Why Your Physical Therapy Practice Isn’t Growing

Red Graph Showing Sales Or Turnover

Have you ever wondered why your practice has stayed roughly the same size for the last five years?

You have: approximately the same number of clinician days, about the same number of active patients, the same turnover, give or take 5%?

And yet, some years ago you grew your practice, effortlessly, year over year?

It was easy to grow your practice when there were fewer clinics in your area.  Now there are more and the situation is likely to get worse.

Despite this, some practices we work with are growing. Their clinician days have increased, they have growing active patient lists, and client attrition rates are low.  So, how do they do it?

I can confidently tell you that practices that are growing use these three business strategies:

  1. They have created an effective Management Team focused on growing the business.
  1. They have a strategic Marketing Plan which they are implementing consistently using the Top 10 Marketing Strategies free report which you are welcome to download too.
  1. They have a Team of good communicators lead by a leader who understands the value of communicating with his team and with their clients.

So, how can YOU move your physical therapy practice into a growing one?

1. Improve Your Management Team. 

What does your current management team look like? Likely, it is slightly inadequate to support the size of your practice today, never mind a growing one. Likely, you yourself are doing the key management tasks. And as a leader, you are leading sporadically and feeling ineffective, complaining a lot that things aren’t getting done.

It may be that you have an Administrative or Practice Manager, who is spending his/her time administrating and looking after the daily operations.

One of the primary blocks to practice growth is that YOU the practice owner are trying to do some management, some leadership and too much physical therapy.  And your Practice Manager is busy sorting out the team who, on a daily basis, find reasons why they can’t do what they are being asked to do, or off sick, or doing a bit of sabotage.

You cannot break through this glass ceiling unless you improve your management team. Is it possible that you have held back from hiring people with a greater skill set, because you are (rightly) worried about the cost.  The truth is that you will have to spend more before you can grow. It’s true for all businesses. Think of it as an investment, and track your return in dollars.

This is What Your Management Team Needs

A Leader who looks after The Team by:

  • Providing and communicating your vision and turning this into bite sized goals and actions for the practice Team.
  • Inspiring the Team to want to help you achieve your strategic goals.
  • Providing the direction for the Team and the individual Team Members.
  • Involving all of the team in achieving the strategic goals.
  • Orienting new team members by introducing them to the values of the practice and the required behaviors .

A Business Manager who is focused on getting the tasks done by:

  1. Taking care of planning and getting tasks completed
  2. Setting targets
  3. Reviewing progress against targets
  4. Understanding the problems and providing solutions
  5. Communicating with team members to get the tasks done.

The irony is that in most Physical Therapy Practices, the management is organized the other way around! The Owner is task focused and the Manager is people focused. No wonder progress and growth is slow or even non-existent…

2. Implement Effective Marketing.

I find that most physical therapy practices have yet to get even the basics of effective marketing in place.

There are three components to effective marketing:

  1. An effective and measurable Patient Referral system.
  2. A Customer Communication Program which continually gives your customers information and education about the value you offer your patients.
  3. A dynamic website which clearly differentiates your practice from your competitors, attracts sufficient traffic ,and delivers inquirers to your front desk.

These are the pillars of physical therapy marketing, and until all three work well in your practice, don’t get distracted by putting last minute ads in the paper, sponsoring the local school football team or dropping thousands of leaflets through local letterboxes, however persuasive they sound.

3. Create A Team Who Can Communicate Effectively To Patients The Many Benefits Your Practice Can Offer.

The best communicator in the practice has to be the leader, as the team will take their lead from him/her.

We often get involved with communication skills training for practice owners and their teams in order to create these essential outcomes.

A Reception Team who have:

  1. Good listening skills
  2. A confident communication style
  3. Good knowledge of all the practice services
  4. Knowledge of how to close/ask for the business
  5. Practised their skills (Role Play) and are willing to use Scripts

A Clinical Team who are:

  1. Willing to develop and use treatment plan with patients.
  2. Capable of presenting these treatment plans to patients and have the majority of their patients agree to them.
  3. Willing to refer patients to the clinician in the team with the appropriate skill set.
  4. Able to phone patients who need to return to complete unfinished treatment plans.

In summary, if you are serious about moving your practice into growth, I believe that: first you have to improve the capability of your management team, then you have to get your marketing basics in place. And then, you need a team that has the capability to communicate clearly and comfortably with your patients (and prospective patients).  These three tactics will, I  promise, you move your practice into growth.

How Prosperous Physical Therapy Helps Clinic Owners:

  1. We can assess your Management Team and help you improve it.
  2. We can improve your Leadership Skills.
  3. We can help you implement effective Marketing.
  4. We can guide you and your team in effective communications.
  5. We can help you increase your referral rates.

Email me now for the help you need at coach@erikatrimble.com

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