4 essentials for starting a successful health care practice

It’s no secret that health care is a growing industry. As the Baby Boomer population ages and more people become insured, the demand for health care in the United States is expected to continue to grow rapidly.

Nearly $3.4 trillion was spent on health care in the United States in 2016, a number projected to grow to $5.5 trillion by 2025, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

For the many health care practitioners who dream of having a piece of the pie and meeting the demand for quality care, the following tips could help you realize your goal of starting and maintaining your own practice. And, if your interests and pursuits are in another industry, these suggestions very well could apply to those business segments as well.

1) Build the right team

While the ever-changing climate of health care has added complexities, so have the resources to help health care professionals be successful. One of the best resources you can have if you’re looking to start your own practice is an experienced network of advisers.

Creating a start-up team that consists of professionals with the health care experience, insight and expertise will help you make informed decisions on how to finance, market and operate your new practice.

This team should include your business banker or financial adviser, accountant, marketing consultant, attorney, a health-care-focused real estate broker, and a mentor or business coach, among others. It’s imperative to do your research to make sure that the professional team you surround yourself with has the required credentials and a good reputation.

2) Have a vision

Having a clear vision of the goals for your health care practice will help give you clear direction and guidance. Your vision should include what you want your practice to look like and what you want to achieve in the future. The more specific you are, the greater the chance you have of seeing your vision through and recruiting others to help you achieve your vision.

Write your vision down and describe how it will become a reality. Share it with your team. Once you build your practice, your vision may serve as a road map to keep your team and business on track while working toward your long-term destination.

3) Develop your brand

Research shows that people don’t have relationships with products; they are loyal to brands. Having a brand identity is critical to your business because it’s what differentiates your practice from the next.

Your personal brand is your living legacy. It starts with you at your core as a human, doctor and business owner. Your brand should feel natural, sincere and comfortable to you as the leader most accountable for maintaining it authentically. When your personal brand perfectly matches who you are at your core, it’s far easier for you to match it to the culture of your clinic and the actual experience of your patients.

To get started, I recommend drafting what you would consider an ideal review from a patient and enlisting a brand consultant.

4) Create a business and financial plan

A well-thought-out business plan may help you establish and stay focused on practice goals and objectives while also acting as an indispensable tool for communicating business objectives to lenders, contractors and staff. By making it a habit to refresh your business plan on a regular basis, you also can be better prepared for unexpected opportunities, such as the perfect new location or a great deal on new practice equipment or technology.

Your business plan is also useful when applying for financing. Some graduates leave dental, medical and veterinary schools with a dream of owning their own practice and being in charge of their future. However, with the amount of student loan debt they may have after graduation, they often believe they can’t qualify for a business start-up loan and may even wonder if they already have too much of a financial burden to own a practice.

This belief couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, some lenders may extend a business loan against future practice earnings.

By working with a lender who works exclusively with health care practices, physicians can better understand what their financial picture looks like and create a road map for their future. Furthermore, choosing the appropriate type of financing generally plays a big role in the success of your business.

Options you may want to discuss with your business banker include:

  • Student loan repayment plans
  • A business credit card or line of credit for conveniently paying for everyday expenses and building your business profile
  • A practice finance loan to purchase business equipment
  • A real estate loan to purchase property

It is possible to own and operate a successful practice. By asking the right questions and aligning yourself with the right business banker from the start, you set yourself and your practice up for long-term victory.


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