Starting a Clinic - PT, OT, chiropractic, employer healthcare clinic, etc.
Starting Your Own Clinic and/or Retailing Products Through Your Practice
While in school to become a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or chiropractor you receive minimal instruction on how to be a CEO in running a business. Yet, many rehabilitative therapists, whether immediately upon graduation or after a few years of practice and tutelage under other therapists, desire to own and run their own clinic, becoming a true entrepreneur. As with any business owner, the myriad elements associated with running a successful business can be quite daunting. Yet, with the entrepreneurial “can do” attitude they move forward with confidence as they wear the many hats needed to design, implement, market, and run their businesses.
As you begin the process, and I believe it should be a process, of designing and then establishing your business there are a number of things to consider, each of which should involve a careful analysis to make the best choice. For example, consider the following:
- Where will your clinic be located and what square footage will be needed to successfully provide the services you plan to offer? Will you look for an existing suitable structure to convert to your clinic, or will you build your own? Will you buy or rent? Remember, location is still very important.
- Who will be your primary cliental or population you will serve and what type of injuries or impairments will your practice focus on treating initially?
- What is the market size in the area you will serve and what is the current and/or anticipated competition of similar services?
- What will the rate-limiting factor of a finite budget allow you to purchase initially? What is your anticipated growth and expansion timetable in terms of type of cliental, services offered, personnel increases, etc.
- Will you offer a “club membership” for those who want to come to your clinic and use exercise equipment as part of their fitness plan? This can provide an additional source of income as well as advertising for your business.
- Will you sell products through your practice? This too can be an additional source of income.
Therefore, as a professionally trained innovator in providing rehabilitative services, there is certainly much to consider as you prepare to take on the additional role of CEO. However, the primary focus of this article is to help you determine the basic therapeutic equipment and supplies you will need to launch and run your own practice.
Your Respective Professional Organization as a Valuable Resource
As found in your organization’s Private Practice Section is a helpful tool in the process of determining what your needs will be. A summary of one is provided below.
- Create two lists
- Identify the characteristics of the musculoskeletal conditions or other issues you will focus on and the client profile you will serve
- Based on your clinical category focus, identify the most important types of equipment and clinical furniture that will be needed
- Rate the overall importance of each piece of equipment on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = not very important, 5 = very important)
- Rate the versatility of each prospective piece of equipment on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = not very important, 5 = very important)
- With the constraints of your budget, select equipment for your essential needs and/or that provide you with the versatility to serve as many needs as possible
Fellow Colleagues as a Valuable Resource
Another valuable resource for tried and proven recommendations of prioritizing equipment needs for a startup clinic are established clinics. They have been through the process and are currently in the trenches of the work on a daily basis. Most rehabilitative therapists have a good network of fellow therapists who are working in a variety of different clinics or own their own clinics. These individuals are a valuable resource who if asked, may be willing to not only provide you with a list of recommended initial equipment items, but also may be willing to discuss the “whys” of their recommendations. In addition, being invited to view their clinics and seeing firsthand how and what office and therapy equipment and furniture is used can stir your mind to different designs and equipment you may want to consider. This can provide some very insightful discussions that may cause you to rethink some aspects of your own planning and sequential implementation.
After completion of your initial due diligence in data gathering and performing your needs prioritization analysis, your list of equipment needs can be refined with your budget as a guiding factor. In addition, I believe it is important to move forward with implementation in a line upon line process, finalizing your needs, prioritizing, and sequencing your purchases to be prepared for your grand opening and early clinic growth.
ProHealthcareProducts.com offers a full line of equipment and supplies you will need to start, run, and expand the services you offer at your clinic. In addition, we are uniquely qualified to provide you, the business owner, with product and supplies that you can sell retail to your patients as part of their home exercise program. Select from the different clinic options below to view lists of recommendations for:
- Clinical Furniture, Treatment Equipment and Supplies: a chart organized by category to aid in the process of selecting which items you will need to purchase to start your clinic. Many more items are included in the list beyond what you may need initially or possibly even use long term but are included for consideration and reference as your practice grows and diversifies.
