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What is your patient profile and what services will you offer?

No business can be all things to all people. Such is the case with physiotherapy clinics and the wide variety of specialties within it. Yet, even the largest and best funded hospitals – public and private – must often seek professionals from outside their walls. This is where your private practice can serve a vital and unique purpose and in turn lay the groundwork for a stable, profitable business.

However, before reaching for the stars with your clinic, owner-operators must come to grips with the type of patients they want to attract and cater to. Evidently, your university studies and experience in the field to date will influence what you want to offer. Yet, some basic market research should offer insights into your “ideal” patient.

Are you planning to keep your specialization or perhaps enter into a partnership to extend your potential market? General physiotherapy and rehabilitation is an option, especially at start-up but demand, profitability and competition in the area may dictate a move towards a more specific area, such as:

  • Cardiopulmonary
  • Geriatrics
  • Neurological
  • Orthopaedic
  • Paediatric
  • Integumentary
  • Sports medicine

You may also choose to invest in equipment (e.g. muscle stimulators, hydro pools) for your clinic to better impress GPs and sell physiotherapy products at retail.

Teaming up with complementary private practices or those that offer alternative therapies may also prove beneficial from a both a professional and business standpoint.

For better or worse, patients may also be categorised by the type of health insurance they have or whether a GP referred them. As a private practice owner, you will need to negotiate a myriad of relationships within the private and public health care sectors to ensure steady work and cash flow.

The sooner you define your ideal patient profile and the range of services to offer, the easier it will be to complete your market research and business plan.