To succeed, we have to know how to build great relationships. But, how do we do that? Is there a specific process or guideline we can follow? Jeff Sallade PT, DPT talks about successful expansion of business through partnerships. Jeff and his partner have expanded to more than five clinics in the 10 years they’ve been open, all with a partnership business model that’s allowed their PTs to grow into new leadership roles. In this episode Jeff shares with us how they’ve established each partnership as well as some of the details, considerations, and pros and cons to partnerships in general. This episode is a great follow-up to Eric Miller’s discussion just a few episodes earlier, on what to consider when determining if partnerships are right for you.
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Successful Expansion Via Partnerships With Jeff Sallade, PT, DPT
I’ve got a PT owner from New Jersey, Jeff Sallade, Coowner of 3 Dimensional Physical Therapy, who has been reading the blog for a while and reached out to me via email saying, “I read your blog about partnerships with Eric Miller, some great insight. We’ve put it in practice and thought it would be cool to share some of the pros and cons of what we’re doing.” Jeff, first of all, thanks for reaching out and thanks for joining me on the show.
Thanks a lot, Nathan, for having me on the show. It’s great to be here. I’m a big fan of the show.
I’ve said this before and I tell readers, “Reach out anytime if you have questions, comments or even recommendations for topics or desks.” Thank you first for taking me up on that. First of all, share a little bit about you so people know where you’re coming from and then I can start asking you some questions about your partnerships that you’re developing.
I’ve been in practice as a therapist for years. Similar to many private practice owners, I got to a point where I felt like, “I could probably do this better if I did it myself.” There was another therapist that I knew who we two decided, “Let’s do this together.” That was years ago. We had an awesome event in our community. We got a bunch of small businesses out. We had a mechanical bull there. It was awesome. We’ve had our practice for years. When we first started, we were hoping to get enough patients to be able to take up our time during the day.
We didn’t want to be sitting in the clinic, looking at each other. After 1 or 2 years, we had a decent amount of growth but we never gave a lot of thoughts of how we want it to grow. We’re an orthopedic and sports clinic, what I think is a pretty typical outpatient clinic. The numbers kept growing. We had hired a couple of therapists. The way that the second clinic came about was we had a sports performance coach that we knew. He was about 20 or 25 minutes away. He said, “A vacancy opened up in my plaza. Would you guys ever have interest in opening up here?” I remember my partner and I looked at each other. I was like, “I don’t want to be the one to go there.” He was saying the same thing. We were like, “What do we do if we want to open a second office?”
We had a therapist who had only worked for us for about a year but we liked him. We knew he wanted to do some bigger and better things and have more responsibility. He was from the area pretty close to that opportunity. We said, “Let’s give him a chance.” At first, he stepped in as a clinic manager. My partner funded a new clinic. It became apparent that he was going to do a good job once he got in there. That’s when we started kicking around the partnership model.
How many clinics do you have?
We have five and then we’re opening two more locations. We’re in the crazy mode of managing the build-outs and the permits of the two offices. It’s a little bit crazy but it’s a good crazy.
Congratulations. I assume that you’ve taken this partnership model that you started but then refined over the years and we’ve expanded that to the other clinics as well.
Once we allowed Ryan, our first partner, to buy into that second office, my partner Ken and I looked at each other and was like, “Ryan’s working there. He’s benefiting from having ownership in that office.” We have an outstanding employee who’s super motivated because of the financial incentive that he has to do a good job. We said, “Maybe this is a good idea. Maybe our retention rate will be good.” We had another guy that was working for us. He wanted to have his own practice but he didn’t want to start it from scratch as we did. We gave him an opportunity. This guy’s name is Chuck. He’s a total go-getter. He opened his office a year after that second office was open and he is doing phenomenally as well. My partner and I always own at least 50% of the office and then the partner there has percent ownership as well. It’s usually based on their comfort level with how much risk they want to take.
Are you also asking them to put in some money to buy into that clinic?
