Nate Foreman had no intention of starting a staffing firm when he graduated from University of Texas Southwestern’s physical therapy program in 2009. But two years later, he did just that when he began Foreman Therapy Services. The allied healthcare staffing firm is based in Dallas.
“My trade is in physical therapy, and that’s kind of how I got started,” Foreman says.
Foreman’s plan was to use his physical therapy background to get into sports medicine. When he began working for a staffing firm to help pay down his student loans, he noticed a huge need in the staffing industry.
“Close to 18 months after I graduated, I decided to start the company,” Foreman says. “It’s been a lot of failure, a lot of trial and errors, a lot of figuring things out.”
For the first three months of the company, Foreman was the sole employee. He founded the business, provided the physical therapy services himself and had little time for sleep. But then he began adding staff and growing the firm.
The company posted $1 million in revenue in 2012, but this year it’s on track for up to $20 million in revenue. And last year, Foreman Therapy Services ranked No. 11 on the Dallas 100 list of fastest-growing companies in the Dallas area.
Foreman Therapy Services also recently completed its first acquisition: CB Therapy Services, a therapy staffing company based in Fort Worth, Texas.
“Honestly, it’s been a lot of hard work,” Foreman says of building up his company. “I’ve been really fortunate to have an incredible staff.”
Foreman says one of the things he values most is culture. Before he hires anybody, he looks at whether they will fit in with Foreman’s fast-growing environment. Work ethic and personality are not trainable, he says. But as for other aspects of the job, Foreman says he can train the right type of person in whatever he or she needs to be trained in.
“I try to bet hard on people. I hired the right folks and put them in the area they could succeed, and they’ve done that,” Foreman says. “It’s been awesome to see those employees grow as leaders and in their roles at the company.”
When it comes to dealing with clients, Foreman aims to provide excellent service at a price point where customers can still grow. Charging as much as possible may work for a couple of months, but Foreman doesn’t believe that’s the way to grow a business for the long term. And for a time after he started, when he brought in therapists, he actually charged customers less than he paid the therapists as a way to build business. That has since been normalized, he says, but the aim of the company remains to enter every client relationship attempting to be an asset.
For the future, Foreman says he plans to continue to grow the company. However, he doesn’t plan to take on any equity partners; instead, he intends to maintain control over the direction of the company.
“We’re getting in the acquisition game, so hopefully we’ll have quite a few acquisitions teed up over the next year or two,” he says, adding that he also hopes to branch out into different types of staffing, such as nurse staffing.
“I see how things are trending in just kind of the economy and I feel that over time, companies are going to lean even more heavily on these outsourced staff management companies like us,” he says.