On this episode of the Healthy, Wealthy and Smart Podcast, I welcome Kelly Duggan on the show to discuss her hybrid physical therapy business model.  Kelly is the creator and owner of Physical Therapy U, a successful insurance based PT clinic in Bridgewater Massachusetts.  PTU is focused on changing the healthcare experience for their community with a focus on youth athletes.

In this episode, we discuss:

-How Kelly’s hybrid practice has married quality patient care with financial freedom

-Marketing strategies that have exponentially grown Kelly’s practice

-Top key performance indicators Kelly tracks to ensure her clinic meets its mission

-Why your life vision should align with your daily life

-And so much more!


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Kelly J. Duggan is a physical therapist with over a decade of experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings.  Kelly is the creator and owner of Physical Therapy U, a successful insurance based PT clinic in Bridgewater Massachusetts.  PTU is focused on changing the healthcare experience for their community with a focus on youth athletes.  Physical Therapy U is a hybrid clinic offering PT, massage and sports/fitness trainings.  Kelly uses this hybrid approach to combat the typical decline in revenue that most insurance based outpatient clinics (that aren’t tied to a hospital) experience over time.

Kelly is also a proud wife and mom of her three young children.  Kelly has worked hard to show that although the timing doesn’t feel “perfect”, you can open a clinic at any time of life.  Physical Therapy U was created during the 3 months after her third child’s birth, while she also had her 1.5 year old and 3 year old home with her.  Kelly encourages others to go after their dreams and although being in the spotlight causes significant anxiety, she continues to push herself forward so that others can see what is possible.

In just three short years Kelly has successfully tripled her small business from a 1200SF space to a 4500SF space without the need of tripling her patient visits.  Kelly enjoys sharing her highs and lows with others so that they can learn the best techniques even faster than she did.

Physical Therapy U continues to grow and evolve and Kelly welcomes any and all advice for the future success of her business.

 Read the full transcript below:

Karen Litzy:                   00:01                Hey Kelly, welcome to the podcast. I’m happy to have you on. Welcome.

Kelly Duggan:                00:06                Thank you so much for having me. Excited to be here.

Karen Litzy:                   00:09                And today we’re going to talk about your business, the growth of your business. I would say the very fast growth of your business over the past three years. So PTU opened its doors three years ago. It was you and your sister working 10 hours a week. And now let’s fast forward to three years. You have 17 employees, four PTs, one PTA. I mean that’s a huge growth in three years. So I’m really excited for you to come on and let the listeners know how you did it. So let’s first talk about how you started. So take it away.

Kelly Duggan:                00:49                Yeah. So how we started, I was actually nine months pregnant and trying to decide which direction I was going to go with things. I had always been an employee that worked like around 30 hours a week and I would have one day off with my other kids. And when we got pregnant with our third, we realized that financially that was not going to be an option anymore. I needed to work full time. So I started looking at different options to do that, who I would work for, what I would want to do.  I’ve always really enjoyed, the program development and the marketing aspect of physical therapy. For me, you know, I’ve always needed a creative outlet and that was kind of my outlet in physical therapy. But where I was and kind of what I was looking into, that wasn’t going to be an option.

Kelly Duggan:                01:43                So it kept getting thrown around. Like what about your own place? What about your own place? And so finally, as the pregnancy progressed, I sort of started looking into it. So what do you, what do you do when you first start looking into stuff? You start googling it. So that’s where this all came from, is kind of a few Google searches of like, how’s this going to work? And, what I did at the time, was reached out to a few other people that were in my situation, parents of multiple kids that own their own practice to see because for me, that was the big hangup of, you know, this is going to take a lot of time away from my family. Am I going to be okay with that? And how, you know, how is that gonna work with my family and work with myself or my kids in the future.

Kelly Duggan:                02:31                So I reached out to a few other moms of multiple kids who had opened their own practices. And, you know, I got some feedback that I liked. I got some feedback that I didn’t like and, you know, I kind of just hung on to the words of advice from the people that said, go for it. And Yeah, I think my son was like one month old when we finally committed and I said, you know what, I’m just going to do this. And I think, and I always laugh about this, but I think that I was so massively pregnant and then postpartum that my husband was just like, yeah, whatever you want to do, whatever that sounds great. Whatever we have to do, we’ll find the money and just kind of like on board. So yeah, we started out really small.

