This will be the first of a 3 part series on how you as a private practice physical therapy owner can successfully scale and grow your business while still providing expert care.
As a private practice PT owner you might be facing a thorny problem. A problem that might get you into a lot of trouble.
It’s something I had to work through, and I’ve heard from a lot of other private practice owners who are struggling with this as well.
The problem is this:
How Can I Scale My Business, or Grow My Business, But Yet Keep The Same Level of Expert Care?
Or in other words, how can I grow without having a decline in quality?
After all, your current success is due to the reputation of you and your private practice. You don’t want to grow, suffer a decline in quality and reputation.
It’s a legitimate concern, but before we dig into strategies and tactics to tackle this, we have to address something else.
We have to address the underlying limiting belief that can cause this.
A limiting belief that can sabotage our own success.
The belief says this:
“I’m the best.”
As health professionals, this is something that is on our minds whether we’re conscious of it or not.
Usually this is no problem. We worked really hard to become the best Physical Therapists we could. To do this we had to believe we’re the best. And turns out, if your patients keep referring clients to you, it’s because you are. You deserve this belief.
However this self-belief can cause more harm than good when you’re trying to grow your business.
How Many Balls Can You Juggle
Just think about how many different roles you have to take on as a private PT practice owner.
Let’s look at a few:
- Internal Marketing (marketing to your past patient base)
- External Marketing (marketing to people who’ve never heard worked with you before)
- HR & Personnel
- Finance & Billing
- Policies & Procedures
- Goal Setting & Planning
The list goes on. We’re not even including the different sub roles of being a physical therapist itself.
As a private PT practice owner you’re initially juggling all these balls, all these different roles.
However as you’re growing your practice, these balls get bigger, your responsibilities grow, and you become overwhelmed. And soon you start dropping these balls.
Remember that mindset I mentioned earlier, the mindset of “I’m the best.”? Well there’s a dark side to that mindset.
The other side of the coin is “If I’m the best, then nobody else can do it.”
It’s a subconscious script. And it’s a script that colors all of our actions.
We think we’re the best at marketing.
We think we’re the best at HR & Personnel.
We think we’re the best at Policies & Procedures.
And because we think we’re the best, we fail to hand it over to someone else.
But here’s the thing.
It’s impossible to be the best at everything.
You have strengths & weaknesses. You’ve invested different amounts of time in different skills & knowledge.
And so have different people.
You may be the owner, and you may know enough about legal to keep things going, but are you really the best at legal? Or are you the best at physical therapy & marketing?
If you want to scale successfully, if you want to grow your business, then you are going to have to go out and find people who are better than you in other areas. People who can market, who know HR, who can do accounting & payroll etc.
Otherwise all those balls you’re juggling? You’ll start to drop them as you grow.
Maybe you’ll miss payroll, maybe you’ll forget to pay a line of credit on time. And that’s when your business starts to get into trouble.
The Bank Teller Who Taught Me How to Be a Business Owner
I’ll illustrate this with a story from my humble beginnings in private practice.
I was in business for a year and we were doing well. My initial business plan was for 48 patient visits a week, but we were routinely getting over 100 visits.
Double the success we’d envisaged.
But I hadn’t yet learned how to scale. I hadn’t yet learned to implement systems.
So instead I would treat a full schedule, Monday through Friday. From 7 in the morning to 8 at night.
On Saturdays I would treat from 8:00am to 3:30pm.
It was a lot of work.
On top of that, on Saturday nights and Sunday, I would do the admin work, the marketing and all the other roles I mentioned.
I was overwhelmed. Any time I wasn’t spent treating, was spent working. I never had enough time.
Back in those years I was doing something quite foolish. Foolish enough for a bank teller to call me out on it.
Every Tuesday and Friday I would hop in my car, drive 10 minutes to the bank, make a deposit and do any other banking I had to do, then drive back.
I did all this even though I knew the bank had a FREE courier service.
That was 40 minutes each week spent on a simple bank run.
Finally, one day, Barb the lady who worked the desk in the bank called me out, “Hey Chad, why don’t you just use our courier service?”
I brushed her off and said “I like to handle money myself.”
But Barb was good at her job. She said something that hit it home for me,
“Chad, really there are better things you could be doing with your time that are more valuable to your company. We want to see you succeed. You’re successful and you could be even more successful if you would use those 40 minutes each week and work on other areas of your business.”
I was astounded. Barb was a genius. She cut through my limiting beliefs and put it in terms I could understand: You’re wasting time. This time could be spent making more money. Why don’t you let us take care of this job that’s wasting your time?
I immediately signed up for the courier service.
Oh and how much did this courier service cost? Nothing. Zilch. It was a free service that the bank offered.
By handing off that ball to the bank, I could immediately focus on what was important to my business, on what I was strong at, and ensure that my bank deposits happened automatically.
You can escape the limiting belief of thinking you’re the best at everything, and start handing some of the balls you’re juggling to other people.
Remember the big picture, you want to work yourself out of a job. You want to scale and have LESS headaches.
Start handing off those balls, or they’ll eventually all come crashing down.
That’s all for now. As always please let me know if you have any comments or questions in the comment section below.
To your PT success,
PS- There is an IMPORTANT deadline coming up. We are about to start our next Direct Access Marketing Class… this class is for you if you want to take your practice to the next level. POPTS, HOPTS and the changing healthcare landscape is a real threat to our livelihood… this class empowers you to control your patient flow through strategies that have worked for over 300 practice owners.
All you have to do is fill out this quick application (no obligation, just to see if you are a good fit & to screen for POPTS, Chiros, etc.). We will then contact you to create a custom marketing blueprint for your practice (absolutely free of charge).
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