First Year Success

12/10/13 11:57 pm


By: NewsLine

In Print: December 10, 2013

Just over a year ago, Lisa Chase moved into her new studio, Back 2 Normal Physical Therapy. Within that short span, her small business has experienced tremendous growth. Back 2 Normal has its roots in Lisa’s early physical therapy (PT) consulting practice, where she developed and marketed programs centered on aquatic-based rehabilitation in 1998. “I ran Back 2 Normal out of my own home for many years, but I always had a vision of having a studio of my own,” said Lisa.

After a 9-year hiatus where she worked on the Professional Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour, she went on to pursue her dream and sought assistance from the St. Petersburg Greenhouse (formerly the Business Assistance Center) for her new location after outgrowing rented space. “The Greenhouse was instrumental in many aspects of the set up. Their staff helped us work with the city to get our store front signage approval and connected us with SCORE (Counselors to America’s Small Business) who advised on marketing, networking and legal matters.

Since opening her new location in September of 2012, Lisa’s staff has grown to six, allowing integrative health and performance coaching, injury prevention and anti-aging programs to be added into Back 2 Normal’s service line. Lisa also started an innovative internship program that provides prospective PT students with experience needed to get into school, while also building their business acumen. “It worked out great, and I ended up hiring two interns to continue working with me,” stated Lisa. As for future goals, her main focus is to build exposure through networking and events held in collaboration with complementary businesses.

On top of running her studio, she also owns Rehab Links, an exercise software company, and lectures and writes as an assistant instructor and adjunct clinical professor. When asked what advice she would give small business owners, Lisa offered the following: • Have a vision. Use resources like the St. Petersburg Greenhouse and really look at all the steps involved and mark out a plan.

  •  The power of networking with similar businesses and other groups is huge. Get involved and promote each other.
  •  Keep a finger on the pulse of what is going on. Listen to your staff and be hands on. This will help you refine and improve processes.
  •  Love what you do. That passion helps create an environment where you can give back to your staff and ultimately, your clients.


City of St. Petersburg
Economic Development Division
P.O. Box 2842
St. Petersburg, FL 33731
800-874-9026 (toll free)
727-893-7100 (phone)
727-892-5465 (fax)