Most (if not all) independent practitioners wonder about the potential for cash based business. At first, it seems like a giant shift, but actually, if you have patient traffic of any sort, your already â€œsetupâ€ to participate in this growing market segment. Hereâ€™s the simplest way to get started with a plan everyone can execute for less than $100:
Step 1 costs $0: Dump the â€œpatientâ€ perspective and shift to a customer-driven philosophy:Â
First you must adopt the right philosophy and expand your thinking beyond the limits imposed by your health care â€œsystemâ€ business habits. For example, the word â€œpatientâ€ is terribly limiting for both you and your customer; thatâ€™s a marketing double-whammy. It sets you up to view a customer as someone who disappears after completing a â€œplan of care,â€Â andÂ sets your customer up to look forward to the day when they no longer call themselves your â€œpatient.â€
Thinking about your patients as customers allows you to continue providing the best â€œcareâ€ possible, but also opens new room for you to think about what else they would want to consume from you. Many health care professionals squirm when they hear patients referred to as â€œcustomers,â€ but remember, this is a business philosophy, a mindset. Just to give you an idea, almost 67% of â€œpatientsâ€ we survey say they would like their physical therapist to provide other programs and services for themÂ afterÂ finishing their therapy. If you think of them as patients, that’s hard to act on, but when you think of them also as customers, you naturally want to fill the need
Step 2 costs $0: Outline basic cash pay services (and products) you can offer customers.Â
Think about your typical patient, and the many things they need and want related to what you do. I know this may seem obvious, but for some reason many physical therapists struggle with this. Some of the most common programs include things like a supervised program for transitioning from rehab to regular exercise, weight loss, gym memberships, specialized training like Pilates for Golf, or whatever. Write down all the possibilities, and REMEMBER, it doesnâ€™t matter if you think it will work or not for YOU. What matters is what the CUSTOMER wants. The bigger the variety and selection, the better, but it’s best to start with one new thing at a time. Keep your list handy, and write down new ideas as they come from customers or staff. If you find yourself saying, â€œthat wonâ€™t workâ€ to most ideas so they donâ€™t even get on a simple list of possibilities, you might want to download ourÂ Innovation ChecklistÂ or sign up for aÂ 60 minute strategy sessionÂ (still $0 cost). Give it a try or let us know if we can help facilitate the process.
Step 3 costs $75-$100: Design and print a cash pay program/services flyer.Â
If youâ€™ve gotten this far, guess what? You are now in the cash pay business. But that doesnâ€™t mean the cash will just start rolling in. Like any new program, you will need to offer and adjust. A basic flyer to hand out to your customers is a great way to start. Make sure the flyer does more than list services and prices; it must educate them on the potential health benefits of the service. Initially, donâ€™t measure the success of your new program by the sales alone. Instead, measure your success by what you learn about the customer appeal of the program. You will most definitely need to make adjustments that will increase the appeal.Â Be careful here, as negative input and resistance from staff will abound, and this is where your entrepreneurial instincts will need to kick in. This is also where we can help.Â (If you have a concept, we would be glad to review it and give you some feedback.Â Simply upload it here.) With the right support, many of the most common reasons for failure are reduced or eliminated.Â Request your complimentary customized marketing plan now.