Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Franchise leader pumped for growth

  • By
  • | 7:44 a.m. February 13, 2014
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
  • News
  • Share

An ambitious effort to marry franchise-based marketing and branding techniques with the physical therapy industry is paying off for Jim Abrams.

The entrepreneur behind the rise of several successful national franchise companies, including Clockwork Home Services, Abrams co-founded Sarasota-based Fyzical in 2012. The company has since grown rapidly, from 19 new franchise locations to expanding its practice focus, and name, to Fyzical Therapy and Balance Centers. It now has branded facilities on both Florida coasts, and is in negotiations with multiple other potential franchisees.

Fyzical's latest triumph: A prime exhibit spot to showcase its business model at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting in Las Vegas, held Feb. 3-6.

“We are doing really well,” Abrams tells Coffee Talk. “It's kind of like a snowball going downhill. People were afraid to be one the first (franchisees) but this has picked up speed as it goes.”

Abrams helped build Clockwork, a chain of plumbing, electrical and heating and air-conditioning companies, into a $215 million business in 10 years. Toronto-based Direct Energy bought Clockwork in July 2010 for $183 million.

Abrams consulted for Direct Energy a short time, but he longed for another big challenge. Fyzical fit that need. He expects to sign up at least 40 more franchisees this year and to have 400 within five years. That's a sizable player in the fragmented $32 billion physical therapy industry, where there is no Starbucks-like national brand leader.

The strategy Abrams and his team have taken at Fyzical is similar to Clockwork: Find solid, competent and technically proficient physical therapists who are somewhat lacking in branding, marketing and daily business operations skills. Fyzical, to that point, has invested more than $3 million to develop proprietary diagnostic technologies and outcome treatment focused business practices.

With more than four decades in franchising and leading major growth businesses, Abrams isn't easily surprised. But he has had one revelation in his Fyzical experience: The amount of rules and regulations in health care is daunting.

That's not all bad, though. Abrams, like many business owners, believes bureaucratic purgatory, and its increasing paperwork and shrinking reimbursements, is now an accepted cost of doing business in health care. To Abrams, that means a big barrier to entry to the scale he envisions for Fyzical. “I didn't understand in its entirety how regulated this industry is,” Abrams says. “It's hard for the small guy.”


Latest News


Special Offer: Only $1 Per Week For 1 Year!

Your free article limit has been reached this month.
Subscribe now for unlimited digital access to our award-winning business news.
Join thousands of executives who rely on us for insights spanning Tampa Bay to Naples.