10 Steps To Become a Physical Therapy Business

Physical therapists are licensed, healthcare professionals who help patients in reducing pain from sustained injuries and assist them in restoration of physical function.
Physical therapists help patients recover from surgeries and injuries. They also help patients cope with health problems that may affect proper functioning of the body such as rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s diseases, multiple sclerosis.
Physical therapists examine their patients and decide on the type of treatment that would be best to help the patient regain strength, flexibility and balance. Physical therapy treatment may be in form of physical exercises, manual therapy or electrical stimulation.
Physical therapists may work in hospitals, schools, nursing homes or at sports/fitness outfits like gymnasiums. Physical therapists are classified into five different practices. They include:
  • Orthopedics-: Orthopedics work on joints, bones, tendons and ligaments. Basically, they work on the musculoskeletal system.
  • Geriatrics-: This category of physical therapists focus on helping the elderly cope with diseases like arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, joint replacement surgeries and cancer. They help to improve physical fitness and reduce pain.
  • Pediatrics-: Pediatrics work with children. They help infants and children suffering from birth defects, genetic disorders or any deficiency that prevents normal physical activity.
  • Neurologists: Neurologists help patients with neurological impairments like Parkinson’s disease, stroke, cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury. They improve the quality of life of such patients by helping them regain strength and be independent.
  • Cardiopulmonary: They work on patients who are suffering from cardiopulmonary disorders or who have just had a cardiac or pulmonary surgery.

Starting a Physical Therapy Business – Sample Business Plan Template

1. Educational Requirements
To become a physical therapist, you must have completed an accredited physical therapy related course and have been awarded a degree from a college or university. You may also pursue further education such as a master’s degree or doctorate. It would take about three years to earn a bachelor’s degree in a physical therapy related program. A formal education would help you gather all the knowledge and skills needed to be a successful physical therapist.
2. Certification and Licensing
After completing your education, you would need to obtain a practicing license from a medical governing board. This license would give you the freedom to operate legally as a physical therapist. You would also need to register your business and obtain a business license and all necessary business permits. 
3. Training
Before starting your own private physical therapy practice, it is important that you undergo some training by working for a hospital or a senior professional for some years before leaving to set up your own business.
4. Specialization
It is very important that you determine the area of specialization you want to focus on. Like we already discussed, there are five major areas of specialty. Decide on which of those areas you are really good at, and go for further training to become a specialist in that area.

Categories of Physical Therapy Business

There are two types of physical therapy business you can go into. You can either provide home services where you would have to go from one patient’s house to the other to treat them or set up your own physical therapy clinic.
5. Consider buying a physical therapy franchise
You can also consider starting a franchise of a well-known physiotherapy clinic. Look for a very good one that is open to expansion and discuss the possibility of starting a branch of their physiotherapy clinic somewhere else. You may also talk to your boss at your former place of work where you did your internship or training; they may allow you start a franchise in a different location.
6. Purchase the necessary equipment
The equipment you would need for your physical therapy business depends on your area of specialty and the category of business you want to go into. But basically, you would need treatment tables where you can lay your patients while you work on them, stationery bike for patients who have difficulty with using their legs properly, you would also need medicine balls and hand weights and a whole lot of other medical facilities. You may also need a vehicle to carry you around especially if you would be providing a lot of home services.
7. Join a trade association
Becoming a member of a trade association would give you the opportunity to meet other physical therapists and exchange valuable business ideas.
8. Location
If you would be running a mobile physical therapy business where you go from house to house to treat patients, you may not be too bothered about this but if you are going to open a physical therapy clinic, then it is important that you site your business in a place where patients can have access to you easily.
Remember that most of your patients would be people who have difficulty with moving around, so your office should be located in a very accessible place. You can also consider locating your business beside a hospital, a nursing home for the aged, or very close to a gymnasium.
9. Hire a Support Staff
You would need some assistance as your business begins to grow. So make plans to hire competent staff to support you with the work. You should ensure that all staff are qualified and have adequate training and license.
10. Advertisement
Advertisement is the sole driver of business sales and awareness. Every business needs publicity and awareness to thrive. Your physiotherapy business is not an exception either. So you must strive to create awareness for your business by creating an official website where prospective clients can reach you and communicate with you.
You should also harness the power of social network by advertising your business on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter etc. Lastly, you should not forget to create a business plan for your business and pay your taxes regularly. A solid business plan gives you direction and focus.

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