Today we are featuring Part II of our interview with Ann Wendel from PranaPT about opening a PT clinic. If you missed Part I, click here. Thanks again Ann!

As with starting any business, there’s bound to be the good, the bad, and the ugly. Tell us about a time that was “bad/ugly” and what you learned from it.
You have to really believe in yourself and you can’t give up. This felt like the most reckless thing my husband and I have ever done! I left a job making a comfortable salary and went right out on my own – there was no easing into it this time. So, I started and the schedule was completely blank. With two kids, it’s really difficult to save up the recommended 6 months of expenses. We had to just keep going past the initial “What are we going to do?” The good news is that as a P.T., you’re always going to find a job. Always having options is good. The huge demand for PTs is not true of all industries, especially in today’s job market.

If you could go back and do one thing differently what would it be?
There were a lot of things I could have changed. I learned from all of it though; so, in the end I wouldn’t change anything. I try to make the best decision I can at the time and run with it. Each thing, good or bad, added to my knowledge base. At the time, each thing seemed like the right thing. Over time, I’ve become a little more sure of myself. There’s no way to not be naive when you’re young. You just need to have a sense of humor.

What’s been the most rewarding part of owning your own business?
I’m working towards something for me and my family. I’m working harder than I ever have before, but it’s for a reason. It makes me happy and I love what I’m doing. I love the control. I get to do what I want. Having control over my schedule is great for the kids. I also love having breaks in my day. At my prior job, I was seeing 15 patients a day with no lunch break. I really love going on lunches for marketing purposes or working out. I get a lot of ideas working out with other trainers and instructors. Seeing the sun once in a while is a good thing!

Any actionable advice that an aspiring clinic owner could implement today?
The best thing to do is to figure out your marketing. Your strategy has to be something that works for you, not someone else. I’m a networker - I do a ton of social media, blogging and meeting with people. I work out with different people, take classes, rock climb and I give out cards. That’s what works for me. Other people sometimes try to do things that don’t work for them. The other day, I heard a PT say “I’m going to try blogging, but I don’t like writing.” That’s not going to work. Whatever you pick, it has to be authentic to you. If bringing lunches to doctors isn’t you, it’s not going to work. If you’re bad at public speaking, don’t try to give seminars. It’s going to seem forced. Also, there’s a certain way to use social media, you can’t just say “We do the best PT.” Give people something to interesting to read.

Any final thoughts?
For anyone starting their own clinic, know that you’re going to work really hard; but, it is going to be rewarding. It’s going to be fun, or it needs to be. If you’re a PT who’s never gone out on your own, you need a mentor. Meet people. Find someone to coach you. You need someone to call at 9PM when the money is not coming in the door. You need someone to celebrate your successes with you, too. Chiropractors expect to run their own clinic, so in school they get a lot of business training. It’s not the case for PT. You have to find alternatives to learn about the business.

WebPT HEP - Regular BannerWebPT HEP - Small Banner
  • Dipping a Toe into the Out-of-Network Waters: The ActivCore Model Image

    articleJan 6, 2016 | 9 min. read

    Dipping a Toe into the Out-of-Network Waters: The ActivCore Model

    As regulations intensify, reimbursements dwindle, and patients take greater control of their health care, interest in cash-pay services and cash-based practice models has increased, especially among physical therapists. For years, we here at WebPT have kept a pulse on the cash trend, sharing hard-hitting pieces by Ann Wendel and Jarod Carter. Recently, we discovered a new out-of-network model—one that’s complementary to the in-network model most practices already have. This setup allows providers to dip their proverbial toes …

  • articleMar 15, 2012 | 4 min. read

    A Reality Check with Chad Novasic: Starting a Clinic Isn't for Everyone, Part II

    Today we are pleased to present Part II of our interview with  Chad Novasic, PT . Chad received his B.S. in Physical Therapy from Marquette University in 1988, and has served the Racine and Kenosha areas for the last 13 years in private practice. He has practiced several years in both a long term care setting and an acute care outpatient clinic setting. Chad is the owner of  Alliant Physical Therapy Group . Alliant serves Southeastern Wisconsin with …