- Non-Clinical Office Equipment: a chart listing the several items that are not treatment oriented, but items needed to run the day to day operations of the clinic.
- Items for Retail Through Your Practice: a chart that provides a list of products that could be sold retail to your patients to help facilitate their home exercise program and treatment plan and serves as an additional revenue opportunity for your business.
| Click HERE to view the Basic Recommended
Equipment List for Starting Your Own Practice
OPTIONS FOR RETAILING ITEMS THROUGH YOUR PRACTICE
ProHealthcareProducts.com offers you, the clinician, two options for selling therapeutic equipment through your practice.
- Option 1: This option is where the products are purchased directly from ProHealthcareProducts.com in quantity at a discounted price. This option requires that you have an inventory of items to be sold and handle cash exchange.
- Option2: This option is where you have product displays of the items you will sell, but do not inventory the products. Rather, you provide your patients wanting to purchase an item with a code that allows them to access ProHealthcareProducts.com directly and purchase at a discounted rate because of your association with our company. You, the clinic owner, receive a percentage amount of the sale that is delivered to you at the end of each month.
How to Market your Medical Practice
When you're starting a new medical practice, cash flow is clearly one of the top concerns. Like other businesses, new clinics need to quickly build clientele as a revenue source to help them pay their bills and move towards being profitable.
Marketing your new medical practice with intention will help your new entrepreneurial venture be successful. While much of that marketing strategy will come from tried and true methods such as finding a great location with lots of foot traffic, having good signage, soliciting patient referrals, and integrating your clinic with the local community, one marketing practice that we are very familiar with at ProHealthcareProducts.com that has likely the highest return on investment with regard to marketing is putting into place a web presence that acts like a magnet to attract your customers. Here is a quick summary of what you can do to use the internet to really boost your client base in a hurry.
These activities can be done well before (months, if not longer) your clinic has been built and is ready to receive patients. In fact, if you do this strategy correctly, you can have your practice filled up with people eager to get to know you and your team and to be treated by them.
Patient Education: A Highly Informative, Authoritative Website
You'll want to create a website that you can use to both introduce your team, your expertise, and your products and services as well as to educate your prospective clientele on topics related to what you'll be doing for them. Consider the interactions you've had with past patients and think about what your patient visits will look like with your new practice. Make a list of the topics that relate to what these people are interested in that attracts them to your business, and write content that addresses those topics. LOTS OF CONTENT. Make it so that your website is a highly trusted resource for people in your area, besides others throughout the world who are interested in the same topics, such that Google and other online marketing tools can use that content to direct people to you and your practice.
We recommend publishing a page for each distinct product or service that your medical clinic offers. Each of those pages should be 1,000 words or longer in length, which will give them more power to gain exposure from search engines.
Local SEO for Your Medical Practice
When you're ready, you can really make your clinic stand out by getting it to rank well for Google searches done for terms related to what you do. You can actually use this strategy to attract people for exactly the kinds of services you want to focus on the most.
To do local SEO for your medical practice, you'll first want to "claim" your practice with Google Business, which is Google's tool for business owners to communicate details about their business to be used on Google Maps searches.
Claiming your business involves telling Google that you are the owner of this business location, then providing everything from a business description, categorization (you can choose a main category and up to 9 other categories) for your business, your business hours, payments accepted, and other important information.
When claiming your new clinic in Google Business, be as thorough as you possibly can, including providing pictures and videos of your clinic. Help Google help you introduce your clinic to the local community so that whenever someone searches for anything related to what you offer, Google will match you up with them.
There are lots of other places you can publish your business listing online. Having your business listing published in these business directories and search engines will actually help you get more exposure from Google.
Here is a list of the ones I recommend that you submit your business listing and details to:
- Bing Places
- Apple Maps
These are just a few of the places where you should have your business listed. If you'd like to take a look at a more comprehensive list, check out the one from Onnicore.
Options for Financing your Medical Practice