You want to start a physiotherapy clinic or offer physical therapy services at your clinic but when you look around, you know that competition is fierce. There are new multi-disciplinary clinics opening up on every corner and nearly every practice seems to be offering the same solutions. Last time I checked in Vancouver and Toronto, there is pretty much a clinic every couple of blocks away.
Seriously. Everybody is claiming to fix back pain!
What's really scary is that even Dr Ho is claiming to fix back pain, all with his tens machine products! And the thing is, they don't have to deal with the college of physiotherapists when it comes to promoting services, they are simply earning revenue from selling products. And you know what? They are selling lots of product!
If you’re considering opening a physiotherapy clinic or offering these services, you need to be thinking BIG. Will you offer just a stand alone service to your patients? Will you embrace the trends of having a diversified wellness clinic that offers all the services including physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy and personal training? Will you include a range of products to enable more complete care for patients?
Yes, there are a lot of things to think about.
In this post, we will teach you how to start a physiotherapy clinic from scratch or to launch physio service inside your existing chiropractic or massage therapy clinic.
- A business model that works best
- How to startup a physiotherapy clinic from scratch
- How to add this new service into your chiropractic or massage clinic
- How to collaborate to build a wellness and business model that shines
- Tips on building your practice after launch
I work with loads of successful clinic owners in my Clinic Accelerator Program and my favourite healthcare business model is where 25% of their business is physiotherapy, 25% is chiropractics, 25% is massage therapy, and the rest is naturopathy, personal training, or product sales.
A multidisciplinary clinic is the ideal business model. And, if you have a 3000SF clinic, your financial statements should be healthy - your clinic should turnover $2M+ annually.
Why is it so crucial to have a diversified clinic? Because every potential patient is unique in their needs. Some may need rehab with physiotherapy services, while others may need a spinal adjustment through chiropractic. Still others may simply need pain relief with massage therapy.
Therefore, if you offer a diversified range of services at your clinic, you will increase the number of patients you attract and also your ability to maintain those clients long term through ‘maintenance’ services or complimentary services you could offer.
For instance, I personally go to see my massage therapist every two weeks - meaning, having a massage therapist in your clinic can build your wellness model. As for personal trainers, it's a natural part of your business where you can generate income for your unused gym space. If you take this further and work a kinesiologist onsite, then you have yet another level of service you can provide.
The reality is, your patients will see all, or some of these types of practitioners anyway, so why not have them all in your clinic under the one roof. All practitioners can work in collaboration to build a wellness model that also builds your overall business.
How to Start a Physiotherapy Clinic from Scratch
Though this info is directed at building a physiotherapy clinic, it also applies to building a chiropractic or massage therapy clinic, too.
1. The old fashioned way
Physiotherapy marketing, marketing, marketing!
Marketing is still an incredibly important component for building a business. But, know up front that the face of marketing has changed. Digital marketing is now the predominant platform for marketing because traditional print forms just aren’t as effective anymore. Quite simply, everyone is searching online for services they need.
I’m big on having a kickass ‘new patient marketing funnel’ so you can turn the flood of new patients on and off as you please. Your patient marketing funnel can include a number of things, doctor referral marketing, an SEO website, community marketing, Google adwords, Social media marketing and so forth. The point is that you build out marketing campaigns strategically and not just shoot out a whole bunch of random stuff without an objective.
Dont' believe me? Check out this interview with Paul Wright where he shares some of his business secrets.
2. Consolidate and partner up
Another way to get started, which is my preference, is to contact every physiotherapist in your neighborhood and ask them to join your team. Go after sole practitioners who don’t have (or want) all the overhead (office and receptionist), and ask them to join your team. I’ve done this over a dozen times in my career of owning physiotherapy clinics and it works.
Many of these sole practitioner physiotherapists don't want the headache of managing the business. They just want to enjoy their work, see patients, get paid, and go home at the end of the day without the bookwork and responsibility of managing a team or business. Even if they have a small clinic or office, if you catch them and your timing is right, they may be inclined to switch over and work with you before the renewal of their lease.
Offer them a nice signing bonus and transfer their phone number over to your practice, giving them a higher percentage split. After you recruit them, build up the patient marketing funnel using Google adwords so you can hire another physiotherapist with a smaller percentage split. This is a ‘think outside the square’ model, but a strategy like this will get you on your way to building your physiotherapy business risk free.
TIP: Make sure you get the phone number of the sole physiotherapist you bring on board and transfer it over to your clinic. Their clinic phone number is worth lots of money and there is a lot of goodwill there. Many existing physiotherapy customers will call that number and that’s why you offer to give the physiotherapist a signing bonus or higher percentage.
3. Offer integrated treatment plans
The third way of doing this is to build integrated treatment plans between physiotherapist and chiropractor or massage therapy services. For example, pairing a new graduate physiotherapist with a chiropractor is great because the chiropractor can help with some of the manual therapy stuff, while the physiotherapist can manage the exercise and rehab component.
The chiropractor may also offer new services that are not available at your clinic, for example, shockwave therapy, graston, active release and so forth.
All of the above methods can be used to start a physiotherapy clinic. And, people often ask me how to build a physiotherapy practice, and here’s the thing, these methods are equally effective.
You can build your physiotherapy clinic by strategically planning your patient marketing funnel, by using Google adwords and via doctor referrals, by continuing to recruit therapists and growing your team, and by offering integrated treatment plans that help patients achieve better, faster outcomes.
It’s not rocket science. It’s just methodically working through these steps each and every day and week. Before long you'll have a highly successful physiotherapy clinic!