  • articleMar 1, 2012 | 3 min. read

    How Christine Wood, PT, DPT Started Her Clinic Part I

    Today we kick off a month-long series for physical therapists about how to start a clinic. We know that many therapists either dream of starting their own practice or want to become even better business owners. Over the next month, we'll share with you interviews, tips, and tricks about being a therapist entrepreneur. Today we're excited to share Part I of our interview with WebPT member, Christine Wood, PT, DPT of Waynesboro, VA. Thanks to Christine for …

  • How To Start An Outpatient Private Practice For Less Than $8,000 Image

    articleJul 19, 2017 | 5 min. read

    How To Start An Outpatient Private Practice For Less Than $8,000

    Our contributing blogger today is WebPT Member, Jack Sparacio, MSPT, COMT, CFMT . He is also the Owner and President of Sparacio Physical Therapy P.C. in New York. We're excited to have Jack sharing his expertise. Thanks, Jack! Starting a Clinic I know what you’re thinking. There is no way you can open an outpatient private practice for less than $8,000. But the truth is, you can. There are plenty of articles out there that will tell …

  • Are you sure you want to open your own practice? Image

    articleMar 20, 2012 | 6 min. read

    Are you sure you want to open your own practice?

    Our blog post today was written by WebPT member, Dr. Sam Esterson , PT, MA, MBA, DScPT. He is the owner of Esterson and Associates Physical Therapy . He is also the author of a well-received book written in 2003, entitled  Starting & Managing Your Own Physical Therapy Practice: A Guide for the Rookie Entrepreneur . Dr. Esterson will be a featured guest on this month's webinar. Learn more here . Thanks to Sam for his wise words.  Those forward …

  • articleMar 5, 2012 | 3 min. read

    How Christine Wood, PT, DPT Started Her Clinic Part II

    Today we're posting Part II of our interview with WebPT member,  Christine Wood, PT, DPT  of Waynesboro, VA. If you'd like to start with Part I, you can check it out here . Thanks Christine!   Tell us about the ugly side of starting a clinic and what you’ve learned. Everything to do with marketing has been ugly. It’s mind-boggling how people don’t understand the things that they themselves are supposed to be the experts in. One …

  • How To Start a PT Practice While Keeping a Full-Time Job Image

    articleJun 1, 2017 | 10 min. read

    How To Start a PT Practice While Keeping a Full-Time Job

    Would you like to start your own practice—but don’t know where to begin? Are you fully employed and think you don’t have enough time? Too much student debt? Too many family responsibilities? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re not the only healthcare professional stuck in this situation. Thousands of therapists just like you have a dream of leaving hamster-wheel practices, but they just can’t bring themselves to walk away from their family and …

  • Things to Consider When Taking Out a Loan to Start Your PT Practice Image

    articleAug 6, 2018 | 5 min. read

    Things to Consider When Taking Out a Loan to Start Your PT Practice

    So, you graduated from PT school—congrats! At this point, you may be thinking, “Now what?” A DPT education can take you down many paths, but if you have dreams of starting a physical therapy private practice, there’s one item you’ll need to check off your list first: securing the money to get started. And if you’ve considered taking out a business loan, there are some things you need to know. PT is a fast-growing industry, and private …

  • articleJan 17, 2012 | 4 min. read

    Ann Wendel of PranaPT Shares How to Start a PT Clinic

    Today we're excited to release Part I of our interview with Ann Wendel , PT, from PranaPT . Thanks, Ann, for being candid and sharing your story of opening physical therapy clinics with us. Tell us a little bit about you and your practice. I graduated from University of Delaware in 1992 with a BS in P.E. Studies, concentration in Athletic Training. My goal was to work in sports medicine. I worked as an ATC in a …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.