They say wisdom comes through experience. And when it comes to physical therapy marketing, there’s no one wiser than the PTs who’ve struck out on their own and built successful businesses. If you’re just starting out on your physical therapy business journey, you probably wish you had some of that knowledge.
Great news! Ascend—the ultimate business summit for rehab therapists—is back and better than ever before. Last year, the sixth-annual event took us to the Land of 10,000 Lakes (that’s Minnesota, don’tcha know!) for two incredibly educational (and incredibly fun) days…
When it comes to climbing the ladder of success, Louie Anderson once told Eddie Murphy, “I started out mopping the floor just like you guys. But now…now I’m washing lettuce. Soon I’ll be on fries; then the grill. And pretty soon, I’ll make assistant manager, and that’s when the big bucks start rolling in.” (Well, to clarify: Louie Anderson’s character said this to Eddie Murphy’s character in the 1988 classic Coming to America.)
Many physical therapists dream of owning their own practice one day. While some clinicians wait until they’ve been working for years before they take the plunge, more and more new graduates are opting for clinic ownership right out of school. Regardless of when the timing feels right, one of the biggest decisions facing an aspiring clinic owner is whether to buy an existing PT practice or start one from scratch. Many folks wind up purchasing existing practices so they don’t have to build a patient load from the ground up or worry about forging relationships with referral sources.
How one PT business owner grew her practice to multiple locations in under three years—and what she learned in the process.
Surely: Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to open a private practice
In the world of tasks and to-dos, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as completing a checklist (amirite?). I certainly believe this is true—which means, I can check “being right” off of my list of to-dos for today. Cha-ching! But, enough about me. If you’re starting a physical therapy clinic, you’ve probably got enough tasks floating around in your mind to make a list a mile long—and that list has to cover all of your bases.
As requirements for third-party reimbursement increase and payments decrease, more and more physical therapists are going the way of cash-based business models—or at least offering select cash-pay services. As a result, we’ve received quite a few questions over the years about the ins and outs of running a cash-based physical therapy practice. Luckily, cash-pay experts Ann Wendel, PT, and Jarod Carter, DPT, have both contributed blog posts on the subject. (Check out Wendel’s article’s here and Carter’s here.)
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 thinking and self-motivated therapists who possess a powerful drive to grow, are goal-directed, and have low blood pressure are ones who may be the best candidates to jump in, full throttle, and consider opening up a practice “on their own.” Sure, there’s much to consider and plan, but, if you are a therapist working in an environment where you are constantly thinking, “Gee, I sure could do this better, easier, more creatively, and/or more cost-effectively,” then, you may have “the itch.” The people who generally have this spirit are called “entrepreneurs.” An entrepreneur is one who organizes, manages and assumes the risks of an enterprise. The term comes from the French, entreprendre, meaning, to undertake. Entrepreneurs demand as much of themselves as they do of others. They have a passion for their dreams and do not easily take “no” for an answer. Entrepreneurs see opportunity when others see potential failure. They see the proverbial glass half-full while others perceive the glass half-empty.
There are some therapists who may think that by opening their own practice, they will become their own boss and not have to take orders from others ever again. This concept cannot be further from the truth. In fact, once you open your own business, you will have many bosses, including the referring practitioners who have clinical demands on you, insurance companies who direct your care by virtue of how they reimburse you for services rendered, patients who have a knack for manipulating your time and efforts, and even your staff who place constraints on you in many ways.