Physical Therapy Business Challenges

Physical therapy business can be rewarding but it does pose its own challenges even if the private practitioners have been in business for a long time.

Four key challenges of physical therapy business owners are as follows:

Hiring competent and reliable physical therapists. For a growing physical therapy business, recruitment can be a challenge because of employee attrition and the cost of training new clinicians. A competitive compensation and benefits package may address this issue but overall, a good working environment where the staff feels empowered and valued can boost employee retention.

Time management. As the owner, you have to an expert in balancing caring for your patients while working on growing your physical therapy business. Physical therapy management is multi-faceted and can be difficult if you lack focus and clarity. You can be pulled in different directions without major accomplishments.

One way to have focus is to block out a certain period to work on tasks needed to grow your physical therapy business. These tasks usually involve planning or coming up with marketing strategies to promote your business. It’s similar to setting an appointment with yourself to dedicate time to focus on the growth of your private practice.

Decide on the important things that your physical therapy business needs to have for its growth. This gives you clarity and can focus on these things until you have accomplished them.

Patients are the lifeblood of your physical therapy business so you have to devote time for them while at the same making sure that you have time for other aspects of the business. Block certain days or times of days for seeing patients with no distraction so you can give them the best possible care.

Lack of business skills. There is no doubt that physical therapists who go into private practice are seasoned and highly-trained clinicians but this is not the only qualification as the owner of a physical therapy business. As an entrepreneur, you have to be have good business acumen to make sure your physical therapy business not only survives but to be successful and grow into significance. Business skills can be developed by attending business courses, seminars and workshops.

Lack of marketing skills. Marketing is necessary for your physical therapy business to grow and be profitable. Your marketing strategies boost patient retention and get new patients. There are a lot of marketing resources you can avail and make use of. The important thing is to have the determination and the tenacity to learn these skills.

Recognizing the challenges you face as the owner of a physical therapy business is the first step in overcoming them. Once you have face and acquired the necessary skills to address these challenges, you can have a profitable clinic with the freedom and lifestyle you want.

Physical Therapy Business Management

Physical therapy business management can be challenging even in a good economy. A private practitioner can focus his/her energy and resources in the day-to-day operations and lose the long-term vision he/she had at the beginning. Physical therapy business owners might feel stuck and get frustrated by the slow or lack of progress of their practice. They need to take charge of their physical therapy business again and boost profitability

Cookie cutter solutions will not always work and cannot assure the success of a physical therapy business. It needs more than tips and tools. As a private practice owner, you will profit greatly from an experienced business coach which will give you best practices of the physical therapy business modeled to fit your specific needs. A business coach will provide implementation support which will help you narrow the gap between what should be done and making it actually happen. A physical therapy business coach will give you an integrated and in-depth perspective of the challenges you are facing.

Your mentor can help you bring your physical therapy business to the next level by learning from others and building ideas.

Another key element in physical therapy business management is customer service. At the core of a successful private practice is excellent customer service. As the private practice owner, you spearhead the creation of a world class physical therapy business. This means that you understand and know the value of excellent customer service.  Excellent customer service is much more than excellent clinical service. It is giving physical therapy patients an unforgettable experience in your clinic.

As the private practice owner, it is your responsibility to manage and organize the physical therapy business so that the day to day operations run smoothly. It is also a good policy to continually seek feedback from your patients through a physical therapy survey. The findings of the survey will be a good basis to improve services.

Another effective physical therapy business management strategy is to continue communicating with your patients even after discharge. Once a patient has an unforgettable experience with your clinic, he/she would not have second thoughts in referring you to others. But the memory of that experience might dim with the passage of time. Continuous communication with your patients will not only strengthen your relationship but will also provide instant recall if and when friends and family require physical therapy services. This can easily be accomplished by delivering a physical therapy newsletter that will not only give them valuable information but will let them know that you care for them and  will serve as a constant reminder of the availability of your services.

Physical Therapy Business Future

According to business experts, a physical therapy business is one of the best industry for entrepreneurs to start. The projected growth for this industry is related to the aging baby boomer generation. In addition to those potential patients, a physical therapy business is expected to play a more active role in health care.

