Chris Simms, owner of Choice Rehab Connections and a 2008 Doctor of Physical Therapy graduate of the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions, has been named to the 2023 Gator100. The awards program recognizes the world’s fastest-growing Gator-owned businesses.
Simms tells us more about his journey as business owner.
Chris Simms, D.P.T.
Owner, Choice Rehab Connections, Tampa, FL
Tell us about Choice Rehab Connections.
Choice Rehab Connections was founded in 2016 to meet the needs of home health agencies for therapy staffing. The vision was to expand services across the Tampa Bay area to provide quality therapy to patients in need.
Choice Rehab Connections serves home health agencies needs for physical, occupational and speech therapy across the west coast of Florida. The team is comprised of over 60 therapists who are passionate about their work to ensure that patients receive the care that they need in the comfort of their home.
What is the best piece of advice you received as you were launching your business?
I believe one of the best things I was told when launching was to focus on providing value. Identify a problem that others are facing and then provide a solution for which they are willing to pay. To provide value, you need to understand who you are targeting, what this target audience needs, and their associated pain points. I found that therapy staffing shortages for home health agencies are a major issue. Filling these voids with quality therapists led to business growth for both the agencies as well as mine.
Have there been any surprises in business ownership?
Absolutely! Time management, especially early on. Running a business can be very challenging to manage your time effectively which leads to a struggle to find a work-life balance. I then read a quote which stated, “Is what I’m doing or planning to do, the highest and best use of my time? If it’s not, then delegate it, automate it, or eliminate it.”
This became very important to me and recognizing there is just not enough time to run and grow a successful business all on your own. It takes a team and trust in others to achieve your goals. By leveraging the skills and expertise of team members, it has led to increased productivity and growth which has allowed me to build a strong and successful business while avoiding burn out.
What was your reaction to being named to the Gator100?
Excitement and I was honored. Knowing many of the amazing companies who have been recognized by the Gator100 over the years and to have the opportunity to also be acknowledged within the same group is something I am proud of and what makes the Gator Nation so amazing. The recognition also extends to my entire team as without them, none of this growth would be possible and it’s been such a joy working with some of the best therapists in Florida along with our patient care coordinator who keeps the entire team organized.
What’s next for you and your business?
While it’s hard to forecast the future, I see the business continuing to expand and grow across the counties of Florida and offer therapy services throughout the state. Florida is in a unique situation with a large elderly population but also one that is very active. Choice Rehab Connections strives to provide appropriate therapy services to allow individuals to remain active and prolong their independence and overall quality of life.
What do you enjoy in your free time?
I’m a husband to my beautiful and supportive wife, Brooke, as well as a father to two beautiful girls, Olivia and Paige, who are currently 8 and 6 years old. With two active kids, when we aren’t at dance competitions, gymnastics, or another sport they are giving a go at… I enjoy family road trips, camping, relaxing by the pool, a quiet movie night with a glass of whiskey, or firing up the smoker for a brisket or some beef ribs.