United Seating hits bull’s-eye: 20% growth

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. - A year after going out on its own, United Seating & Mobility has added four locations to its roster and has two more in the works for the beginning of 2003.

President Bob Guoy bought United Seating & Mobility from American Home Patient in 2001. At the time, he said his goal was to grow the company 20% each year by adding two to five locations. That was the case in 2002, with the company bumping its number of locations from 14 in eight states to 18 in nine states.

“We grow in markets where we can be a market place leader,” said Guoy. “That doesn’t mean we’re necessarily the biggest. It means we’re one of the leaders. That’s how we grew [in 2002].”

That growth strategy is most apparent in Missouri, where United Seating & Mobility has its biggest presence, with four locations. Its newest location is here in Kirksville, Mo.

“We see the entire state of Missouri as a market,” Guoy said.

But in other states like Texas, United Seating & Mobility considers only a region or a city to be a market.

“If we can’t be the leader,” Guoy said, “or if there is very strong competition, it’s not worthwhile. The rehab business just doesn’t have enough of a margin.”

Before United Seating & Mobility came to Kirksville, Mo., in September, the area had been without a high-end rehab provider for about a year, said Chip Holt, a seating and mobility specialist who works at the Kirksville, Mo., location. United Seating & Mobility had been sending specialists to the area from its Columbia, Mo., location, which is nearly three hours away.

“[Kirksville] is a very rural area with no major towns, no rehab centers and no big hospitals,” Holt said. “Companies that are interested in big bucks aren’t interested in an area like this. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for a good rehab company that knows what they’re doing. That’s us.”

After United Seating & Mobility opens two more locations early this year, it will focus on internal growth, Guoy said. The company wants to bump up the number of seating and positioning specialists in its existing locations. In its Albuquerque, N.M., location, for instance, the company has bumped up the number of specialists from three to six last year. It hopes to add a seventh this year.

Guoy sold United Seating & Mobility - then United Medical - to American Home Patient in 1997. He bought back the company in October of 2001. HME