Starting your own business is one of the best things you can do to push your career forward. Medical practices are no different. With no overhead institution to restrain you, you have complete freedom to steer your progress, explore new procedures, and choose a specialization. However, with the safety net of full-time employment removed, the responsibility for getting this ambitious idea off the ground falls entirely on your shoulders.
You don’t need to worry too much, though. Here, we will provide you with some basic steps you need to make to put your medical practice on a solid foundation.
Develop a business plan
In the world of business, it all starts with a comprehensive written plan. This document should roughly describe the ownership structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, etc.), goals and milestones, marketing strategies, the expected revenue (based on thorough market research), and necessary funding. Having all these topics covered in written form is not only a great way to keep your practice focused – it also makes an essential tool for negotiating with investors.
Now that you have some general idea of how your practice will look like, it is time to secure funding for your new venture. The fact that you are starting a medical practice should make the whole process easier. For instance, the US government designates federal funding for clinics that meet the definition of a federally qualified center. Alternatively, you can resort to regular small business channels like bank loans, angel investors, venture capitalists, and local small business offices.
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Get the necessary equipment and materials
If you’ve written the plan accurately, the funding you’ve secured should be able to cover all of the startup costs. Be that as it may, we would like to use this opportunity to point out some hidden costs you may have overlooked in your financial projections like perishable equipment, subscription to web-based services, furniture, heaters, etc. Also, take into consideration that medical facilities demand lighting to be strong and reliable, so allocate some funds for this upgrade as well.
Find a favorable location
As soon as your business makes a solid foothold and starts generating word of mouth and referrals, the location of the practice will become of secondary importance. However, during the company’s infancy, the location of the practice must meet several requirements:
- Foot traffic that generates enough walk-ins
- The absence of direct competition
- The local population that can financially support your services (market research required)
- Fitting layout (waiting room, enough space to operate freely, natural light, etc.)
If you need to give up some of these things, that would be the absence of direct competition. Booked competitors may inadvertently transfer some impatient clients to you.
Obtain necessary licenses
Of course, the doors you will need to knock on will differ from country to country and even from state to state. But, generally speaking, running a private medical practice means you need to possess the following documents:
- National/state medical license
- Narcotics license
- Proof of membership in national/state medical association
- Health department permits
- Fire department permits
- Business bank account
- General small business license
- Sales tax number
Assemble a functional team
If you want your practice to thrive, your medical team needs to be capable, efficient and coordinated. That is why the employment interviews should put equal focus on professional credentials, as well as personal traits and interpersonal relationships. Allow the candidates to interact with each other and perform demonstrations together to see how well they are capable of working as a team. Also, try to identify what drew candidates to medicine – passionate employees are drivers of success.
And that’s pretty much it. From this point on, the future of your practice will depend entirely on your effort and ability to reach out to new clients. But, that’s a discussion for some other time. The most important thing now is that your small company is ready to launch and set up for success.