Physical Therapy Massage Business Plan
Healing Touch Massage is a sole proprietorship owned by Lavinia Watkins, LMT. Ms. Watkins has been a Licensed Massage Therapist in the State of Oregon since July 1984, and has run the business from a home-based location since then. The business has consistently been profitable since its inception.
We offer massage in a variety of styles – traditional Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue work, Sports Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Reflexology, and others.
This massage therapy business plan is being used to explore the cost effectiveness of expanding by moving the business into a downtown location. This would make the services more accessible to people who work full time, and also make the office more convenient for clients with medically-ordered massage therapy. Billing insurance companies for medically required massage is lucrative, but the nature of the therapy – usually 15 to 30 minute sessions, focused on a specific body area, with a short-term duration – makes it imperative that the clients can get in to see the therapist over their lunch hour or during their work day.
Our mission is to run a profitable business by providing therapeutic massage in a caring, professional environment. We offer massage in a variety of styles – traditional Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue work, Sports Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Reflexology, and others. Our goal is to tailor the client’s experience based on initial interview information, as well as in-the-minute feedback during the massage, to insure the client’s comfort and satisfaction, and to increase repeat business. We intend to offer massage that is effective, yet respectful of the client’s personal boundaries, so that the experience is relaxing and energizing for both the client and the provider. We are mindful of the overall experience – using quality oils and lotions, appropriate scents, and soothing music, nature sounds or silence – as the client prefers.
- Increase number of day-time clients by 100% by moving to a downtown location.
- Increase new clients by 50% by advertising locally.
- Find other LMT or other personal service provider to sublet space in new location.
Keys to Success
- Professionalism: which includes everything from maintaining confidentiality, to keeping our LMT training up-to-date, to maintaining good boundaries between clients and therapist.
- Individual Attention: making that extra effort to customize each client’s experience to his or her preference.
- Repeat business/Recommendations: giving the kind of service that brings people back for regular treatments, and encourages clients to recommend us to friends, and other health professionals to recommend their clients.
Healing Touch Massage is a Sole Proprietorship owned by Lavinia Watkins, LMT. Ms. Watkins has been a Licensed Massage Therapist in the State of Oregon since July, 1984, and has run the business from a home-based location since then. In the years since first obtaining her license, Ms. Watkins has consistently taken more Continuing Education classes than required to continue her degree, and has studied a wide variety of massage and other therapeutic techniques, including: Shiatsu, Deep Tissue, Sports Massage, Reiki, Watsu, Acupressure, Reflexology, and Integrated Breathing. As a result, Ms. Watkins has is adept in a wide range of massage styles, and can tailor each massage to the client’s needs and preferences.
Lavinia Watkins, LMT, owner of Healing Touch Massage, has been licensed by the State of Oregon since July 1984. An initial (and expensive!) advertising blitz in the local paper helped Ms. Watkins establish an initial clientele, many of whom are still clients, some of whom she continues to offer in-home service. The bulk of her clients come to her home office, and her advertising has been primarily word of mouth for a number of years. Volunteering to work at local track and bicycle events in the late 80s established her reputation as a Sports Masseuse, and attracted another group of long-term repeat clients. In 1993, Ms. Watkins began to make contact among the local chiropractors, orthopedic surgeons, and other medical professionals in an effort to build her referrals of “medically-necessary” massage.
The increased in popularity of Section 125 and other “cafeteria plans” has given rise in recent years to clients who are able to afford regular massage by using these “pre-tax” dollar plans to increase their discretionary spending budgets for massage.
In 2000, Ms. Watkins became affiliated with the American Health Specialties Network, whose website is: http://www.ashn.com. This increased her exposure to clients with health insurance coverage that have Alternative Care coverage, and also greatly decreased the time lag and difficulties usually associated with filing insurance billing claims.
Ms Watkins is now looking at moving to a downtown location, to further increase her availability to short-term clients referred my medical professionals.
Healing Touch Massage is a Sole Proprietorship owned by Lavinia Watkins, LMT.
Healing Touch Massage offers therapeutic massage services.
Market Analysis Summary
The planned move to a downtown location will facilitate access by clients recovering from injuries. We have identified this as a lucrative target market because they usually are funded by insurance claims, and represent repeat visits for a duration of up to one year. Because this group very often needs multiple, short sessions for a series of weeks or months, a downtown location would make us convenient for mid-day appointments.
