There’s more to opening a physical therapy clinic than just finding the right space. There is actually a lot goes into a successful PT clinic launch.
Running a physical therapy clinic means treating patients and documenting their progress, keeping track of finances, managing office staff and optimizing day-to-day operations so your business can stay profitable and grow.
While there’s no doubt opening your own clinic will be a lot of work, it’s incredibly rewarding as well. You get to be your own boss, be in control of your future, and help people along the way.
Being a first-time business owner means making mistakes, but you don’t have to make the same mistakes as others. Here are some major mistakes to avoid when starting your own physical therapy clinic.
Lack of a Business Plan
Your physical therapy clinic will have a much higher chance for success if you develop a business plan. Your plan should:
- Define your business
- Establish goals
- Provide a roadmap for how to achieve goals
Without a business plan, you could find yourself in a financial mess quickly. You should plan out the first 12 to 18 months of your business, then update it each year.
Buying Expensive Equipment
It’s important to establish a budget for medical equipment. Typical examples of medical and clinical equipment include:
- Treatment tables
- Therapeutic modalities (ultrasound, electrical stimulation units)
- Exercise equipment
- Computer equipment
You might be tempted to purchase the best and most expensive equipment on the market to show patients that your physical therapy is top notch or that your clinic is very successful. However, the best PT equipment can be incredibly expensive. Combine the cost of expensive equipment with rent and other expenses, and you could be launching your business from a ditch of debt.
When you’re first starting out, it may be wiser to invest in budget-friendly equipment that comes recommended or is well-reviewed. You can always upgrade equipment as your clinic grows and generates revenue.
Remember, your physical therapy patients are coming to you for your clinical expertise and customer experience more so than the price tag of your equipment.
Forgetting About Business Operations
As a physical therapist, this may be your first time managing business operations. While you may not enjoy the business aspect of running a clinic, you can’t ignore it or your practice won’t succeed.
As a clinic owner, you have now become a business person. Your new role will include:
- Managing employees
- Clinic marketing
- Procurement of supplies
- Ensuring compliance with all regulations
Running a successful practice will include hiring the right people or outsourcing the right tasks to keep the business functioning while you focus on providing the best patient care.
Not Putting Patients First
How you treat your customers has a lot to do with how your business will perform. Your patients are expecting you to provide a clean, well-organized clinical space where they can succeed at rehabilitation.
They expect you to provide expert clinical care and for you to keep to your appointments. Taking good care of your patients, respecting their time and providing excellent service will keep your retention rate high. It will also help you gain referrals and grow your business.
In a world where digital reviews are king, providing a bad experience could kill your business.
Remember that doctors are customers too. They refer patients to you, and when they do so they expect the patient to have a good experience. If you do not provide a good experience to both the referring doctor and the patient, you could end referrals and lose business.
Choosing the Wrong Medical Billing Company
Medical billing and coding can be incredibly complicated but getting it wrong could cost you thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue depending on how many patients you see.
Outsourcing your medical billing to the right company can ensure your patients are billed accurately and that there are no issues with insurance companies.
Learn from the mistakes of others who have come before you. Avoid these mistakes, and launch your physical therapy clinic without a hitch.