• PT Business Plan – Marketing Plan and Sales Strategy

    December 1, 2018 | Clara Gouge
  • In this article, we continue our quest to give you a detailed physical and occupational therapy business plan template. To create your business plan template, starting with 8 Crucial Content Areas for Physical Therapy Clinic Business Plans. Then, place together the details from each article between then and now (and the remainder coming soon!). The previous articles’ steps have set you up to be ready for your Marketing Plan and Sales Strategy, which we detail below.

    What is a Marketing Plan?

    The Marketing Plan defines the components of your marketing strategy. In this portion of your Business Plan you will outline your plan for reaching and “selling” to your target market.  You address the details of your market analysis, sales, advertising, and public relations campaigns. Every physical therapy marketing plan should integrate traditional (offline) programs with new media (online) strategies.

    The Five P’s of your Physical Therapy Marketing Plan

    The 5 P’s of Marketing are Product, Price, Promotion, Place and People. For an occupational or physical therapy marketing plan, it is no different. These are the key marketing elements used to position your business strategically.

    Product

    Describe the product or service you and your clinic offer to prospective patients. Describe how your approach differs from the approach of your competitors and/or what unique benefits you’re providing to your potential patients.

    Price

    In the healthcare industry, pricing strategies make less sense than in other, less regulated industries. However, you can push to make your provider mix more lucrative by marketing more intensely to providers who reimburse at greater rates than others. For example, depending on in which state you reside, commercial insurances and worker’s compensation cases may reimburse at higher rates than other providers. Once you’ve optimized your payer mix, the next steps toward profitability are accomplished through better clinic productivity.

    Place

    For most industries, this category addresses things like:

    • product logistics (location of products, shipping costs, etc.),
    • whether you will sell on-line alongside your brick and mortar location and
    • return good policies.

    But as for your physical therapy marketing plan, you should choose a location that has a population mix conducive to your line of work. For example, are your prospective patients youthful athletes, active senior citizens, or potential worker’s compensation cases due to a significant industrial base in your catchment area? And, as we have mentioned in the other articles, be aware of the location of competitor clinics. There’s no sound reason for locating your start-up near established competition unless you are fully confident in your prospects and have properly addressed the risks with your SWOT analysis.

    Promotion

    What methods of promotion will you use to communicate the features and benefits of your services to your target patients?  Will you advertise? If so, where? Consider the non-exhaustive list of promotional ideas mentioned below:

    1. Create a website.
    2. Optimize your website for search engines using search engine optimization (SEO).
    3. Create a blog for your business and post relevant articles.
    4. Send a press release to local media outlets announcing your business and your grand opening.
    5. Send out mailers.
    6. Contact local physicians for meet and greets and shadowing.
    7. Consider a Facebook page and create a Facebook Group to interact with your target market.
    8. Set up a Twitter account and send out promotions and useful info to your patient base and followers.
    9. Speak, teach or consult to locale community education centers, associations or other groups interested in your topics.
    10. Make sure to obtain testimonials or endorsements to increase your credibility and post them on your website/blog, social media headers and print materials.
    11. Introduce yourself to local industry leaders who may be interested in sending injured employees your way.
    12. Remember your existing or recent patients because they can be a source for referrals.
    13. Create a brochure and business cards to hand out to prospects who visit your clinic.
    People

    Who are the people who will be providing the sales outreach for your outpatient clinic?  Well, if you are a start-up, it is likely you and any other clinicians/employees you have hired.  Your front desk person can be a helpful draw at your grand opening and whenever someone drops in to check out your clinic.  So, make sure your messaging is articulate and helpful to “selling” your practice and that your staff are all on board with their 90-second “elevator” speeches pointing out the merits of your practice and your care plans.

    Sales Strategies

    How will you grow your business profitably?  You answer this question with your sales strategy.  With a Physical Therapy clinic, you do not seek sales in the traditional sense of the term.  But you ARE seeking new patients and trying to optimize on the number of treatments (visits) for each of those new patients.  So, in this section you should outline how you will “sell” you and your clinic’s quality of patient care, productive operations and scheduling thoroughness and follow-through to potential referring doctors in your catchment area and beyond.

    As we mentioned earlier, it is helpful to entertain and describe your approach with your social media efforts and how you might use press releases and other appearances or physician meet and greets and/or shadowing to help raise your brand awareness among both physicians and the greater community of potential patients.  Your sales strategy section should include information on your web development efforts and your search engine optimization plan.

    Conclusion

    Your Marketing Plan and Sales Strategies, if well thought out and researched, can demonstrate to your funders, and indeed to yourself, that you know how to drive growth in your practice and how to do so profitably.  Establishing your brand for quality care and responsive clinical operations can help your clinic become the “go to” physical therapy clinic for local referring physicians and their patients for years to come.

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