The Occupational Therapists (OT) business consists of health practitioners who treat patients with physical, mental, or developmental conditions. Occupational therapy (OT) interventions can include: helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations; helping individuals recovering from serious injury to regain functional daily skills, and providing support for individuals experiencing physical and cognitive challenges.

Statistics have it that the U.S. occupational and physical therapy services market is projected to grow from $49.28 billion in 2021 to $71.75 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 5.5%. Currently, there are over 141,405 Occupational Therapists currently employed in the United States. 83.2% of all Occupational Therapists are women, while 16.8% are men. The average age of an employed Occupational Therapist is 40 years old.

Steps on How to Start an Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business

  1. Conduct Market Research

If you intend to start an occupational therapy private practice business, then you must make sure you conduct thorough market research. It is important to conduct research because it will help you carry out a detailed study of a particular problem or concern you intend to solve.

Your aim in conducting market research for your occupational therapy private practice business is to get an in-depth analysis of information and create space for generating new questions, concepts, and understandings of the market space. With successful market research for your occupational therapy private practice business, you will be able to explore the unknown and unlock new possibilities in the industry you want to start your business.

a. Who is the Target Market for Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business?

The target market for an occupational therapy private practice business are people who are suffering from;

  • Birth injuries or birth defects.
  • Sensory processing disorders.
  • Traumatic injuries to the brain or spinal cord.
  • Learning problems.
  • Autism
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Mental health or behavioral problems.
  • Broken bones or other orthopedic injuries.
  • Developmental delays
  • Post-surgical conditions
  • Burns
  • Spina bifida
  • Traumatic amputations
  • Cancer
  • Severe hand injuries
  • Multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and other chronic illnesses.
b. Is Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business a Profitable Business?

Yes, occupational therapy private practice business is a profitable business. Fortune Business Insights says that the market size was USD 46.44 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 71.75 billion by 2028.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

Yes, there are existing niche ideas when it comes to occupational therapy private practice business, and here are some of them;

  • Providing habilitation services
  • Providing rehabilitation services
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Encompass Health Corporation
  • Select Medical Holdings Corp.
  • Kindred Healthcare Inc.
  • Little Land Play Gym
  • Physical Therapy NOW
  • Brain Balance Achievement Center
  • Apex Network.
  • Tender Touch Rehab Services
  • HealthPRO Heritage
  • HCA Healthcare
  • BAYADA Home Health Care
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business in the United States?

Yes, and the regulations require that all occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants must practice within compliance with federal and state laws. Please note that State and other legislative or regulatory agencies may impose additional requirements to practice as occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants in their area of jurisdiction.

For example in California, each person licensed or issued a limited permit by the board shall report to the board every change of residence address within 30 days after the change, giving both the old and new addresses. In addition to the residence address, the person may provide the board with an alternate address of record.

If an alternate address is the person’s address of record, he or she may request, in writing, that the residence address not be disclosed to the public.

f. Is There a Franchise for Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for occupational therapy private practice business, and here are some of them;

  • Little Land Play Gym – Total Investment: $100,000 – $230,000
  • Physical Therapy NOW – Initial Investment: $150,000
  • Brain Balance Achievement Center – Initial Investment: $260,133-$360,633
  • Apex Network – Initial Investment: $148,350 – $344,400.
g. What Do You Need to Start an Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number) / Federal Tax ID Number.
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Employees
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Office Address
  1. Choose a Memorable Business Name

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.
Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a occupational therapy business are;

Creative Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business Name ideas
  • Pro Health® Occupational Therapy Private Practice, LLC
  • Grego® Occupational Therapy Private Practice, LLC
  • Move Doctors™ Occupational Therapy Private Practice, Inc.
  • Blessed Hands™ Occupational Therapy Private Practice, LLC
  • Zeus Justin® Occupational Therapy Private Practice, Inc.
  • Pro Care® Occupational Therapy Private Practice, LLC
  • Bob Casey® Occupational Therapy Private Practice, LLC
  • Peter Paul® Occupational Therapy Private Practice, Inc.
  • Harris Care® Occupational Therapy Private Practice, Inc.
  • Synergy Care® Occupational Therapy Private Practice, LLC
  • Blue Cross® Occupational Therapy Private Practice, LLC
  • Pauline George™ Occupational Therapy Private Practice, Inc.
  • Bridget Decoster™ Occupational Therapy Private Practice, LLC
  • Inner City® Occupational Therapy Private Practice, LLC
  • Midland Care® Occupational Therapy Private Practice, Inc.
  • Universal Care® Occupational Therapy Private Practice, Inc.
  • Life Page© Occupational Therapy Private Practice, Inc.
  • Ready Care™ Occupational Therapy Private Practice, LLC
  • iCare™ Occupational Therapy Private Practice, Inc.
  • Tim® Occupational Therapy Private Practice, Inc.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business?

