The biggest myth in private practice is that you need to be around for a long time, to be experienced before you can build a successful physical therapy business.
Fact – Success Is Not a Function of Time, Neither Is It a Function of Perseverance. It is a Combination of Time and Mastery of Business Skills Like Marketing and Communication.
So what does it take to succeed? Success, in a ‘life sense’ means different things to different people, which is why we should narrow down the definition of success to business. So, let’s define success in business terms. In my opinion, success signifies:
- The ability to take a break (vacation) any time you want
- The feeling of joy/anticipation you get when you go to work each day
- The ability to make payroll without stress
- Satisfied customers with a progressively increasing duration, frequency or amount of transaction size. (In private practice, this means how often patients come back, how often they refer, and whether they are offered, and use additional revenue generating programs, which may include cash paying programs and other products or services.)
- The ability to take a break is a function of how well you are able to identify, attract, hire and retain high quality staff.
- The feeling of joy when you go to work each day is a function of your internal drive to serve your patients, and your passion for what you do each day.
- The ability to make payroll without stress is directly related to the physical therapy marketing strategies that you have in place to constantly drive new patients to your practice.
- Increasing the amount, duration and frequency of transactions (visits/other services like massage) is directly related to how often and how effectively you communicate with patients. A done-for-you physical therapy newsletter system is an excellent choice.
We’ve been trained, since school, to be effective clinicians and problem solvers, and not to be effective business owners. In fact, the very structure of our educational system makes us better employees if we choose to go down that path.
Let me clarify, I have nothing against employees or staff members – In fact, I believe that reliable staff members are the backbone of a successful practice (and I have put together a very detailed hiring program called “Hiring Rx”, for which registrations will be closing down this weekend) but the truth is that you, as a private practice owner, must be effective at managing and leading staff members. When communicating with your staff members, it’s not important what you say and how you say it, what matters is your understanding of the staff member’s ‘paradigm’ of the world since each one of us perceives the world differently.
Here is an example. The simple instruction “I want you to see that patient now” can be perceived as a request by some individuals, and a forceful, arrogant directive by others.
At the end of the day, you must become a master of marketing and communication.
This shatters the myth of “I need to be experienced and be the best possible clinician I can be to get noticed”. Sure, you can do it that way if you like, but that path will take a lot more perseverance than the path of marketing and communication mastery.