A physical therapy business provides treatment for people who have disabilities or are recovering from illness or injury. The therapy is designed to improve the patient’s mobility and decrease pain. The treatments range from exercises designed to target a specific muscle group to the application of heat, cold, or pressure. In addition to treatments at the physical therapy business, the therapist may give the patient some advice and exercises to follow at home in order to maximize the treatment benefits.

Many people use physical therapy clinics. People who suffer from a stroke or have spent time in a coma may require intensive physical therapy in order to recover their muscle control, flexibility, and strength. Children and adults with disabilities may have ongoing physical therapy to improve their mobility. Athletes who become injured may use a physical therapy business to promote the healing of the injury so that they can return to sports.

Though the growth of a physical therapy business has been hampered by cuts in Medicare coverage in recent years, some believe the industry will see a dramatic increase over the next five years due to the demand for physical therapy services from baby boomers. Some experts believe that a healthcare reform in the United States could increase the ability for those who need physical therapy to be able to get the services that they need.

Each physical therapy business has at least one licensed physical therapist to administer the treatments. Physical therapy clinics may have several professionals treating patients. Not all clinics offer the same services. A physical therapy business may be a general practice that treats everyone or be focused on a specialty such as sports medicine. If the clinic has a specialty, that particular specialty can be marketed to the specific audience who need those services.

Many patients for a physical therapy business can be gained by referrals from doctors’ offices. Physical therapists may want to consider sending a well-designed brochure to local doctors. The brochure should highlight the services and benefits of the physical therapy practice. Advertising to the public can be an opportunity to let potential patients know about the physical therapy business.

With planning regarding the services to be offered and how to reach potential patients, a physical therapy business can be a rewarding endeavor, both emotionally and financially.

Physical Therapy Management When Economic Conditions Are Tough

Physical therapy management is even more taxing in tough economic conditions.

However much you take precautions, you cannot totally secure your business. It takes very good physical therapy management to survive in uncertain economic environment. The first thing you need to do is to make a SWOT analysis, your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This will go a long way in helping you create a survival strategy.

The second physical therapy management approach is to optimize financial and human resources – spend less and maximize productivity. This means you increase your revenue while minimizing cost. You have to make sure that for every penny you spend, you get maximum value. Spending less does not mean cutting costs unnecessarily. The focus is on the value of money, not on the cost alone.

Another aspect of your physical therapy management is your cash flow. In simple terms, cash flow is the money coming in and out of your business. It is one of the crucial elements in your business so you must know how much money you have, how much you owe and how much money are owed to you. As much as possible, there should be a healthy balance of the cash flow. It is sound physical therapy management to have a cash flow forecast that will show your projected revenues and expenses so that you can anticipate cash flow shortages and will have time to make necessary adjustments.

Risks are part and parcel of physical therapy management or any business for that matter. Even so, reducing your risk factors can spell the difference between survival and failure. This is more critical in tough economic conditions so you need to have a risk management in place. This means once you have identified the threats in your business, do steps that will reduce them or better still, eliminate them entirely.

In adverse economic conditions, it is good physical therapy management to review your business plan. Analyze the current economy and make the adjustments in your business plan accordingly as your previous targets may now be unattainable.

Focusing on the core strengths of your business is a crucial physical therapy management. You should have enough confidence in your abilities. Surviving tough conditions is a real learning experience. Survivors have shared that there was an increase in teamwork and internal communication.

In these tough economic conditions, surviving is difficult but with good physical therapy management, a private practitioner can make it and will come out stronger.

Your physical therapy business will be in a better position to deal with the unpredictable economic conditions if you have a good physical therapy management in place.

Physical Therapy Business Poised For Growth In The Next Five Years

According to Erin Wendel, a spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association, the role of the physical therapists will grow as the life span of Americans increases and more handicapped Americans live longer.

