Optimising your practice


Nicholas Schuster, APAM, has owned a physiotherapy business for his entire adult life. Here, he gives an insight into how to build a thriving physiotherapy private practice.

In late 2016, being in physiotherapy private practice since he was 21, Nick Schuster started a consulting business called Ultimate Physio, providing business and leadership education to physiotherapy clinic owners. ‘I found that more and more physiotherapy clinic owners had the same challenges and problems as I did. And after hundreds of conversations, I thought it was time for me to structure everything that had happened to me and put it in a form that could help other clinic owners,’ he says.

Nick decided that the form would be a book called Build the Ultimate Physio Clinic, which he wrote using his own journey of success in order to help other physiotherapy private practice owners. Nick says, ‘like most physiotherapists who start a business, I didn’t really know what I was doing when I started. I learnt through basically needing to not go broke.’

Nick had major challenges during his early years, including the global financial crisis, staff turnover, and burnout, so he started to look elsewhere for answers. ‘I started to learn from sources outside of physiotherapy and in doing that, I found that my business journey accelerated,’ Nick says. ‘I learnt how to understand the numbers in a business, how to create a profitable business, how to lead my team, how to fill the appointment books of my practitioners, and then finally, I learnt how to make the business work with less of my time and effort.’

Nick’s book is for people who are already in business and want to learn more about how to run a profitable private practice. Nick wants others to know that he has most likely made the same mistakes as they have made in business and that they are not alone. ‘I want physiotherapists to understand how simple solutions can be easily implemented in their practices so that results can be measured straight away.’

Introduced in the book is Nick’s unique five-step blueprint, which covers every element that a business owner will need to think about when attempting to build a profitable clinic. ‘I talk about a concept called “build the ultimate physio clinic blueprint” and there are five areas to this,’ Nick explains. ‘So those five areas are what I have determined that you need to optimise in order to run a good business.’

The five areas of Nick’s blueprint are:

  • mindset—evolving from thinking like a physiotherapist to thinking like a business owner
  • strategy—creating a model for a business that is profitable
  • marketing—filling the appointment books of your therapists
  • team—attracting the best people and turning them into high performers
  • systems—taking all the information in your head and getting into the heads of your team members.

Physiotherapy business owners can learn how Nick improved these five important areas of his business by reading his book. Nick says ‘if there was a resource like this when I started out it would have saved me five years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in mistakes.’



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