It is also quite probable that other clients who work during the day would be more likely to book a day-time massage when we are more conveniently located to their place of work. Since the number of day time slots far exceeds the number of evening slots, this is increased business we would be able to book in addition to our current clients.
Clients who come for massage fall into four basic groups:
- Clients recovering from injuries or accidents
- Often also seeing a chiropractor or physical therapist (more often referral from chiropractor)
- Frequently paid by insurance
- Usually insurance will pay for short-term therapy only, although clients will sometimes supplement out-of-pocket
Clients pampering themselves
- High disposable income individuals
- Sometimes have chronic pain or old injury issues
- Massage 1 – 4 times a month for relaxation
Clients who prefer alternative health care
- Use massage as preventative health care
- Use other alternative practices – e.g. acupuncture, Chiropractor, Naturopath, Herbalist, etc.
- Try to have massage as regularly as they can afford – usually once per month
- Injury and workout recovery, also preventative
- Many serious runners/bicyclists in local area
- Massage for improved performance – great for word-of mouth referrals if they see results
Target Market Segment Strategy
As individual as our clients are, they seem to fall into one of five general categories: Injury Recovery, Self-Pampering/Relaxation, Alternative Care Users, Athletes, and the inevitable Other. Besides the obvious differences in the style of massage each of these prefer, they also represent separate groups for marketing and retention purposes.
The Injury recovery group is usually referred by a Chiropractor, self-referred through our listing on the American Specialty Health Network site, or referred by another client who found massage helpful during an injury recovery. So the marketing to this audience is done indirectly, through the referring parties. While car insurance will typically pay for massage for only a limited time period (less than one year), many health insurance policies now have Alternative Care coverage with a renewable annual maximum. And Cafeteria Plans will reimburse for “medically necessary” massage – which is a bit ironic since few, if any, medical doctors will proactively recommend massage, but most will be willing to sign off on a recommendation, if specifically asked by their patients. The rapid turnover of this group is offset by the fact that they will pay top dollar per session. The key is to keep getting new referrals.
Clients who have the disposable income to indulge in massage for self-pampering or relaxation are the core of our long-term repeat customers. These clients will come once a week to once a month for years, and often refer other family and friends. The difficulty working with these clients comes from the ‘familiarity breeds contempt” factor – they can believe they deserve lower rates, cancellations of short or no notice, and can come to seem as friends, rather than clients. The challenge here is maintain a professional relationship, while encouraging the warmth and personal connection that is as much a part of their experience as the actual massage. This type of client can be difficult to find – an ad in the local alternative news weekly (especially with a coupon for $5 off ) or a donation to a charity auction may result in a one-time visit, or a long-term client. Another source of usually one-time visitors is the Gift Certificate – friends pampering friends for a birthday or other special occasion.
The third group are Alternative Care users. These are people who mistrust allopathic medicine, and prefer to use chiropractors, naturopaths, herbalists, acupuncturists. A local networking group of alternative care providers is a great way to get referrals, as well as placing posters on other practitioners offices, and ads in the local alternative newspaper. The problem with this group is that they can tend to have relatively small disposable incomes, so that a massage once every two months may be all they can afford. A relatively large pool of these clients will book only 20% of the available appointments in any given month.
The final group is another backbone of this business – the amateur athletes. There is a large population of runners and bicyclists in the local areas, as well as out-of-town participants who return for annual events, and book massages during those times. This business tends to be slightly seasonal – as most amateur athletes will only train, or gear-up their training during the Spring and Summer months. However, they are a very loyal group, and will readily give word-of-mouth recommendations, especially if they see massage as having given them a specific boost to their performance. This group will cross over from the Injury group, and become long-term clients after the specific initial injury has healed. They also tend to have chronic injuries or pain, especially as they age, which can help them become repeat clients.
Service Business Analysis
The massage industry consists of several dozens of individual therapists working out of home or private offices, in addition to LMTs working in chiropractors’ offices, gyms, beauty salons, and other venues.
Additional massage services are offered by graduates of specialty schools; Rolfers, Breath Managers, Hakomi Therapists, as well as Physical Therapists.
Fortunately, massage is a very personal service, and different clients are attracted to different techniques and personalities. Healing Touch Massage offers the unique services of Lavinia Watkins, LMT, which cannot be duplicated by any other practitioner.