Kelly Duggan:                03:20                I found a clinic that allowed me to do a one year lease because for me, I was just preparing for, well, if it doesn’t go well, what are my options? I’ll always have my license. So, you know, where could I work if this doesn’t go well and it doesn’t build and it doesn’t grow, like I want it to grow. So I found a clinic that did a one year lease. I looked at all the bare minimums of what do I need to make at the bare minimum. And I just laid it all out. You know, I always say I’m not a huge numbers person, but I think owning your own practice turns you into one. So now I’m like all about the numbers and that’s, you know, my mom took this photo of me sitting at my laptop.

Kelly Duggan:                04:05                Like, I dunno what I was doing either making the website or trying to crunch the numbers and I’ve got a coffee in one hand, one hands on the mouse and somehow I’m like balancing my newborn like on me. And it was just like very kind of how my life was at that moment. And for me it was if I want to do what I’m really passionate about in PT, which is marketing program development in sports, then I have to create it myself because it’s not there. The option is not there for me. So it’s just figuring out what I had to do to do it myself.

Karen Litzy:                   04:58                And I mean to do this massively pregnant and then with a newborn, I mean that is ballsy.  Like that is no joke. I mean, I don’t have children, so I don’t know what those first months are like, but I mean, and this was your third. It’s not like it was your first, you had two other children. I mean what a leap.

Kelly Duggan:                                        It was. And again, it was just kind of like, all right, it’s go big or go home. Like if we’re going to do this and I’m very much a determined person. If something is not there that I want, I’m going to create it or make it or somehow make it happen. And this was an opportunity for more time with my family in the long run. So in order for me to have more autonomy in the long run, it had to be done and it had to be created and it was, you know, it was for me and it was for my family and it was kind of like that, you know, you see like the parent lift a car off their kid, you hear those stories of was that sort of situation, it was like, okay, here’s this person with no business background, who hates numbers.

Kelly Duggan:                06:01                Who is going to like create this massive thing because I have to, that was the option, so it had to be done, you know?

Karen Litzy:                                           Yeah. And so that’s when you started three years ago. So let’s fast forward now to today where like I said earlier, 17 employees four PTs, one PTA. So can you break down for the listeners how you did that because that is massive growth and Kudos to you.

Kelly Duggan:                                        Thank you, so it’s funny because I didn’t plan it that way. It’s not like I was like, you know what, my three year plan is this and my five year plan, 10 year plan says this again, I was very naive going into it. So I thought this is my plan and this is where I’ll be, you know, three years from now if it’s successful, I’ll just stay in that same location.

Kelly Duggan:                07:00                So we opened our doors in May and in September I looked at my sister, I’m like, well, this isn’t going to work. You know, we were in a 1200 square foot space, you know, it took about a month and a half, but we went from no patients to I had a full schedule and I was prepared on the opposite end of that. Like I was prepared for all right, maybe I’ll have three days or whatever it is. But we scaled really quickly. So starting in September, I started looking for additional staff and it took me until January to actually hire someone. So I would say anybody that’s kind of in this position is just make sure you’re preparing ahead of time for if it does go well. Cause I did not. And so I hired someone in January and then I hired my second person in February and that’s when I said, okay, I’m not even gonna make it to a year in this location.

Kelly Duggan:                07:56                Like we need to expand. So it was probably March so not even one year in where I started looking into what is this location need to look like in order for it to be a success because the demand was there and I didn’t want to not provide the same service for more people. Like, you know, you see clinics that ended up getting stacked in their booking. People on top of the next person is just crazy and busy. And I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to still be able to provide the same level of service just for more people. So that meant expanding. So I started looking at additional locations and how that was going to work and started hiring and scaling is the big word that we used, but we scaled up from March when I started looking to the following March when we moved into our new location.