From the beginning with these two locations that we’re opening, we identify the location and then the therapist that works with us that is going to go there. All the costs are split according to the percent ownership. Let’s say if a total clinic from start to finish costs $100,000, my partner and I are 50% owners and the other person is 50%, we’re each putting up $50,000 whether they know it from the beginning and they know what they need to be responsible for financially. We have found that that works best. They own the clinics in the beginning. They feel like they’re an owner right away from the first thing that’s purchased.
In this situation, I’ve got a couple of directions that we can go with this but since we’re talking about their percentage of ownership, do you agree to a basic salary for that partner to simply be there? What do you do with distributions after? I don’t want to get too detailed if you don’t want to but how do you establish the financial relationship? Also, consider that you are doing not only management but also providing backend services. How do you account for that? How do you establish this financial relationship going forward?
The therapists that take over the clinic run the day-to-day stuff and they have guaranteed pay. They have a salary for all the work they do related to their clinic. Most of the time, they’ve been a staff therapist for a couple of years. Their guaranteed pay usually takes a step back. They’re not a drastic step back. They’re not eating peanut butter and jelly every meal of the day but we want them to feel like they’re not happy with the guaranteed pay that they’re getting because if that would be the only way they would get, they wouldn’t be happy with that.
You scale back their salary a little bit because they’re going to get more on the backend based on performance.
What we do is we calculate profits monthly. We have a way of setting up a bank account. Each of these offices from an accounting standpoint have own separate LLCs and own separate bank accounts. Everything is separate.
For each LLC, you have your own books as well. They always have their own financial.
My wife used to do our accounting. When we got to five clinics, she said, “I’m tapping out.” We have the guy who does our taxes. He has taken over the month-to-month QuickBooks. They have their own books in each clinic. We know on the first of each month how profitable or unprofitable the clinic was. If there are profits, my partner and I take our distribution. We choose how much we’re going to put back into the company and then the partner’s free to do with what they want. Potentially, they get a monthly payout of their profits. You can talk to some of the partners. They’re all pretty happy with the setup of their deal.
How do you set it up? If you’re 50/50, have you already predetermined the tiebreaker? Do you have the final vote if you can’t come to an agreement on something?
Maybe during COVID, there were some crazy votes that we took but normally, on a day-to-day process, there hasn’t been a time. Each partner has an operating agreement and it’s defined there. If there are ever big decisions, here’s how it works. My partner and I get a vote and then the other partner in the office gets a vote too. That’s clearly defined. We haven’t had to do anything like that but you got to think of everything before it all happens so that you make sure that when you do run into some things, the rules are clearly defined.
I’m sure you establish this with a lawyer ahead of time to walk you through these scenarios and that’s a few thousand dollars that’s well-spent in order to establish this stuff. I highly recommend that. Not to get too detailed or into the weeds but have you had to agree on set aside accounts for rainy day funds and stuff like that? How much in a line of credit that you have for each LLC? Do you go that far with each partner to figure out some of those things?
When we were first setting this up, we consulted with a bunch of different private practices. Here’s what we came up with. Each office has a bank account. In one of the accounts like our checking account that we pay all the bills from, there’s a certain threshold that always has to be there. It’s like 3 or maybe 2 months of expenses. We know that we can’t go below that. There’s a buffer built in there. Every once in a while, when payroll falls at the beginning of a month and rent hits, it goes below that but by the end of the month, it has to be back at that threshold.
At the end of the month, if it’s not at that threshold then we know that the clinic wasn’t profitable that month and everybody has to do an equity call. If it is profitable, everybody gets to take distributions. There are good and bad with being a partner. That’s one of the cons. The partner has to get in the mindset of, “If I’m not profitable by X amount of money, I’m responsible for doing an equity call and contributing money back to the office.”
There’s a difference between hard equity and soft equity, where soft equity might be you’re going to get some bonuses, some profit-sharing model or something like that but hard equity being their name is on the legal paperwork for the LLC. Is that how you’ve established it? Are these hard equity partners?
Yes. They’re on all the paperwork. We have a couple of clinics where there’s a partner. For instance, the clinic that I work and treat in, we have a clinic manager. He doesn’t have ownership in the office but he has a profitability incentive. He has less risk. If there’s a month where we’re not profitable, he isn’t putting money back up. He hasn’t been penalized for that. He isn’t getting paid out an incentive for the month. We’ve done that model as well. People who are as willing to take the jump into ownership. We have another account. We have savings account for each LLC or clinic. Five percent of the profits go into the savings account before anything gets paid out.