This is good news for physical therapists who would like to go into private practice but is discouraged with the present state of the economy. Physical therapy business depends largely on the population needing physical therapy. A large percentage of these physical therapy patients are the elderly and based on statistics, by 2016 there is a growth of 4.3 percent of Americans who will hit retirement age thus the demand for physical therapy services will increase. It is a fact that the elderly have the usual aches and pains that prevent them from making the most of their retirement and your physical therapy business can help them live relatively pain-free lives.

Admittedly, there are many physical therapy private practices in the country but there is plenty of physical therapy business to go around. Competition necessitates that a private practice need to level up to gain advantage over other private practices. Patients or prospects needing to have physical therapy are able to shop around for the best package they can have. This should not encourage you.

A physical therapy business can be successful even with a competitor nearby.

Running a physical therapy business can be daunting at first. Managing a business can be challenging physically, mentally and emotionally. This is way off the mark from your expertise as a physical therapist and as the physical therapy business owner, you have to learn to do the following:

  • Have the owner mentality.
  • Highlight the uniqueness of your physical therapy business compared to others.
  • Take charge of the available resources of your physical therapy business.
  • Market your physical therapy business so it will grow into significance in the community and in the industry.
  • Time management. You should make sure you control your physical therapy business and not the other way around. This means you still have the time to enjoy your personal life and not to be drowned by the tasks needed to run your physical therapy business.
  • Make sure you are on top of all aspects of your physical therapy business. You might be good in taking care of your patients but might be neglecting your staff. You need to have a balance because all areas of your business are crucial to its success.

The outlook for the physical therapy business is encouraging but as a private practitioner, you need to have that competitive edge not only to survive but to be successful.

Physical Therapy Marketing Using the Power of the Internet

Physical therapy marketing is crucial for professional physical therapists to establish their good reputation and gain more clients in their community

Effective marketing can even prompt people to use a particular physical therapist even if they don’t live locally. Many professionals in the physical therapy field who doesn’t have advanced skills in physical therapy marketing end up using the simple, traditional marketing technique of creating an advertisement and publishing it in newspapers.

A survey that was conducted on the physical therapy marketing shows that the traditional way of newspaper advertisement is steadily declining since the year 2006. The survey concluded that only twenty-seven percent of adults who are between the ages of thirty-five and forty-four use newspapers for gaining information regarding physical therapy and other medical services.

Physical therapy marketing needs to utilize the media that the potential clients use in order for the advertisements to be seen. The survey states that sixty-nine percent of adults use the internet as the main media for finding merchants. The same survey shows that seventy-eight percent of adults from twenty-five to thirty-four rely on the internet as their major source of information. Using the power of the internet, physical therapy marketing is easier, cheaper and have a wider reach.

Many industries have tapped into the advantages of marketing through the internet as an excellent and proven method of advertising in order to reach a lot of people with ease. One considerable advantage of physical therapy marketing through the internet is it  takes less time. A professional can create and publish an advertisement to market a service or product through the internet faster than the traditional way of marketing with newspaper ads or television commercials. This holds thru for physical therapy marketing.

Private practitioners can take advantage of the viral effect of the internet  for their physical therapy marketing strategy to grow their practice. An effective physical therapy marketing strategy is used to identify the target market and place advertisements in places where the target market is most likely to see them. For example, if a physical therapist is specializing in sports medicine, the target market will be local athletes. Therefore, the advertisements for such a physical therapy marketing campaign could include internet ads on the websites of local sports supply stores and gyms.

Advantages of using internet as a major media for physical therapy marketing are as follows:

  • Hundreds and thousands of good clients or patients are looking for physical therapy services every day using the internet
  • A professional-looking website that advertizes a physical therapy center is a proven physical therapy marketing tool that can bring many new clients and it provide referral sources for the business.
  • Advertising online might be the one and only marketing method that can provide high returns for the amount invested in it.

One disadvantage of online physical therapy marketing is the competition.Other physical therapists also use the same medium. This disadvantage can be overcome by building a website that looks clean and professional, is easy to navigate, and is informative about the services that are offered by the physical therapy center. The key to online physical therapy marketing is establishing the private practice as the leading expert in the community. Let’s face it. Patients will always choose what they perceived in the field. After all, it is their well-being that is at stake.