Kelly Duggan:                08:57                It was just kind of a slow scale and I was lucky enough to find a team of people that understood the importance of where we were going. And they were willing to adjust their hours as needed, but also work anywhere between like 28 and 40 hours as needed as we scaled. So for me, you know, I don’t like to use the term, I was lucky because I busted my ass for everything that I’ve done. But in the sense of hiring people, in a kind of a team and a family that understood the importance of that, I was lucky. I mean these, these people kind of worked as hard as I did to get us to where we need to be. So that was good because you don’t always find that in employees, you know?

Karen Litzy:                   09:44                Yeah. For sure. And now let’s back up for a second. How did you go from zero patients to a full schedule? Cause that’s what everybody wants to know. How do I get more patients on my schedule? How do we let people know we’re here and we’re ready to help?

Kelly Duggan:                10:03                So. MMM. Yeah, you know, I hustled basically. So in whatever that term means to you, you know, like the older generation are horrified by the use of that term. But, I worked really, really hard. And I just networked and got my face everywhere. And you know, it, I think we’ve talked about this before, but I feel really uncomfortable when I’m talking in group settings or in front of people

Karen Litzy:                   10:34                I know, but I don’t get it.

Kelly Duggan:                10:38                Thank you. The Facebook lives, but again, it was there was a need to do, I knew that if I wanted to grow my practice, people had to know who I was. And I had to be seen as kind of an authority in the PT World, in my community. So in order to do that, you have to put yourself in front of people. So I was putting myself in networking groups, putting myself in business associations, talking, volunteering to talk, I’m doing all these live videos and posting it to different groups and doing all these things that are way outside of my comfort zone because I knew that people had to recognize me and my brand as, you know, as healers. So, on top of that we did like a lot of online marketing or I always say we, but I did a ton of online marketing.

Kelly Duggan:                11:29                As well as, I did some print ads, not a lot because they’re so expensive. But what I did do, which I tell everyone to do, cause it’s such a good idea, is I think it’s everyday direct mailers is what it’s called for the post office where you can either create a postcard or a letter and you can map out on the US Postal Service website, who you want to get your letter. And so within like a three mile radius of my clinic, I sent out a postcard, which one side had who we were and what we did and the services we offered. And then on the other side I did a baseball schedule. Right. Or you do a football schedule or basketball or whatever. Because for me, like when I get mail, if it’s junk, I throw it out unless it has a sports schedule on it.

Kelly Duggan:                12:24                And then it’s on my fridge. And then I don’t even know who these people are and they’re on my fridge, the entire sports schedule because it’s the sports schedule. So I put it up there. So to put the sports schedule or whatever that is, you know, in your community, it goes right on people’s fridges. And then every day they were opening the fridge and they see your logo and they see whatever it is you put on there. And that helped. And I did have a lot of patients that came to me because they got the flyers and they’re like, oh yeah, you’re on my fridge.

Karen Litzy:                                           Yeah, because don’t they say it takes like x amount of touch points before some of them will decide to pull the trigger and make a purchase.

Kelly Duggan:                                        So I did a ton of marketing, you know, and even, you know, the patients that we did have asking them, but I don’t want to use this as like a copout as to why we scaled so quickly.

Kelly Duggan:                13:16                But you know, I also take insurance, so that obviously is a lot easier than convincing people, you know, over your cash rate. But in the beginning I wasn’t contracted with every insurance, so I was actually seeing, you know, a handful of patients that were paying my out of pocket rates because I wasn’t contracted with their insurance yet. So that was kind of cool.

Karen Litzy:                                           Yeah. So you had a little bit of a hybrid in the beginning and then, and now, do you take all insurances in your area or just a couple?

Kelly Duggan:                                        I take most insurances there. Again, from the business side of things, there are a couple of insurances that financially, we wouldn’t just lose money, but I’d lose like a lot of money. So we can’t take every insurance, but we do take most and then we do offer our cash rate or a prompt pay rate if people don’t want to use their insurance or some people don’t even want to use their insurance benefit.

