Do you want to branch out from the physical therapy clinic you are working at to start your own clinic? Or perhaps you are recently graduating from PT school and want to take the big step of becoming a business owner after you graduate? Or maybe you are already a physical therapy private practice owner, but you need some tips to make sure you are running your business the best way possible.
Here are some suggestions to keep you on the right track when starting and running a physical therapy business:
Join Professional Networks
If you are starting a physical therapy clinic or have been a practice owner for awhile, joining a professional network if just what you need to grow your clinic to bring in the patients and revenue you need to succeed.
One of the first things you should do is join a professional network of physical therapists who are working right along side you to achieve the same goals. This is SO IMPORTANT when starting a new business to keep you accountable for reaching all your business success. And who better to help you with this than fellow physical therapists who have been through the same struggles you are currently experiencing?
For those who are starting out, The Planet Paul Marketing Academy is the BEST network of individuals who share their philosophies and marketing strategies that will help your physical therapy clinic get on it’s feet. In this community you have access to physical therapy marketing experts and other PTs in your field who are reaching the success you dream about for your clinic. They offer easy step-by-step processes to help reach your goals and a friendly kick up the ass to keep you on track.
The very fact that you are reading this article shows that you care about being a professional business owner – and the best way to do that is to join a network of fellow business owners with the same goal – namely The Planet Paul Marketing Academy.
Determine Your Perfect Patient
If you are about to start a physical therapy clinic, your next step is to determine who your perfect patient will be. This will take some consideration. You will want to research:
- Who you want your patient to be
- What type of PT they need
- Why they need it
- And why they should choose your clinic over the competition in your area.
Be very specific. The more specific and niche your perfect patient is, the easier it will be to design your clinic to meet that person’s needs.
Decide if You Will Be Cash-Based or Insurance-Based
Once you have determined your clinic’s perfect patient, you will need to decide if this perfect patient should be paying cash to visit your clinic or if you will accept insurance for your services. It is a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of both options.
Insurance contracts may appear to be easier, but with low pay from insurance companies, are you actually able to provide your patients with the value and type of care that they need long term?
Many people are afraid to start a cash based physical therapy business because they feel that their patients won’t pay their new and higher rates. I challenge you to get the unshakable confidence to sell your physical therapy services at twice the price you think you should. The service you provide changes people’s lives and in order to provide the value and level of service your patients WANT, you need to be able to charge the amount that you require to provide it.
If you are struggling to sell your physical therapy services at the rate you deserve, or are not sure whether you should be cash-based or insurance-based, check out the book “To Sell is Healthy” to learn how to confidently, ethically and professionally sell your physical therapy services.
Consider Your Legal Responsibilities
Consider what legal liabilities you have as you start a new business. There are HIPPA rules that must be taken into account when starting a new physical therapy clinic.
It might be in your best interest to hire a lawyer for legal help to make sure you have all the proper paperwork filed and up to date.
Some things to especially consider that you will need to start a physical therapy business:
- Business name
- Up to date therapist license
- Purchase liability insurance
- Find your articles of incorporation with your state
- Secure an EIN from the IRS
Develop a Business Plan
A business plan is a formal document that contains everything about your business – including market assumptions, operations, sales, financing and hiring. It also discusses your business’ values and goals.
As a physical therapy business owner, you will need to have a solid, recorded business plan if you wish to receive funding. It also serves as a road map for you as the business owner on how to structure, run and grow your new business.
For those of you just starting out, you can check out the U.S. Small Business Administration. They give some good advice on how to start writing your business plan and why it is so important.
Secure Financing for Your Clinic
Did you write out that solid business plan? You’re going to need it!
This is where you determine how you will finance your new physical therapy clinic.
Take your business plan and show it to your friends, your family, find outside investors, or try to get a loan from the bank in order to get the funds to start up your clinic.
Determine Your Clinic’s Location
Where are you going to open your PT clinic?
It is important to put some thought into this. Consider who your perfect patient is and where the best location would be to serve their needs.
Buy Necessary Physical Therapy Equipment
If you are on a budget, consider buying your physical therapy equipment used. Try searching for clinics in your area that are closing, or even check eBay or Amazon to find used equipment at a discounted price.
Alternatively, you can look into renting your equipment. Some companies even offer rent to own programs.
To run a successful physical therapy business you will need to hire staff to work under you. Sometimes hiring your first employee can be daunting. Discover the outcomes based hiring system for PTs – and turn your clinic into a magnet for attracting work-class people willing and able to solve your biggest business problems.
To start, you will need to make sure to hire a Front Desk Manager. This is the person who will be the face of your practice. They will answer the phone, welcome patients to your clinic’s waiting room, and follow up with potential leads.
Having a great Office Manager makes the difference between converting hundreds of new patients, and having them give up on your clinic and make an appointment with your competition. If you want to learn more about how you can create “Front Desk Superstars” for your clinic watch this video.
It is also a good idea to hire a Marketing Assistant for your clinic. With your help, your marketing assistant will devise the marketing strategy for your clinic using email marketing, social media, blog writing, referral programs and more. If you want to learn more about some of the common mistakes PT’s make when hiring a marketing assistant, you can watch this video.
Finally, once you have scaled your business, you will want to start hiring physical therapists to work under you. This will allow you to spend more time running your business and less time in the clinic working with patients.
Create a Website and Marketing Plan
Where and how will your new patients learn about your clinic?
This starts by building a website for your clinic. There are many website building platforms out there such as WordPress, Wix, and Weebly. Check out the one that works best for you and your clinic.
If you aren’t the most tech savvy person, you may need to hire a web developer to help take care of some of this to make your website look professional. This is also something that a marketing assistant could help with.
Once your website is up and running, sit down with your marketing assistant to come up with a marketing plan for your clinic. Will you be running print or digital ads to promote your clinic? Facebook or Google Ads?
What social media platforms will you create for your clinic?
What email campaigns will you run?
How will you generate Google Reviews for your clinic?
Will you start a blog to write articles of interest to engage with your patients?
If this sounds overwhelming, the best thing to do is to hire a PT Marketing Agency with experts to help you. They can help make sure that your clinic will appear at #1 on Google search for the perfect patient in your area and give your marketing assistant the tools, strategies and direction to easily run the marketing campaigns you decided on for your practice.
Private Practice Marketer is the best PT Marketing Agency that can walk you through exactly what you need to be doing in terms of online marketing when it comes to opening and running your clinic.
Decide on a Customer Management Software
A customer management software is ESSENTIAL to keep everything organized when starting a new business.
This helps you to track and manage your leads and send out regular email marketing to keep your perfect patients coming back.
Infusionsoft is the BEST customer management software for PTs. With the help of Infusionsoft you can create automated marketing campaigns that will run without you to generate new leads while you are working in the clinic or even on vacation.
Become a Business LEADER
Transform yourself from business owner to business leader.
Congratulations! If you followed all of these steps you should be on your way to opening (or have already opened) your own physical therapy business!
As you grow your practice, it is a good idea to practice being a LEADER and not just an owner.
What does this mean?
Start removing yourself from the day-to-day running of your clinic. Learn how to delegate responsibilities to your staff. Learn the skills of an effective leader.
Check out this book: “Leadership in Private Practice: How to Become a World Class Leader and CEO of a Successful Private Practice” to learn more about how you can start doing this in your clinic.
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