5 Clever Business Tips for Opening a Thriving Physical Therapy Clinic
Given that half of all small businesses fail in the first few years, you need to make some efforts to avoid becoming a statistic. Most businesses start because owners are filling a need, but without some basic common sense business tips, your business won’t stick around long.
Here are five tips to ensure your physical therapy practice makes a lasting mark on your community.
1. Plan Your Business
Every business needs to start out with a plan. You need to outline what your business is, what your niche is, the main services you plan to provide, and how you plan to do so. Your business plan is more than just a breakdown of how you’ll spend and make money.
It’s a roadmap of how you’re going to operate from day one and how you’re going to reach your financial goals.
Your business plan should have an overall description of your business and where you differ from the other practices on the market. You need to have a marketing plan that’s detailed with information about your demographic, how much you’re going to spend, and how you’ll spend it. Most modern businesses need to have a plan for how they’re going to approach digital marketing and take advantage of digital media.
There should be a breakdown of your management team with clear roles delineated. Some people may benefit from seeing a visual tree diagram of everyone involved in your business along with a photo of each member. This will help make sure everyone is acquainted with the members of your practice.
2. Choose the Right Structure
When you’re putting together a structure for your physical therapy business, you need to make a few choices about how you’re going to incorporate. The standards practice is to file with the Department of State where you live and tell the state the type of business you run. They’ll want to know where you’re located and how you’ve structured your business.
If you’re opening a PT business, you can operate as a sole proprietorship. This is the perfect set up if you own a small business where you travel to your clients.
A partnership is a structure that allows you to work with others. If someone else owns the office and you pay a fee to use a private room, then you have a partnership. If you work together and send whichever one of you is free out to help people, that’s another partnership.
A PLLC, a PC, or S-Corporation are for those standalone offices that are run with a standards management structure. These businesses can have zero employees, but the structure is based on how you’ll pay taxes. When you have employees, you want to have some limited liability so that your personal finances don’t get mixed up with business expenses.
3. Search Carefully For Space
Do some research before you open up your own clinic. While you might have found the perfect space for your practice, if it’s too near other clinics, you could struggle, being in constant competition.
If there isn’t a big enough market for the kind of physical therapy that you offer, you might need to move your practice. Ideally, you want to be near plenty of doctors and podiatrists who could recommend your services.
Consider how much space you need as well as how much space you can afford. If there are few practices in your region, you might want to expand, so be sure there’s room for that as well.
When you sign a lease, you could be on the hook for five or ten years. While this might seem like a long time, the time could go by pretty quickly. Make sure the terms meet what you’re looking for and consider that you might want to renew later on.
If renting is going to cost you an arm and a leg, look into how much it costs to purchase your own office. If you have the investment capital, you could buy a commercial building and lease it out to other business owners who need space.
4. Start off With the Right Funding
While some people are able to start their small business with their own bank of cash, not everyone is able to do that. Many businesses start off based on loans, venture capital, or other financial agreements. You need to figure out which one is right for you before you decide.
When you borrow from a local bank, they’ll look at your current financial status and how much you have in the bank. They’ll want to see your credit score and make a determination on your rate based on how risky you are.
You could ask friends and family, but this is a hairy situation. Mixing friends, family, and money is rarely a good idea. Only go this route if you’re comfortable giving them a hand in your business.
The same goes for venture capital. If you’re going to get money from anyone, they’re going to want something in return. Often times this is a piece of your business and if you don’t want someone else steering the ship, then you should avoid taking venture capital.
5. Take Advantage of Digital Marketing
When people are interested in a specific service or have a question about their health, they now turn to search engines. This means that search engines are going to be your number one referral source.
Make sure you have a strong web presence with profiles on every major social media site. Start a blog where you offer health tips, stretching exercises, and ways to recover after an accident. When you show you have knowledge to offer, you build your profile, online and offline.
Check out this useful link for an example of a great blog post.
Common Sense Business Tips Are Vital To Success
While some of the business tips sound like common sense, if you assume that your business plan is fine living in your head or that you don’t need marketing, you’ll fail. Just having these things planned out makes the difference between success and failure.
If you want to move over into the world of sports or sports medicine, check out our guide for tips.