Kelly Duggan:                14:21                So, even though they have an insurance that we would contract with, they choose to still pay us a cash rate and then you know, we have additional services since moving into our larger location that cause again, PT insurance, it doesn’t, unless your really savvy is the word I’ll use, it doesn’t make good money. We basically we paid the bills and that’s how we get by. But if we want to make additional incomes of that, you know, my employees can get raises and we can buy new fun equipment. We had to take on all these additional ancillary services in the new location.

Karen Litzy:                   15:02                Okay. So what are these ancillary services? Because this is something that I think we really want to touch upon because listen, not everyone has a cash based service. I would say the majority of people by and large do not. Yeah. And that most physical therapy offices around this country take insurance. And like you said, sometimes the insurance does not reimburse a lot. I know New York state, it’s very, very low. So what ancillary services have you added? So again, kind of make that hybrid practice.

Kelly Duggan:                15:40                Yeah. So in our previous location, which was really small, what we did, and it was a much smaller scale, but we would hold classes every now and then, so we’d have, you know, a yoga class or a strength and conditioning class or something so every now and then we could get a little bump of money, in our new location, which is 4,500 square feet. We’re able to add in a lot more.

Kelly Duggan:                16:10                So we’re looking to make it a little more consistent, but we’ve had yoga. I hired, so I didn’t like rent out, but I hired two massage therapists, and they work on kind of like a per diem rate. So they’re not there all the time, but you know, when they have clients. So we’ve built up and that’s really been a huge compliment to our physical therapy services, not only for our patients, but for our therapists in kind of taking the load off of not having to do as much manual because if people are getting massages with it, it just helps that much more and then people are carrying over better. And, so that’s been a benefit all around financially and for our patients. And for our therapists. We hired massage therapists.

Kelly Duggan:                17:11                I had massage therapists and I have a program that we call the elevation programs so that, we all know that insurance doesn’t cover everything, right for physical therapy. They don’t really cover the sport based stuff or transitioning someone back to crossfit or whatever it is. It’s not always covered within their plan. And then, you know, there also insurances that cut you off after 60 visits or at 90 days. So what we did was kind of bridged the gap between physical therapy and a patient’s return to sport or return to their full activity. So we created something called like an elevation plan where people can purchase it on a monthly basis, you know, similar to how you would purchase a gym membership. And the elevation plans include, you know, PT visits, massages and an exercise prescription by a personal trainer, which one of our rehab aids is a personal trainer.

Kelly Duggan:                18:21                So we utilize her and kind of kick people off with this really great program. And it’s really meant to be a transitional program. So people will do it for a month or two, and then they have the confidence in order to get back to sport or gym or whatever it is they wanted to do. And maybe they’re like getting back to, but maybe they’re starting it for the first time. So we have yoga, we have the elevation plan, we have massage, and we do like sport performance clinics. So, you know, sometimes we do two hour ones. We just had a dance one for our dancers. Sometimes we do, you know, like a six week program for our youth athletes. We really focused on, at the new location, kind of like, my big thing was, okay, you know, I love to work with athletes.

Kelly Duggan:                19:15                I think it’s an underserved population. The youth athlete, I think we get lost in the shuffle. So that was for us kind of a big part of what we’re trying to do with PTU. So we have all these programs for our youth, for flexibility, coordination, the things that the coaches can’t necessarily allocate time for in their practices. We again, are just trying to bridge the gap and support where there is a need. So we created all these programs. So all of that is additional money that helps to run our insurance based practice.

Karen Litzy:                   19:54                Right. Fabulous. And I love the sports performance for our kids because you’re right, that is not something that is widely used. You know, kids they go to their practice, they do their sport, and then that’s it. And I mean, I see a lot of kids in my practice having very adult injuries, ACL injuries, you know, knee pain, a torn labrum. So things like that. So I think what a great idea. And then that’s also great for your marketing. Right?

Karen Litzy:                   20:37                It’s also great for your marketing because then you have the kids coming in, the parents know you’re there. So if something happens to anyone in the family, they’re going to come to you because they already know you, like you and trust you.

Kelly Duggan:                20:53                Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, with having like kind of the youth athlete as your main population, you know, they can’t drive themselves. So someone has to bring them, whether it’s a parent or an aunt or you know, and then they’re exposed to your facility and exposed to what you do. And, I think once they see that you’re providing something different, that’s of quality and the services, the customer service there, it just spreads like wildfire.

