I’ve been working with both new and existing owners now for almost two decades. When I think back to what I went through when I opened my first office in 1999, it’s a world of difference. I actually recall putting my head in my hands saying to myself: “I would pay anyone anything they wanted if they would just sit down with me and show me what it is that I needed to do first, second and third in order to build a successful practice.” Unfortunately, at the time, all that was available were business consultants who either didn’t know physical therapy or were more interested in selling me stuff rather than actually helping me. I knew then that someday I would create a company that physical therapy owners could trust would have their best interest in mind and provide them with the knowledge and support necessary to their success.
A private practice’s success begins with the owner knowing what they need to do and when they need to do it. There is no time in business where your actions as an owner are more critical than when you open your first office or expanding into your next location. MEG Academy was built with 14 comprehensive programs to enable owners to operate in every area of private practice with complete certainty. This begins with our “startup accelerator program” and the “expansion program” specifically designed to ensure one’s success with growth. In this week’s podcast, I cover the four most important factors to consider when successfully expanding into your next location. Maintaining viability while experiencing steady growth is what makes for a successful practice and less stressed owner.
- What condition is your current office in? If your current office is not in screaming affluence, or a power condition then you may still have work to do in your existing location before you want to consider expanding. Measure this based on your company metrics and your employee stats. If as an owner you understand what the 64 key statistics are and the practice metrics or KPI’s (key performance indicators) then you have what you need to measure your performance by. If you the owner do not know where each staff member stands and your entire practice you will be lacking the foundation needed to drive condition up in your practice.
- The key members should be professionally enhanced and their performance tracked based on their key statistics each week. They should be plotted and graphed so that it is clear to all if they are trending up or down.
- When it comes to opening your second office, you’ll want to do that with your “A team.” Don’t take your newest hires and stick them out there in your brand new office and expect them to outperform your best players that already have a proven track record of success in your existing office. Your A-team might look like your current Office Manager and Clinical Director. Send them out to your new office as your establishment team, once the office is open and stable they can always be brought back to the home office if need be.
- Promotions may need to be considered during this process, but that does not necessarily mean a pay raise. If a promotion is given, refrain from bumping up their pay first. It’s more important that you give them the position and training to succeed first. Once they are winning at the new position, you can adjust compensation based on performance.
- Consider your market and practice environment so that you are setting yourself up for success. Look at the traffic patterns during rush hour. What do the ingress and egress look like? What is the type of community you are opening in rural, urban or suburban? Is the population at least 5,000 people within 5-10 mile radius? Do you have adequate parking of at least 4 spaces per 1,000 sqft of office space? Is the clinic size in that ideal range of 1200 to 2500 sqft in size and is your rent going to be less than 10% of your total GI?
- As the owner and CEO of your practice, the CEO’s senior responsibilities include planning, programming, targeting, and training. You will need a business strategic plan each year and a pilot program whenever you go to open a second office. This will need to be complemented with a marketing program broken down into two-month marketing campaigns in order for you to hit your numbers to break even in 6 months or less. A key metric to know in this area would be that any high-quality practice can easily obtain 45 – 65% of their new patients from return business.
I’ll leave you with an observation I have had over the past two decades of working with owners from all over the country: “It’s only what you don’t know that is holding you back from living the life of a practice owner that you have always envisioned for yourself.”
Worth Checking Out
If you have any questions or want to discuss any of the key points in this episode, schedule a no-risk, no-obligation practice assessment.