Physicians, physical therapists, and other medical professionals are transitioning to a personal brand through private practices with ever-increasing frequency—a frequency that’s being driven by the lure of greater operational freedom and economic prosperity.
Private medical practices come with their own set of unique challenges that require careful consideration and detailed preparation, especially if that practice is being launched as a solo-preneurial venture.
Should the business be cash-based or insurance-driven?—getting paid by insurers is always an uphill battle, but it also offers a greater pool of potential clients.
Is there room in the budget to hire an office manager? If there isn’t, how much time and energy can be allocated to administrative duties?—marketing, scheduling, accounts payable, accounts receiving, compliance, taxes…these are just a few of the surprisingly time-consuming jobs that will need to get DONE in addition to any medical work.
All of this isn’t to say moving into a private practice is an ill-advised decision—nothing could be further from the truth. It is simply to say moving into a private practice requires careful planning and strategy.
And that’s why listening to today’s guest—Paul Potter PT—is going to be so important.
For nearly 40 years, Paul has been working with marked success as a physical therapist, which means he not only knows the risks and benefits associated with starting a private practice, he knows what people need to do to be successful in setting up their own.
Through his podcast and mentorship activities, Paul helps his fellow medical professionals establish their brand, build their following, and get familiar with the tools—like CashPracticeFromScratch—they’ll need to effectively launch their own businesses.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
- 00:05 – Joseph introduces the show
- 00:10 – Introduces guest, Paul Potter, who is a physical therapist, podcast producer, and mentor at Paul Potter PT
- 00:43 – What’s going on for the new year
- 00:50 – In 6-8 months, Paul is launching a product that helps therapists get started on their own practices
- 00:57 – Paul is launching a product on Jan 3, 2017—How to launch your own practice in 90 days
- 01:26 – With 35 years of experience, Paul wants to share what he knows and the benefits of private practice
- 01:51 – 7 essential steps with the least amount of risk and money
- 03:25 – Joseph sees that therapists want to slowly transition into a private practice
- 03:54 – What is something we can put out there so that these therapists know what direction to go in?
- 04:16 – Paul says his ideal client has 7-10 years of experience, they are finding their expertise and are moving into leadership roles
- 04:36 – They’re getting overwhelmed by the load
- 04:47 – Wanting to reevaluate where they want to go in their career
- 05:05 – Ask the question, “what is my big ‘why’?” by Simon Sinek
- 05:28 – Private practice is worth considering as part of that self-assessment
- 05:45 – Consultants pushing a cash therapy model
- 05:55 – Joseph has a 30% cash-based clientele vs. others who have 100% cash—what are they doing differently?
- 06:29 – “Cash practice startup” takes the insurance component out of the formula
- 07:00 – Grow a different mindset—move from being insurance focused into a more of a consumer based focus
- 07:20 – When Paul started, you didn’t think about administrative costs. You did your work and got paid. But now, the margins have shrunk.
- 07:45 – With Paul’s program “Cash Practice from Scratch”, he takes that insurance component out to save on costs at the very beginning
- 08:29 – You shouldn’t be afraid of going through insurance billing methods, you need to learn that system, but it’s the mindset you need to adapt
- 09:00 – ”We are not trained to be business professionals, we’re trained to be therapists and healers”—we give more away than what we’re comfortable asking for in return
- 09:26 – Paul created the “Cash Practice Biz Quiz”, 7 prediction rules for success
- 10:01 – Go to CashPracticeFromScratch, try the quiz to assess where you stand in terms of your understanding of business
- 10:51 – Paul talked to an OT who is spending a lot of her energy trying to get payments from insurance companies for the work she’s already done
- 11:39 – I’d be diversifying my income instead of spending so much time tracking my money
- 11:50 – I’d be creating the services my clients want
- 12:10 – Consistency and being persistent is what it takes to track that money down from insurance companies and that takes a lot of energy—you need a team to do that
- 13:16 – How to start a practice now and to keep it as lean as possible?
