Chad Woodard moved to New York City to chase his dream of becoming a Broadway star. After a serious hip injury and a friend’s inspiring words, he landed the starring role as a physical therapist with his own practice. But during his first 2 years in business, Chad struggled to keep up with Manhattan’s competitive market. He needed a way to keep Symbio Physiotherapy open, purchase new equipment and attract new customers.
Before his injury, Chad never imagined he would be a business owner. “[And] I certainly wasn’t supposed to be a physical therapist,” he says. After becoming disillusioned with the way so many physical therapy clinics operated, he began seeing patients on his own. “I just started to take patients on a private basis,” Chad said. “[I was thinking], ‘Hey, this might be kind of great.’ Voila, I became an entrepreneur.”
The practice wasn’t making ends meet, though, and Chad had no idea what to do—or what would happen—next.
With a young business in a relentless market, Chad did everything he could to keep the lights on. “I begged, borrowed and bargained with pretty much every human that I know,” he says. Even with the help of those closest to him, Symbio Physiotherapy was in desperate need of working capital. He started by applying for a bank loan and learned quickly how difficult it is to receive an approval.
“The only way that [the banks] were willing to loan me any money,” Chad says, “was if I could demonstrate that I was already really, really wealthy and had like crazy things to turn over as collateral, which I didn’t have.”
Further complicating things was Chad’s lack of business history under the Symbio Physiotherapy name. He had tried transferring the Tax ID number from a previous corporation, but it wasn’t of much help. “Financial institutions viewed me as a brand new company,” Chad says. “That was fantastically unexpected and a good lesson to learn.”
Chad’s search for business funding led him to Fast Capital 360, where he began working with Business Advisor Kris DiRenzo. Kris took the time to listen and understand Chad’s needs, answering every question he had about what the next steps for his business should be. “Chad came to me for funding advice about how he should approach it,” Kris says, “and I helped guide him.”
Kris identified a merchant cash advance program that allowed Symbio Physiotherapy to address its payroll gap and marketing desires. With the help of the funds, Chad was able to pay his sole employee—at the time—and used the rest of the funds in a marketing push to promote awareness of the business.
Over the next 18 months, Chad continued to work with Kris to cover payroll, rent and customer acquisition efforts. While the funding was frequently used to cover essential expenses, Chad’s primary focus was on bringing more patients to the practice. To do this, he often took more funding than he required and invested in several marketing and advertising initiatives. His theory was, “Wouldn’t it be great if we have lots of new people come to see us today rather than one month from now?” It turned out to be a good idea.
By working with Kris—combined with a stellar growth plan—Symbio Physiotherapy has grown more than 333% in less than 2 years. The business’s remarkable progress has even qualified them for an SBA loan that offers more capital with longer terms. Chad now has a team of 15 employees with 2 offices to serve the Big Apple and no plans of slowing down.
Getting Better Together
Symbio Physiotherapy’s approach to treatment is summed up in 3 simple words on its website: “Getting Better Together.” That mantra reflects both the relationship Chad and his team have with their patients and how they view their journey to better mobility. Chad sees his relationship with Fast Capital 360 the same way, calling Kris, “My best friend for about 2 years.”
“If I had to tell you what was my experience with Fast Capital, for sure, it was overwhelmingly positive,” he says. In fact, any time Chad meets a business owner with an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to overcome, he recommends they get in touch with Fast Capital 360.
As far as what’s next for Symbio Physiotherapy, Chad has no plans of slowing down. He wants to see his growth rate take him across New York, and eventually the rest of the world.
“Perhaps it’s relentless optimism,” he says, “but I would like to take the company into different markets within the United States, and perhaps beyond as time and circumstances allow. Just give me some time.”