There is no better price than free. It's true, many a bargain can be had on the internet these days, and lots of them come with a free price tag. I've used many of these things to help grow my business very successfully - and quickly to boot. Below is a rundown (in no particular order) of the top 5 FREE services I've used to help grow my business.
1. Practice Fusion - This FREE EMR is what I used for many years before switching to WebPT (more on the in the future). This has a pretty interactive layout and is easy to learn to use. It is based more around an MD rather than a PT, but the basic note format is still SOAP note. Templates are provided, but you can build your own (I recommend that) and once you learn how to work it, it's pretty straightforward. You can fax from the application, the patients have access to a portal, and you can have edocs scanned right in! If you're just starting out and pinching pennies, I highly recommend Practice Fusion.
2. Pixlr - this is a free online photo editing app- it works across all platforms (Windows, Mac, Chromebook) and is pretty powerful for the lay user. I created a book cover (or free report cover) using this very easily. You can check out the video HERE. You can edit, distort, layer images the way you want them. Think of it like a lightweight adobe image editor. If you have any need to modify images this is a great free option.
3. Mailchimp. If you aren't emailing your current list, you should be. Mailchimp is a great option to keep in touch, and it recently rolled out some limited automation features, even for the free user, so that you can help generate personalized emails on the fly based off user action, rather than you having to set everything in motion manually. The free Happy Birthday automation is worth it alone (patients love to be recognized on their birthday). I recently got a little wrist slap because I had recommended the next step up, Infusionsoft, (click the link for a demo) but for some it is cost prohibitive - Mailchimp is a great way to start out for those looking to spend their money on other business necessities.
4. Thinkific - This is a fantastic online course creator! This is the next step for both my physical therapy business and business development company- we now live in an age of information. Folks want to learn more before they ever commit to purchasing. Online courses (free or paid) are a great way to educate folks on what you can offer and some solutions before they ever even speak to you. This generates trust, authority, and expertise - all for free. The free program is great, and you can host an unlimited amount of courses, all for free- if you decide to offer a paid course, they take a little bigger piece of the pie than if you used the paid version.
5. Buffer - this is an online social media tool that allows you to post simultaneously to multiple accounts (for example: Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus). You can post immediately or put things in a queue to schedule out - you get to decide the frequency for each account. Now the free version has a limit to how many accounts you can connect. And it can only schedule Instagram posts, not post them for you (something in Instagram bylaws I believe). But to get a message out without have to copy paste into multiple applications is great and a wonderful place to start. Others out there, like Hootsuite, can do similar (and also have a free version) but they have a dashboard where you can manage all your accounts directly - you choose your destiny!
6. Lucidpress - my design suite. I've recently upgraded to a paid version to allow more users to access my account, but this fantastic suite is my design studio. It's where I designed my book, make all my free reports, handouts, trifolds etc (you can even order from them to print, and it's pretty affordable for most products). You can even offer link to access the information online and make it interactive if that is your thing.
6.5 - All the rest. Too many great options out there not to include more- here is a smorgasbord of options that I use everyday as well- maybe not my flagship accounts, but ones I find very useful!
Retype - inspirational message customizer.
Youtube- I don't need to explain this, do I?
Google Docs - a whole suite of document editing for free? Yes Please!
HEP2Go - Home exercise creation software- for free - and the paid version? only 5$ a month and you can brand it with your company info (hint, I use the print outs as a way to give a download to a potential client in exchange for their information).
Eric is a working physical therapy business owner and full time therapist and clinician. He's been through it all. If you're looking for realistic tips, tricks, support, and a community of like-minded professionals and students to help grow with- this is for you.
It is my goal with this group to pass on my knowledge of business, clinical skills, marketing (Facebook, Adwords, and more!) and life stories to help those wanting to grow their self skills, their business, or simply be part of a community of learners and leaders. Welcome to Sockdolager Wellness Company.
Eric is a Physical Therapist who owns his own clinic in Chandler AZ. He is the author of Breathe Better, a father to 3 awesome kids, and a husband to Ashley who is also a physical therapist.