August 20, 2021 | Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA

3 Minute Read

Business School 101 for Physical Therapy: The Physical Therapist Next Door is Better Than You

The Business School 101 for Physical Therapy series is designed for outpatient therapy business owners and leaders. Over the next several weeks, we will explore concepts and strategies within business operations, marketing, finance, customer knowledge, and more. Of course, it is not meant to replace a traditional MBA, but we hope it will provide helpful insights, tips, or refreshers for growth-minded business novices and veterans alike.

And This is How You Win

It hurts to think about it. It hurts more to say it. But if you want to win, uttering these words will help get you there:

“My competition is better than me.”

OK, now that that’s over with, dust yourself off and let’s make this make sense. Let’s paint a picture in your mind’s-eye for a moment. You’re sitting in a room, surrounded by your local physical therapy competition. The clinic across the street. The guy across town. The big-box physical therapy chain located in the premium space downtown (yes, we’re going to beat them too).

I’m there too, and I pose an instruction to the group:

“Raise your hand if you provide mediocre physical therapy services to your community.”

Do I see any hands? Hardly.

Then I pose another:

“Raise your hand if you’re one of the best physical therapists in town.”

Hands this time? Yeah, thought so.

It’s a simple illustration, and one that I’ve used on numerous occasions when speaking to physical therapy groups across the country. The results are as you’d expect. So, what does it tell us?

It tells us that everyone thinks they’re the best. Nobody in their own opinion is the second best. Except for you, because you’re smart. You are realistic with yourself and understand that there’s always room for improvement. Are you the second best? Maybe, but you see this as an amazing growth opportunity.

Own It and Use It

This is an opportunity, because what happens when people think they’re the best? They get lazy. They lack creativity. They do nothing different. They don’t have to be energetic, creative, or different. They’re already the best, right?

Goliath, meet David.

Your competition is better than you and you know it. Because of this, there’s a tool you’re not going to use. You’re not going to tell people you’re the best – ever. Instead, you’re going to show them how you’re different.

This will force you to be creative. To be authentic. To own your value proposition and stand behind it.

You give hugs. You answer the phone in less than two rings. You remember birthdays. You warm your hands before touching your patients’ skin. You call patients to check in on them. You coach youth soccer. You know what it’s like to be a patient, because you’ve been one. You have convenient parking. You educate yourself regularly. You invest in equipment that helps you care for your patients. You advocate for better access to healthcare with your legislators. You support your community by volunteering. You educate. You attend physician visits with your patients. You observe surgeries. You train students.

You’d rather be different than the best. And you win.

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