This business is becoming increasingly easy to “break into,” since obtaining the training necessary for licensing is not all that arduous, nor difficult to maintain. But while getting the credentials and equipment necessary to start a new massage business is easy, establishing a clientele is not, so our established practice of over 20 years duration helps us compete with the ever-available flow of LMTs graduating from local schools.
Competition and Buying Patterns
The key element in purchase decisions made by potential massage clients is trust in the professional reputation, and ultimately, in the skill and knowledge of the provider as experienced in the initial massage. For this reason, a discount coupon or donation to a charity auction can be an effective way to troll the waters for new clients. Recommendations from other clients and alternative health service providers is also critical.
While there is a range of prices charged for massage service in the area, there is some price sensitivity among the long-term clientele. Since the variable cost of each massage is nominal, the best bet has seemed to be to charge less than the market will bear. The one exception is when billing insurance companies, where there is no penalty for charging the full Reasonable and Customary Rates for the area.
Clients rarely compare massage therapists directly, although they may try a second LMT if they are not entirely happy with their first experience. Usually they follow word-of-mouth recommendations, and return for repeat sessions as often as their budget allows.
Home Health Care Services Sample Business Plan
Offering home health care services means having a detailed business plan at start up that is similar to this one.
Home Health Care Services Business Plan
Wheatland Health Services offers a unique combination of premier home health care and community-based social services to Southeastern Kansas. Market research indicates that there is a significant need for quality home health care and social services within this region and we believe that by employing competent and well-educated staff and providing them with organized and responsive management, we can become the home health care/social service agency of choice in Southeastern Kansas.
Wheatland Health Services will be created as a Kansas Limited Liability Company based in Wilson County, owned by its principal investors and principal operators. The initial office will be established in quality office space on Main Street in Neodesha, Kansas, which is the heart of Southeastern Kansas. Neodesha is also home to a hospital facility and a renowned Wound Center, which will serve as referral bases for our agency.
Consumers of our services will be those individuals and families in need of home health care and/or social services. These patients are usually referred by other health care professionals such as physicians, attorneys, insurance companies and health care facilities. Our agency has already developed an excellent reputation with many of these professionals, through the work of our Clinical Director, who has been providing home health care services through another agency for the past three years, and through the presentations we have made to the community via marketing tools and personal interactions.
Our agency must be licensed by the State of Kansas and our services reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid and other private insurance carriers. The process for licensure and insurance certification has already been initiated and we are well on our way to meeting the regulations and guidelines for providing home health care and social services to patients in Southeastern Kansas.
There are currently only three other home health care agencies that serve Southeastern Kansas. One is a satellite operation based out of a larger regional hospital in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Kellene Walker currently manages this agency’s operation there, and due to the lack of interest the parent organization has demonstrated in this satellite agency, we believe that upon her transfer to Wheatland Health Services that agency will close its Wilson County operation. The other home health care agencies currently operating in our area do not offer services to all four of our target Counties; they also do not offer the unique blend of home health care and social services which Wheatland Health Services will be providing.
All pricing will be set according to Medicare, Medicaid and other insurance regulation so pricing is not a major factor of consideration. Sales estimates project healthy revenues in the first year and modest increases through year three.
WHS is incorporated as a partnership. The primary founder, Elizabeth Patzer, MSW/PA, is a social worker and public administrator with prior experience in operating a social service agency. The partnership will include a second, non-managing partner, M. Brad Patzer, who will help with initial start-up funding and retain a minority equity stake. Wheatland Health Services will be managed by Beth Patzer and Kellene Walker, our Clinical Director.
The company plans on taking on debt in the form of a five-year loan, and has no plans for additional debt as growth will be financed mainly through cash flow. Our plan includes assumptions of 100% sales on credit, and sufficient cash on-hand at start-up to prevent any problems with cash flow.
- 125 Home Health Care patients served by the end of first year.
- 12 Personal Injury Case Management Clients served by the end of first year.
- Respectable gross sales by the end of first year.
- 80% of Customer Satisfaction Surveys returned indicating satisfaction with services.