Even though there are several options when it comes to the business structure for an occupational therapy private practice business, the one that most players in this line of business consider is an LLC. Please note that an LLC will need an EIN if it has employees or if it will be required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below.

b. Steps to Form an LLC
  • Choose a Name for Your LLC.
  • File Articles of Organization.
  • Choose a registered agent.
  • Decide on member vs. manager management.
  • Create an LLC operating agreement.
  • Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open an Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business?
  • General Business License
  • NBCOT certification and/or state registration or licensure (if required by your state)
  • Health and Safety Permit
  • Zonal Permits
  • Director’s License
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open an Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business?
  • Certificate in Occupational Therapy Assisting
  • Associate’s Degree in Occupational Therapy Assisting
  • Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy
  • Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) Degree.

Please note that certification is voluntary, but shows you to be serious about your field. Occupational therapists must pass the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) exam to become certified.

e. What Documents are Needed to Open an Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business?
  • DBA
  • EIN
  • Business and Liability Insurance
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • State Permit and Building Approval (for your office)
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLC
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use (if you have a website)
  • Online Privacy Policy Document (basically for online payment portal)
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

If you are considering starting an  occupational therapy private practice business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start an Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business?

When it comes to starting an occupational therapy private practice business, the startup costs vary and could range from $80 to over $230,000.

b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting an Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business
  • Business Registration Fees – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $7,300.
  • Marketing, Branding and Promotions – $3,000.
  • Business Consultant Fee – $2,500.
  • Insurance – $2,400.
  • Rent/Lease – $50,000.
  • Other start-up expenses like commercial satellite TV subscriptions, stationery ($500), and phone and utility deposits ($2,800).
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $30,000
  • Start-up inventory – $25,000
  • Store Equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $4,750
  • Office Furnishing and Equipping – $10,000
  • Website: $600
  • Opening party: $3,000
  • Miscellaneous: $5,000.
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening an Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business?
  • The choice of the location you intend to cover
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The type of office facility
  • Additional service offerings
  • The cost of hiring and paying a business consultant and attorney
  • The cost for branding, promotion, and marketing of the occupational therapy private practice business
  • The cost of furnishing and equipping the facility
  • The cost of the insurance policy covers
  • The cost of registering the business
  • Source of your supplies and ongoing expenses
  • Cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms
  • The cost of the grand opening of the business
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

You don’t need to build a facility for your occupational therapy private practice because you are expected to work in the homes of your clients but you are expected to have an administrative office or a small clinic where you can operate from.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of an occupational Therapy Private Practice Business?
  • Supplies
  • Rent and lease for your office or small clinic
  • Cost of transportation
  • Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage, and software renewal fees et al)
  • Salaries of employees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Chief Occupational Therapist (President) – $85,000 Per Annum
  • Occupational Therapist Assistant (OTA) – $60,878 Per Annum
  • Office Administrator – $40,000 Per Annum
  • Account Officer – $35,000 Per Annum
  • Front Desk Officer – $32,000 Per Annum
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start an Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

Ready Care™ Occupational therapy private practice, Inc. is a standard occupational therapy private practice business that will be based in Silver Spring, Maryland. The business that will be responsible for providing in-occupational therapy private practice for all our clients both in the comfort of their homes or in our clinic facility.

b. Service
  • Occupational therapists treat disabled, ill, or injured patients with special equipment and the therapeutic use of daily activities.
  • Help patients improve, regain, and develop the skills needed for day-to-day life and work.
  • Provide long-term patient care and acute patient care.
c. Mission Statement

Our mission is to build a highly successful, occupational therapy private practice business that will evaluate, plan, organize, and conduct rehabilitative programs that seek to develop or restore important living skills and professionally improve general independence.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to create an international model of the occupational therapy private practice industry in Silver Spring, Maryland.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of an occupational therapy private practice center are to help patients heal, improve, regain, and develop the skills needed for day-to-day life and work.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Chief Occupational Therapist (President)
  • Occupational Therapist Assistant (OTA)
  • Administrator
  • Account Officer
  • Front Desk Officer

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
Strength:

The strength of the occupational therapy private practice facility lies in the fact that they have a team of well-qualified professionals manning various job positions in the organization. They are some of the best hands in the state. So also, the location, the business model they will be operating on, and their excellent customer service culture will count as a strong strength for the business.

