Focus on the Franchisee
Elisa and Wayne Martin: Partners in Life – and Business
Elisa and Wayne Martin can see now that they were supposed to become Physical Therapy Now franchisees all along. Once it actually happened, they saw the big picture – and why things fell into place the way they did.
Rewind to 1987, when Wayne was a 17-year-old kid from Jamaica, trying to figure out what to do with himself after graduating from high school. The air force would give him structure and stability, so he signed on for what he imagined would be quite a while. A few months later, it brought him to the US. Five years in, and he decided it was time for something new.
After a stint in accounting (he’s a whiz with numbers), Wayne enrolled in Physical Therapy Assistant School in Miami, but it wasn’t just a degree he would graduate with some years later… he would also find the love of his life and his future business partner, Elisa.
Together, they completed school and ventured out in their prospective healthcare fields for the next 16+ years. Wayne focused on various nursing facilities and home health. Elisa, worked in nursing facilities as well, plus she became skilled in pediatric therapy, using hippo therapy (horseback riding that is used as therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment) – to help children with various ailments.
During that time, they also got married and had two children.
Elisa and Wayne were happy. They had job security, they were doing well financially, and they had everything they needed. It was the American dream Wayne dreamt about nearly two decades earlier.
For some reason though, they both wanted more professionally. They had regular discussions about becoming entrepreneurs in the physical therapy industry, but they knew the drawbacks all too well.
“We’d hear the owners of the physical therapy businesses where we worked complaining about accounting and billing and how hard it was to establish relationships with other doctor’s and deal with insurance companies,” Wayne explains, “We just thought, ‘no thanks, we’re just fine being employees’ and that’s where we left it.”
However, they would always somehow circle back to the talks of what it might be like to be their own bosses.
Elisa says, “I’d be driving on my way to work or running errands and would see a great location and I’d think to myself, ‘Hmmm… that’d be a great spot for a PT business.’ Looking back, I didn’t even realize I was in that mindset as deeply as I was.”
Their talks grew into more in-depth discussions, and then came the meeting that changed everything.
Elisa met Andy Zapata, the owner of Physical Therapy Now. Any hesitations she and Wayne had, Andy was somehow able to settle.
“I think the challenges for most people who want to open a physical therapy business is figuring out all those things that cause such headaches for the owners,” she continues, “Andy has all that figured out already. The insurance companies, the marketing, the business relationships…. he has it all in place.”
This plug-and-play concept has proven immensely successful thus far for Andy’s Physical Therapy Now franchise business – and where there is room to customize in certain areas, the franchisees can add their personal touches.
“The beauty about this was that we could put our own spin on it to make sure our facility is done the way we want it done. That’s what flipped the light switch for us. Andy can tell us what works, show us what works, and when we need to apply it in a way that makes our business – and the company as a whole – better, Andy gives us the green light.”
After zeroing in on the perfect location and with Andy guiding them through each step of the franchise process, Elisa and Wayne opened their Physical Therapy Now franchise in Pembroke Pines in 2016.
“It’s been scary at times, because we’ve never been the ones who have to worry about the lease, the rent, making payroll,” Elisa says. “But it is so worth it. And the support we get from Andy and his team is unbelievable. We couldn’t be happier with the decision to become Physical Therapy Now franchisees.”
In the meantime, Elisa and Wayne have some not-so-traditional plans.
Wayne explains, “You know, most business owners think bigger, bigger and bigger. They want to grow their company so it’s as large as it can get.”
But not these entrepreneurs. They want to offer their customers something above standard in one convenient location.
“What we want to do is to perfect this one. Right now, we have 1300-1400 square feet in this facility, and I want to grow this one, single location. I want the patients who come to Physical Therapy Now Pemroke Pines to receive the highest quality care possible. My plan is for this location to offer everything in one state-of-the-art spot.”
Elisa and Wayne will celebrate their franchise’s 3rd anniversary this year. And if their passion and excitement is any indication of what the future holds, there will be many, many more anniversaries to come.
Physical Therapy Now Pembroke Pines is located at 8150 Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines, Florida. In addition to Wayne’s highly touted signature myofascial stretches and Elisa’s “gentle, yet firm” hands, the couple is also passionate about sharing their successes (and lots of fun) on social media. Catch all the action on their business’ Instagram Page @physicaltherapynow_pines or click HERE to see their Instagram page online.