Karen Litzy:                   21:28                Yeah. Fabulous. And now so we spoke about what you did to get patients in the beginning, how you’ve expanded and how you’ve expanded so quickly, which is all awesome. Now can you tell us, were there any mistakes, any pitfalls along the way that you can share?

Kelly Duggan:                21:50                I mean, there’s always, pitfalls. I’m trying to think of something.

Karen Litzy:                   22:00                Yeah. Like if there’s something that you’re like, oh man, if only I knew I would not have done it this way.

Kelly Duggan:                22:10                Yeah. Well, you know, a lot of pitfalls that were kind of, if I had known I probably would have done differently. The billing aspect of things in the beginning we outsourced, which was fine because again, it wasn’t like I was learning so much at the time anyways. It’s not like I could learn another skill of the billing side of things. So I outsourced. But we lost a lot of money in outsourcing. And I think not only did we lose a lot of money, but I think there was a lot of opportunity for me to have learned more about why we bill and what we bill and that aspect of things that I just wasn’t paying attention to for the first year and a half. I was just kind of filling out and assuming that everything was fine and coming back on in it and it was fine.

Kelly Duggan:                23:10                It was just once we decided to take on billing and hire someone, the learning curve there of what we’re billing, how much we’re billing, why we’re billing it, what we get paid. I learned a lot in those first like six months of bringing on billing that in hindsight probably should have just figured out like how I could have done that earlier on. Because once we took it on and we started learning more about what you know, actually pays and what doesn’t pay, we were able to make some adjustments in what we do to make more money through insurance. So that was definitely kind of a big eyeopener for me switching from outsourcing billing to taking it on.

Karen Litzy:                   24:01                Great. Yeah. Know your billing know where your money’s coming from, where it’s going and why some things are being paid and others are not. And I mean the list can go on and on. Right,

Karen Litzy:                   24:14                That’s great advice for people who are wanting to start their own practice, especially in an insurance based practice.

Kelly Duggan:                24:24                Yeah. And a lot of those outsourcing companies, they will train you, you know, that’s an option. I just kept saying, Eh, I’m like, like this one more thing I don’t need to know. And it was like once I learned it, I’m like, wait, what was I doing? Why did I not want to know any of this is so important. Making more money.

Karen Litzy:                   24:42                Right. And now what are the things that you look at now? So in business, you know, we talk about key performance indicators. So what are let’s say for you and your business, what are the three most important KPIs that you look at?

Kelly Duggan:                25:08                Yeah, we look at cost per visit. So obviously you’re looking at what you make per visit cause that’s important for me. I’m looking at cost per visit and obviously I want that to be lower than what we make per visit because my overhead is so high, our cost per visit is a bit higher. Which is why in going to the new location and tripling in size. It’s funny cause a lot of like insurance based PT clinic owners were like, no, like that doesn’t like, you can’t do that, it’s not gonna work. Insurance doesn’t pay enough money for that model to work. That’s why people don’t do it. And I just kept going back to like, yeah, but it’s a service to our patients. It’s exactly what they need and somehow we’re gonna figure out how to make it work because it’s what people want and it’s going to just provide so much for them.

Kelly Duggan:                26:12                So a huge one for me is cost per visit cause it’s high. But we want it to be below what we make per visit. So I’m looking at cost per visit and then I’m looking at how can I make that lower? I pay attention a lot to like how many elevation plans were selling in a month, how many massages we’re selling in a month. Because again, that is going to bring down that cost per visit for me so I focus a lot on there. I used to focus on, you know, the average amount of visits we were getting out of people. But over time it’s been similar over time, so it’s not like I’m like, you know, worried about it. But there are certain key performance indicators that I don’t know how I want to say this without sounding like, I don’t want my therapist to be aware that all right we need every patient to have 12 visits because that’s what we need financially.

