Halloween last year was a lot of fun… My wife and I made sure our front door and lawn looked as scary as possible, to attract the maximum number of kids! We had loads of chocolate (which I was ordered not to touch) and Ritika was smiling all the way through the evening as she handed out candy to tons of kids in and around our little townhouse community.
I got a call yesterday from a therapist struggling in his private practice. I asked him a simple question:
“Are you working on your practice, as opposed to in your practice?”
The phone went silent.
As a physical therapy business owner, life is very busy. There’s barely any time to stop and take a breath. Sometimes, you have to take each day as it comes, and it’s hard to step back and do a ‘practice health review’ for your physical therapy business. Somewhere along the way from motivated, sincere students (ah – the good old days) to in-the-grind, round-the-clock physical therapy business owners, we perhaps lost track of the importance of a ‘business review’.
Every private practice needs a tune-up once in a while, one that identifies the good and bad to trigger growth and productivity. The following is a seven-day plan that will allow you to rejuvenate your practice and uncover hidden opportunities. When I did this for my own physical therapy business, it transformed the way I worked, and it’s best for every private practice owner to do this at least once a month.
- Clear any clutter from your desk and material unrelated to the growth of your physical therapy business.
- Accumulate all the pending bills and invoices from the past six months and stack them up in order of priority.
- It is not uncommon to have these papers in a state of organized chaos. Don’t just throw all the papers together and expect to make sense of them. Try and organize them in terms of amount of outstanding bills or arranged by date.
- Make it a point to deal with this paperwork and get critical tasks out of the way.
- To a great extent, the clearing of paperwork will energize your mind and allow you to focus better.
It’s important to be identified your priorities on day 2.
- Identify the tasks that are absolutely critical to the growth of your physical therapy business.
- Your goal is to start working on your practice, as opposed to in your practice.
- For most private practice owners, a significant amount of time and energy is wasted on non-critical, administrative tasks that can be executed by another individual.
- Your goal on day two is to retrain your mind. You start focusing on core components of your business, while delegating all remaining tasks. You have to be a little (for lack of a better word) ruthless about this.
Make a list of the tasks that you are doing on a day-to-day basis, including the amount of time you spend on each one. These include treatment, paperwork, answering phone calls, obtaining supplies, cleaning, commuting etc.
The amount of time you spend sending e-mails, at lunch, trips to the coffee shop, chatting with staff, filling out forms, figuring how to use the and sing machine on your phone, loading a printer and ink in the fax machine etc
- You should immediately be able to identify which tasks are a complete waste of time and funnel energy and resources away from your physical therapy business.
- Try to be as precise as you can with the breakdown of all tasks. Identify tasks that must absolutely, positively be executed by you.
- Do you prefer to handle the marketing aspect of your practice, and high another therapist for the treatment aspect? On the other hand, do you prefer the clinical environment and would rather hire someone else to handle the marketing aspect? Making these decisions and identifying the critical tasks that you will accomplish is the first step to a private practice that can function independent of you.
Running a successful physical therapy business is a marathon, not a race. Small changes made on a daily basis can help transform your practice.