How to Start a Therapy Business!

Therapy Business

You’ve probably dreamed of starting your own therapy clinic after graduating as a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). Who doesn’t love to? 

Starting a private PT practice offers higher potential income and more flexibility than being an employee in a private clinic. Nonetheless, it’s not everyone’s career path because of the stress, risk, and responsibility that come with launching your own private physical therapy business. 

Aside from focusing on providing excellent patient care, you also have to polish your entrepreneurial skills—something most therapists aren’t good at. But starting a private practice doesn’t have to be overwhelming and complicated.

Everything you need is out there. In fact, starting a business these days is a lot easier than in the past decade or so. Everything’s online, and you just have to work hard for it.

So, do you have what it takes to start your own therapy business? Do you have the drive and motivation to do so? If you’re ready, you’re on the right page. This post will guide you to starting a successful therapy business. Continue reading to learn more. 

1. Choose The Practice You Prefer

Starting a therapy business offers a wide range of settings that may suit your business needs and goals. Below are the business models PTs need to learn and consider before starting a private practice. 

  • Multidisciplinary Care Team (MCT): This is designed to increase patient satisfaction, reduce overall care costs, and improve patient experience. And MCT promotes more efficient referrals and creates a better approach to care.
  • Subscription-Based Services: This provides access to all services for an annual or monthly fee. It works because subscription-based models reduce long-term patient spending, create stable revenue, and help patients avoid copays.
  • Gym Partnerships: PTs have a good understanding of physiology, neurology, and anatomy, and they can use this to help individuals in gyms to meet their needs and achieve their goals. And you can split the rent with gyms to save on costs.
  • Corporate Office Settings: Many large companies have in-house clinics, which typically include PTs. This offers convenience to patients and flexibility to providers. Also, it reduces the need for patients to travel to and from the hospital, saving them time.
  • Niche-Based PT Clinics: It’s challenging to stand out among well-established clinics. If that’s the case, consider providing niche-based services. Focus on one or two specific services to build a community of patients who will return occasionally.

Now, which of these business models suits your goals? Only you can figure that out. Scrutinize each option and weigh its pros and cons to find the setting that best suits your personal and business needs.

2. Choose Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Software

EMRs are a digital form of paper charts patients often see in a clinic and contain the treatment and medical history of a patient. It allows PTs to:

  • Track data over time;
  • Improve the quality of care; and
  • Monitor patients based on care parameters.

So, what should you look for in physical therapy EMR software? Here are some factors you might need to consider.

  • Accurate Documentation: PTs should provide patients with correct and compliant healthcare information. Look for software that allows you to update patient data in real-time and use preset templates for more efficient documentation.
  • Transparent Workflow: Managing PT documentation is a lot of work. Look for an EMR that could offer the support you need with real-time workflows and transparent task management.
  • Patient Scheduling: The right EMR ensures a smooth, efficient patient intake, payment, and scheduling. This can help reduce patient cancellation rates by up to 50%, helping your clinic grow.

With the right EMR software, you’ll be able to speed up your documentation processes and improve the quality of your services.

3. Choose The Right Location For Your Office

That open space you always see every day might call you out, but before you sign the lease contract, you better do research. After all, the location of your business can determine its success. So, it’s time to scout a community with the following questions:

  • How many people are there in that area?;
  • What are the tax implications in that state or city?;
  • How many people are looking for physical therapy services?;
  • How many PTs are there in a particular community?;
  • Are there PT practices for sale in that area?;
  • Would it be better to start from scratch or purchase an existing practice in that area?; and others. 

Once you answer all these questions, here are some things you need to consider to find the right location for your practice:

  • Accessibility: If most of your patients are baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964), you want your office, restrooms, and parking lots to be accessible to them.
  • Exclusive Use Clause: If you’re the first PT to hold practice in a particular building, ask your landlord if they can grant you an exclusive use clause. This way, no competitors will engage in the same type of business you’re into.
  • After-Hours Services: If you want to provide after-hours services, let your landlord know, so you can be sure whether it’s acceptable based on the lease contract you signed. This will help you avoid potential charges (e.g., breach of contract).

Follow these simple tips to find the right spot for your PT practice.

4. Secure Your Financing

Securing your financing is a common obstacle that keeps PTs from starting their own practice. But with a little effort—and perhaps a bit of luck—you’ll be able to get the funding you need to start your therapy business. 

Here’s how to secure your financing:

  • Take Inventory Of Your Expenses: Evaluate your projected monthly expenses (e.g., fixed costs, variable expenses, and labor costs) to determine how much you need. Keep your expenses as low as possible to increase the viability of your startup.
  • Organize The Essential Documents: Before you go to your lender, ready all the documents you need. These may include financial projections, business plans, professional references, and financial statements.
  • Choose A Lender: Experts recommend choosing a bank with experience working with medical professionals, considering local banks for funding, and the like.

Aside from banks and other conventional funding methods, you may consider other options, such as crowdfunding, to get your business off the ground. 

Final Words

Starting a therapy business is no easy task, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With a little hard work and persistence, you can achieve your dream of launching a private clinic of your own. If you don’t know where to begin, you may use this guide. These four simple steps are all you need to start a therapy business from scratch.

Article and permission to publish here provided by Claire Glassman. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on May 25, 2023.