregnancy, postpartum and pelvic pain instead of diagnosis.
We used the keyword planner to help optimize our ads and increase our leads and updated our web pages to have specific phrases and keywords to help Google promote our ad.
Also we created 7 new eBooks to intrigue cold leads and to gain warm ones that thought we were just for pregnancy.
3: Networking With Our Local & Online Community Using The Podcast – Over the course of the year we released over 30 podcasts, which was a way to network with the community especially when so many small businesses were closed or working at limited capacity.
They had time available and we were giving free marketing to small businesses which gave us street cred.
We found a great referral source in a local chiropractor.
The podcasts add value to leads by providing content that helps them buy in and we gain more followers and get leads from our guests sharing the episodes on their platforms.
One guest has over 1 million followers and another is scheduled for next month who was featured on Good Morning America.
Straying away from just local business means we are now networking with online content creators who have distinct voices and can appeal to our niche.
4: Book & Care Packages – In October Dr. Allison’s book was published to establish her expert status.
It became a bestseller on Amazon, is sold at the local bookshop and we give copies to incoming patients to read and share with friends to strengthen their buy in. The book was released to our local paper and featured.
We also ordered custom candles which our clients loved and was a fun way to brighten people’s days when they came in for a Discovery Visit or initial eval.
We continued printing out monthly newsletter and included that in our care packages for new patients and had them in the office to give to existing patients, providing a sense of community during isolation.
The book launch alone enhanced our expert status and gave us a good boost of leads and patients.
5: Online Program – In December we created an online birth prep program, 7 days of video modules, a 30-page ebook guide, a complimentary virtual discovery visit and access to our online community the Body Motion Moms Facebook group.
Again this helped establish expert status, and we intend to give it to local business owners who are currently pregnant for free to help promote it.
We also offer it to established patients to help them stay on track and feel supported as well as offer us reviews and suggestions. We intend to triple the price in the next 3 months once we have testimonials from patients who have given birth.
This has been a great add on for current clients to “buy in” especially if they are on the fence of another package. Marketing this program has expanded our reach and we are starting to see the marketing effects of the program turn to DV’s.
We Used the Benefits of Paul’s Mastermind Program to Boost Our Confidence in Our Business
1: Facebook Group – I love the Facebook group, my second favorite. It is great to see files that people post (especially what my Progress Group and CEO Group would share) and what people have done and are going through.
It also is nice to read experiences and the responses of the group so that I can learn and have expectations for things that can potentially pop up. This has been even more true with Covid. Seeing other employer’s experiences and responses are very teachable moments.
2: Planet Paul Newsletter – I don’t read all of it, but will always read the Paul Gough section. I glance at the marketing success people are having to gather new ideas, etc.
3: Weekly Q/A Calls with Paul – Wednesdays are my favorite. Paul’s perspectives and teachings are the absolute best value of the group. Somehow he continues to keep evolving and helping all of us evolve too.
Wednesday is a beautiful reset for the week to focus in on the business. Always providing that 30,000 feet above perspective.
Paul’s willingness to hear out questions on these calls is comforting and even when something seems pressing or like you need an answer or help, you never have to wait past Wednesday.
4: Monthly Strategy Calls with Barry/Simon – Simon is a huge part of my growth decisions since starting this business.
He helped me get a plan to hire Devyn, and to continue to grow from there. His perspectives and ability to listen without judgement is fabulous.
His happy go lucky attitude never changes. I am very grateful for him to continue to listen and provide guidance.
5: 2-Day Meetings – A perfect reset and amazing way to get my team bought in.
6: Progress Groups – I am currently less active in my group, but through my journey I have really used them.
The private FB groups for the CEO groups are absolutely priceless and have helped a lot, because these people know your exact business, where you are at and where you are going. The advice or lessons they are learning are very helpful.
7: Networking with other members of the Program – Throughout the year I have gotten so much value from the other members.
As I write this, I just got off a 30 minute call helping another member with strategy within their webinars and they helped me with some specific role recruitment ideas.
The relationships I have built and the friends I have made throughout this journey are priceless.
To have people going through similar things as you, with similar businesses you just won’t find that in your neighborhood or your community.
Especially during Covid, having the ability to jump on calls with any of the people I connect with even just for some commentary and inspiration was essential to my success in 2020.
Our Three Biggest Challenges This Year and How We Overcame Them
1: Hiring my first PT and firing my first PT – Getting over the hump to actually hire a full-time PT is hard at first. You are committing to a bigger salary, in my case 93k.
So I needed her to be a producer, she was good when she was here and in the 1.5 months that she was actually in the clinic the revenue was great.
With two PT’s working, I could start to see how we can be at 40k revenue per month. She had a change of priorities once she met a man and that showed in her work and commitment.
She pretty much used Covid as an excuse not to work.
I tried very hard, too hard, to make her happy, kept paying her, gave her flexibility, let her do what she wanted but it was a lost cause.
In the end I had to realize I was bleeding money on her and simply being taken advantage of. Deep down I was simply scared of letting her go because of her reputation, and she was well liked in the community.
