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A Complete Guide to Starting Your Own Physical Therapy Business



The physical therapy industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in America. It’s also a pretty lucrative field to be in, with physical therapists earning on average $74,000 annually.

But it takes more than just a degree and certification to break into this career. You’ll need money for equipment, office space, marketing materials, and staff. This guide will give you all the information you need to start your own physical therapy business.

Read on to learn.

Conduct Market Research

Before you can get your physical therapy business off the ground, you need to make sure that there’s a market for it. You don’t want to spend time and money setting up your business to find out that no one wants or needs physical therapy services.

Market research will help you determine the demand for physical therapy services in your area. The market research process will help you figure out:

  • Existing physical therapists in your area
  • How much the physical therapists are charging
  • What types of marketing do they use
  • Customer reviews of physical therapy business owners
  • Your perceived advantage over other physical therapists
  • Your potential customer base

These steps will help you figure out if there’s a physical therapy market in your area and whether or not there’s room for another physical therapist.

Choose Your Niche

Before you can start your physical therapy business, you need to figure out what kind of business you will be. Do you want to work with a specific population like athletes or seniors? Would you rather focus on particular physical problems like back pain and sleepless nights?

You’ll have more success if your business has a clear niche that’s appealing to customers. A physical therapist specializing in athletes is going to do better than one who works with everyone. You might not attract as many people, but those who come in are far more likely to become repeat customers and bring their friends along with them.

Choose a Business Structure

You can start a physical therapy practice on your own or with a partner. If you decide to go it alone, you’ll need to consider the physical therapy business structure that’s right for you. The most common business structures include:

Physical Therapy Corporation: This business takes all legal liability off of your shoulders and allows you to operate as an independent contractor. This means that if something goes wrong, the physical therapy corporation is responsible instead of you. This also means that you have less control over the physical therapy business structure and operations.

Physical Therapy Partnership: This physical therapy business structure gives you complete ownership of your business. But it also requires you to take full responsibility for all practices decisions. You’ll need to figure out how to manage your practice on top of providing physical therapist services.

Physical Therapy LLC or PLLC: As its name suggests, this physical therapy business structure offers a lot of protection by shielding your personal assets from physical therapies liabilities if anything goes wrong in the physical therapy practice. However, this is only applicable if you decide on forming an LLC or PLLC rather than a corporation.

These are just some of the business structures you can use to get started in the physical therapy business.

Develop a Marketing Plan

Once you have developed a niche and business structure, it’s time to develop a marketing plan. Your marketing plan is basically the strategy that will give you clients. It might be as simple as putting up a sign that says “Physical Therapy Available Here,” or it could involve more elaborate paid advertising campaigns.

The physical therapy business plan will vary based on your target market and business structure. You know who your ideal customer is, so this should dictate what type of advertising you use.

Arrange Finances

The physical therapist business itself doesn’t cost much. However, there are supplies to buy. You’ll also need equipment and office space if you decide to rent an office rather than work from home.

Consider starting up physical therapy practice with a low budget. If you find that the business works for you, then you can invest in supplies later on when your earnings increase. This way, you won’t be wasting money on physical therapists supplies that customers aren’t interested in or don’t want to pay for.

Choose a Location

Make sure you’ve picked a location that’s accessible to your target market. If you’re going after athletes, pick an office near the athletic fields or gyms where they hang out. If you target older people, locate your practice in their neighborhoods.

You’ll also need to consider whether you want to work from home. Working at home has its advantages, such as saving on rent and other costs. But it also means working alone with no one else around for moral support and backup if something goes wrong.

Get a Billing Software

You need a billing software system that will make your job easier. There are software programs available to handle insurance claims, scheduling, and other physical therapy practice chores. These billing systems may be designed specifically for physical therapists or standard billing systems repurposed for the physical therapy business.

Click here to learn more about physical therapist billing software.

Design Your Space

You need a physical therapist office space that’s designed to make the experience inviting. Your business design should reflect your personality and brand identity.

But you must also remember that your office is a place of business, it has to look professional to gain clients’ trust. You can achieve this by incorporating colors, furniture, and other decorations that convey professionalism while at the same time making it welcoming for patients.

Start a Physical Therapy Business Today

Starting a physical therapy practice is not rocket science. You just need to know what you want, plan it out, and then start doing it.

However, along the way, you may encounter some obstacles in your path. The trick is knowing how to handle them when they come up.

We hope that this complete guide has given you insight into how to run a physical therapy business. For more interesting articles like this, keep reading our posts.


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