Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Steven Alexander, owner of Spark Performance and Physiotherapy, located in Mesa, AZ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We help active adults and athletes avoid medications, injections, and surgeries. We do this through education and guiding them back to the movements they enjoy. We help them avoid the use of band-aid interventions, such as medications and injections. Surgeries are irreversible and come with their own set of risks. Being in the physical therapy industry for over ten years, I have seen countless patients who have regretted a surgery they had, but it is too late to go back. We specialize in treating active adults and athletes because they are different. Most clinics will see everything from a three-month-old with Torticollis to a 98-year-old with balance issues. Not us. We realize to get the best care; you should see a specialist. One who prides themselves in being athletes and growing into active adults, just like their patients. We do all of this in a one-on-one setting. Our patients and clients get to spend an hour with their medical provider and not passed around to work with everyone with a pulse in the clinic.
Tell us about yourself
I, like many other physical therapists, got burnt out with my previous jobs. I was seeing 2-4 people in an hour. Often times double and triple booking myself just to get the patients in. All for the sake of getting money into the business. I was on the verge of leaving an industry in which I spent seven years of schooling to get my Doctorate in because of the burnout I was feeling. I knew there had to be a different way. I knew my patients deserved better and would opt for better if they knew there was a different model out there in the healthcare industry.
My motivation for starting this business was to provide a better and more specialized experience for my clients. I know the active adult and athlete should not be standing in the corner with Betty and Ethel doing the same exercises as them because they all have shoulder pain. I knew active adults and athletes needed to return to their activities safely and more well equipped, which is why the clinic actually has weights (where most clinics have therabands, heat packs, TENS units, etc.).
I wanted to build something to help bridge the gap between recovery from an injury to returning to their normal active lifestyle. So, we have incorporated trainers to help bridge that gap. These trainers not only hold high certifications in their field, but they also get interaction with our Doctors of Physical Therapy. This business was also formed to help the physical therapists see there is a better treatment model out there than the one we have seen for years. This is going to help those physical therapists avoid burnout and keep their passion for helping people.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I have been able to grow my team with a group of employees who share the same values as I have regarding health and wellness. I have been able to give them an outlet to get out of the grind and burnout that is seen so much in the healthcare industry, especially during these times. I am showing them there is a better way to serve patients and clients. Patients are so much more than a number to us, which is often felt by patients who utilize the healthcare system.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Learning the business side of the business. That has been quite the learning curve. I don't know why I thought going through 7 years of school to prepare me to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy would prepare me for becoming a business owner. I realized right away that I spent all that time becoming an expert in physical therapy and continuing. I needed to invest just as much in becoming a business owner. Realizing I have a lot to learn as a business owner was humbling, but now I embrace that. Now, one of my greatest responsibilities, I feel, is to develop my people.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Pay for a good mentor/coach; they will push you and ultimately hold you accountable for where you want to be.
- People first. I don't care if you are trying to grow a team or get people to buy your service or product. Keep caring for those individuals. Never stop. Be their biggest cheerleaders and advocate for them.
- If you are looking to grow, never stay in the day-to-day. Keep a bird's eye view of where you are, where you are currently heading, and where you want to go. This will help guide your decisions in business.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Business ownership can be the best and worst. Keep managing your emotions and continue to have the belief that what you are doing is going to help someone.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.