As year one comes to a close, I have had time to look back and reflect. What a year it has been! If you had asked me 2 years ago if I thought I would ever want to open my own clinic, I would have laughed and said, “…absolutely not”. I was convinced that I would be working under someone else for the rest of my life versus becoming a small business owner. Little did I know, my future would look very different.
Here is my story…
Many of my patients and friends ask me, “How did you do it?”, or “What made you want to go out on your own?” The answer is easy! I love my career and I felt as though I could be more successful doing things MY way over working under someone else.
The business story is fun to tell… It all started with sticking strangers with needles in my basement… true story. No, but really… I began treating friends, and friends of friends, etc.. at my house. Yes, people who didn’t know me, would come to my house because their friend and trainer, “Meg”, said that I worked miracles. Thanks, Meg
Meg is the well-known and loved head coach at OrangeTheory Fitness in Quincy. Poor Meg had a nagging knee injury that plagued her 2017 Boston Marathon. I met her one day after taking one of her classes and she was interested in this dry needling treatment. I told her that I would love to help her and she adamantly made an appointment. Sure enough, Meg showed up to my house, we went into my newly redone basement and that was it. I was fortunate enough to find a way to help her and she was sold. She told me that I could make a business out of this… the rest is history.
I began receiving calls from people who would say, “I was referred to you by Meg at OTF, I have this issue with my [ENTER PAINFUL AREA] and she said you can help me…” I thank Meg daily for being my first referral source!
Not only was I treating people in my basement, I began helping out the members of Cynergy Crossfit in Hanson. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to come down to their gym on a Sunday morning and give a small talk on dry needling. I did a demonstration and every person wanted me to come back the next week to be treated. I left that day with a sign-up sheet packed with 6 hours of patients to be seen the following weekend.
As patients continued to call and inquire about my services, I started going through the motions of starting a business. I began a ton of research about starting an out-of-network practice. The business model was exactly what I had been looking for. It gave me the opportunity to treat people as people and not numbers. It allowed me a flexible schedule, higher income, and I could bring my dogs to work!
July 1, 2017 I opened the door to my office out of CrossFit 781 in Weymouth. I continued to be part-time at my job in Cambridge, while treating people outside those hours at this new office. My schedule soon filled as I was receiving referrals from other CrossFit gyms in the area including Crossfit Prosperity, CrossFit Fit Factory Kingston and Quincy City CrossFit. Additionally, referrals from OrangeTheory Fitness gyms in Kingston, Quincy, Dedham, and Hingham poured in and the word of mouth referrals increased. Before I knew it, I was faced with going full-time and I made the leap mid-August 2017.
Being a business owner has its pros and cons. There is definitely a huge element of stress! If I don’t work, I don’t make money. If I don’t get things done that need to be done, no one else will (that is unless you have a killer Virtual Assistant that takes care of you). I also had zero business experience prior to this – it has been a learning experience to say the least. I have made some mistakes along the way, but have learned from each one of them. I plan to continue to grow and not give up on my dream of creating a killer PT clinic. I want to continue to serve people in pain the way they deserve to be treated!
Thank you to all my friends and family, patients who have become great friends, multiple CrossFit gyms and OrangeTheory Studios who have welcomed me with open arms and have spread the good word. I could not have done this without you – on to year TWO!