Today we are pleased to present Part II of our interview with Chad Novasic, PT. Chad received his B.S. in Physical Therapy from Marquette University in 1988, and has served the Racine and Kenosha areas for the last 13 years in private practice. He has practiced several years in both a long term care setting and an acute care outpatient clinic setting. Chad is the owner of Alliant Physical Therapy Group. Alliant serves Southeastern Wisconsin with several clinics and is currently planning aggressive growth in the coming year.
If you could go back and do one thing differently what would it be?
When I got out of school, I think I had quite a bit of ego. Everything was driven by what I wanted. If I had learned about other people’s wants and needs, I would have had an easier time. I needed to listen and not talk. The more you listen the more action you get. That was a big lesson, learning to let go and not make it about me. Also in the beginning, I don’t think I had a clear purpose of why I started. I started because I wanted to make money. That was a bad reason. You’re not going to make it. Making money is the benefit of doing quality work, having empathy towards patients and great communication. We go into business to make money, however, making money alone is the least long-term motivator that exists.
What’s been the most rewarding part of owning your own business?
Personally, I have the freedom to control my own life. My family. My work. My faith life. That balance and control is great. I’ve been able to watch great therapists succeed. To be able to watch them take care oftheir families while helping people out, that’s rewarding. Part of my mission is to help young therapists take off in their own lives.
Any actionable advice that an aspiring clinic owner could implement today?
It all goes back to creating a vision. There are so many things you need to do manually like creating a business plan, marketing plan, and budget. But, you really need to start with vision. Before you start, take a mental photo of your location. Visualize what your clinic will look like in 3 years, what is your day like? It’s not easy to do. Imagine the color on the wall. The color of the carpet. Visualize the schedule book.Think about what are you doing on a daily basis. Write it down! Now work backwards to get there. From there you can create a plan.
I’ve worked with many therapists who have succeeded and who have failed. Being an entrepreneur is not something you learn in a classroom, it is something you live every day.
To open a clinic, a therapist needs to be able to raise $50-100k in start-up capital and understand that if it doesn’t work you could lose your house. Such a big risk is just really hard. Don’t get too enamoured with the idea of Private Practice. Some therapists start and are too scared to go into a doctor’s office.They leave, throw up, and quit. Some go in, throw up, and do it again. It’s scary for a lot of people. It can intimidate the heck out of you.
You’re one of the leading resources on this topic across the web, why are you so passionateabout sharing your knowledge?
It’s in my blood. I see people. I talk to them. A lot of PT’s talk about autonomy, and it’s a huge thing to me to help give that to others. Giving therapists autonomy and balance is my biggest reward. Seeing therapists succeed in hard times. It’s just amazing. It’s important. When you can do things to help people change their lives, it’s important.
If you missed Part I of our interview with Chad, you can read that here.