To set aside for rainy days or taxes.
If there’s a big piece of equipment somebody wants to buy like a BFR and all the clinics have BFR units, they can use that money to purchase it. We learned during COVID. that we didn’t have enough money in our savings account. We make sure that we’re not spending that money as readily to have anything that the clinic would want to use.
I’m assuming that you’ve already established an umbrella company that charges each clinic to do the billing, payroll, accounting and legal services. There’s a number of things that the umbrella company has. Do you have something like that in place as well?Communicate with all the partners on a regular basis one-on-one. Click To Tweet
We do our billing in-house, billing authorization. We have 6 or 7 employees that do that. We have a marketing employee and an operations employee. There are certain positions that don’t generate revenue that is central to the company. Each office contributes to that. The way that we determine that is by the percent of collections. If we have $100 in collections in a month and one office does $20 of collections, they’re paying 20% of the expenses. We call them management expenses.
That’s one way to do it the way we did it. Maybe it’s similar to yours but we simply charged a flat percentage and we called it the management fee. Based on what I’ve talked to other PT owners and also other industries that sometimes land between 15% to 20% of collections that will go towards the management fee to cover those types of expenses whether it’s marketing payroll, billing and collections, do you think that number sounds about right based on where your collection is at?
The percent collections pay for the salaries of the employees and then there are some other expenses that are sent. We charge a flat percentage to the clinics to account for those things. Those are our expenses for the EMR system and liability insurance. All that stuff falls under a flat percentage. If it benefits all the offices, we pay for that centrally.
Is the lease held by each separate entity for each location?
Each location leases under each of the individual entities.
This partner would still be on the hook for the lease as well.
We had a lease where we had all of our billing and insurance employees at a separate location. That was all paid for by all the offices individually. They each contributed. What happened was after COVID, everybody worked from home and after that, nobody wanted to come back to the office. We had this sweet office that nobody was going to work in. Each still pays the least. It was a management facility so each office had to contribute a certain percentage to make up for the fact that we were getting out of that week. Everybody’s much happier working from home. They do a much better job working from home too. Going forward, we have less expense. One last lead to worry about.
To add these additional locations with separate LLCs, do you have to go through the full credentialing process or do you have relationships with your insurance companies where like, “We’re adding another location. It’s a separate LLC?” What’s that process like?
It’s automatic. The person who does our operations knows all the steps to follow. It’s like hiring another physical therapist who has credentials. With these two offices that are in the process of being open, she’s already on top of the credentialing for those offices. It happens pretty quickly.
It’s a whole new process. If you stay under one LLC, you say, “I’m going to add another location.” It’s a full-blown credentialing process again.
Each LLC has their own tax ID number but we do all of our billing under that umbrella company. Everything falls under that tax ID so that credentialing is easier.
I see where you’re going. The tax ID number of the umbrella company is the one that’s adding a location.
This might be good to cover. A question that we get from partners is, “How do I know that the money that my clinic is producing is being distributed to my office if all the money is coming into the central location?” We’ve made sure that our billing software is able to account any collection that happens at clinic X, Y or Z gets credited to clinic X, Y or Z. Every week, we move money around from our central bank account out to the individual clinics so that every week, they’re getting their collections into their bank account.
Your bookkeeper’s got to be almost full-time on this stuff.
They’re getting more and more hours. We’ve become known as this biggest headache.
To expand like this, there seem to be two things that are necessary and there could be more but I’m talking off the top of my head. Number one, you’ve got to have a partner that’s in alignment with you, someone that you’ve known. Not just some PT that you hired off the street and started opening up a clinic but probably has worked in one of your clinics for a period of time. You know they’re value-aligned. You’re on the same page but then you also have to have a pretty solid standard policy and procedure manual so that everyone’s not running off doing their own different thing. It’s six different clinics. Talk to me a little bit about those two things.
