Starting a private medical practice can be stressful. Luckily, there are ways to minimize overhead costs and maximize your profits from the outset.
Opening up your own practice can be one of the most rewarding accomplishments for any doctor or healthcare professional. Who doesn’t want to be a self-employed physician, provide a much-needed service to your community, make more money, and have the freedom to work with whomever, whenever?
However, before you begin setting up your solo practice and celebrating, there are a few things to keep in mind before the grand opening. Setting up a private medical practice comes with a range of unforeseen obstacles, overhead costs, and common mistakes when starting out.
Did you know? It often takes at least two years before an established medical practice starts to see increasing profits. (1)
Establishing your own medical practice can be stressful, but there are ways to minimize overhead costs and maximize your profits starting out!
7 simple tips for lowering overhead costs when starting a private practice
Trying to get your practice off the ground with the lowest overhead costs possible? Here are 7 simple tips to keep in mind when starting a private practice on a lean budget!
Keep your location & workforce small
Doctors may like the idea of opening up a big wellness center, but so much can go wrong with this concept. When it comes to the location and staff members for your private practice, remember less is more. When starting out, limit the number of staff you hire and keep the office space you rent or lease on the smaller.
Remember that staff members are an investment
When hiring for your private practice, it’s important to be ready and willing to invest more in staff with entrepreneurial experience in the healthcare field. Having staff members with adequate business knowledge who also share your values as a practitioner (& bedside manner) are key ingredients for standing out from the competition. Even a highly trained clinician may lack the business savvy to successfully manage a private practice. Remember, the success of any size medical practice is built on a well-oiled doctor-administrator partnership!
Choose the right electronic health records (EHR) & practice management tools
Running your own business can be overwhelming, but the right practice management tools and apps can really make all the difference! It will mean less screen time and more patient time. With new advances in tech, practitioners and their staff can spend less time on administrative duties and a lot more time focusing on better patient care.
When it comes to choosing practice management tools, it really depends on your specialty and client niche. Generally, you are going to want a program that allows you to make treatment plans, autosave, take notes, send invoices, collect payments, and easily integrates with any other online platforms you are thinking of using.
Questions to ask yourself when looking for EHR/Practice management tools:
- How much does this software cost?
- Is the software easy for my staff and myself to use?
- Does this software have functionalities I commonly use or would use?
- Could this software help me provide better care to my clients?
- Does the software fulfill my needs as both a practitioner and a small business owner?
- How does it compare to other software you’ve looked at?
Set up an online supplement dispensary
Recommending any supplements or vitamins to patients? You may want to consider using an online supplement dispensary platform. A digital dispensary generally requires no upfront cost and is a very easy way for a practice to start operating and growing with little to no risk involved.
In comparison to an in-office dispensary, a digital dispensary provides more product options, better patient adherence, and no headaches over inventory or expiration dates. Ideally, you want to find an online dispensary platform that easily integrates with the EHR system you are thinking of using.
Did you know? Want more guidance on what EMR platform is the right choice for your business? You can book a free EHR consultation with a Fullscript support team member today!
Set up a website with SEO blogs & online scheduling
In today’s age, almost everything is done on the internet and provides immediate gratification. Having a website with a frequently updated SEO blog and integrated practice management features can help grow your practice once it is up and running. By having an easily-navigated website and a way for patients to book and confirm appointments 24/7 online, you and your staff can spend less time handling the phones.
Ask a successful solo-practitioner for advice
Have any colleagues or know of a practitioner who recently launched a medical practice? Reach out to them and schedule a call or catch-up in person! When starting a private medical practice, a doctor has to create a sustainable balance between treating patients, running a successful small business, and their personal life.
It is always a good idea to ask someone with experience for advice. This also provides an excellent opportunity to build your referral network and establish your credibility with your local community.
Be prepared to work hard
If you want to establish a private practice, be ready to put your head down and put in the work. When you are building up your own practice, you- and you alone- are fully responsible for the outcome. Be ready to work a lot of hours and figure out what works. Be flexible and available for your patients. When you start a private practice, you want to make it as easy as possible for patients to work with you, which means sacrificing personal time.
Did you know? It is not uncommon for some physicians to lose money until a client base and steady referral network are established. (1)
The bottom line: are you ready to go solo?
Going solo in a world of group-practices means going against the flow, but it can be just the right thing for some physicians to do. Opening a private medical practice provides for an exciting opportunity if you are willing to take some risks.
Did you know? Physicians in the U.S. can join the American Medical Association. The association can provide guidance on legal, medical ethics, and practice management. (2)
When they find a healthy balance between patient care and business savvy, practitioners enjoy a high level of autonomy and a potentially lucrative career. Be ready to wear multiple hats and start thinking more like a business manager if you are going to open a private practice!