With a growing population and the recent expansion of healthcare coverage in America, this is an exciting time to start a medical practice.
Demand for doctors is slated to skyrocket over the coming years and advancements in technology and easier access to funding have made traditional barriers to entry melt away. But like all business ventures, there are risks and hazards if you aren’t properly prepared.
Let’s take a look at how to build a solid foundation to give your practice the best opportunity of success.
A solid foundation is especially crucial
A medical practice isn’t a simple retail store that can change its inventory on a dime or easily move to another town if business slows. Indeed, medical practices take years to build up and to earn your clients’ trust.
In fact, you should allow for at least 9 months to plan, prepare, and set up a medical practice. Making mistakes early in the process can be tremendously costly to go back and fix (if not impossible), and it’s imperative that issues such as revenue streams, software licenses, and staff are well organized and planned from the beginning
You’ll also want to thoroughly consider the following:
No business of any kind can sustain itself without a well-structured and consistent financial flow and plan. This is especially true for medical practices, which inevitably earn clients more slowly than other industries.
It’s a good idea to build a strong relationship with your bank to determine the possible immediate and long-term needs in your business early on, such as an operating line of credit for shortfalls or a business credit card for expenses such as office supplies until cash flow improves.
This will take much of the pressure off the practice at the beginning.
Location, location, location
Like it or not, once you’re inside a brick and mortar building, you’re stuck with the clientele that lives near you. Make sure you know the lay of the land well. Are there local politics you should be aware of? Are there prevalent health issues in the area? Will your particular services be in demand in this location?
These are all incredibly important things to research prior to renting a building. You may even want to consider the staff you’ll be hiring from the area—could some of them work remotely, which could save you money?
Make sure you have all of these questions answered before making any concrete moves (no pun intended).
It might seem like management issues wouldn’t become a problem until your practice is long past its infancy, but the early stages of development are vital to setting the structures and systems for your business.
For instance, choosing your EHR (electronic health records) system might be the most important decision you make. This software will track everything that happens in your office, and you’ll surely want to do some research to see which software you like the best. Picking a poor EHR can result in massive financial losses should a new system be required.
Now you’re ready to avoid some of the pitfalls that many new practitioners make. Don’t fall victim to the same mistakes. Follow this guide and be prepared!