Weakness:

Our occupational therapy private practice business is a new business that is owned by an individual (family), and we may not have the financial muscle to sustain the kind of publicity that will give the business robust visibility and also attract some of the highly experienced hands in the occupational therapy private practice industry.

Opportunities:

An increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases and a raising geriatric population will increase the demand for the services of occupational therapists.

Threat:

The challenges facing occupational therapists include proving our value in an economic trend of downsizing, competing within the medical profession, developing and affiliating with new payer sources, and reengineering our careers to meet the needs of the new, nontraditional health care marketplace, and government regulations.

b. How Do Occupational Therapy Private Practice Businesses Make Money?

Occupational therapy private practices make money by charging their clients for services rendered and also from Medicare. This is because Medicare also covers occupational therapy private practice services, like occupational therapist visits, training or therapy sessions, and patient monitoring.

c. Payment Options
  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and health-related magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community-based events/programs for the elderly or people suffering from chronic diseases
  • Leverage the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your occupational therapy private practice business
  • Install your Bill Boards in strategic locations all around your city or state
  • Distribute your fliers and handbills to target areas
  • Contact households, businesses, and every adult in the neighborhood where your occupational therapy private practice will be located informing them about your business and the services you rendered
  • List your occupational therapy private practice in local directories/yellow pages
  • Advertise your occupational therapy private practice business on your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
  • Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your occupational therapy private practice business is located.
  • Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and that all your vehicles are well branded with your company logo et al.

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Service?

The average hourly rate for Occupational therapists ranges from $41 to $49 with an average hourly pay of $45.

b. How Much Profit Do Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business Owners Make a Year in the United States?

It depends, but available reports show that in the U.S., the median amount is around $80,000/$39 per hour. The top 10% earn at least $110,000/$53 per hour, and the bottom 10% earn around $53,000/$26 per hour.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the occupational therapy private practice (number of clients they are servicing per time)
  • The location of the occupational therapy private practice is covering
  • The management style of the occupational therapy private practice
  • The business approach and model of the occupational therapy private practice
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the occupational therapy private practice.
  • The number of years the occupational therapy private practice is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of an occupational Therapy Private Practice?

The profit margin of an occupational therapy private practice is not fixed, but after subtracting your overhead, you can make close to 45 percent as profit.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast of an occupational therapy private practice business. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States;

  • First Fiscal Year: $480,000
  • Second Fiscal Year: $750,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: $1.0 million
  1. Set Up your Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business?
  • The demography of the location especially as it relates to the aging population and people suffering from chronic diseases
  • The demand for occupational therapy private practice services in the location
  • The purchasing power of businesses and residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of occupational therapy private practices and other medical facilities in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City are Best to Open an Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business?
  • New York City, New York
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Rowland Heights, California
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Dallas, Texas.
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate an Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business?

When starting an occupational therapy private practice business, you will need first aid kits, an emergency preparedness kit, an emergency plan, among other things. In setting up a small office, you will need a computer, printer, software apps, telephones, pager, photocopier, scanner, and fax machine.

  1. Hire Employees

When it comes to starting a standard occupational therapy private practice facility business on a large scale, you would need the services of the following professionals; chief occupational therapist (OT) (you can occupy this position), occupations therapist assistant (OTA), administrator, front desk officer, and accountant (cashier).

  1. Launch the Business Proper

In recent times, no occupational therapy private practice opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party.

The bottom line is that with a proper launching of the business, you will officially inform people in your city that your occupational therapy private practice is open for business.

a. What Makes an Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business Successful?
  • Ability to attract clients regularly
  • Disciplined and dedicated workforce
  • The heart to serve and work with sick people
  • A good relationship with stakeholders
  • Good occupational therapy techniques and programs.
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at an Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business?
  • The occupational therapy private practice is open for the day
  • The required drugs and supplies are arranged to be used for the day
  • Occupational therapists and assistants are briefed in the office (in some cases though)
  • Occupational therapists and assistants are sent to homes where they provide their services
  • Marketing/website upkeep
  • Administrative duties are carried out
  • The business is closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build an Occupational Therapy Private Practice Business?

Here are some of the skills and experience you need to build an occupational therapy private practice business;

  • Good managerial and human development skills
  • Good healthcare ethics
  • An interest in helping other people, regardless of their condition.
  • The ability to communicate clearly and sensitively when talking to people and their families.
  • Good listening skills.
  • Great problem-solving skills and the ability to adapt and act accordingly to situations.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Experience working as an occupational therapist
  • Experience in the occupational therapy private practice industry