During PT school, Valerie Schwalbe discovered she had a passion for pelvic physical therapy. So right after graduation, she started a pelvic health program in an outpatient orthopedic clinic and ran it for 2 years. Over time, she realized her dream of a standalone, dedicated pelvic health clinic where patients could be completely comfortable wasn’t really possible within the insurance-based business model.
Valerie began listening to this podcast and joined my Cash-Practice Mastermind group so she could learn what to do in order to get a new practice off to a strong start. Two years ago, all that preparation was put to good use when she finally opened her own private-pay pelvic health practice. Incredibly, her new clinic was 75% booked within just 3 months! Despite all the craziness of 2020, Valerie’s practice continues to grow, and she utilized my Automated Hiring system to hire her first physical therapist as well as admin support.
In this interview, she shares the story of how she got started, what worked and what didn’t, and details on pricing, HR, marketing, and office space rental (and pitfalls to look out for).
More specifically, we discuss these topics related to Valerie’s pelvic health practice:
- How she knew the cash-based model was the option that would allow her to create the practice of her dreams.
- Which information and resources she found most helpful for managing the risks as she prepared for launch.
- How she was able to overcome her fears and uncertainty to gain the confidence she needed to make the jump.
- The specific strategies she used to manage the transition from employee to business owner—which happened much faster than she’d imagined.
- An answer to the dreaded “do you take my insurance” question that actually fosters strong relationships.
- How she made telehealth work in her highly sensitive niche during the quarantine and how she’s planning to leverage this capability longterm.
- What Valerie learned from some recent HR challenges that will make it easier to hire and onboard new employees.
- How she structured compensation and scheduling for her staff PT, plus plans for the future.
- Word-of-mouth marketing approaches that help keep the practice booked weeks or months in advance.
- The troubling events during construction on her office space and why that led to her opting for an in-office admin instead of a virtual assistant.
- What you should consider when negotiating for office space in order to minimize unexpected expenses and protect yourself during the term of the lease.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Interested in the cash-based private practice model?