Spire Physical Therapy & Wellness

“I want my clients to own their health, empower them to take charge, help them learn, take ownership of their bodies and do what they love.” That is a quote from Jacki Gilpin. She is the owner of Spire Physical Therapy and Wellness, located in Cortez, CO. She chose to leave her previous job as a staff therapist as the clinic’s primary focus was on the bottom line. The structure emphasized billing more each visit and having a patient come in more often instead of getting the patient better. Jacki said, “There was frustration working in that system. I was getting burned out on the clinic’s demands and not enjoying the profession.”

Jacki obtained board certification as an orthopedic therapist as she pondered her next career move. “There wasn’t another setting I came across that worked with my goals and I believed the community deserved a higher level of service. It was near the spring of 2018 when I heard about the Leading Edge program (LE) hosted by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Durango. I needed help with the planning stages to develop my business. I came to LE with a general idea on how to run my business, but had no business experience.”

Jacki said LE was great to acquire fundamental business knowledge. SBDC advisors taught the ten-week class. “The SBDC consultants have a marketing and finance background. I met with each personally for one-on-one advisement.” The LE program offers two meetings with SBDC advisors in addition to the class. “Those meetings made the class content more relevant to my business and turned concepts into reality.” One example Jacki highlighted was the importance for her to implement a marketing approach called a value proposition, and how she learned to design one specific to her business. “A value proposition would send a loud and clear message to potential customers informing them what makes me special and what separates my business from other professionals.” Jacki also learned from her classmates. “My classmates were in various stages of their own business development. To hear different points of view regarding one specific issue was helpful.”

Jacki’s major challenge was finding a work space. Her initial thought was to collaborate with a local business to keep overhead costs low, but that didn’t pan out. She referred to such challenges as speed bumps. Jacki had to make changes to her initial plans in order to bring her vision to life. Jacki launch Spire in August 2018. She offered physical therapy, dry needling and equipment Pilates in a small rented space in Cortez, and taught mat Pilates from a local gym. That arrangement felt somewhat chaotic and limited. Jacki decided to make a leap and find a facility large enough to provide all her services under one roof. That was the ultimate vision for Spire. She plans to move into her new space early November. “Whether a person is needing help recovering from an injury, illness, looking to maintain or improve their health, I want them to come to me as their first resource.” Jacki’s mission is to focus on her clients’ well-being and overall care as she creates individualized therapy programs. In the future, Jacki would like to host wellness workshops and broaden her service offerings. “I understood that starting a business would be a lot of work. I work more hours than a traditional job and have way more responsibility. I’m a one-woman show, but this experience is much more enjoyable.”

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