In the first part, we were careful from the beginning with everybody that we hired. We’ve learned that the hiring process is super important. From the first time they meet somebody, we interview them 3 or 4 times. We want to make sure they’re a good fit. They come and hang out with us in the clinic before we hire them. It’s fair to both of us. We want them to know what the day is like in our clinic as well, if they can see themselves fitting in there. Anybody who potentially becomes a partner has worked for us for at least a couple of years. That way we get to know them as a clinician but also as a person. That is an important part of this whole partnership process.
Even from the beginning, we ask people what their long-term goals are with physical therapy. If somebody mentions that they would like to have some ownership one day then we recognize that person and we’ll start to do some things from the get-go with them to maybe help foster those ideas and see if they’re serious about it.
Is that something where you advertise?
We don’t advertise. We have seven clinics in Southern New Jersey in between Philadelphia and Jersey Shore. PT is a small world. There’s a lot of PTs that don’t work for us that know what our model is. I get a ton of resumes because people know that we have at least have the potential to move into some type of partnership profess. It’s not super easy to get to that point but we have proof that this is what we do and people like that. It’s a good recruitment tool for us as well to get PTs interested in us who are motivated enough to possibly have their own clinic or be a partner down the road.
Are there some people who have expressed interest in that where you said, “That’s probably not a good fit?” Have you ever across that?
A lot of it is self-realized by them. A lot of people feel like they want to open their own clinic or want to be a partner but then sometimes when it comes down to it, the realization is there that this is a lot of work and it’s not easy. One thing that we’re doing is being motivated by us recognizing the need. If we’re going to continue to grow, we don’t want to grow to be able to say we have 10 or 15 clinics. We want to make sure that any clinic we open has a good chance of being successful.
We’re starting what we call a leadership program. We have 25 PTs in practice and this is open to all of them. They have to apply for it. It’s a year-long program where we’re mentoring them to become clinic managers or partners. We’re only going to take 4 or 5 people a year because we want it to be a little bit exclusive but we want the group to be small so we can get a good discussion going. If we took everybody the first year, I don’t know what I would do the second year anyway.
That creates a demand. To say that it’s exclusive to a certain number of people means you’re going to weed out some people but it also inspires some people like, “I want to be part of that group.”
I hope that’s what it does. There might be people that are disappointed if they don’t get into it the first year but we’ll make sure that it’s not because we don’t think you can’t do it. It’s because these are the 4 or 5 people we thought were best for this now but like, “I hope you’re still interested when the chance comes again.”
What is their commitment? What are you providing? Do they have to be available certain days of the week or once a month? What is your routine? How much detail can you share with me about the program?
I can still put it together but there’s going to be six. Our clinics are all pretty close together. Nobody’s more than 40 minutes from another one. Six times a year, we’re going to have on-sites where we do probably 3 or 4-hour blocks of on-site learning. We’ll have them be shut off from patient treatment for that time. In between each of those six on-site meetings, I’m going to do some one-on-one meetings with each of the people in the program. They’re then going to have some readings. We have some required readings.
I got your episode with Stephen Rapposelli where you were talking about books like Who Not How. I immediately got that book. That was a life-changer for me. That is going to be one of the required readings as part of the program. Also The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. That’s the first reading to be read before the whole program starts crashing. We’re going to do good books, some TED Talks, podcasts, that kind of stuff.
We had something similar. We had a leadership development program and there was a library of books that were required reading. This is how my partner and I came to have the business beliefs that we have. It’s imperative that you read those same books and we discuss what’s important about them. They can have their own mindsets as well but it aligns with the mentalities and mindsets. They can see, “That’s why you guys do that thing. Now I understand.” They go back and put 2 and 2 together.
We want to create an attitude of lifelong learning. A lot of the people in the program are probably more focused on their clinical learning, which is great because, believe me, we want to have awesome clinicians. We also want people to take the next step like, “How can I further myself as a manager, leader or partner in the company as well?” I’m looking forward to that component for sure.The hiring process is important. Be careful and make the right decisions. Click To Tweet
That’s going to be cool because, honestly, we’re physical therapists. We haven’t had this kind of training before. For you to share that with your team members like, “This is how to be a leader. This is how we run a business,” to pull back that curtain and give them that training that all your 5 to 7 partners have is something that most people pay money for.
