How To Grow Your PT Practice & Maintain Quality of Patient Care - Part 2

How To Grow Your PT Practice And Still Maintain The Same Quality of Care – Part 2

This is the 2nd of a 3 part series on how you as a private Physical Therapy practice owner can successfully scale and grow your business while still providing expert care.

Last week we talked about the simple mindset that can be sabotaging your business. The mental script that’s stopping you from scaling up your business.

Today we’re going to go one step further. We’re going to show you how to start taking action to scale up your business.

The problem is simple.

You want to scale up your business, but without any drop in quality.

The Four Levels of Private Practice PT

Here at BPTM we talk about the 4 levels of private practice PT quite often.

It’s more-so important when it comes to scaling up your business. There’s a different approach that private practice PT’s take to scaling up their business, depending on their level.

Just a quick recap, the four levels of PT in ascending order are…

  1. Minor Leaguer

This is the private practice PT owner that just got started. They are in charge of seeing all their patients. They don’t have a lot of money.

  1. Major Leaguer

This is where most private practice owners that I’ve talked to tend to get stuck. They have maybe a dozen staff, yet are still integral to their business. Major Leaguers do well financially but don’t have a lot of time.

  1. All-Star

The All-Star has solved the problem of little money AND little time. They have a good solid business, and lots of leisure time. They tend to have really good staff in place.

  1. Hall of Famer

The Very Top. This is where all private practice PTs want to be. They are teaching others, they are into advocacy. They help out at local universities or help other private practice owners. They are in such a position they can give back.

The point is there is a scale. As you go up, you have solved more and more of your business problems, and are rising in influence and in your business success.

However the Minor Leaguer, the one who has no money, when they are juggling all the balls, they are stuck at “I’m the best”. The mindset we talked about last week. They haven’t let go of this mental script.

I’ll give you an example. Back when I was a Minor Leaguer, I had one person in the front office. Her name was Debbie.

Back then I was a micromanager. I had no idea how to manage, how to hire, how to train. I was a disaster.

One day I walked through the office while Debbie was on the phone with a patient. It was about a scheduling or co-pay issue, and she said something which made me panic. Something which was way off script, and I remember thinking to myself “Woah, I would never say that.”

Now what would you do here if you were a good manager?

You wouldn’t do what I did next, that’s for sure.

I ordered her to give me the phone, telling her I would handle the patient, and she did.

This was a mistake.

I ended up handling the patient, I had something better to say than she did…but I completely disempowered her.

If a future situation comes up she wouldn’t feel she had the authority to deal with it, and would pass it up to me.

Any progress I had made from going from the Minor Leagues to the Major Leagues was setback. I had sabotaged myself.

All from simply thinking “I’m the best.”

If you see yourself in this story, and you’ve been disempowering your staff, stop. Stop it. You may handle the situation better, but you are hamstringing your business.

And remember the overarching goal: You want to work yourself out of a job.

But what’s differentiates Major Leaguers from Minor Leaguers?

The Major Leaguer still thinks “I’m the best” but… they realize they need to bring others in.

They hire more capable people and usually have 1 or 2 people who are stars at their job.

Perhaps they have a solid marketer. Someone who’s a natural at talking with doctors, or someone who knows how to host a workshop.

Or maybe they have that one really good therapist. One they can rely on for technical expertise.

But what’s the difference between the All Star and the Major Leaguer?

They go one step further.

They’ve gone out of their way to hire the BEST in different fields.

They ask themselves “Who can I find with amazing marketing experience? Who is the best at legal? Who’s the best accountant.”

So as you see there are distinct mental shifts between the different levels.

Remember The Overarching Goal

Remember the overarching goal we mentioned in the last post: You are working to work yourself out of a job.

But how do you get there?

Well here’s a simple exercise I’ll get you to do.

First, get a pen and a pad of paper and build a list of all your responsibilities for your private practice.

This will take a while for most people.

For example if you’re treating right now, write “treating”.

If you’re in charge of marketing, write “marketing”.

If you are hiring and firing and training staff, write that down.

Write down each and every activity you are responsible for, from the most minor to the major. From cleaning (if you do that) to doing payroll.

This will be a huge list, so set aside some time to do this.

Set a Dollar Value

Now what I want you to do next is go through this list and assign a dollar value to each of these items.

Just how much are you worth to your company for each of these amounts?

There’s an urban legend that the first question you get asked in Harvard Business School is this:

If Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, is walking down the hallway and sees a $100 bill lying on the ground, does he stop to pick it up?

The obvious answer is of course not.

For Bill Gates who has a networth of $72 billion, a 6% rate of return would roughly earn him $114.16 per second.

It literally isn’t worth his time to spend a few seconds to pick up that $100 bill. It’s better for him to ignore the $100 bill and keep heading towards the high revenue generating activity he’d been scheduled to do.

It’s the same with your practice.

Where are you most valuable? What are you passionate about?

In the early 2000s while I was doing some soul searching I found I was really drawn to marketing.

It got me fired up. I loved studying it. I would read marketing books for breakfast, lunch and dinner (literally). It fascinated me and I studied it obsessively.

However, treating? It did the opposite. It did not get me excited.

I’ve done a lot of Con Ed over the years, but what we decided was to up our game. To go from Major Leaguer to All Star. We decided to hire the BEST physical therapists.

It was easier for me to focus on marketing, and spend time and money hiring the best physical therapists, than it was to get me excited and to become a technical master at PT.

I turned over the responsibility for treatment a long time ago. Today I’m fine saying to others “I’m nowhere near our best physical therapist.”

Mike Gilbert, my partner over at Gilbert Physical Therapy, is so ahead of me in regards to technical skill.

And I’m okay with that. I don’t pretend to be the best. He is fantastic, and has trained most of our physical therapists.

All of this means it allows me to focus on what I’m good at: Marketing.

And turns out this is for the best.

I once did a calculation and by focusing on marketing, I’m worth $650 an hour to our practice.

This took time – a lot of time – and I’m naturally passionate about it.

So sit down and write how many dollars an hour each of those responsibilities brings to your business.

For example, let’s say by treating you are worth $40 an hour to your company.

But you’re also cleaning. You’re responsible for cleaning up the practice.

How much can you hire a cleaning person for? $10 an hour? $20 an hour? I don’t know but it definitely isn’t $40 an hour.

As I said I’m worth $650 an hour as a marketer.

Would it be worth my time to clean up my practice? Of course not.

Don’t get me wrong. Cleaning isn’t beneath me. I used to clean up in my early days as a Physical Therapist. I even had a second job cleaning. I’m willing to do it.

However today I realize that to the marketplace and my company, I am at my most valuable when I’m marketing.

So this is your challenge. It’ll be hard, but it’ll be an eye opener.

Go through that list you wrote earlier, and decide where you are most valuable.

What you’re going to do next is your going to take the items where you are least valuable and you’re going to turn that over.

How? Well we’ll show you how to do that in the next post.

See you next week,


P.S. Interested in learning how I hire staff here at Madden PT?

You are in luck…

I put together a free course on: How To Hire, Train, And Incentivize “Self-Motivated” Physical Therapy Staff…

So You Can Have More Time For Family, Grow Your PT Practice, Enjoy Life…and Take Vacation Without Worrying

It’s a free Physical Therapy Marketing Course and you can access it by clicking here.

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