Thinking about opening a physical therapy business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Physical Therapist Entrepreneurial Profile
Are you a physical therapist or an entrepreneur? If you're planning to launch a physical therapy clinic, the right answer is both. Time and time again, we've seen PT businesses fail because the owner has forgotten that she needs to wear more than one hat to make her startup a success.
The best clinic-centered business models combine excellent levels of patient care with good business sense to create a thriving and profitable PT business. Although we can't improve your physical therapy skills, our resources on What It Takes To Be an Entrepreneur can equip you with the skills and mindset you need to make your startup a success.
Finding Patients for a New Physical Therapy Practice
Patients won't automatically show up at the door of your PT startup. To ensure a steady stream of patients (and revenue), you'll need to proactively pursue feeder revenue streams, starting with insurance companies. Major insurance carriers typically refer their patients to approved PT providers, so your first step will be to navigate the process of becoming an in-network provider.
After you have sorted out the insurance issue, you can begin to cast a broader marketing net to include physicians and possibly even patients themselves. When you market your practice directly to physicians and patients, you just need to be upfront about the insurances your insurance approvals.
Patient Care Concerns for PT Startups
Proper licensure and certification are obvious requirements for physical therapy startups. But maintaining high quality patient care on a go-forward basis can be challenging, especially when you're dealing with insurance companies that seem to be primarily concerned about cost management.
The American Physical Therapy Association and other organizations advocate for the interests of PT business owners and therapists. More importantly, these organizations provide an abundance of resources designed to help you maintain both profitability and a high level of patient care.
Tips for Writing a Physical Therapy Company Business Plan
As a startup entrepreneur, you're learning that small business ownership can be a lonely career path. That's especially true when it comes to writing a business plan – the seminal document that will shape the direction of your new physical therapy business.
But even though you have primary responsibility for drafting a business plan for your physical therapy business, you aren't entirely alone. There are plenty of useful solution designed to assist physical therapy business entrepreneurs in business plan writing.
For more information, take a look at our Business Plan Help section.
Evaluate Local Officials
Your business will primarily be a local business. That means you need to get to know the local government before finalizing site selection. Are officials truly interested in retaining and assisting existing business, attracting new businesses, providing a pro-business climate for success, and offering services and incentives to small companies? If not, maybe you should consider other locations for your physical therapy business.
Long before you open a physical therapy business in your town, it's a smart move to determine how you will fit in the competitive landscape. We've provided the link below to help you get a list of local competitors in your city. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of physical therapy businesses in your town.
Is the local market large enough to support another physical therapy business? If not, you had better be sure that you are doing things much better than the competition.
Talk to People Who Are Already in the Business
If you want to open a physical therapy business be sure to learn as much as you can from somebody who is already in the business. If you think your local competitors will give you advice, you're being overoptimistic. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
However, a fellow entrepreneur who has started a physical therapy business outside of your community will be much more likely to talk with you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
Where can an aspiring entrepreneur like you find an entrepreneur who is running a physical therapy business outside of your area who is willing to talk?
It's not that hard. Just use the handy link below and enter in a random city/state or zipcode.
Benefits & Drawbacks of a Physical Therapy Business Acquisition
An acquisition can be a great way to enter physical therapy business ownership. But it's important to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of buying a business before you decide on either an acquisition or startup approach.
PROs: A good physical therapy business will deliver revenue and ROI from day one. Even more, the right physical therapy business acquisition can place you in a market leadership position from your first days as a business owner.
CONs: On the downside, physical therapy business acquisitions can be difficult to adapt to your unique business philosophy so it's important to make sure the business is capable of achieving your ownership goals before you initiate the buying process.
If you prefer to partner with others to launch your new business, your best bet may be exploring becoming a franchisee.
Before you get too far along in your plan to open a physical therapy business, you may want to investigate whether franchising might be worth investigating.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing physical therapy business, try these useful resources:
If you came here to learn about selling to physical therapy businesses, we've got better information for you elsewhere on our site. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.