POPTS and HOPTS: Are You Willing to Do What They’re NOT?
If you’ve been following Breakthrough for a while, you’ve probably heard me mention the PT Story.
The PT Story comes from the time I spent with marketing legend Dan Kennedy. It’s meant, in broad strokes, to sum up the journey of a private practice owner.
Here it is:
You start out wanting to help people. You see PT can do that, so you decide to become a PT.
Then you buy the story the universities and colleges sell you, which is ‘Learn from us. When you do…you’ll graduate being able to practice at a high level – and will deliver a high quality of care. Delivering a high quality of care is the most valuable skill in the marketplace.’
And you buy it – hook, line and sinker.
You then graduate…and go to work for someone else.
Chances are you have a jaded experience…you don’t like the way the place is run. You have an upset with a process and procedure.
Then you come to the realization that the solution is to be your own boss.
So you do…you go into Private Practice for yourself.
But you’re still telling yourself the story the university sold you on, which is that “high quality of care” is all you need to worry about. Focus on that, and the patients will come.
But you’re NOT in the high quality of care business though.
You realize you’re in the Marketing Business…and then the Personnel Business…and then the Finance Business.
And after you have this realization, you become resentful.
Choose Your Own Ending
Now, to be clear, the basics of this story play out for many different people in many different aspects of life.
A lot of millennials right now are dealing with a version of this story that replaces “high-quality of care” with “expensive college degree.”
My point being that you as a person and as a PT are not “defective” because you have this frustration. It happens.
Now you have to decide how to overcome it.
Because one day you will exit your practice…
You could close your doors and walk away.
You could dissolve your business.
Or you could sell your practice and realize the full value of the asset you’ve built.
Which option do you want? The typical PT story will lead you towards the first two options.
The rest of this article is for those owners who are looking for the third option…selling your practice and realizing the full value of the asset you’ve built.
In order for that to happen, your business must be valuable in the marketplace. Someone, another company or another PT must be willing to give you money for your business.
For that to happen, you need a successful private practice…complete with metrics demonstrating the value of your business: Profit (or EBITDA), Income, Expenses, New Patients, Referral Mix, Staff, etc.
Anyhow, in general for your practice to be valuable, you must have a diversity of New Patient Sources…
And this is where we tie back into Dan and the PT story.
Competing with HOPTs and POPTs
I’m guessing most of us dislike POPTS and HOPTS for one primary reason: the PTs working in those settings have an endless supply of new patients regardless of how well the POPTS or HOPTS is run.
We, on the other hand as private practice owners, feel like we have to be perfect…walking on egg shells while we deliver amazing world class care with pressure to get patients better in less and less time.
All the while struggling not just for new patients but to get paid by insurance companies for the people we’ve already helped.
It’s an uphill battle, and the only way to win is with our willingness to do things that the POPTS and HOPTS PTs aren’t doing (instead of resenting these things).
Hosting workshops is one example.
POPTS and HOPTS PTs primarily get their new patients via physician referral (at least from my personal and professional experience). They’re usually not eager to go directly to the general public, which is what workshops do.
In order for us to succeed as private practice owners – we have to be different.
Or as Dan Kennedy puts it, “Be #1 in a category of ONE.”
And to be certain, workshops still require time and effort. But I think the payoff is well worth it.
In the process of running workshops, you’re going to become more of an authority in your area.
With the right marketing in place, these workshops will net you new patients and also give you a lift with all of your other marketing efforts.
And workshops are just one of several direct access marketing techniques that can help differentiate your practice from the competition and increase your new patient numbers.
I go into more detail on these techniques here, but even the best plan/strategy is worthless if you aren’t willing to implement it.
Remember, this is the stuff HOPTs and POPTs don’t have to do. But if you’re truly looking to be a business owner of a PT or Physio practice and build a valuable asset…for yourself, for your family and for your community…then you’re going to have to do the work others are unwilling to do.