Startup Budget

Start Your PT Practice on a Budget

So you’re starting a new PT practice?


You’ve got a cool name, a new logo, all the paperwork, maybe even some clinic space.

Feels great, doesn’t it?

A little scary, too?

How are you going to get patients to pay the bills and live your dream?

Let me help you.

You probably don’t have a ton of money to invest, so start with only what’s essential.

Here are the best, easiest, and cheapest things you can do to start getting patients quickly:

- Establish an online presence
- Do some simple marketing
- Get your business organized

First, you need to establish a presence.

Get your website and Google Business Profile (GBP) online as soon as possible, so people can find you on the web and on the map (even if you don’t have a clinic location).

You may not get much organic traffic at first, but people who hear about you in the meatworld will absolutely look you up online. 

A good website and GBP, targeted to your specific audience, will help you make the most of everything else you do.

If you’re not sure what to do with your site or GBP, you can find lots of great resources on our YouTube channel, or you can book a free strategy call to get some no-obligation advice.

Next, you’ll need to do some marketing.

Your PT practice won’t be worth much if no one knows you exist.

You might have a few contacts from friends or family, previous jobs, or local gyms and communities.

Those are great to get you started, but soon you will need to start reaching a broader audience.

That audience is online.

Unless you’ve got tons of cash to burn, don’t bother trying to pay for business with SEO or paid ads right away.

SEO is a long-term strategy that will take several months to see any results, and while ads can give you a quicker boost, they’ll also eat into your profits, meaning you’ll need more patients before you even start making money.

One cheaper method is to turn your real world contacts into online spreaders through email and social media.

Collect all the email addresses you can (from friends, work, school, wherever), and send them an email about your new practice with a link to your site and a request to tell their own friends and families.

Your email list can be a valuable source of patients and cash, so grow it however you can (make sure you let people opt-in and opt-out).

The same goes for social media, where you can promote yourself through your existing connections.

You’re probably not a viral influencer already, so you may not be getting millions of likes on your instagram posts, but use the connections you do have to reach the people in your local network.

If you are consistent, helpful, and assertive, your network will grow.

One social media platform not to overlook is YouTube.

You don’t need high-budget productions or fancy effects to be successful.

Simple, self-filmed and edited videos with advice, tips, and information for your specialty or target audience can get you great results.

In the days of Mr. Beast and Dude Perfect, getting a couple hundred views may seem pathetic, but if even 1% of those people contact you, that would mean a lot of new patients per video.

Plus, you can use the videos to pre-sell or stay in touch with contacts you make elsewhere, and someone who watches your videos will be much more likely to see you as an expert and to be receptive to your message.

Finally, you need to get organized by establishing some key systems.

Everything listed above will become easier with a little planning and organization.

Business owners often hate posting on social media because it seems like a daily chore, something you always know you should do more but never have the time to actually do it.

Writing a newsletter or blog seems stressful when you are scrambling to finish it just before you’re supposed to hit send.

While you aren’t too busy (you do want to get even busier, right?), take the time to make a few good habits that will serve you well forever.

Set aside time each week to work on your marketing, whether it’s writing an email newsletter, creating a bunch of social media posts, or recording a video.

Put it on your calendar.

Work a week (or month) in advance.

You’ll feel a lot less stressed out when you know what you’re posting for the week before it’s even Monday morning.

Having a CRM system can help too, and you need one.

A CRM can help you collect contacts from your website, automate emails and social media posts, and ensure those valuable leads don’t get lost in your inbox.

Follow these 3 steps, and you’ll have everything you need to start a successful practice without going into (more) debt to do it.

Of course, there are a thousand other things you could do, from business coaching to fancy software to paid promotions, but you’ll have plenty of time for those once you’ve gotten established.

If you want to get your practice started well without taking a second mortgage or emptying your 401k, stick with the basics.

Provide great care, be persistent, and stay organized.

You can be your own boss, support your family, and live your dream.

You might even pay off your student loans (eventually).

Good luck!

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