Adam and Kim Peacock, husband and wife and Owners of StrataPT, both grew up in the Washington D.C. area where they first met. After graduating from college, neither Kim nor Adam pursued careers within their respective fields of study. Kim, after being dissatisfied with a forensics internship at the FBI Academy, took a position as the Director of a private school and Adam, after graduating with a degree in Criminal Justice, took an inside sales position with 84 Lumber. Nevertheless, as the Peacock’s shared, a journey into the unknown is what eventually led this dynamic duo to Florida and ultimately to the launch of StrataPT.
“When my parents both retired from the FBI they moved to Florida,” Kim said. “Adam and I would always visit and we both fell in love with the area. We decided one day that we also wanted to move here. After we relocated, I took a job at a Physical Therapy (PT) clinic doing their scheduling. They quickly realized that I had the potential to do more for their business. I was promoted to Director of Operations and, during my five years with the company, we experienced significant growth.”
“When we moved to Florida, I was able to transfer to an 84 Lumber location in Bradenton,” Adam said. “When the housing market started to show signs of turning in 2007, I read the writing on the wall and took a pharmaceutical sales position with Pfizer. I spent seven years with Pfizer before I joined Kim full-time in 2015.”
Identifying an Opportunity
While serving as Director of Operations for the PT clinic, Kim brought all the billing in-house to streamline operations and improve efficiency. However, she still identified many opportunities for improvement.
“There was an overall lack of software and systems for the industry to improve efficiency,” she said. “In general, in the healthcare industry, you’re working between multiple software systems. Your administrative employees are entering data into, in some cases, six different systems. It’s not efficient at all and human error is exponential. I saw the need in the industry for systems and software that would better streamline the business for clinicians.”
In 2010, Kim started StrataPT as simply a billing company. It was her and a colleague she recruited from the PT facility. Together, they worked out of a 200 sqft office and, through old fashioned grit and hard work; they built the business from the ground up. For the first four years, Kim neither took a vacation nor a salary. Everything was put back into the business. Fortunately, they were able to live on Adam’s income as the business gained traction.
“Our reputation grew quickly,” Kim said. “From the start, we set ourselves apart because of our focus on customer service. We didn’t put anything into marketing for the first six years. Clients became raving fans and helped spread the word.”
Two years into the business, Kim got a call from a PT software firm that permanently changed the future direction of StrataPT.
“This software company had some incredible engineers, but they knew very little about billing and operations,” Kim said. “They wanted to work together to combine our two areas of expertise to make something more powerful. We agreed to a partnership and, since then, we’ve had a team of extremely intelligent engineers on our team working in-house. We explain the why and they take it to the next level through software development.”
From Startup to Second Stage
As Kim scaled the business, Adam was always a behind the scenes “volunteer”. However, in 2015, Kim was in need of another highly qualified individual to help her run the business. With his experience working with physicians and a proven track record of success, Adam was the perfect fit.
“I mostly work on the operations side of things,” Adam said. “I also work with the engineers on systems development and I’m constantly looking at process improvement. That’s been one of the biggest differences that has allowed us to scale so quickly and efficiently. We don’t have the red tape you see in larger organizations. This gives us the ability to rapidly develop and quickly improve our internal processeses and those of our clients.”
In addition to the speed in which StrataPT is able to deliver a new software solution, their level of efficiency and trustworthiness provide a tremendous amount of value for their clients.
“We allow them to focus on their patients, which removes the constant worry of business operations and revenue,” Kim said. “We do not take our role lightly. In these private practices, if we don’t do our job, their business will cease. The software we provide allows them to document, schedule, bill and handle operations through one system. Our clients trust us at such a high level and we honor that relationship.”
Adam added, “We provide a level of efficiency that doesn’t currently exist for most of our clients. Software is a big part of what we do, but the level of customer service we deliver is an even bigger component.”
When it comes to competition, StrataPT is uniquely positioned to deliver a truly one-of-a-kind solution. According to Kim, not a single competitor offers a true all-in-one system. Many provide comprehensive solutions, but with “bolted on” systems. StrataPT also retains all of its employees “in house”. From the technology team to accounts receivable and management, everyone is employed by StrataPT and they’re all located in the United States.
Adam and Kim shared their thoughts on growth and how their marketing strategy has changed over time.
“About three years ago, we decided to start marketing,” Kim said. “We were finally in a position where our budget would allow for it. I’ve always been the brake and Adam’s been the accelerator. I like growth but I don’t want it to jeopardize the relationships we have with our clients. We want them to continue to receive the quality they’re used to. Five years ago we had a wait list because of how much we value our clients. We didn’t want to take on more than we could handle and risk having our clients be treated like a number. To date, our number one means of getting new clients continues to be word of mouth. We put our focus into current clients and making sure they’re happy. That’s where we see our biggest return on investment.”
