If you are a trained doctor and have the dream of opening your own medical practice, you’re not alone. A lot of medical professionals have the same vision. There’s just one problem: actually achieving this goal is seriously hard work.
Now if you have established yourself in a professional position at a hospital or different medical facility, you may believe that dream is inching closer and closer. Yet there are many challenges and complications to face before you can begin your own medical practice. However, if you manage to overcome these trials and tribulations, you will achieve one of the most rewarding accomplishments available in the medical trade.
To be a success in this field, you first need to begin with a plan that is both clear and detailed. That is where this guide can help. Below is a closer look at the main points you need to consider when starting your own medical practice.
Put Together A Business Plan
According to estimates, starting a medical practice can start from $70,000 and reach $100,000+. When you add in that average monthly costs sit at $6,000 in total, and you have a business that few people will be capable of financing on their own.
As a result, you must develop a detailed business plan that covers all aspects of your planned medical practice. This isn’t just to secure money for your planned company, either. It will also act as the guide you require when putting together the clinic’s infrastructure.
As for what your business plan will require, the following list highlights some of the main points:
- A projection for your anticipated revenue and expenses over the first three years of operation. Expenses will include everything from your building lease to equipment.
- A definition of your target market. It would help if you fully understood the clientele you plan to attract with your practice.
- The marketing strategy you plan to utilize. This will note the type of tactics you will use to attract new clients to your business.
- An analysis of the current market. This analyzes your area’s current competition and how you plan to successfully earn a slice of the market for your own clinic.
Not only is a business plan vital, but it is also a complex document to put together. If you feel overwhelmed about the thought of doing this on your own, there’s always the option of receiving assistance from attorney or business strategist.
As mentioned in the previous section, starting a medical practice is likely to set you back around the six-figure mark. This means you will typically need help when it comes to financing your dream. Sadly the process is made a little trickier due to one reason: student debt. Many doctors are dealing with significant debt due to medical school, and traditional lenders – aka banks – are usually against lending to those with a negative net worth.
With that said, many financial institutions feature a medical division. They are aware of the challenges doctors face when it comes to securing funding, and they specialize in assisting healthcare professionals to land the funding they need. This means if you have a strong, detailed business plan in hand, there’s a realistic chance of being successful with your loan application.
Don’t settle with just one bank when applying for a loan. You should submit your business plan to numerous banks. By doing this, you can view different terms and offers from each institution, and then decide on the right offer for your needs.
Select A Location
You have the financing, and the wheels are in motion for turning your dream into a reality. Now it’s time to find the right location for your medical practice.
There are various factors to ponder when it comes to deciding on a location. Arguably the most important is ensuring you’re in the right place for your target audience. If your clinic is positioned close to your potential clients, it will have a greater chance of succeeding.
Another point to consider is the office’s aesthetic. If you want to retain patients on a long-term basis, you want to create an inviting and warm atmosphere to raise morale levels. It will also be good for your own wellbeing due to how much time you’ll spend at the office. Other aspects to contemplate include the office size and ample parking for your clients.
Even though you might be tempted to purchase an office outright, it is advised you start off by renting. Then if you enjoy the property and see it as a long-term base for your business, you could take the steps to buy it down the road.
When your practice’s location is organized, you now need to fill it with the right equipment.
Of course, the medical equipment you require is dependent on the type of practice you’re operating. Yet there’s more than simply homecare medical supplies or tools to purchase online when it comes to running your own practice.
For instance, you will require computers and an applicable communication system for your office. This way, you can handle communication between you and your employees and send out messages and reply to your patients. Your reception staff will also need office supplies to complete their day-to-day duties.
Your waiting room also needs to be populated with comfortable furniture and welcoming décor. You don’t want patients to be unnecessarily uncomfortable while waiting for their appointments.
You cannot do all of the work on your own. You’ll need to hire the right professionals to work for your practice. While this is again down to the type of practice you’re operating, you will typically require a front office team and certified nurses. You could also consider outsourcing certain tasks; managing calls, for example, could be handled by an answering service for medical offices, allowing front office staff to focus exclusively on patients who come through the door.
To find the best individuals for the roles you have available, write detailed job descriptions and list the benefits employees will receive from working for your clinic. Also, ensure the hiring process is complete before your clinic officially opens – you want everyone ready to go before the first patient walks through the door.
Market Your Medical Practice
Marketing is an essential component for any business, and that includes your medical practice. It is recommended you start with your promotional efforts prior to the opening date for your clinic.
The basis of your marketing should be built around your online presence. More people than ever are looking for information about local businesses via the internet. As a result, you need to make sure your practice is front and center for relevant search queries.
Your online marketing efforts should begin with a website. As you’re operating a medical practice, your site must reflect the professionalism that clients seek from your business. Due to this, the design of your site should be modern and responsive. If you require assistance with this, it is advised to enlist the services of a web design agency or expert freelancer to complete the job.
This is only the start. Your online promotional tactics should also incorporate social media, PPC advertising, and Google My Business. The latter tactic, Google My Business, is particularly important. This ensures your business and all vital details show up in search results on Google and Google Maps. It’s also where clients can leave reviews about your clinic.
Aside from digital-based marketing, there’s still a place for traditional methods. A direct mail campaign, where you send out a leaflet to potential patients in the surrounding area, can be an effective way of letting them know about your presence and services offered.
Maintain Your Reputation
As referenced in the marketing section above, clients are available to leave reviews on your company’s Google My Business account. This is a great way for other people to see the quality of service your clinic offers to patients.
At least, that’s the case if you only receive positive reviews.
If you start receiving one or two-star reviews, your reputation is soon going to be damaged. Other people will see these scores and the comments of disgruntled patients, and they will be dissuaded from visiting your practice.
Because of how impactful these negative reviews can be, you need to follow the right steps for online reputation management for doctors. This management includes continually monitoring reviews, responding in a professional and understanding manner to all reviews, and burying negative reviews, so they don’t immediately appear.
If you require assistance with maintaining your online reputation, consider enlisting a digital marketing agency’s services to help with circumventing negative results.
Your general practice is up and running. You have a steady stream of patients coming through the door and you’re turning over a profit. This is all great news, but this is also no time to rest with what you have. You need to conduct regular evaluations of your clinic’s performance.
To do this effectively, hire either a consultant or accountant. They will have experience in monitoring clinics like yours, and they will be able to evaluate everything from employee performance to ensuring all of your expenditures are legit.