Physios – ready for your own private practice?

Pete Wildman

If you’re thinking of running your own clinic, there may be more choices than you think.

Have you considered the pros and cons of running your own physiotherapy clinic? Every day, we speak with registered physios and allied health professionals in a wide variety of workplaces – from full-time physios employed by private practices, to solo operators and independent physios within large medical centres.

Choosing the right business model will have a big impact on your profit, your level of control, your clientele, and ultimately your lifestyle.

Physio jobs come in all shapes and sizes.

Starting your own physiotherapy practice is a thrill, but startup costs can be prohibitive – such as operational and financial systems, websites and marketing, and client relationship management (CRM) systems. Luckily, there are many options in between complete independence and working as an employee.

Established medical centres can offer advantages.

The initial leasing commitment is typically 3-5 years, and one key benefit of this arrangement is cheaper rent. Some clinics offer free room rental, but retain up to 60% of your revenue. Some national medical centre groups help physios to build their own private practices with referrals from in-house GPs, but take a percentage of each bill.

Consider your sources of referrals.

If you set up shop in a medical centre, the in-house GP services offer a reliable stream of referred clients once you build your reputation – and offer the benefits of ancillary services like medical imaging, pathology and pharmacy on site.

On the flipside, you may also receive fewer referrals from outside general practitioners unwilling to risk losing their clients to your new neighbours. You’re likely to have less control over things like branding and marketing. Also, there may also some competition from other professionals within the centre if there is more than one physiotherapist. As you can see, there are many important factors to consider.

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