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Do you own a business—or a job?
One definitely sounds better than the other. But how can you tell the difference?
Ask yourself this question: Do I view my practice primarily as a way to earn a salary?
I see this all the time in my work with private practice owners: smart, talented, ambitious Physical Therapists open their own clinics, energized by the opportunity to deliver their own, unique vision of outstanding care. But when they think about the business side of practice ownership—i.e., everything but the clinical work they’re already experts in— they view their business essentially as a way to produce an income.
Physical Therapists aren’t alone in this view. Private practice owners in other “smart professions”—doctors, lawyers, accountants—often fall into the same trap. As high hourly wage earners, many feel they’re in a position to put their heads down, focus on their core expertise, and trust that the clients—and money—will come. As long as enough money is coming in to pay the bills, they figure, everything is a-okay. Make no mistake: if this sounds at all like how you run your practice, you’re not running a business at all—you’re running a job. And you’re working harder than you need to be, with less effective results, for less money than you could be making if you started running your business like a bona fide business.
I talked last week about some of the obstacles that prevent Physical Therapists make the essential transition from PT with a business to bona fide business owner and entrepreneur. This is another of those obstacles that too many PT private practice owners don’t even recognize is holding them back.
Owning a job creates a couple of big problems for your practice!
It can make it impossible to accurately gauge the profitability of your business.
I’ve talked about how to use a basic financial metric to get a true sense of your profitability. If you’re not paying yourself a salary that covers only the time you spend treating patients—and if you’re not including your salary as an expense on your balance sheet—then you are not getting a true picture of your practice’s profitability. Will expensing your salary reduce the profits you show? Yep. But that’s the real cost of doing business you need to acquaint yourself with in order to make smart, truly informed decisions about how to operate—and how to grow.
- It keeps private practice owners entrenched in everyday operations
With your constant presence required in daily operations, you’re chewing up time you could be using to work on your business (not in it). The need for you to be on-site and constantly involved in running your practice also stifles growth—your ability to expand is limited to only what additional work you can handle. (For most private practice owners, who are already overbooked and overwhelmed, that’s not a lot.) Ultimately, operating your business like a physical therapist and not a practice owner creates a never-ending cycle of work that leads to frustration and burnout.
Savvy business owners think beyond the job, and beyond making a salary. They focus on the deeper health and vitality of the business itself.
At The Practice Freedom Method, we work with private Physical Therapy practice owners to help them become operationally irrelevant. You may think that your involvement in the nitty-gritty, day-to-day operations of your practice are essential to its growth. The truth is actually just the opposite.
A sign of a truly healthy business? It can run without you.
It’s time to think about putting yourself out of a job—and into your business.
I know what it’s like to take those first steps toward becoming a business owner and entrepreneur. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. To talk through your next steps, schedule your Get Laser Focused 30 Minute Free Call today!