How to Start a Medical Practice: The Main Steps to Take

how to start a medical practice business steps

Starting a medical practice is easy. Starting a medical practice that thrives is another story altogether.

Indeed, primary care doctors are under increasing pressure in America these days. In the 4 years leading up to 2016, for instance, office visits decreased by 18%. Patients, according to that same source, are moving away from traditional practices in favor of large-scale urgent care centers that offer cheaper and faster support.

That’s not exactly music to the ears of anybody wondering how to start a medical practice of their own! However, don’t be put off.

Anybody interested in opening their own successful practice (and enjoying the autonomy it provides) can 100 percent make it happen. They just need to go about it in the right way!

Like the sound of setting up a medical practice and want some insight into how to do it? Keep reading to discover the main steps you’d need to take.


Create a Business Plan

Opening a medical practice is like starting a business.

After all, you have to attract patients, drive revenue, and pay peoples’ wages! Treating it as a business from the outset will set you up for success in the long run.

As all business owners know, starting with a solid plan of action is crucial.

Project yourself into the future. Where do you want your practice to be in 5 or 10 years’ time? Set yourself specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-sensitive goals according to your vision.

Next, write down the step-by-step process through which you’ll achieve them. From there, consider your target market, how you’ll market to them, potential obstacles that could arise (and how to overcome/avoid them), how much outside investment you’ll need, and so on.


Conduct In-Depth Market Research

Imagine a business that doesn’t understand the market it’s entering. It’s a one-way ticket to trouble! They risk targeting the wrong audience, creating a product/service that nobody wants, and launching at the wrong time, to name just a few possible problems.

The same goes for starting a medical practice.

Both rushing and forgoing the research stage can stifle your chances of success from the start. For instance, you could find the ‘perfect location’ only to realize your target demographic lives nowhere nearby, or set up in a place where there’s already a thriving practice.


Handle the Legalities

Want our top piece of advice in terms of handling the legal side of setting up a medical practice?

Work with a professional health care attorney.

They’ll have all the expertise and experience to guide you through your legal and fiscal obligations. Remember, this isn’t a part of the process in which you want to make mistakes or cut corners! Even minor, unintentional errors can come back to bite you.

In short, though, the legal side comes down to getting credentialed.

You have to prove that you’re licensed, organize insurance, and pick a legal structure. Only then will you be able to access patient insurance and get paid! FYI, this process can take a long time (think months); we suggest getting started on it ASAP.


Organize Funding

Do you have enough money in the bank to open a practice without financial support? Well, you can skip this step! For everyone else, it’s time to sort out funding.

Remember the business plan you made in step one? Hopefully, you’ll have put some thought into how much cash you’ll need to get up and running. Conduct some further research and tot up the cost of rent, furniture, technology, staff, and supplies.

Knowing how much money you need is key when you’re going to banks and other sources of investment. Oh, and don’t forget to take your business plan along. If you can demonstrate how much revenue you’ll be generating in due course, you’re more likely to be allocated the cash.


Find Somewhere to Practice

Things are starting to get exciting! It’s time to find somewhere to set up shop.

The location of your practice is, of course, vital. You want somewhere that’s at the heart of the community you want to serve, with easy transport links, and minimal competition from other practices.

One option is to find existing practices where the physician is hoping to move on. Whether they’re retiring, taking a sabbatical, or moving elsewhere, you could take the practice off their hands (assuming it ticks the right boxes). This has obvious benefits!

After all, the infrastructure’s already in place. Like moving into a furnished home, the equipment, staff, and patients are all there for you to take on.


Hire Your Staff

You’re almost ready to start! First, though, you have to hire the team who’ll help get your practice off the ground.

The roles you need to fill will depend on your particular circumstances. Nevertheless, whether it’s a nurse, health care assistant, radiographer, or secretary, anybody you bring into the team should fulfill certain criteria. Ensure that they’re hard-working, willing to learn, conduct themselves with a positive attitude, and, of course, have the right skills and experience for the job.

Find out more about hiring an accountant as well. They’ll be able to monitor your income and expenses, helping you avoid cash flow problems that often hamstring new medical practices.

From there, all that’s left to do is get started. Open your doors to patients, market your new practice in the community, and strive to deliver the best possible service! As word of mouth spreads, your clinic should start to prosper.


Now You Know How to Start a Medical Practice

Starting and running a thriving medical practice in today’s changing world isn’t always easy.

The key to success is knowing how to start a medical practice in a way that’s conducive to its prosperity. Hopefully, the steps that we’ve highlighted in this post will help you do exactly that.

Give it a shot! You won’t regret it. The freedom and personal agency that come from setting up a medical practice are well worth the risk, hard work, and effort involved.

Would you like to read more articles like this one? Then check out the rest of our blog to learn more about how to start a medical practice successfully.

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