Provided By Colin Wiens, MBA, CFP® Regional Director at Larson Financial Group
For physicians seeking the autonomy and flexibility that comes with being your own boss, the appeal of private practice is understandable. Branching out from the hospital community to take a step into private practice can be one of the most rewarding, yet challenging experiences of your career. Despite all of the changes happening in healthcare, studies from Physicians Foundation and the AMA have shown that doctors in physician-owned practices are more satisfied than those working for hospitals or larger delivery systems.
There are several locations throughout the U.S. where a private practice could be successful and profitable. Many doctors don’t comprehend the amount of work and effort that goes into starting your own practice. Consider these guidelines as a starting point to launching your own practice.
Covering the Basics
For starters, find a location that is suitable for your personal preference, but is also highly visible and in a heavily-marketed area. In addition to your budget, whether you are looking for a small or large practice could also make certain locations less viable. Take the time to calculate your budget and figure out if you want to slowly build up your practice or purchase everything all at once. If you choose to get the support of a lender, many banks have specialty departments that lend exclusively to doctors and offer attractive rates and terms.
As a physician, you are probably cognizant of lawsuit risks and property damage that come with running your own practice. Take action well in advance and invest in a business insurance plan that will protect your personal and commercial assets. This plan could include, but is not limited to: general liability insurance, property insurance, malpractice insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, business liability insurance, and personal disability income insurance.
Building a Lively Culture for Your Practice
An essential part of your practice is your medical staff. When the hiring process begins, look for highly-motivated candidates that are as invested as you are. It is common for a private practice to have a receptionist, medical assistants, nurses and legal/financial management. Surround yourself with the right people that will make you and your patients’ experience a positive one.
Having a good accountant is especially important, preferably somebody who has past experience handling business taxes, record keeping and payroll for a medical practice. As a business owner, you’ll likely be entering into multiple contractual agreements at some point. Having a competent attorney at your disposal to review all of your contracts and accommodate any legal issues that may come along is also a wise decision for any business owner.
Standing Out from the Crowd
If you want to establish and develop a successful business, you must sell yourself and your practice. Create a marketing strategy that will pinpoint ways for you to stand out among the rest of private practitioners. Get your name out there by meeting people face to face. Introduce your company to members of the community such as pharmacists, the township and the police department.
Not only is it important to get your business to stand out, you also want to make sure your office has updated décor, supplies and equipment. Furniture and room décor may not seem like a huge factor, but a welcoming environment is actually quite significant for a patient’s overall experience and satisfaction. Up-to-date medical equipment is also just as important.
Through all the work, stress and time you will put into starting up your private practice, be sure to take some time for yourself. Practice management can be exhausting and cause burnout, so it is important you set aside time to do the activities you enjoy. Keep in mind that private practice is not for everyone, that’s why it is best to understand the process of launching your own practice before moving forward with it.
This article was written by Larson Financial Group, LLC and provided courtesy of Colin Wiens, MBA, CFP®, Regional Director. Advisory Services offered through Larson Financial Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through Larson Financial Securities, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.