In a spacious, light-filled suite of offices in Bonita Springs, five, sometimes six, days a week husband and wife team Tiffany and Mike Kriz, both doctors of physical therapy, offer their clients a rare commodity in the industry: the benefit of their own expertise and touch. Where other PT offices might send the aching and injured off to ride the bikes or get massaged by assistants, “That’s not what we do at Kriz Physical Therapy,” says Mike. “We’re highly specialized.”
The nature of their specialty is Functional Manual Therapy, a hands-on method of assessing and treating various physical traumas that is quite labor-intensive for practitioners.
An initial investment of $120,000 back in 2008 got them started with renting a space, purchasing equipment and computers, and paying a premium to the county to have their digs declared fit for medical use—all in order to treat a handful of patients. These days, during the January-May high season, the two therapists together see some 175 patients a week, which accounts for what Mike estimates is a growth rate of about 500 percent over nine years.
It was slow going to start, though. It took Mike, at first operating solo, four years to max out on the number of clients he could treat. He then brought Tiffany in fulltime. In six years, the practice earned back the Kriz’s startup costs. Mike says that now, 12-hour days have led to annual revenue that reaches low six figures per annum. That frenzied pace also means Mike and Tiffany are about to max out on clients again. But taking the next step necessary to continued growth is tricky. “To do that, we would have to bring on a third person,” says Mike. “And they have to not only practice the way we do, but fit the personality of the place.”
The Krizes see hanging on to their core methodology and mindset as a vital marketing tool in drawing in (and keeping) a largely reference-based clientele. Because Kriz PT operates as an out-of-network provider, patients pay either all cash for their services or supplement what their insurance provider pays. This helps keep the business solvent, without the usual lengthy wait for payouts from insurance companies—essential in an industry where, says Mike, “Operating costs keep rising and reimbursements continue to decline.”
Another challenge is mitigating revenue fluctuations in the off-season. Rather than waiting for scant clients to come to them, the Krizes are figuring out how to find new clients—and seeking them out instead. One option they’re considering is offering lifestyle services such as health coaching. Another is working with pros at community centers to improve the swings of their tennis and golf students.
Mike says this is a continuation of what he and Tiffany already do in-office in analyzing a patient’s movement. By transferring that skill to the court or the links, “we can see where the mechanical limitations are that prevent a person from swinging pain-free.”
They can also, crucially, broaden their offerings while remaining true to what Mike calls a “practice built on our reputation.”