Finding Your Niche

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Designing and growing innovative programs.

By Michael Velsmid, PT, DPT, MS

If statisticians are correct, there are currently more than 100,000 physical therapy facilities in the United States.1 In other words, there is plenty of competition for patients in search of professional rehabilitation. To woo clients to your clinic and highly trained individuals to your staff, it is essential to uncover your niche as well as establish innovative programming. While this may seem easier said than done, the task is doable if you want to exceed others in your market.

In the greater Boston area where I and my team practice, a fair amount of physical therapy practices exist. Still, with a population base of seven plus million that is rapidly aging,2 the flip side is that there are tremendous opportunities. When we opened our doors in 1999, we knew we had to get creative quickly to make sure we rapidly became a serious player. The key, we discovered, was to offer therapies and experiences that would set us apart. It was a challenge, but in the highly volatile health care industry, it was also a necessity.

Building Your Niche

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Break down effective marketing strategies for straightforward approaches to success

By Mike Eisenhart, PT

Growing up I hated puzzles. Well, maybe hate is a strong word, but I never really got into them the way my family did. I can remember many family vacations where someone would buy a zillion-piece puzzle “for a rainy day,” lay it out on the table and slowly and steadily reconstruct the image on the box. This happened piece by piece, morphing from something that started like a pile of rubble into an amazingly detailed image.

In truth, I do not think I have any deep-rooted puzzle “issues” per se—in reality, I love the feeling of figuring something out after having struggled with it, exactly what puzzles provide. The problem for me is that I get sucked all the way in, into the abyss until the puzzle is done: part rabbit hole, part obsession.

When I started thinking about how I might write an article on marketing, it was a bit like looking at the pile of puzzle pieces. Marketing has a zillion pieces and, for most of us, it can be a pile of rubble in one of various stages of sorting. We can see the beautiful image on the box (our vision), and we know if we had unlimited resources (time, money, or energy) to dedicate, we could likely sort them all out, but in the back of our mind we know it also has the makings of a rabbit-hole and we risk getting sucked in. In many cases, we walk softly, tiptoeing around the pile to deal with something more urgent or less messy, trying to not entirely lose sight of the beautiful image waiting to be constructed.

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