I was scared she would leave and go to a competitor or open her own practice. Most of all I was scared I would have to reimburse a bunch of packages that I didn’t have the money to reimburse to patients.
This brings me to one of the absolute best things to come out of 2020: the way I track packages and keep money held for cash redemption once the visits are performed. I will describe that in a minute. I had to let her go.
To me, this was an extreme emotional roller coaster. I felt this terrible energy and ache in my gut every time I thought of this PT. Finally in May I gave her what she wanted and told her she wasn’t coming back to Body Motion.
I was out the loan I had paid to her previous employer, for her two-year commitment but by now I had to accept the loss and learn the lessons. Once she was gone, I slowly but surely started to feel better.
It took time to not feel bad towards her, but I am a very emotional person and I knew those emotions would hold me back. So I made steps to also emotionally let go. My CEO group told me I had to kick her off the bus.
I can’t even imagine my business now if I let her stay. SO THANK GOD for them! I was scared to hire another PT for about 2 days.
I didn’t want to repost my ad, but then I did! I decided that I will just keep trying till I make this work. Even if the next one is not great, I will just fire sooner and keep moving on. This is where I really learned to let go of control.
I’m so very grateful for this feeling of zero expectation. I hired a great new grad PT and taught her everything about what I do and made her my protege. She is so eager to learn and I love what a clean slate she is.
She loves everything we do, is grateful for our clients and our impact and the job. We are still working on her DV to eval conversion but we turned a corner!
Honestly, I would rather have this pleasant, hard-working amazing PT with a great PVA (over 10) than a piece of crap person.
2: Another thing I learned is that I can hire new grad PTs and shape them to be amazing clinicians – This saves a ton of money.
So I pay about 71k with a health stipend and con-ed included in that to my new grad. We just hired another new grad who we will put through the exact training and I am also getting her for the same amount.
They have this energy and excitement for learning that I just value tremendously in an employee.
Back to the second biggest challenge I experienced in 2020: cash flow.
I sell lots of packages, always have, people buy package after package. Well I recognized that this was one major reason I didn’t want to fire my PT.
So I decided to fix it. I was pretty much running my business on unearned revenue. So I went through and created a spreadsheet of who paid what for their package and visits owed and have a running total that I review weekly.
I keep that package money in a package holding account and drip it to the main income account.
Paul always said to do this. I ALWAYS found it too tedious, but I had to. I didn’t want to be running out of money or spending what I haven’t earned.
Now I have zero fear around anyone asking for a refund. To date, no one has. I was able to save all those PT’s patients and many are still coming and seeing my new PT too.
The second thing we did was have people sign up for the year of care, they get a discount on orthotics and they get locked into a monthly auto payment of $279, and any additional visits are that same rate.
So instead of selling package after package, this has been a great way to keep the cash flowing and have some predicted revenue each month.
3: I don’t know exactly how to share with you, is that my “end all be all” amazing admin employee had a rough 2020 to say the least – She 100% always had my back but it was a bumpy ride.
I wanted to support her and give her space but I realized that there wasn’t room for her to really take time off or slack. (A risk in the business I needed and currently need to mitigate). She lost her mom in January 2020, it was hard to see her go through this.
She had been supporting her mom through sickness for all of her life (one reason, she is so invested in helping moms in our community live their best lives). She came back to work quickly as a distraction, but had lots of healing to do.
She also battled thyroid cancer this year. To even put this on paper is just crazy. There were times that she didn’t feel well enough to come in and would work from home and her presence in the office and work was very missed.
It wasn’t often but I was learning I had to be flexible, I had to support her through this.
I couldn’t have one single ounce of negative energy about her missing anything or coming late. I learned once again to let go. I had to be 100% grateful she was going to be healthy.
I couldn’t lose her because she is not only part of the heart and soul of Body Motion but she is a huge part of our success and she is part of the family now. So from a selfish business perspective to a human perspective I could just hope and pray that she got better and really couldn’t have qualms around her performance.
Now, I say all this but she still excelled very much, simply look at the growth of revenue and she was a huge piece of that.
The Top 3 Things We Did This Year That Helped Grow Our Clinic
1: I let go of control – “If it worked it worked, if it didn’t it didn’t.” That was my mantra.
After my first PT hire/fire, it was so much easier to hire the next one. I honestly didn’t care what the outcome was of the next hire. I knew I was going to change my training strategy and go from there.
The strategy became train her exactly how you want her to be. I always wanted someone to treat me how I treat my patients, so I developed a training guide that would create this.
Training my PT for 2 months and having her mirror my philosophy manual skills and treatment approaches has allowed long time patients the ability to transition to her seamlessly.
And be extremely happy with their care. So if there is one thing I have learned, it’s to know what I want the outcome to be, follow the vision and make the decisions to get there.
Once you let go of that control, growing is simply a matter of making the decision to grow. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to bring on PT#2 in January 2021 but I lined it up in November and did it anyway.