Kelly Duggan:                27:26                You know, you don’t want someone’s treatment to be affected by the bottom line. So I track it, but that’s not something I share with my employees or even try and like, oh, we got to get that to, you know, 13 visits or 14 visits because I mean, it’s a wonderful thing if you can get somebody better within four visits or six visits, cause then they’re gonna, you know, talk about, Oh my God, I felt better in six visits. So you don’t want to focus on those numbers. So I think, you know, you do see that number of listed a lot when people are talking about key performance indicators and how many visits you’re getting out of your plan of care. But I think going into it and focusing on that number is not a good thing for us as PTs.

Karen Litzy:                   28:15                Right. Yeah. And, also it then puts these perhaps unrealistic what’s the word? When they have to meet a quota, is that a thing? Like PTs have to meet a quota or something like that? Yeah, some clinics. It incentivizes the wrong thing, right? I think what you’re doing is you’re incentivizing patient care. Versus incentivizing patient visits. Those are two very different things. More visits doesn’t equate better care. It just equates more visits.

Kelly Duggan:                28:59                Yup. Exactly. Exactly. And we’ve talked a lot about in talking to my coworkers and stuff of, all right, well, what do we have to do? How many visits do we need to do? And how many massage appointments do we need? How many elevation plans do we need so that we continue to deliver the level of care that we’re delivering. I don’t want to change my business model to seeing a patient every half hour, or, you know, forcing that sort of way to hit our bottom line. I’d rather have it, well, you know, can we get more people in? Can we do performance clinic? Can we, you know, add in yoga again, like how can we add additional services? Because you hate to really like turn into a mill to hit your numbers, you know? So for us, we need to encourage more people to, you know, sign up for massage or maybe we need another deal because we’re getting close to that number of we’re not gonna, you know, make our minimum requirements and we don’t want to change our model. We don’t want to change the level of care we’re able to provide to people. So I think that therapists knowing that they are getting so much better with like, mmm, you know, wanting to do these additional programs and wanting our patients to do these additional programs. So it’s been good in that sense. You know, and I’ve heard from other business owners and other PTs that they’ll get a bonus if they hit their productivity.

Karen Litzy:                   30:42                That’s terrible.

Kelly Duggan:                30:46                That’s not what we want to do at all. You know, it’s like, it’s just, again, it’s the quality of care and it’s then the PTs just thinking about their numbers and not, am I getting people better?

Karen Litzy:                   30:58                Exactly. And then, you have PTs saying, oh, I can work through lunch or I’ll stay later, or I’ll come in earlier because they’re just so focused. I mean, let’s be honest, a lot of PTs are type A, right, so focused on hitting this arbitrary number to get a bonus. Right? So let’s say they get $1,000 bonus. Well, right, that thousand dollar bonus down to all the times coming in early and lunches that you worked through, guess what, that thousand dollar, $2,000 bonus that it doesn’t equate to what you’re making per hour. Right. And then it just, I think it’s a great way to burn out your therapists. And I’m not sure, is the care better? Is it not better? I don’t know that I can’t say, but I think it’s, like we said, just incentivizing the wrong thing. So glad you brought that up. Is there any other big KPI that you look at regularly and that forces you to maybe change the way your business is being run?

Kelly Duggan:                32:17                Not really. I mean, I look at a lot of stuff just to monitor for myself. You know, I look at average codes for treatment, you know, and are we in line with the national average. You know, how can we make that in line with the national average while still providing the quality care that we’re providing. I mean there’s nothing that I, again, it’s a lot of stuff that I look at kind of the behind the scenes stuff, but nothing that I would want my therapist too be concerned with I guess.

Karen Litzy:                   32:59                Yeah. And what about cancellations? No shows? Yeah. It’s always one that everybody always touted as being one, but I dunno.

Kelly Duggan:                33:10                We track that and if it starts to get higher than like, you know, a certain number, we were like, okay, what’s happening? But we have things in place that, kind of limit the amount of cancels and no shows. You know, we do our reminder calls. We, you know, people that are dropping off, patients that drop off. We use like an automated email system we use. We’re integrated with strive, so we use strive, but I know some people use infusion soft.

Karen Litzy:                   33:45                Infusion soft is very expensive.

Kelly Duggan:                33:48                Yeah. I love strive. It’s really user friendly. And the customer service has been awesome and you don’t have to like build your own sort of stuff. It’s, you know, you create your own content and all of that, but you don’t have to like be a computer genius to use it.

