Online Business Expansion Proposal for JRose Integrative Therapy
1. Service Viability
JRose Integrative Therapy is a small, privately owned business that provides physical therapy to adults in the Chesapeake and Virginia Beach regions of Virginia. As a service provider, the practice follows a strictly business-to-consumer model. The main source of customer traffic for the practice is through referral of local doctors and word-of-mouth. It already has a website in place; however, it is not optimized to bring business traffic to the practice. A search of the keywords “physical therapy virginia beach” on Google and Bing does not return a link to JRose in the first five pages of ...view middle of the document...
Social media can be utilized to spread information about the business at an exponential rate. While JRose currently gains a large percentage of its patients through word-of-mouth referrals, proper use of sites such as Twitter and Facebook can greatly enhance the rate at which word spreads.
Going online has the potential to exponentially increase awareness to JRose. A website is already in place, so the cost of advertising is extremely low as compared to using conventional media. The pool of potential clients is near limitless with the online community as anyone with internet access has the ability to locate the business. However, security is always an issue when dealing with the medical field and there are a number of clients who may be hesitant to utilize an online site even for scheduling appointments. A robust policy must be established and clearly posted so that current and future customers feel secure in the handling of their personal information.
While a website is already in place, several changes should be made in order to make it more user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing to a wider audience. These changes will require technical expertise which may be difficult or costly to acquire. Maintaining the website will require time and money that a small business owner may have difficulty coming up with. Keeping up with any changes in technology will require dedicated attention as well.
2. Current Online Competition
Recent changes to Virginia law allow for physical therapists to see patients without a prescription. This Direct Access means that a service provider can see a patient for 2-3 visits very easily. In an attempt to capitalize on this, several companies have begun to offer a “wellness pass” that is cash-pay and offers multiple (2-3) visits at a “package” rate without involving an insurance company. Since there is no medical prescription required it is easy to schedule and charge for these visits.
As mentioned earlier, the marketplace for physical therapy is expected to increase dramatically over the next eight years. An increase in outpatient operations due to medical advancements, as well as increased survival rates of trauma victims and newborns (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014) is going to drive the increased need for physical therapy.
Manual therapy is a subset of physical therapy that involves a “hands on” approach to treating as opposed to other types of physical therapy that simply involve placing a patient on an exercise machine. It is a more personal level of treatment and is conducted in a one-on-one environment.
There are a large number of companies in the area that offer similar services to JRose and they all have a varying degree of online presence. The companies range in size from large hospital organizations to small privately-owned businesses. A search for “physical therapy virginia beach” on Google returns Southeastern Physical Therapy (http://www.southeasternpt.com), Atlantic...