Whatever your reasons for going it alone – like any small business – there are many things to consider, here are three of them.
1) Get business advice
You could be the best physiotherapist in the UK, the most competent osteopath in Ireland or a podiatrist with a difference in Australia – but if you haven’t got a business plan, then no one will know.
Don’t be afraid to get business advice from professionals. You’re a physical therapist not a member of Dragon’s Den. Developing a business plan will help you to assess the risks involved, plan a marketing strategy and understand what the costs are and whether cash flow will be an issue.
2) What’s the competition?
Start online and do a local search on Google. By making your search more specific the, search engine should throw up a list of popular competitors with an online presence e.g. “physiotherapists in Bristol”
Have a look at what they are doing well and what they are not doing so well:
- If you were the customer what would you change?
- How can you make your service more benefit driven?
The level of competition and the amount of demand should help you to answer the fundamental question… who will buy your services?
How much money do you have? An obvious question, but cash flow is vital, particularly in the service industry as you never know how promptly (or not so promptly) your patients will pay you. You’ll also need to know how much you can invest in marketing and more importantly how long you can go without being paid.
As experienced practitioners, we want to know what you saw as the biggest barriers to setting up a private practice? Let us know below.