Kim continued, “When I started the business, I was everything, including sales. I could relate to their challenges and, from my first-hand experience, I knew their pain points.”
Adam added, “Our promise is that we’ll never over-promise and under-deliver. Through our marketing efforts, this is the message we want to get across. We work with a company in Sarasota called Captivation Media Group. They did some video work for us and revamped our website. We also did some ads on social media and we’re dabbling in a few different areas. We’re up against powerhouses that spend millions of dollars on ads. Our approach is to highlight our key differences – our technology and our exceptional customer service.”
When it comes to current barriers preventing StrataPT from achieving additional growth, much of it comes down to their unwillingness to go outside of their niche. According to Kim and Adam, they’ve been approached by other specialties, outside of PT and OT, to develop software solutions for their practices. However, they’re committed to their niche and remained focused on keeping their clients priorities at the forefront of their growth strategy.
StrataPT currently has 22 full-time employees, with many of them working remotely. As Kim and Adam shared, company culture is family-oriented and defined by a true sense of appreciation for one another.
“We’re like family,” Kim said. “Many of our employees have been with us long-term. We go above and beyond for them and they truly appreciate it. We do flowers and cupcakes for their birthdays, they get rewards on holidays and, for our remote employees, once or twice a month I’ll pick out something from Amazon and send it to them as a thank you for their hard work.”
Adam added, “When hiring, we also look at who’s going to be the right fit for our culture. We get plenty of applicants with extensive billing experience, but they need to fit our culture. If they’re the right fit, we can train them to be great at any position.”
When it comes to community involvement and philanthropic activities, StrataPT supports Make a Wish Foundation and a 501(c)(3) founded by Kim and Adam after their daughter was diagnosed with cancer at the age of four. Adam explained how their non-profit, called Kinsley’s Cookie Cart, came to be.
“It started in December of 2018,” he said. “We thought it was just pink eye, but within 48 hours of being diagnosed, they discovered an advanced stage tumor in her right eye. She started chemotherapy the next day and had her eye removed to prevent the tumor from spreading. After six rounds of chemo, she was cancer free, but our lives were changed forever. We spent six months at home or quarantined at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. We also spent a lot of time baking. Kinsley loved to pass out her cookies to neighbors and other kids in the hospital. From that experience, we were inspired to start the non-profit.”
We asked Kim and Adam for their thoughts on the benefits of operating in the state of Florida and whether or not their business is impacted by any local colleges or universities.
“In our industry, having access to a broad medical community is huge,” Adam said. “The amount of practices in Florida is incredible. It’s given us the ability to have some of our best clients locally. It’s also great to be able to do training onsite and to see them in-person. Florida is also great because of the tax structure and how it benefits our business and the employees.”
Adam continued, “In terms of an impact of local colleges and universities, we do have Strata University. It’s a software platform we developed to provide to Universities to help prepare their PT students for all the documentation requirements in the real world.”
What it Means to be a Florida Companies to Watch Honoree
“We’re completely humbled by it,” Kim said. “It validates our hard work and all those weekends of working and not taking vacations in the early days. We’ve never been the type to seek out accolades and awards, but I’ll be honest, it feels great. Our team has worked so hard for this. We couldn’t have done any of this without them. They’ve earned it as much as we have.”
Adam shared why he believes StrataPT was nominated, “I think our selection was a combination of our growth and having the edge on the technical and customer service side. We’re always operating in the best interests of our clients. That’s how we operate with everything we do, whether it’s with our 501(c)(3) or with StrataPT.
Kim added, “People can see the passion we have for doing right by people. We truly care about our clients and employees and that shines through in everything we do.”
Looking ahead, Kim and Adam are focused on continuing to scale in a controlled manner. They would like to expand their operations and continue to increase brand awareness while providing the best possible customer service and solutions for their clients.
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
“Hire based on character, ethics and integrity,” Kim said. “With most jobs, if you have the right processes in place, you can train the right people. You can’t, however, train someone to have more integrity.”
Kim continued, “If running a business was easy, everyone would do it. You’re going to have trials and mistakes. The best advice I can give is to get back up, brush yourself off and move forward. Also, seek continuous feedback from clients, always exceed their expectations and leave your ego at the door.”
Adam added, “If you’re not scared, something is wrong. Don’t be naïve to the hard work that it’s going to take. You’ll work more hours as a boss than you do as an employee. Also, consistently treat people how you want to be treated.”
In terms of advice specific to co-owners that are also spouses, Kim and Adam had this to say.
“We live together, ride to work together, drop the kids off together and sit next to each other at work, but I can always kick him under desk if I need to,” Kim said with a laugh. “Honestly, a lot of it comes down to respecting each other’s opinions. I love having someone, who’s equally as vested in the company as I am, to bounce ideas off of. It helps me re-focus.”
Adam added, “I’m the accelerator and Kim’s the brake. We balance each other out and that’s made all the difference.”