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Knowing your competition

Many physiotherapists know each other and it has to be said that to some degree, there's a local physiotherapy community that exists in most areas with a great deal of camaraderie. However, these people are also your direct competitors! Understanding what they offer and how they operate is an essential part of understanding the local market to ensure your business is profitable.

Finding the competition

If you're starting a private practice for the first time, chances are you don't know ALL the competition just yet. To find them, you can:
  • Search online using Google
  • Check Ė the Canadian Physiotherapy Association
  • Look at
  • Check local business directories such as the Yellow Pages and also newspapers
Knowing your competition lets you ask the following questions
  • How much competition is there?
  • Do they have a website?
  • Where are they located?
  • How much do they charge?
  • What services do they offer?
  • How aggressively do they market their clinics?
  • How do I compete?
  • What advantages do they have?
Exploring the strengths and weaknesses of the competition is essential as it allows you to shape your business in a way that mitigates their strengths and focuses on their weaknesses. For example, if your competition only offers physiotherapy, a wise move may be to offer services such as sports massage and the likes.

The competition may not necessarily be strangers. You may have friends and colleagues that offer competing services, and as a result, an all out marketing war may be inappropriate. In these circumstances, often one of the best ways to 'beat' the competition is to actively work with them.

You could for example set up a skills database between your friends and colleagues, creating an informal partnership of sorts so that when you are overbooked or your patients need a 'specialist' you have someone to refer them to. This not only helps your patients, it helps your business too.

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