Karen Litzy:                   34:12                And is that strive labs through web PT?

Kelly Duggan:                34:16                We were using them before they were integrated with web PT and they do work with, you know, if you don’t use webPT, I believe, you know, but I do use webPT.

Karen Litzy:                   34:28                Cool. Very cool. And so we talked about where you came from, where you’re at, what you’re looking at, how you’re growing. So now where do you see yourself going in the next three years?

Kelly Duggan:                34:43                Yeah, so, you know, I’m always thinking about that. But you know, one of my biggest struggles I would say right now is because we’re so busy as just like, how do I get through the day? How do I get through the day? And I would say a couple of weeks ago, I’m like, what am I doing? Like all of my energy is focused on how am I getting through today and this week? And I’m not thinking of kind of the long term. And every time we have either a student or someone interviewed, they’re like, what’s the longterm plan for PTU? I’m like, well, you know, I don’t really know.You know, people ask, because for me it was, I opened PTU because I wanted that creative outlet. You know, I wanted to support our athletes, but I wanted autonomy and I wanted time with my family. And I’m starting to get that so I don’t want to, you know, it’s not in the cards for the next three years to expand to another location.

Kelly Duggan:                35:42                It’s just to get this PTU central location successful in the insurance world. And, you know, I’d like to be able to give everybody raises. And all of that. So I want the next three years is figuring out how do we make this insurance hybrid model, successful so that we can, you know, give people raises and continue to treat at the level that we’re treating. And you know, so that I can get the time that I wanted with my family. And then if we’re able to do all of that in three to five years, maybe, you know, I’ve talked about adding on a second location, but I don’t even want to think about it because I’m, again, like you mentioned, a lot of PTs are type A, I’m so type a that if I decide that I want to have a second location, I can’t say, well, I’m going to do it in five years.

Kelly Duggan:                36:39                Like it’ll be here in six months. Like that’s just how like I work. So I just, I want to keep putting that off. And for right now it’s just PTU. It’s our central location. I want it to be, you know, successful. And when I say successful, you know, I don’t want to sugar coat it. I want it to be lucrative. I want it to be a business that makes money.

Karen Litzy:                                           Of course you got, why wouldn’t you and what other business world outside of like PT, the healing world do people say I really hope it’s successful. Like of course yeah I still want to make money though. Yeah! That’s why you started your own business for some freedom, for stability to be with your family, to help the people in your community and to make money. You didn’t start a business to not make money.

Karen Litzy:                   37:32                He didn’t start a non for profit, which is a totally different world. So like if you opened up a clothing store, you wouldn’t be like, man I just, I just hope I can make money one day.

Kelly Duggan:                                        Yeah. It’s funny cause it’s the PT struggle, you know, it’s like I want to support my patients. But you know, you have to put on that business owner hat and be like, well we need to make money to support our patients.

Karen Litzy:                                           So that’s right. It’s your responsibility to make money so that you can be present in your neighborhood and that you can be present in your community and help people. Because if you didn’t make any money, you’d have to close your doors and all those people who depend on you, what do they do then?

Kelly Duggan:                                        Yeah, exactly. So in three years, you know, I want, you know, hopefully two more PTs is like the goal, you know, and I’d like to have that within the next year. And I want one of those PTs to take over the performance side of things because I feel like that’s one area that we can continue to grow and we could have, you know, we could constantly be hosting some sort of sport related supportive group or clinic or camp or whatever. But I don’t have time to plan all that. So I want to hire, I want one of my PTs to kind of take over the performance side of things.

Karen Litzy:                   38:49                Very smart. Well, it sounds like you have a good plan in place and I love the fact that you said, you know, I just want to make this into a well oiled machine. This is what I want. And that’s amazing because not everything, like you said, not everything has to be scaled to infinity. I mean, knowing where you are in life and knowing what you want and knowing how you want to live your life and if you can achieve that

Karen Litzy:                   39:20                Achieve those goals within the parameters that you have. It just has to be, like you said, little tweaks here and there. I think that’s amazing. So congratulations on such a huge, huge change in three years.