We want to put that as an investment in our employees. I know that it’s going to come back to pay us dividends big times.
The second part of the question then is how much effort and what have you done to unify policy and procedures across all those clinics?
I’m the COO of the company. I always joke with my partner. I’m probably the least organized person in the whole business. Somehow that got thrown onto my plate, which is ironic. I have somebody that works with me that’s a total all-star for us. We know that’s ever-evolving. We meet every week to make sure that, “Here’s the gap here. We have to figure out a way to fill in the gap.” Something as simple as keeping track of our co-pay collection rate or pay to the plan of care get all faxed out. We missed three from last time. It’s ever-evolving. We’re becoming better at being organized and having some centralized processes and systems. Otherwise, stuff would fall apart.
It sounds like you found your who to help you with that.
I’m not the who for that. I would probably be the worst one. The company would fall apart if I was the who on the operations part.
It’s a worthy investment because to pay her to do that with you and coordination is going to be essential for you guys to continue to expand. This is probably something that you might have seen as you took that first location on and the next location. As you started expanding, those holes and weaknesses started to get magnified and exaggerated.
We saw and recognized that. We said, “We need an employee that is dedicated to this.” At first, you’re like, “Are we going to pay somebody to do something that seems easy?” Once my partner and I didn’t have to do it as much anymore, it was like, “How do we even think that this wasn’t going to be worth it?”
As you’re working with your partners, it’s not like, “Here’s your clinic, go off and do it. That’s great. We’ll talk and collect some money.” What kind of communication schedule do you have with them? Do they report things to you? How does that all workout? What is your relationship?
Another thing that’s high on our priority list is we want our relationships with our partners to be as good as they can be. One of the tough things that we went through in having partners was my partner and I took some things for granted. We didn’t do a great job communicating some things. That led to some frustrations on the partner’s side and with my partner and I as well. That’s demonstrated to us, “Here’s how important it is for everybody to be on the same page.” As a leadership team, my partner and I meet with all the partners once a quarter. We do a three-hour partner meeting.
My partner and I communicate with all the partners on a regular basis one-on-one. Everybody is a little different with how they want to communicate. One guy I talk with every week, another one I talk with every two weeks and one is once a month. As long as we feel that our relationships are good and we’re not losing anything, whatever frequency they want, we’re happy with it. There’s a structure to each call. There are certain things that we talk about and go over. Sometimes it ends up being like half the conversation is talking about non-PTs, talking about life too, to develop the relationships not just the professional component of it but even the personal component.
You the COO. Are you the one that’s also getting the clinical statistics on a routine basis, reviewing them and then also discussing if there are issues out points or decline in stats?
That’s on my task list for sure. We’ve gotten good at defining what metrics are most important to us and getting them in an organized fashion in one centralized spreadsheet. We still have a bunch of spreadsheets and one of the frustrations was, “I got this and that spreadsheet. I don’t even know what to look at.” People ended up not looking at anything. There’s a time where we’ve been like, “Here’s what you guys need to look at the most.” It’s all on this one spreadsheet and that has made life a lot easier for all of us, for sure.
When you guys are all together, what things are you discussing on those quarterlies?
Stuff that’s relevant to the entire company. My partner is a big fan of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Probably one hour of the meeting is he’s going to be doing an exercise where I don’t even know what’s on tap for that. I saw it on the agenda so I’m pretty excited to see what he has in store for us. There’s almost like a team bonding component to that meeting but then there’s like, “Here’s the policy we didn’t think of.” We meet collectively to come up with decisions.
Another thing that was hard for me and I would imagine for my partner too was by including other partners with us, all of a sudden, we’re not the only ones making the decisions anymore. I could only think of a couple of situations where there was some frustration. Our partners share the same values so it hasn’t been as much of a negative as I think it could have been if we weren’t careful about choosing who our partners are but you lose some of your decision-making authority.
I am assuming you and Ken still have veto power and hold that to some extent.
