Over the years, I have spoken to many physiotherapists who aspired to one day own their own physiotherapy practice. This is a noble goal and, if successful, it can help fill the gaps in access to quality conservative care that exist in many communities across the country. However, taking ownership of the practice requires a lot of time, energy, creativity, and money – the latter element is something many people lack these days. Fortunately, there are many ways to make your dream of practice ownership come true, and some are more financially beneficial than others. So, without further ado, here are six ways to start a physiotherapy business:
1. Build from scratch
Start a whole new practice This is probably what most future practice owners imagine when they dream of going it alone. After all, there is something to be said for starting a business from scratch versus acquiring an already established business: you can make it as big or small as you want, and you don’t have to. worry about changing long-standing procedures and practices. with an existing team. You can also choose to make it a joint venture with another owner rather than flying solo. However, building a new PT practice from scratch is also a lot of work. Some things to consider are:
While you may experience some of these same steps along with other ways of practicing ownership, these are all things that you should definitely do when starting from scratch. There are also many financial risk factors to consider when setting up a startup, and during a time of high market volatility, like the one we are currently experiencing, you may want to consider another route to your business. ownership goal. .
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2. Acquire an existing practice
An alternative to starting a whole new practice is acquisition—Whether that means buying a single independent clinic or a location in a franchise. This option removes much of the initial preparatory work and essentially guarantees immediate income, as the clinic will have an existing patient load. If you choose this route, however, there are still a lot of considerations to consider. For example:
- Do you need to acquire a new Type2 NPI number?
- Will you change the clinic Branding and logo?
- Are you and your clinical staff accredited with all the good insurance payers?
- Do you need to hire additional staff to compensate for employee attrition?
For more key things to think about before acquiring a PT practice, see this post by Meredith Castin, PT, DPT.
3. Partnership with an existing clinic
Another viable gateway to becoming a practice owner is to partner with an existing clinic. One way to do this is to join the team during a practice and work your way up the ranks. If you are thinking of a future partnership when you become an employee of a new firm, you should immediately make these intentions known to the current owner (s). According to To Carolyn Josey, who is now the owner and CEO of Everything-Green, it’s important to establish yourself as a great supplier within this practice first and to build positive relationships with the other suppliers on your team. As Josey explains, “If all goes well, [new hires] will be offered a partnership as they progress in a given period. This should be described in their contracts. They should never contract with [the time frame] left open. “
However, you shouldn’t assume that a partnership is in the bag just because you are a knowledgeable and valued physiotherapist with a good rapport within the company. Many times current owners will have set milestones that an employee must meet to become a partner. If such repositories do not exist, you need to find out if the company is ready to create one for you. In this article on the practice of doctorsMark Bair, MD, advises, “If you are speaking with a group that has not developed specific requirements for advancement, you need to determine why. If this group is unwilling to divulge, or just doesn’t want to make any promises, you need to reconsider carefully. “
Here are some other things to consider before embarking on a partnership path:
- culture in shape,
- the long-term goals and business plan of the clinic, and
- how the practice manages the financial aspect of the business.
4. Partnership with another company
With their broad understanding of anatomy, physiology, and musculoskeletal disorders, physiotherapists can be valuable partners for any health and wellness endeavor. Plus, partnering with a local gym or fitness studio is a great way to gain immediate access to potential patients as well as create a niche that sets your practice apart from the competition. This is precisely what Kaci Monroe, PT, DPT, owner of River Bend Physiotherapy and Preventive Care, aimed to do when she partnered with a local gym. “Being part of the track club brought so many clients,” says Monroe here. “I currently only live by word of mouth. I haven’t even done marketing to doctors yet because I didn’t need it. I am full every week. “
Partnering with a gym can be hugely lucrative, but there are also some special liability precautions to consider when doing this. As we mention in this post, “If the therapist’s qualifications include the skills to administer help in an emergency or to detect early risk factors for certain health conditions, then he or she could be held legally responsible for not doing so. . ” That said, the law does not hold non-medical professionals and technicians – like massage therapists and personal trainers – at the same level of responsibility. It is therefore crucial that you cover your legal bases if you choose to go this route.
5. Starting a lateral agitation
Do you dream of owning your own practice, but are afraid to quit your daily job? Starting a side business is a great way to explore practice ownership without taking so much financial risk. An option, as physiotherapist Paul Potter suggests this post, is to start a micropractic. “A micropractic is a lean business that capitalizes on a vendor’s expertise to deliver a specific product or service,” Potter explains. “Micropractices:
- leverage technology to reach and serve ideal customers in a niche market, and
- Streamline workflows to reduce overhead and high profits. “
If you choose to go this route, you can try your hand at practice property without investing in a brick and mortar location. And if you decide to go the cash payment route – and plan to practice in an affluent area – you may even be able to avoid facing the headaches associated with payers. Here are some different examples of micropractic business models:
- a paid yoga or Pilates center,
- mobile endurance and strength training,
- fitness and sports coaching, and
- PT home care.
That being said, working as a full-time therapist while treating patients in parallel means you’ll be spending a lot of hours. It also usually requires an initial financial investment for things like independent malpractice coverage, website creation and maintenance, and marketing. However, once you’ve established a loyal customer base, you can open up a physical location knowing you have plenty of patients to fill it – and it’s well worth it.
6. Join a network of partners
Finally, a less well-known alternative for future owners of physiotherapy practices is to join forces with a network of partners such as the economic model of share capital used by Health and Rehabilitation Solutions (HRS). This model works well not only for PTs looking to start their own practice from scratch, but also for practice owners who have acquired a new clinic and are looking to expand their reach. As HRS states on its website, “We work to develop your business strategy and implementation plan collaboratively, then equip you to run your own business.” In this example, you will also have access to your partner’s professional team, which will help you refine and improve all processes in your practice.
The biggest benefit of joining an existing partner network is the amount of time and money it will save you in strengthening your clinic’s name and reputation. It’s also nice to have immediate access to the expert team of a large company. However, it’s important to research all of your options and find the network that works best for you and meets your needs, paying special attention to the level of autonomy you will have as an owner.
So there you have it: six unique ways to own a physiotherapy practice. Can you think of the ones we missed? Or do you have questions about any of the above methods? Let us know in the comment section below!