Kelly Duggan:                39:34                Thank you. Thank you. And I want to actually bring that up. I want to say something to that because, I think again, PTs as kind of type A, and especially PTs coming out of school, we are so on this really, really like fast train of trying to be successful and achieve our goals. And, for PTs a lot of people are so focused on their career and their career ladder in their career growth. And I just want to say a reminder to people to kind of pull yourself away from that for a second and just think like, what do I want out of my life? What are my life goals, right? Is it that I want to travel more? Is it that I want to have a lot of money?

Kelly Duggan:                40:25                Is it that I want more time with my family? Whatever it is for you. Think about that for, you know, a few minutes and then think about, okay, so how does PT fit into that? And not the opposite way of like, let me like reach the top of this career ladder and then like, well, is PT my life? Or like where am I now? So just pull yourself away from that and think of, you know, like for me it was and it might take a life event for you to figure out that. Like for me it was having my third kid and like, wait a minute, what the hell am I doing here? And it was okay, I want more time with my family. How do I do that? How does PT fit into that? And I just want to encourage more people to do that. Cause I think as type a people, we get so obsessed with climbing this kind of career ladder that, you know, we can get lost in it.

Karen Litzy:                   41:19                And great advice. And I am in this, speaker’s group, which is really a bit of an entrepreneurial group as well. And the woman who runs it Trisha Brook, at one of our first sessions, she had us write out kind of what do you want your legacy to be? And that’s if you think about that you’re doing exactly what you just said. You know, you’re putting forth what do you want your legacy in this world to be? Right? And it sounds like for you it was too, you know, be with your family to have an influence over your children and to have that be such a great legacy. Have your children, your family, be your legacy, have the community that you’re in, be your legacy. But what I didn’t hear from you, and correct me if I’m wrong, but what I didn’t hear from you is for PTU to be your legacy.

Karen Litzy:                   42:21                Right. It was, I want to make a change in my community and my family and that’s the legacy. PTU is part of the way I do that. But it’s not everything. Excellent advice. And now I feel like I’m going to ask you this last question, but you might have just answered it. But the question is, given where you are now life, career, what advice would you give yourself as a new grad out of PT School?

Kelly Duggan:                42:57                That’s it. Don’t fall for the trap.

Kelly Duggan:                43:12                Don’t fall for the kind of trap of just trying to, you know what, nevermind, I wouldn’t say that. Because I feel like all of that got me to where I am right now. You know, the struggle of how do I get high around the career ladder and how do I do all of this. And, so I guess what would I say to myself straight out of PT School is take jobs that you have fun at. If it’s not fun at the end of the day, if you didn’t laugh, if you didn’t enjoy yourself, get out of that situation sooner than later. I think I held on to certain things knowing that they were good for my career and I should have let go of them sooner.

Karen Litzy:                   44:08                Excellent advice. Couldn’t agree more. And now where can people find you and the clinic if they want more info or they want to talk shop with you.

Kelly Duggan:                44:17                So I’m on my website is PTUclinic.com. The email is PTUclinic@gmail.com. I’m on Facebook, I’m on Linkedin. I’m not on there too often, but I’m on Facebook pretty regularly and my clinic is on Instagram. So any of those realms reach out if it’s something that you’re thinking of doing. I love talking with people that are thinking about opening their own clinic. I love to just encourage it, I think, you know, if it’s something that you want to do then to go out and do it and yeah, reach out to me. I’d love to be of any help if that’s what you’re looking for.

Karen Litzy:                   44:57                Awesome. Well thank you so much, Kelly, for coming on and sharing your entrepreneurial journey. I think you gave a lot of people a lot of help today, so thank you so much.

Kelly Duggan:                45:07                Thank you so much for having me. Really appreciate the opportunity to talk about it and I hope we encourage some people today.

Karen Litzy:                   45:15                Yeah, I hope so too. Thanks so much. And everyone out there listening. Thank you so much for listening. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy, and smart.



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©2019 Karen Litzy Physical Therapy PLLC.
©2019 Karen Litzy Physical Therapy PLLC.