- 14:06 – Establish first who you are and where you are going
- 14:20 – Second, research the market and narrow down your niche at the beginning
- 14:31 – when the consumer asks why they should choose you, you have a clear message that makes you stand out
- 15:01 – Build a launch team of friends, family and clients
- 15:22 – Start an email list, and communication with your clients so you’re building a runway of the services you’re offering
- 15:55 – Get your name and professional expertise out there to build your own following and brand
- 16:22 – You don’t have to upset your current partners in the process—it’s not about your own business, it’s your practice within the business.
- 17:10 – I’m educating my clientele and establishing my brand
- 17:25 – Your launch team is key influencers
- 17:40 – Third, set up business accounts and systems so they are all in place come launch day
- 18:05 – Have an online presence of you being an expert in your specific field
- 18:46 – Joseph reiterates that not everyone is cut out for starting a business
- 19:00 – Joseph shares a story of one of his employees, James, not a practice owner, but has built a following that has tripled
- 19:18 – James was offered partnership, but he declined
- 19:24 – He is one of the highest paid therapists
- 19:43 – He is not designed for the stress, the marketing challenges, and the back-end processes of business
- 19:53 – He’s content with where he is
- 20:26 – Going through Paul’s course can help clarify if one is supposed to venture into business or not
- 21:05 – You don’t have to be in business for yourself, but it helps to have an awareness of the business processes and take ownership of your own practice as a physician
- 21:50 – If you can make it past the 2 year point, you can make it in business.
- 22:29 – Joseph shares his own story
- 22:38 – His boss said, “you won’t be an employee for too long”
- 22:49 – His practice owner introduced him to different doctors
- 23:10 – He was viewed as a potential partner, not a threat
- 23:25 – Think in abundance and not that “scarcity mindset”
- 24:02 – If you have a diversified portfolio of potential leads for business, then you are not dependent on the one stream of orthopedic referrals
- 24:55 – Get face-to-face with consumers and find out what they want and how you can meet those needs, THEN you can submit it to the insurance
- 26:45 – Paul has done the work to find out how to keep the business systems simple and streamlined
- 27:18 – This way you don’t get bogged down by starting out these systems
- 27:45 – “You don’t know what you don’t know”—so find out the systems that you CAN KNOW so that your back-end processes are set-up for you
- 28:18 – Learn the process, even if it’s not 100%, you’ll be at least 95%
- 28:30 – Paul wants to minimize the feelings of being overwhelmed in starting a practice
- 29:00 – If I’m successful, what is the next step? How do I scale up?
- 29:36 – “How do we grow this so it’s sustainable?”
- 30:10 – How do you build your company large enough so that you can reduce your hours and actually take that break?
- 30:46 – CashPracticeFromScratch, take the quiz as a starting point
- 31:06 – Paul has a webinar on December 16th about performing that first self-assessment
- 32:30 – Most PTs have a very limited view of what they can do
- 32:52 – Joseph shares a story, an OT is selling her practice and could’ve made more money working for someone else
- 33:15 – She had her success, but didn’t create wealth
- 33:38 – Assess if this is right for you and do it as soon as possible
- 33:56 – Formula for success is significance—Paul shares his opinion of what defines success
- 34:20 – If you can look back and say, this was a good career, I made a difference, then you’re on the right page
- 34:30 – Finding out your end goal is part of the journey
- 34:50 – Joseph reflects on the learning process he went through with his partners
- 35:20 – There is so much more value behind the value of having a cash practice
- 35:47 – Check out CashPracticeFromScratch
- 35:56 – Reach out to Paul Potter on Linkedin or by email
- 36:23 – “I get joy and significance to be able to help other therapists fulfill their calling within the profession”
- 36:47 – Paul would be very happy to connect with you
- 37:00 – Any questions, reach out to Joseph by email
- 37:25 – Joseph closes the show by inviting you to think about where you’d like to be in the new year
- 38:13 – A takeaway for the episode, “Never stop learning”.
3 Key Points:
- Get face-to-face with the consumer and build your practice based on what they need instead of being dependent on the doctor referral/insurance mindset.
- It’s essential to think about your “why” and to self-assess your own goals and desires for your life and practice BEFORE taking action.
- Regardless of whether you’d like to start a business or not, aspiring to learn more about your own practice will only benefit you in this ever-changing healthcare service profession.