Ever think a cash-based practice won’t work in a rural area without “a lot of money”? Well, I’m especially proud to share this interview with cash practice owner Tammi Stewart, one of my Mastermind group members… Why? Because she started her practice right after her second child was born, in 2 niches that were completely new to her, and did it all in a small town where she just moved and had no established referral sources or patients following her from another practice! 

For as long as she can remember, Tammi had a passion for helping people feel better. She channeled that passion to pursue a career in physical therapy, which dramatically changed her geography and life path along the way. After graduation, she landed one part-time job in an outpatient, hospital-based clinic and a mentorship working with a small, private practice that focused on chronic pain and helping the patients “nobody else could fix.” 

After Tammi’s second child arrived in 2019, she decided it was time to leave her mentor and start a side-hustle cash-based practice in her small town. Before long, she was ready to leave her clinic job to focus on her mobile practice full-time—and less than a year later, she moved the growing practice into space in a Crossfit gym.

In this interview, Tammi shares how she got started in physical therapy, what led her to start her own practice, what worked best to quickly fill the schedule, and how she maintains a great work/life balance for her young family. For a practice that’s only about two years old, the growth has been impressive and her obvious joy as she creates the practice of her dreams is inspiring. And just this month, Tammi made the final jump from employee to employer when she hired her first clinician!

Click here to listen:


More specifically, we discuss these cash-based practice topics:

  • Why opening a private practice with two young children at home looked like a good solution to Tammi’s work/life balance problems.
  • What contributed to her confidence that the cash-based model was the only option that would allow her to create a practice she’d love.
  • The value proposition that enables her practice to successfully compete with insurance-based options in her tiny local market.
  • Why the “just to meet new patients” space Tammi found to allay her safety concerns led her to completely abandon offering mobile services.  
  • How putting in ‘face time’ helped her learn about Crossfit training and earn the trust of the gym customers so they would be willing to come to her for the care they need.
  • The approach that fostered lots of word-of-mouth buzz for her practice among gym patrons that led to her expanding into the gymnastics niche.
  • How Tammi leverages “warm introductions” to get tons of new business.
  • Why she decided it was pointless to ask patients to post positive reviews on Yelp.
  • The indirect reason online reviews are likely to help you attract new business.
  • How to use a tracking system to help you remember to request online reviews from every happy patient—and to remind those who say yes but don’t follow through.
  • The workshop strategy that reliably results 1-2 new patient signups per session.
  • Why failing to approach Facebook advertising in a serious, targeted way is a waste of time and money.
  • How she prepared to make the jump from having a stable job to becoming a business owner.
  • A strategy for “starting small” to give yourself time to build a practice without a lot of financial stress.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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