Physical Therapy Business Plan: Tips and Suggestions

If you have successfully completed training to provide services to patients with statutory health insurance as required by laws practiced in most countries and have the appropriate licensing by the state, you have taken first step towards self-employment in the field of physical therapy.

Now is the time to make the best business plan to become a physical therapist with your own private practice. We will give you some important and valuable tips along the way as you write your business plan.

This should not leave the impression that personal business plan consulting can fully substitute a meeting with a startup business consultant with sound knowledge of your industry. When preparing a business plan, always remember that its quality is key to the realization of your start-up plans.

The business plan is an indispensable tool for you during the loan interview. Your therapeutic services must be described in detail as they are a very special and prominent part of the plan.


Physical Therapy Business Plan Tip 1: Licensing

The IFK takes responsibility for your license as a self-employed physiotherapist at the respective cost. Alternatively, you can apply for one yourself.

The permission to treat patients of Institutions for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention (BGs) that were injured in accidents is given after two years of professional practice. In those two years, you have to treat at least 20 accident victims in an approved BG establishment.

OR: You have had six months of experience in the areas of surgery, neurology or orthopedics during these two years. If you can prove this, the IFK will help you become self-employed by dealing with the formalities. Evidence of this experience can also be provided by an employee or associate. In this case only he is allowed to treat these patients.


Physical Therapy Business Plan Tip 2: Certificate and Additional Qualifications

Obviously a high-level certificate is more impressive than one that has just been issued. Potential backers also appreciate additional qualifications, which set you apart from your competitors. The goal is to attain expert status.


Physical Therapy Business Plan Tip 3: Your Future Patients

You will have to work with private, state-insured and possibly BG-patients as well as patients who are entitled to aid. Your alternative is starting a private practice.

Physical Therapy Business Plan Tip 4: Billing

The IFK could apply for billing permission for so-called certificate positions in physical therapy on your behalf. The Table of non-medical health professional fees will orient you to the billing amount. These are not legally binding. However, the Table of non-medical health professional fees does serve as a reference point for private insurers, public health insurers and state authorities for the provision of medical assistance.
Your decision is an important aspect, which should definitely be part of your physical therapy business plan. It has big impact on your future income situation.


Physical Therapy Business Plan Tip 4: The Right Spot

– Is there a shortage of physiotherapists in this area?
– Is the potential clientele in this area relatively mixed and open to alternative treatment methods? (Maybe a good idea to commission a market analysis)
– If you intend on starting a private practice, have you researched whether these residents have a higher income? (Please make analysis when creating a business plan)
– Could you be more competitive by offering a special “niche service”?
– Can your practice be reached by public transport and is there sufficient parking space?
– Are there a lot of general practitioners and specialists in your area who can refer you to their patients?

If you answered “No” to most of these questions, you should reconsider your choice of location.


Physical Therapy Business Plan Tip 5: Your Premises and Facilities

Your premises must comply with legal regulations, these are for instance in Germany along the lines of the following:

– The ceiling must be 2.50 meters high
– The treatment area must be at least 50 square meters, respectively, of which 32 square meters of clear therapy area, including a room at least 20 square meters. For treatment with equipment, plan an area of at least 30 square meters. Massage rooms must provide at least 6 square meters per masseuse.
– The practice must not converge on other practices and private facilities.
– The practice must be accessible to disabled persons (with wheelchair)
– The dressing rooms must be equipped with a sitting area
– Sanitation (a patient toilet and 1 staff toilet with hand basin)
– Slip-proof, leak-proof and disinfected floors are a must
– Separate area for heat pack treatment
– Lounge (if you plan on hiring staff)
– Storage space and facilities
– Separate entrance

The IFK provides information and assistance about the mandatory minimum equipment on its website or in person. The commercial use of the premises must be approved. Sometimes a reclassification is necessary, often in residential areas.

You are oftentimes liable to financial penalties by the health authority in charge. You must observe hygiene requirements. You should know all about the sanitation requirements in advance. Having taken a course makes a positive impression upon applying for business startup loans.


Physical Therapy Business Plan Tip 6: The Aesthetic of Your Facilities and Equipment

The medical equipment will usually be the major cost factor in your physical therapy business plan. Different medical devices and instruments (area of treatment and diagnosis) are to be purchased. These include massage tables, sports equipment for therapeutic exercise and more items for therapeutic purposes.
The feel-good factor of a physiotherapy practice is the second major cost factor. The décor of the reception, the waiting area and the area for patient interviews is very important because patients always associate a modern and professional establishment with trustworthiness and competence. You should focus on this mindset in the future and justify the cost under this premise very convincingly in the physiotherapy business plan and during the bank interview.


Physical Therapy Business Plan Tip 7: Required Registration and Insurance

The registration with the tax office and local health department is at the very top of the to-do list. Perhaps you’ll need permission to change the use of the property from the local planning authority. You have to register with the board for healthcare to treat BG-patients.
Private health insurance is not mandatory, but it is recommended. There is, however, compulsory pension insurance as per lt. § 2 N. 2 SGB VI. The professional liability insurance is not legally binding but recommendable to be insured against damage claims by patients. You must also have insurance for treatments without regulation, for example in the area of prevention, to protect yourself from damage claims.

Physical Therapy Business Plan Tip 8: Your Marketing

The liberalized advertising law allows you to market yourself as a physical therapist with limits. This concerns particularly picture advertising. Your company should always be at focus. You may not advertise certain procedures or treatments.

In addition, you should develop a corporate identity (CI) to increase the recognition of your establishment. A corporate business plan is key to the success of the general business plan. Marketing service experts can develop market entry strategies for you. The fee thereof is to be included in the business plan.

Since about 60% of potential clients look for a physical therapist online, you attach great importance to your website. Make it convincing so that people receive a positive image of you and decide on your therapeutic services. The cost is to be included in your physical therapy business plan.


Physical Therapy Business Plan Tip 9: Your Commercial Know-How

As a self-employed physiotherapist, your activity is usually income tax wise belonging to the so-called “catalog professions”. Make it clear in your physical therapy business plan that you know the contents of your applicable legislation.
You must be able to prove you have adequate knowledge of tax obligations during the financing interview. To this end, you should be able to at least check your tax adviser’s statements for verity.


Physical Therapy Business Plan Tip 10: The Financing Interview

You should make sure that you have used all the tips 1-10, they are part of your business plan and you can show an expert position during the financing interview. The following issues must also be considered. You’ll need to give clear answers backed up by facts:

– Your particular status as an independent physiotherapist
– Megatrends (tendencies, which services have recently been increasingly in demand)
– Certificates
– Your various administrative costs
– Your personnel costs and insurance costs
– The calculation of your income
– Your calculated capital requirement
– Your existing equity
– Your calculated capital return expectations
– Your income situation (expectations).

You should now be able to start developing your business plan (also see this article for more information on business plan components) with the use of these tips and suggestions. If you would like additional business plan services or want us to create a business plan for you, then just come and talk to us.

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