Sell Your Clinic
(RMT, Physio, Chiro, Acupuncture)
We all want to provide excellent service to our clients and here at Clinic Therapy we are committed to doing that with our RMT services. It is hard.
Starting a clinic and especially RMT clinic is very stressful, demanding, emotionally exhausting and nerve wracking (get ready to have your heart sink when your therapist hands you a notice to leave). On top of that you will need to sign at least a 30 year lease (otherwise your landlord owns your clinic - commercial rent doubling when your lease is up is not that rare, especially for location sensitive locations which RMT clinics are - move to a different location and watch most of your RMTs leave because the drive is now too long and many clients won’t follow having to rebuild a clientele) and do an extensive renovation from the ground up due to very specific RMT clinic requirements (or waste even more money on rent on a unit with inefficient floor plan).
Without $500,000 - $1,500,000 you are at risk of signing a lease you should never sign and you are compromised during renovation (no client or RMT likes hearing private conversations inside neighbouring rooms). Good soundproofing costs tens of thousands of dollars, so no wonder why almost every clinic owner chooses to skip this important RMT clinic feature during renovation.
While starting a clinic is extremely difficult successfully running a clinic is SO much much much more difficult - the common phrase that starting is the hardest part is so inapplicable to RMT clinics - most clinics break even, or even worse - lose money when all costs are considered that went into a lease or real estate purchase, renovation (that’s always at least double the planned expected cost when calculating expected expenses before the lease or real estate purchase), equipment (turns out electric tables are thousands of dollars each... and they break down!), strata fees, extra insurance, accounting and legal costs, reception costs, job posting fees, website costs, Janeapp fees, washers and dryers (why do they break down so often?). And direct billing for registered massage therapists is really difficult, annoying and it involves a lot of double checking. ICBC massage therapy direct billing is quite tricky and there are 20+ companies like that each with their own quirks and most of them - severely bad designs (except Pacific Blue Cross - but even that occasionally gives trouble).
Some of the common issues that happen are the claims not going through and the client getting really upset, clients not understanding their deductibles, the portal for submissions is down (randomly or just for maintenance), the portal giving weird errors (like not finding the insured person in the system), not giving you an immediate answer, making it impossible or very difficult to reverse the claim, reception entering wrong amounts in the system losing you money and the worst - insurance company paying you the wrong amount, delaying or “mistakenly marking the claim as paid without sending you the money” because many of them still use PEOPLE for payment processing making mistakes inevitable. Enjoy double checking everything down to the smallest detail EVERY time.
And oh, there have been instances when insurance company employees go on a strike shutting the company down and then you can’t process ANYTHING that day. If the claim can’t be submitted and if you’re not willing to chase the client later if their claim does not go through - clients just cancel even if it’s easy for them to submit. And here you are stressed, mad, upset and wanting to quit - this is not how you thought things would be. Turns out that it is not that extremely hard to do RMT massage direct billing just for yourself (only takes 5 - 30 minutes extra per day). But doing that for 10 - 30 therapists allegedly causes gray hair for the clinic owner.
No wonder that most registered massage therapists after being a clinic owner for a few years decide to exit after realizing that all extra costs are barely covered by new revenue from other therapists. One of RMT Richmond BC founders (Elana) decided to do just that until she found a serial entrepreneur to partner with. And on top of that it is literally a full time job which pays nothing for years (expect no profit for 5 years or risk making short term decisions sacrificing growth and quality) while in the meantime they could just just open more hours in their schedule and improve their personal financial situation immediately instead of hoping that after many many many years, one day, after going through all this self inflicted stress - maybe, just maybe - it will finally pay off.
Unfortunately, usually it does not - leaving the clinic owner with hundreds of thousands of dollars of wasted money that could have been put towards a house, nicer car, vacations, improving quality of life and setting money aside for retirement - all wasted. Not including years of wasted time and all that stress (and maybe less gray hair - sorry, no - less hair with some of the remaining hair being gray).
AND... all of the above doesn’t even get into difficulties and sacrifices like “oh no, a therapist wants to open more hours, but we have no reception”. Turn down that RMT and you will miss out on growth. Accept more hours having to do reception yourself (no therapist or clinic owner wants to do that themselves). And receptionists - they are people. They make mistakes, they need training, they need you to be PATIENT, they get ill or can’t come to work due to personal emergencies or family matters or having to take care of the kids unexpectedly leaving you with a disaster unless you fill in that reception yourself.
Be prepared to have no vacation outside the city and when you do have that vacation - be prepared to have multiple calls per day and many text messages per day from reception dealing with unexpected weird RMT Direct Billing Massage problems (it works so well... until it doesn’t - and it happens almost DAILY... like a therapist not being in the system anymore randomly like it happened to us multiple times with Telus system (especially Canada Life Direct Billing Massage) or the claim showing up as submitted and approved for Pacific Blue Cross Direct Billing Massage within Janeapp, but within PBC website - the claim is nowhere to be found (why??? Well, get ready to find out why during your vacation!). And PBC is the EASIEST one to work with and it STILL gives problems regularly, it is never smooth). The only days you will not be interrupted multiple times per day with text messages and calls is when you have no RMT massage therapists and reception, so the better you do, the more interrupted during the day you will be.
And you have to get back to every single text and call immediately or risk having a big problem later (like a new receptionist making a direct billing mistake losing you money or worse - a therapist having a problem and then deciding to quit because you were too tired to get back quickly). Unfortunately, if you still have an active practice, you will be unreachable when you are with clients - get ready for some serious non - stop headaches. It never stops.
And then the politics (hooray!). It’s easy to handle a team of 3 people, but get ready for some Game Of Thrones drama starting with 6 - 10 people and Jerry Springer fun with 15+ people. That’s just how business is. Never ask for less problems, ask for more strength. Everyone has their ways and expectations and while you may aspire to be the boss - in reality, everyone will be your boss and you always have to keep your composure. The clinic owner is the real servant to clients, therapists and employees, not the other way around.
And now, it is time for taxes, payroll, by-weekly accountant calls and fun with lawyers and insurance agents to keep you safe from potential leaks, fire, litigation and liability. And maybe - a lawsuit (or at least a willingness to fight for injustice or risk being taken advantage of).
Founders of Clinic Therapy (RMT Richmond BC) thrive under the above conditions and get uncomfortable and really bored when there are no problems to deal with. One of the founders has only taken one 3 day vacation when actively running one of the 8 businesses he ran in the last 13 years and you guessed it - he worked during that vacation taking multiple long calls each day and replying to emails and texts immediately.
One of the Clinic Therapy founders has training and experience in business mergers & acquisitions. There is particular interest in Registered Massage Therapy clinics in metro Vancouver area, also highly interested in physiotherapy, chiropractic and acupuncture clinics. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any relevant information. For the absolute majority of the therapists it makes no sense to own and run a clinic.