1.2 Keys to Success
- Professional quality of services offered
- Reliability — being available through on-call, and adequate staffing
- Effective collaboration with other community professionals (physicians, hospitals, and other organizations)
Our values are simple. Wheatland Health Services strives to offer excellent and affordable home health care and community-based social services to individuals and families of Southeastern Kansas.
It is our goal to employ competent, caring, and well-trained individuals who are responsive to the needs of our patients, their families, and the communities we serve. Each staff member will meet the State of Kansas educational and training requirements for the services they provide. We encourage and support continued education of each service provider. In turn, our agency will provide staff with competitive compensation, an inviting work environment, and knowledgeable, trustworthy management and direction.
Wheatland Health Services is a new Home Health and Social Service agency in its start-up stages. Our agency will be located in the heart of Southeastern Kansas and will provide the following services to patients and clients from Neodesha, Wilson, Montgomery and Labette Counties – all within a ninety mile radius of our offices:
- Skilled Nursing
- Nursing Aide
- Social Work
- Occupational, Physical, and Speech Therapy
- Personal Injury Case Management
2.1 Company Ownership
Wheatland Health Services is a limited liability company owned and operated by Elizabeth G. Patzer, MSW/MPA and Marlon B. Patzer, M.S./M.Ed.
2.2 Start-up Summary
Wheatland Health Services is in its start-up stage, and consequently there are start-up costs and funding issues to address. The Start-Up Table, below, indicates in detail those costs which include the following:
- BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
- RENTAL EXPENSE
- OFFICE EQUIPMENT
- OFFICE SUPPLIES
- NURSING SUPPLIES
Wheatland Health Services offers premier home health care that includes skilled nursing, nursing aide, social work, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy. We also provide personal injury case management services which include assessment, planning, resource linkage, reporting and professional services (court testimony, etc.).
Market Analysis Summary
The consumer base for Wheatland Health Services (Home Health Care Services) will be patients referred by physicians, health care facilities and other health care professionals. The majority of these patients will be covered by Medicare with a smaller portion being insured by Kansas Medicaid or other private insurance carriers.
The consumer base for the Personal Injury Case Management component of our business will be those individuals who have been injured either on the job or in another type of accident. These referrals will come from attorneys seeking case management services for their clients or from insurance companies who are requesting assistance in mitigating the injuries and loss the client suffers.
4.1 Market Segmentation
The population base in Southeastern Kansas is aging, and more individuals are opting to stay in their own homes longer and return home following hospitalization, rather than proceeding to a nursing home. Our primary market segment includes those patients — typically in an older age bracket — who require health care services by home health nursing staff. These patients may also require other home health services, such as social work, in order to access needed community resources.
Our secondary market will be those individuals who have suffered a personal injury and require case management services to assist them in addressing medical, financial, and employment issues.
4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy
Because our agency specializes in home health care and community-based social services, we will focus on those market segments where we know our services are most needed. Focusing on those market segments that require only home-based services will greatly decrease overhead, since additional office space will not be required.
4.3 Service Business Analysis
Wheatland Health Services is a combined Home Health Care and Social Service Agency serving a four-county region in Southeastern Kansas. Home health care and social services are typically utilized by individuals and families, with service referrals coming most often from other professionals (i.e. physicians, hospitals, attorneys, etc.).
There are currently three other Home Health Agencies serving the same area, but we are unique in that we plan to offer community-based social services as well as home health care.
4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns
The key factor considered by both consumers and referring professionals when purchasing home health care is trust in the professional reputation, reliability and quality of services provided by the home health Agency.
Pricing of home health services does not usually influence consumers’ choices, as most home health services are reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies, and reimbursement rates are set by those entities. Pricing of personal injury case management services is a more important factor, as these services are paid for as negotiated on a case-by-case basis at an hourly rate. When pricing personal injury case management services, we will explain to the client that we estimate the total number of hours needed to complete services liberally, rather than bidding low and then exceeding the anticipated total bid price for services.
Consumers of both home health care services and personal injury case management services rarely compare service providers directly. Usually they follow word-of-mouth recommendations, especially when those recommendations come from their physicians.
Perhaps the most important element for assessing competition in the Home Health and Social Service fields is how to persuade other professionals to repeatedly refer their clients to our agency for services. As our agency demonstrates outstanding patient care, current and pertinent qualification of service providers, and professional organization and business management, we believe that we will be able to capture the majority of the home health care and personal injury case management market in our designated region.
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