Occupational therapist Julie Groves always believed that one day she would have her own company. Groves had worked with patients in many settings, including hospitals, mental health units, schools, and skilled nursing facilities. But her favorite place to provide therapy is in the client’s home where the client is in charge. At home, she could empower her client to perform tasks that are important to them.
In 1998, she started Therapy in Your Home to provide occupational, physical, and speech therapy as outpatient therapy in the home. She started with a part-time service while her children were small; after just a short time, she was so popular she needed to enlist other therapists to help with her client base.
As her business grew, Groves knew she wanted additional guidance. She learned about SCORE through the Small Business Administration and met with mentors for the first time in 2010.
Therapy in Your Home provides occupational, physical, and speech therapy services to adults and children in the greater San Francisco area.
Through her work with Kumini, Groves has simplified her financial oversight and determined when she could hire more office help. “She clarified that I should be working in the business full time, but not overtime, and that I should pay myself and not work for free,” Groves says. “As my business grew that became my goal and eventually all these things came true.”
In 2015, Groves received the Entrepreneur of Year Award from the Occupational Therapy Association of California.
Groves attended several workshops and met with a variety of mentors to review different areas of her business. “I learned how to write a contract for better defining the scope of work for my staff,” she recalls. “I also developed the habit of keeping my business plan updated regularly.”
In 2014, Groves met Noriko Kunimi, who assisted Groves in shifting the management structure of her business. Kunimi helped Groves create a sales and marketing plan and reviewed her business progress each month. “Noriko insisted that I run a regular cash flow analysis every month,” Groves says. “It helps me to see when and where I may run into trouble in enough time to do something about it!”