Jun 16, 201609:00 AMCity Beat
June 2016 Small Business of the Month
Jim Clahane, PT
Inspired Physical Therapy
21 Waterford Drive, Mechanicsburg
Tell us about the origins and impetus of Inspired Physical Therapy.
I had worked for many years for other larger companies and found myself in a place where my ability to truly impact the lives of my patients was getting more and more difficult. I spent two weeks on a mission trip in Sierra Leone in January of 2014, and this was probably the biggest turning point not only in my life, but also in my professional career. The people of Sierra Leone had very little with regards to basic necessities, including food and clothing, yet they were happier and more thankful than anyone I had ever known. It made me realize that life wasn’t about “stuff” or monetary wealth, but the opportunity we all have to make a difference in the lives of others. When I returned to the United States, I found myself in a place where I needed to make a change, so I left my current job and set out on this journey. Eleven months later, this journey became a reality, and Inspired Physical Therapy officially opened its first clinic.
For readers who may be unfamiliar, describe Inspired Physical Therapy.
Inspired Physical Therapy is an outpatient physical-therapy clinic that specializes in orthopedics and sports rehabilitation. I believe what makes us unique is our approach. We believe that the key to patient care and success is the ability to connect with our patients, understanding that an injury not only affects the physical, but the mental, emotional and, in some cases, the spiritual component of a person.
What is one aspect of Inspired Physical Therapy that readers might be surprised to know?
We are about function and movement. Our clinic is unique in that most of our equipment is built around getting patients moving, utilizing more functional-based equipment, such as the TRX system vs. the more traditional rehabilitation equipment.
Sum up Inspired Physical Therapy in one sentence
Inspired Physical Therapy is about patient care and the ability to have a positive impact on the lives of our patients, inspiring them to achieve the highest level of function.
What is your definition of an entrepreneur? How do you fit that definition?
What is an entrepreneur? The actual definition is one who organizes, manages and assumes the risk of a business or enterprise. I feel an entrepreneur typically has one focus, and that is to be successful in whatever venture he has started. The question then becomes, what is their measure of success? Most of the time, it comes down to money and numbers. This, I believe, will usually lead down a path of compromise and loss of values. I have seen this happen many times in the past. This is where I don’t really fit your typical entrepreneur. My personal definition of an entrepreneur is someone who sets forth a vision, and through hard work and adversity, they are able to make that vision a reality in business. I believe money is not the true measure of success, but how much we are able to impact and influence the lives of others. I want to be known as someone who made a difference in health care, particularly physical therapy, and not the guy who had 10 clinics with a net revenue to $5 million.
What's the best part of owning your own business?
The best part of owning a business is knowing that you have some sense of control of your day-to-day operations, and the ultimate success of the business is dependent on your hard work and ability to stay focused.
What's the most difficult aspect of owning your own business?
The most difficult part of owning a business is knowing that you have control of your day-to-day operations. Ultimate responsibility rests on your shoulders. This can be a blessing and curse. Owning your own business means working long hours. The interesting thing is that I worked long hours before but for someone else. Now these long hours are to help further my vision.
What advice would you give to those thinking of opening up a small business in general, and in the Central Pa. region?
I believe that if it is something you truly want to do, then you need to be “all in.” You may have moments of doubt and adversity, but you have to be 100-percent committed to your vision. If you are married, then it is equally important to make sure your spouse and family are also on the same page with you. Understand it won’t be easy at first, but stay strong to your vision and mission statement. You will find yourself, at times, wanting to compromise on your vision, but don’t let that happen.
What does it mean to you to be a small business owner?
You are part of a select group of people who have made the decision to go against the grain and do something that has meaning and purpose. You are a risk-taker, someone who has enough faith in yourself to believe you can be successful in a world that is all about big business and large industry.
In your opinion, how important are small businesses to the Central Pa. region? How important are they to the nation as a whole?
I believe small businesses are vital to our economy, both in our Central Pa. region and the nation as a whole. If we allow big business to be the only choice for people, then we are inevitably going to see cost go up and quality and customer service go down. I feel small businesses help to keep the big guys honest and hopefully to step up their game. I know many people feel that small businesses can’t survive against these big conglomerates, especially in my field of PT and health care, where we see small private practices being swallowed up by the bigger entities. I feel that we can stand up to them, and even give them a run for their money, by offering a better product and more personal care.
Owning a small business requires a tremendous amount of work and dedication. What is the single most important moment for you that represents the reason for all of your effort and time?
I know it has all been worth it when I look around and see the smiles on the faces of my staff and patients and hear them say that their experience at IPT has been different than any other PT experience they have had in the past.
Where and with whom do you find inspiration as a small business owner?
I don’t want to seem “preachy,” but I truly find my inspiration from God and my faith. I spend many days on my knees asking for guidance in what I do and to make sure I never compromise who I am and what my business it about.
Do you have any events, happenings or specials coming up in the near future?
Yes, we are planning to have another open house sometime in July to celebrate our one-year anniversary. We will be posting this on our website, inspiredpt.com.
I feel if each of us set out to make a difference in the lives of others, this world would be a better place. Don’t ever underestimate the power that rests in a kind word, gesture or smile.