Yes on the basis of the individual clinics. In 2020 when we were faced with the proposition of closing or staying open, we put it out to a vote. At the time, there were seven of us. My vote was on the losing end and I had to accept it. I won’t say what’s inside I was but my vote lost and I had to live with it. That ate at me for a little bit but then eventually, I came to accept it. This is the route I chose.
That says a lot to the relationships that you’ve established with your other owners in that. It sounds like they were willing to accept it as well if it didn’t go their way but once it did then it would be like, “This is what we’re doing. In this direction, we’re going to do this. Get over yourself. This is what we’re doing as a team.”
We accepted it and moved forward. I’ll toot our own horn. In 2020, I talked to a lot of other practices and they were down in visits and revenue. 2020 compared to 2019, we were up in visits and revenue. A shout-out to all of our partners and employees that were able to pull that off.
What do you think it was? It’s because of this maybe one action or simply one characteristic that you could name as a descriptor for your company. If you look back, what would you think that reason was that things went well?
Sometimes pride gets in the way of a lot of things. Everybody’s ability to put away their pride accepts it. There’s a lot of different decisions we made and there was disagreement with all the decisions. Once the decision was made, we were able to put away our own personal biases and said, “This is what we decided to do. We’re going to move forward and make the best of it.” It’s not just my partner and I but the leadership of all the partners and then the rest of the employees.
We have 65 employees seeing a unified front and it felt like it was a huge factor. With any decisions we made, we were transparent with all of our employees. “Here’s what we’re doing.” We furloughed people for a while and that was hard to do but we were upfront with them. We told them what was going on. “This is our plan to be able to get your back.”
Congratulations on what you’ve developed. It’s amazing to see the growth of your business overtime. It sounds like you’ve leaned on the things that you’ve been reading. You and Ken have put some of these things into practice. You’ve been intentional about your growth. This opportunity was afforded to you. You weren’t necessarily seeking to open that second location but once you did, you recognized here are some of the things that we need to do in order to make this successful.
That took off from there.We said, “This is a good idea.” We like giving people opportunities to be in positions of greater responsibility. We think it’s awesome when we tell a partner that they can write a profitability check for their profits for last month. To give them the power to hire the ideal therapist they want at their clinic, they’re in charge of all that. We might help out if they want an opinion but we are allowing the ability to put people in a position where they can succeed and do their best. I know that might sound corny but that’s a cool thing to be able to do.
We’ve covered some of the pros and cons. Are there other hiccups that you’ve had along the way that you want to share?
The hardest thing is the organization of it all. That’s getting back to that COO stuff. My partner helps out plenty with the organization because there’s the financial and the metric organization. That’s the hardest thing. My partner and I still treat but we’re treating less than less. We’re dedicating more of our time towards some of these centralized things that time needs to be spent on. We want to grow but in an organized and controlled manner. One of the biggest challenges is keeping everything organized as the company gets bigger.
Do you foresee a point where you and Ken won’t be treating anymore? To follow up with that, would you be okay as some of those clinic partnerships’ businesses started growing if they started pulling away a little bit more from treating so they could work on the business?
One of the partners is decreasing his treatment a little bit. He’s having one of his current PT takeovers managers in his office and he has our full support. We think that’s great because he’s thinking about, “Maybe I want to have a second office that I’m a partner in.” He’ll have somebody that can run the day-to-day of this current office. I like to treat.
I have a bunch of friends. They’re runners and athletes. They’re all getting banged up. If they call me and they need to be treated, I want to say, “I’ll get you on my schedule. No problem.” We have awesome therapists in all of our clinics. It’s cool to put them in positions where they’re getting the chance to treat maybe the patients that would normally fall in on my schedule. It’s good to mentor and help them to see it as a clinician as well.Create an attitude of lifelong learning. Sharing your equity with partners has a lot of benefits for you. Click To Tweet
Along this way, you’ve read some books. Did you get any consulting or coaching along the way to guide you guys a little bit on some of these decisions? Did you have a mentor?
We started working with Steve Stalzer and Mike Osler. They’re with 8150 Advisors. They were recommended to us by a couple of people in my peer-to-peer group. Any private practice owner out there who is wondering if it’s worth the investment, it’s hard. It costs money. It’s not free. I’ve only been doing it for months and I’m not even batting an eye. I don’t even know what the cost is but it could be anything. It holds you accountable and spurs you to do things that maybe you wouldn’t think of to do on your own. My partner and I sit with them. We do it together every other week.
