As a physical therapy business owner, being a good therapist is not enough. To survive and grow into significance, the private practitioner has to be good at business management. This means changing your mindset from a clinician to a physical therapy business owner. Your success will depend on this mindset.
As the owner of the physical therapy business, you need to assume an identity and mindset separate and above than that of a simple physical therapist. But what is a physical therapy business owner mindset?
For one, having an owner’s mindset of a physical therapy business means you are the CEO which steers the business to success or failure. You see your private practice as a valuable investment that needs to be efficiently managed to achieve your goals and objectives, to accomplish your vision for your business.
When you have the mindset of an owner, it gives you a confidence and motivation to do things to ensure the success of your physical therapy business.
Shifting your mindset as the owner of the physical therapy business enables you raise your vision from the day-to-day operations to the future. You will not only think of treating people but will analyze systems and strategies how to be more effective in treating people while making the practice profitable.
You will be able to lead and delegate once you have the mindset of a physical therapy business owner. You will identify the people who can do thing for you and will have the freedom associated with a business ownership. It also frees you from details that bogs you down so you can concentrate on leading your staff and focus on more important tasks such as.
Since you are the owner of the physical therapy business, you have the burden of responsibility. You need to be on top of all aspects of the business but with the right mindset, you can achieve this and leave you enough time to enjoy a meaningful life without being overwhelmed by your responsibilities.
Time and experience will help you acquire the owner mindset but coaching and mentoring will speed up the process. Business coaches with their vast and in-depth knowledge of running a business will direct your ways and help physical therapy business owners achieve success.
With the right mindset, physical therapy business owners will have the confidence and competence to grow. They would be able to overcome challenges and will take charge of their destiny. At best, they will have a balanced work and personal life.
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 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.
It is a fact the US economy in 2012 is not doing well as our politicians would like us to believe. Unemployment rate is on the rise, overdue mortgages are increasing, nearly half of American families spend more than what they earn. The list is long and the facts are frightening. What are the prospects of the physical therapy business then in this new economy?
Physical therapy business will continue to thrive even with the economic slowdown. One of the major factors is emphasis placed on community healthcare. As the population ages and becomes less healthy, the demand for health care professionals including physical therapists will increase. It is fact that the expertise of physical therapists can help the elderly maintain their bodily function to stay healthy.
The Disabilities Education Act of 2004 also helps the physical therapy business stay afloat. Because of this act, children with disabilities have free access to various kinds of rehabilitation services such as physical and occupational therapy.
Direct access in most states also gave the physical therapy business a boost. Physical therapy patients can directly visit a physical therapist without needing to get a referral from a medical doctor.
Accidents cannot be avoided and physical therapy is a key element in rehabilitation. Unfortunate as it may seem, accidents makes the physical therapy business thrive.
Physical therapy business owners also face challenges and threats to their survival. One of these challenges is the mergers of hospitals with other physical therapy private practices to contain costs and for expansion of services being offered.
Even so, the law of supply and demand in the physical therapy business will ensure a positive outlook for private practitioners. There are more adults staying active in their senior years who require physical therapy services to maintain their quality of life.
Bleak as it may seem, the impact of the new economy to the physical therapy business is minimal and does not pose a threat to its survival. The demand for more physical therapy services will outweigh the adverse economic situation. Physical therapy services will always be needed during rehabilitation. Medical and technological advances made it possible for trauma victims to survive which results to more rehab care. Chronic diseases have also increased and sufferers like diabetics will need physical therapy to manage the ill effects of these diseases.
Some might say that the physical therapy business prospers in the misfortune for others. On the contrary, physical therapy helps victims and patients recover and restore them to health and wellness.
Physical therapy business sees a growth in the next five years as a lot of Americans hit the retirement age. It is a fact that seniors need physical therapy more than other age groups because of health issues caused by the aging process. A physical therapy business can get the most out of this trend by making sure that they provide services for the elderly. Emphasizing the benefits of physical therapy to the elderly is a marketing strategy that would greatly have a positive impact on a physical therapy business.
Physical therapy will help the elderly stay fit and healthy letting them maintain their independence. This is one of biggest factors that will help a physical therapy business grow.
Elderly care can sometimes be difficult for the children but a physical therapy business can offer a patient education program wherein the elderly will know how to plan ahead and prevent an elder care crisis. To quote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. With an educational and awareness program initiated by the physical therapy business, the elderly and their children can be prepared for any eventuality and will not be caught off guard by an emergency.
A physical therapy business can help put the minds of the elderly and their families by letting them know that the first step towards a more independent senior is being fit and healthy. The physical therapy business has a lot of exercise and health programs that would allow the elderly to maintain a quality of life that gives them freedom and ease of movement.
It is unrealistic to think that physical therapy can prevent the aging process but it can make aging more pleasant and decreasing the risk of age-related injuries like falling. A physical therapy business can also ease the burden of these elderly patients by giving them the necessary requirements for treatment like insurance and Medicare. PACE (Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) is a program for adults over 55 years old which allows them to be eligible and avail of physical therapy treatment.
The physical therapy business in accordance with the goal of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) should always be responsive to the current trends and changing environments o the healthcare industry. Elderly care is at the forefront of the physical therapy business because of the expected spurt of more Americans reaching the retirement age. Just as health care trends are changing, so must the physical therapy business evolve as well.
A lot of physical therapists are opting to go into private practice as opposed to their traditional roles in hospitals and clinics in patient care. Going into the physical therapy business of their own, they enjoy more autonomy and freedom while at the same time, face challenges inherent to running a business. They bear the burden of the day-to-day responsibilities of management while providing health care services to their patients.
Notwithstanding these challenges, having your own physical therapy business will mean a potential greater income more than the salaried physical therapists in the hospital settings. Actually, both rewards and risks are higher when you decide to go into private practice.
Few physical therapy business owners have previous experience as entrepreneurs and may have difficulty when it comes to business management. The private practitioners will need to have assistance from experts in financial management, medical billing and coding, human resources and tax and accounting. This requires substantial capital and this must be seriously taken into consideration because availability of funds will spell the success and failure of the physical therapy business.
Before opening a physical therapy business, a business plan must be in place which took into account third-party insurance reimbursement and state licensure. Enrollment to Medicaid and Medicare is also crucial for the cash flow.
Thanks to the physical therapy practice act, direct access in most states is now available to physical therapy business owners. Before the act, physical therapy services are contingent to a referral from a physician. This means that now patients can directly go to a physical therapy clinic without being seen by a physician.
A physical therapy business needs to have the right systems for smooth day-to-day operations. A measure of the effectiveness of these systems is that when somebody leaves or resign, there will be no major interruption of the flow of procedures in the business. Somebody can easily take over the vacant position.
Another key element of a successful physical therapy business is having the right staff. Human resource is very crucial in this industry since patients require human interaction. Once they found the right staff, physical therapy business owners must nurture this resource since employee attrition can also damage the business in the same way patient attrition does.
Having an attainable mission statement and vision for the physical therapy business will give it the direction it would need to have.
All efforts will then be expended towards that singular vision. The operative word here is attainable. Often times, the vision is out of reach that it leads to frustration but if it can be attained, then the physical therapy business owner and his/her staff will be motivated to reach that vision.