I know with me treating less, I can grow that schedule and even if it takes a while for the margins to grow, that’s what I need to do to continue moving the business forward.
I also knew I was expecting baby #3 in July and I could really use this as an excuse to get out of treatment, at least for a while.
And I also knew it was going to take months to onboard the PT, so once I found the right one in November even though the number of visits per week weren’t enough for 2.5-3 case loads, I decided to hire anyway.
Because I will grow them there, so it’s making the decisions for growth and knowing where I am going and letting go of the control and the fear.
2: Raised rates to $297 in March at the start of the pandemic – This helped give us a boost in revenue even though the number of visits were down.
A few times through the pandemic I questioned going back to the previous prices but I am glad I stuck with it. This has truly helped revenue and further allows me to make better decisions because I have the cash to back them.
Incorporated more meetings which helped keep us all on the same track and helped us stay accountable to our goals
3: We kept hiring – Even though PT 1 didn’t work, I hired another, and here I am with PT2 to prepare for my leave. We also have hired 2 SDRs to help unload Devyn but haven’t found success with that yet.
So currently hiring a customer care and sales person to free up Devyn. I have learned not to rush the hiring.
Three Pivotal Mindset Shifts That Led To More Profitability And Our Best Year Yet
1: I know that cash is flowing to me, no matter what – Cash just fills up my bank account.
I decided to act like I already have the 30 million I am getting from my business to my life. So this helped me make any decision I needed to help further the business. I also realized that so much of my fear and uncertainty is financial and so that simple shift in mindset put all the fear out the window for me.
And now I can truly, full heartedly understand when Paul talks about it.
2: This world is a playground and was meant to be played on – Therefore, life isn’t hard. You get to categorize if a decision is hard or easy or just fun.
So I started seeing everything I do, every single day as fun. Decisions just became games I was playing on the playground.
3: Authenticity – I decided to embrace what I believe and scream it from the rooftops.
Our methods and what we do isn’t really “accepted” in the PT world. People don’t think of pelvic PTs helping with infertility, or helping women avoid c-sections by preparing their bodies for vaginal deliveries.
So I decided to embrace our impact and share it. We market all of it, heavily.
No other Pelvic PTs do what we do and I can’t tell you how much I believe in this but when no-one else is doing it and the research is limited, the naysayers are real. So I decided to not care and just let it flow, do what we do. And OWN it.
Two Specific Achievements We Made With Our Staff
1: Improvement in Coaching – I have really established the coaching and mentorship program that we will use moving forward to onboard providers.
2: Buy In – I’ve learned the power of vulnerability and transparency with my staff.
Being able to be real and discuss things has made the buy in so much stronger, they see where I’m coming from and understand how much I care and that the decisions I have to make will be the stepping stones for us to reach our goals.
Our annual planning really laid a foundation for a successful year, my PT was there and saw the vision and I see her consciously training our new hire with our cohesive goals in mind and it’s AMAZING. So proud!
We also established systems and reviewed roles so that our next hire will be a more established position as customer support and sales and we will be able to grow with confidence and organization.
3 Ways that Paul’s CEO Mastermind Program Contributed to Our Success:
1: CEO has helped me make decisions that deep down I know I need to make but am not ready to make.
I would have kept going, tolerating shit and losing money from my first PT, if it was not for every single one of them telling me I had to get rid of her.
I kept thinking of things I could do better, and where I needed to change and I was adapting to her but in the end, I couldn’t save this and it wasn’t me. It was the situation. One team member told me ‘she is stealing from your kids, how long are you going to let that last’ and truthfully she was.
So I am grateful for everyone having more clarity about my situation to guide me in the right direction. When you are sucked in, it’s hard to let that go.
2: CEO held me accountable to my spreadsheets.
Whether I love it or hate it, Cockpit always shows me where we need to focus. Actual planned budget shows me how much money I am wasting and which months I need to really rein it in, because it will be tight.
I have always managed cash flow haphazardly, but once I decided this summer to stop running the business on unearned revenue I have developed a huge bank of future business and it has helped me immensely not get complacent and helped keep pushing forward (We have over $100k in cash reserves).
CEO has also shown me the value of having money in the bank to help me balance and make better decisions. This has allowed me to train a PT without them seeing a patient for 2 months and I am 100% OK with that.
3: CEO fueled my drive to continue to push the business.
I am paying for CEO, I have clarity where I am taking this business, and I am hiring each person I sit with at the table to help me make better decisions to get me to where I am going.
They expect me to execute what needs to be done to get to where I want to go. Without that execution, I would be coming back to the “why didn’t you do this?” and that’s just simply annoying and also doesn’t allow everyone else to learn from what I am doing, the wins, and the mistakes.
So knowing I want to keep growing, CEO will support that journey.
This year although I am pregnant and will be adding to my family, I find that it will be even more important to be in CEO so I can continue to make sure “my machine” (the business) is running smoothly and can continue to grow it, as my lease is up and I am planning on how to get us to our dream place.
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