A natural fit: Female entrepreneur on a mid-career change to join the family business – Washington Business Journal – The Business Journals

Phoebe Casey’s journey into the health care profession has been a long time in the making.
In high school, she wanted to be a doctor, but lacked the financial resources to pursue medical school. Instead, she opted to study accounting and information systems — dual degrees that opened what felt like a more practical career in management consulting.
It turns out Casey loved the work. She spent more than 25 years with consulting, digital agency and technology firms, where she advised large corporations on strategic transformation.
When Casey met and later married chiropractor Dr. Philip Golinsky, she started to learn about natural health care. She and her children experienced relief from migraines, asthma and allergies, and she became a passionate advocate. But despite Golinsky’s request to join him in the business, Casey wasn’t ready to leave her consulting work.
That changed one afternoon when Casey was called in to advise a pharmaceutical company on the release of a new medication platform. The company’s executives said they needed to move quickly because the market was beginning to favor natural, rather than pharmaceutical, care.
Suddenly, the vision for Casey’s legacy was clear.
She went home and told Golinsky she was all in on his business and bringing the value of natural health care to more people. Over the course of a year, Casey took her consulting methodology and applied it to the four-person practice. That included a rebrand to emphasize its focus on natural wellness, a digital marketing strategy and developing the business processes and infrastructure necessary to scale.
After spending 2018 setting the foundation, in 2019, RxWellness Spine & Health opened two new locations and continued growing through the pandemic. Today, there are five locations across Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia (DMV) and, a team of nearly 70 people. And they have set their sights on more growth.
“I believe in the motto of go slow before you can move fast,” said Casey, who serves as co-owner and chief operating officer for the business. “It’s not about creating a lot of practices. It’s about being able to provide accessibility to top-notch, natural health care solutions for our patients. There is balance that we strive for between quantity and quality. The more locations we have, the more we can provide that for our communities and be able to help more people feel better naturally instead of resorting to surgery and medication, if possible. The quantity of practices shall never be at the expense of top patient care experience.”
Casey spoke with the Washington Business Journal about her approach to scaling businesses. The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Has anything surprised you as you shifted from consulting for large enterprises to working inside one small business?
Phoebe Casey: In consulting, we were taught a certain methodology for helping clients save or make money. I applied the same methodology to our chiropractic business as I did in the pharmaceutical, retail and financial companies where I consulted.
What is important in consulting is the rigor and structure of executing a plan. I’m now dealing with people’s lives and their families, so I find I bring more of a soft touch, which is the nuance of this business.
What strategic advice do you have for other entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses?
Casey: One basic, but crucial point small business owners may lose sight of is the incredible importance of their people. A company could have the best product or services, and a business owner may focus on everything else about their business, but then lose sight of the people side of things.
This is especially true in the services industry, where 75% of our business revolves around people. So, it is paramount they:
We’re blessed to have the doctors and staff we have. But it was not by luck or chance. Skillful recruitment, development and retention are people strategies at play. When you start out small, a lot of business owners try to nickel and dime their employees and lose sight of the fact that there’s more cost associated with constant turnover and re-training new employees.
What advice do you have for other couples who are running a business together or thinking about starting a family business?
Casey: Phil and I aren’t in the office together constantly. He has his goals, and I have mine. On the weekdays, we work on the team and tactical parts of the business, and on the weekends, we come together and work on strategy.
I’m a structured person and Phil is entrepreneurial and creative. This is where we take the best of him and the best of me. You can’t let one person pull everything; you have to come back in the middle and do checkpoints with each other. When couples work together and create roles, responsibilities and boundaries, you can help each other grow.
Do you have any tips for successfully juggling running the business and raising a family?
Casey: We have four kids — two of his and two of mine — with three in college and a 16-year-old, so that’s a lot. Phil and I have three buckets in our lives we want to feed each week. There is the family bucket, business bucket and us bucket. Every week, we try to touch base and say, ‘Which buckets did we feed this week?’
If we fed the business too much and didn’t give to our family bucket, then we need to figure that out. We might get all the kids together over the weekend and have dinner. Quarterly, we make a habit of planning trips for the us bucket and we have trips twice a year with the kids.
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