If you’re starting a physical therapy practice, this startup guide will help you understand the missteps that a new private practice can make, and how to avoid them.
Top Physical Therapy Startup Mistakes Owners Should Avoid
1. Choosing the Wrong Location
Choosing the wrong location can prevent your private practice startup from achieving its goals.
Avoid setting up your physical therapy practice in a location that’s already saturated with other clinics. You’ll have to work twice as hard to generate business to begin with, so there’s no need to expose yourself to unnecessary competition.
Although you want to stay away from areas with many rival practices, you also don’t want to choose a location that doesn’t get as much exposure or traffic. Sure, the competition will be less of an issue, but then you will be facing problems with patient retention and ease of access.
2. Selecting the Wrong Partners
Finding strategic business partnerships is a great way to enhance your private practice’s solutions, but at the same time, selecting the wrong partner can seriously set you back.
Only work with experts who specialize in physical therapy, from physical therapy billing experts to ethics and compliance specialists, to the leaders in professional development.
3. Neglecting Physician Referrals
Similarly, you should always be strengthening your relationship with allied health professionals and referring physicians.
Don’t make the mistake of cutting out these referrals and focusing just on online marketing to target patients directly. Establishing rapport with nearby physicians has proven to help startups maintain a consistent inflow of new patients!
4. Cutting the Marketing Budget
On the other hand, neglecting your digital marketing efforts is also a major mistake when it comes to providing physical therapy solutions!
Your website should be your hardest working employee – so keep it up to date, responsive and optimized. You should have a content marketing strategy that publishes informative, recurring content to attract relevant traffic and keep your patients and target audience engaged.
Finally, Google My Business and social media is a powerful tool for building up your private practice startup – leverage your network and utilize reviews as much as possible.
5. Putting People in the Wrong Roles
Personnel management can also make or break your private practice startup. Take care not to put the right people in the wrong roles or designate yourself to manage every role in the company – you should be working ON your business, not IN it!
You cannot handle every aspect of your physical therapy solutions on your own, so determine what processes should be kept or outsourced.
6. Lacking in Leadership
When a physical therapy startup has no clear leadership, it can drag down the entire business. People do not leave practices, they leave owners – so work to develop the skills necessary to lead a successful team.
Sure, you spent years at PT school, but what you need now is the right leadership training for physical therapy owners! These tools can help you create a vision and culture for your practice and help you consider the big picture.
7. Failing the Patient Experience
One of the biggest missteps you can make as a physical therapy owner is failing to focus on the patient experience. Without patients your private practice will not succeed, so they should be the center point of all of your goals and efforts.
Everything should come back to the patient, from how you differentiate yourself with people and equipment, to the processes and operations you put in place to improve outcomes.
8. Taking Billing On Yourself
Often, private practice startups take on the full billing role themselves because they don’t want to hire a full-time specialist. There’s actually an easier way to bring expertise to your physical therapy billing, EOB Posting and ACO work.
By outsourcing to physical therapy-specific billing specialists, you no longer have to worry about insurance policies being up-to-date, hiring, training and maintaining staff to handle accurate billing work or paying higher salary, benefits, vacations and illnesses, etc.
Essentially, successful startup clinics outsource billing to free up onsite staff and keep the focus on patient care, customer experience and enhancing a positive patient experience.
Place Your Physical Therapy Startup on the Path to Success
So, now that you know what mistakes to avoid – how do you set yourself up for success?
Start by setting goals and measuring them. Utilize resources that can help track ROI from your efforts, through the use of reporting.
Next, request a Free Practice Startup Evaluation from MEG. Our private practice experts will help you position your physical therapy startup with the right training and resources so that it can join the top 10% of PT clinics in terms of growth and revenue!