Many physical therapists’ have dreams of becoming a practice owner and opening their own clinic. Some may have their first clinic established and want to expand into more locations. They gain experience, and then think “I can do this.” It is true that anyone can own a business and start down the path of freedom. However, how do you ensure that your business will be successful?
There are a few considerations to take into account when opening your own clinic that will improve your chances for success. Here are some important things to consider as you plan your leap into private practice ownership or expand into your next office.
First think about the patient demographic you are going for (athletes, pediatrics, geriatrics, etc…). Then, ensure your location and the environment inside sends the message you want to convey. Every one of the start-ups we have worked with at MEG has been successful because they understand how to tap into the power of their patients as marketing agents. The patients you treat will become walking billboards by telling their friends, family members, doctors and others about their successful physical therapy experience. When your entire office displays a patient advocate attitude and ensures every patient is winning from evaluation to discharge, the number of internal referrals will skyrocket.
The Right Systems
You need systems in place to ensure the operations of your business. Systems such as:
- Accounting software
- Billing software
- EMR with scheduler
- Policy and Procedure Manual
- Business Strategic Plan
- Marketing plan and budget
- Bonus System
These systems are essential to the success of your business as each has a unique purpose. For example: the Policy and Procedure Manual is a “Rules of the Road” tool that owners use to set employee expectations in the clinic while enabling managers to hold their employees accountable. If the above systems are established and well understood by the team, this usually creates an efficient, compliant, and smooth running organization.
An Owner Mindset
Many of the private practice owners we work with have beens clinicians for years. Sometimes, it can be difficult to transition from the clinician mindset to a business owner mindset. Although patient care is certainly a component of being a private practice owner, it does not encompass the complete picture. A new owner must think about implementing structure in their business. This structure will provide the framework to hire the right people for each role in the company.
A common mistake new owners make is trying to do everything from patient care, to managing the marketing efforts, and managing their staff. It is critical to the the success of your practice to understand the power of structure and the importance of assigning specific tasks to each member of your team.
If you’re considering opening your own practice or expanding your practice, download our eBook Managing a PT Practice: A Guide for Owners for other things that you should know and consider.
Brian Gallagher, PT is the founder and CEO of MEG Business Management, LLC. He has more than 27 years of experience in the field of rehabilitation and 19 years in business and specializes in Physical Therapy practice management and executive coaching nationwide. As a licensed business management consultant, Brian has helped hundreds of business owners nationwide improve their business operations through proper restructuring to achieve improved systems of efficiency and productivity as well as marketing and sales with effective public relations which have proven results for double-digit growth year-over-year with businesses around the country.