Many physicians aspire to open their own medical practice, whether it’s a solo practice or a group practice— as long as they have more control over the practice of medicine. Like with opening any type of business, starting your very own medical practice can be challenging. For starters, you are your own boss and all responsibility falls on your shoulders. Second, you’re in competition with other practices and hospitals. Luckily medicine and health care is something that everyone is going to need throughout their lifespan, but it’s still important to make a name for yourself and stand out from the competition.
Every physician is different, and some may hire a consultant to help them open their practice, but here are some steps you can take to open your medical practice on your own.
The Basics: Create Your Business Plan and Obtain Financing
No matter what type of business you’re opening, one thing you’ll definitely need to start off with is a business plan. A well-written business plan details a realistic projection of how well you expect your business to perform. This should include the cost of your medical equipment, staff, and other expenses, as well as any debt and how much money you expect to make. A business plan usually projects three to five years into the future.
Once you’ve created your business plan, you’re ready to obtain financing. A solid and realistic business plan will increase the chances of banks lending you money to open your practice, as many physicians find it hard to gain financing due to medical school debt. This is why it’s a good idea to submit your business plan to the medical division of a bank, or other financiers that specialize in financing medicine-related businesses.
Finding a Location for Medical Practice
The next step is finding a physical location for your practice. Waiting on approval for financing is a great time to search for locations. You’ll want your practice to be somewhere visible and accessible— especially if you’re an urgent care center— because people will want to find you quickly and have easy access. If you choose an older building as your practice, you may need to have some renovations done, so keep that in mind when searching for a location.
When you’ve settled on and purchased your location, it is now time to think about the different types of business insurance you may need. Medical malpractice insurance is a must-have, and so are commercial property insurance, group disability insurance, and business overhead expense insurance. Also, don’t forget about getting a tax ID and becoming established as a legal entity. You’ll want to have all legal matters taken care of before you open your doors.
Equipment and Staff
As a medical professional, you already have a good idea of the different types of equipment you’ll need, according to the type of practice you’re opening. However, when purchasing your equipment necessary to perform medical procedures, don’t neglect the simple, everyday equipment. These include: credit card processors, medical billing services, transcription software, and an electronic health record system.
Keep in mind that your staff is a reflection of you and your practice, so you’ll want to hire the most qualified medical professionals. You can post job openings for your practice on job search sites, such as Indeed, but you’re likely to see an influx of applicants and become overwhelmed with the hiring process. A better solution would be to post your opening on a niche job site for those trying to find an opening as an urgent care doctor, or whatever job title you’re hiring for.
If opening your own practice seems overwhelming, remember that there are resources available to help you with any concerns you may have. There are consultants that specialize in opening practices, and there are outsourcing companies that can help you with tedious tasks so you can focus on helping others.