Physiotherapists often enter private practice by working from a home office, offering mobile services or renting a room in a health centre, gym or generic office building. However, within two or three years the dream of operating a self-sustaining physiotherapy clinic often takes hold.
Owing your physiotherapy clinic premises allows you to completely dedicate yourself to the profession and the business. You have the freedom to implement your vision of the practice: the unique selling points of your clinic, positioning your services against the competition and properly delegating day-to-day management and administrative affairs.
A major advantage of owning your own clinic is the ability to use location to anchor your branding and overall marketing efforts. Apart from you and your dedicated staff, no decision is more critical to your success than where you choose to operate. Home-based owners can never completely detach themselves from their private surroundings and renters cannot have complete control over important business decisions.
Let’s face it, no matter how good your services are, not everyone will want to visit the back of a gym or a remodelled garage to receive treatment. Having a bright, welcoming clinic creates a positive ambiance and professional first impression for patients. Depending on your location, future expansion may involve expansion of your current clinic or opening up a second place to better serve a growing clientele.
Of course, operating costs will have to be kept in check as you establish cash flow and nurture a new customer base. Your business plan should provide a solid blueprint in this regard, not to mention mentors and colleagues who have followed the path you are currently embarking on.
Contrary to popular belief, being located in a bustling neighbourhood surrounded by other health professionals – including other physiotherapy clinic owners – is a good thing. Take advantage of the competition’s presence to learn more about the business and fine tune your own offering. Apart from direct competitors in your specialty, you may also be able to leverage your central location to gain extra clients and build a solid peer network.
A far cry from the isolation of home offices or the frantic pace of mobile physiotherapy.