Do you want to share with us a little bit about what you’re doing in New Jersey that you might want to share with other owners across the country?
I have to give credit to my partner for this. We’re in New Jersey. In terms of the collections, we have probably one of the lower reimbursement rates from private insurance companies in the country. We want the private practice to survive. All around us, there are private practices that have been selling to corporate and hospital entities. We don’t want to do that. Our intention is for our current partners to be the majority owners of the clinic down the road when I decide not to work anymore. We’re making a push to form what’s called a supergroup where we’re getting other private practices to join up with us.
We’re not purchasing them. There’s no equity exchange but we have to share certain services in order to be considered a common entity. We’re going to take over their billing. They’re going to use our EMR. We’ll do their payroll and benefits to allow us to gain geographic scope and also to become a bigger company so that insurance companies would maybe listen to us a little bit more readily in terms of negotiating contracts. We’re starting that. We’ve done all the meetings, met with the lawyers and all the paperwork’s in place. We’re trying to recruit clinics that are interested in joining up with us. That’s a big thing on our radar.
You’re taking this umbrella company that holds all these major administrative tasks where all of the LLCs underneath that umbrella are the ones that you either own, partners with or partners of your clinics. You’re expanding that to include people who you have no financial relationship with. You’re going to unify some of the admin-related stuff, whatever it takes to be considered a shared entity.
From experience, we know that there are practices out there that the owners have many headaches and can’t focus on the things they want to focus on. We’ll take away some of the headaches like billing and payroll and allow them to build their practice. We have some interests and we’re confident in the next years that we’ll have a bunch of clinics that have signed up with us.
Anything else you want to share in terms of the partnership models, LLCs that you established that you would like to tell?
We’ve had people who think we’re crazy for sharing our equity with partners and the amount of equity that we allow people to have. I wouldn’t do it any other way because there are so many benefits to it. I still work a lot of hours but I have a wife and kids. I can spend time with them because I’m not doing every single thing for every single clinic that I own. For private practice owners that are thinking about doing this, I’m happy to be a resource as well. If you want to reach out to me, I’m happy to talk to you about the pros, cons and any of the details that you would want to know about. I’m a big fan of doing it this way.
From my point of view, the people in my network that have multiple practices greater than five, the ones that are the most successful and are expanding the most are those that have established these kind of partnership relationships with value-aligned people on their teams that they’ve vetted and know they’re going to work well. The personalities match and the values aligned. They understand their purpose and their vision. That all align and it’s been successful to the scope of some of my friends. I had Blaine Stimac on the show in the past. He’s over 30 clinics. A vast majority of those are partnerships and they’re across different states. It’s the way to go. If people want to ask you or reach out to you, how can they get in touch with you?
My cell number is (508) 259-5481. You could call or text me. My email is JeffSal@Hotmail.com. That’s the easiest email to get in touch with me. I’m happy to be a resource for sure.
Thanks for sharing. I appreciate that. We’ll have to stay in touch in 2023. We’ll come back around.
Keep the good shows coming.
Thanks. I appreciate it.
- 3 Dimensional Physical Therapy
- Eric Miller – Past episode
- Who Not How
- Stephen Rapposelli – Past episode
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
- 8150 Advisors
- Blaine Stimac – Past episode
About Jeff Sallade
Jeff Sallade is co-owner of 3 Dimensional Physical Therapy, with 7 locations throughout southern NJ. Jeff and his business partner, Ken Guzzardo, recently celebrated 3DPT’s 10-year anniversary. The one thing that Jeff attributes to lasting 10 years is having the confidence to surround himself with great therapists and partners who are just as motivated as he is to succeed.
As you will hear in the podcast, Jeff feels he chose the best possible path for his business by opting to offer a partnership to PTs at each of his 7 locations. Outside of the clinic, Jeff enjoys reading leadership books, playing soccer with his kids, competing in triathlons (although he has slowed down recently due to having both hips replaced) and traveling with his wife and 2 kids all over the country.
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