When it comes to how exactly they want to practice medicine, many professionals are drawn to the idea of starting their own practice. This gives them more autonomy over how they want to go about treating their patients, as well as having the potential to get a larger income if they are successful. However, with this opportunity comes some major costs. Perhaps the largest issue you need to grapple with is the fact that you are no longer just a medical professional. You are also a business owner, and this means managing a whole new set of responsibilities and tasks. Here’s a look at some of the best methods you can take to while approaching these issues.
Finding What Makes Your Business Unique
If you were to work at, say, a hospital or similar setting, the only thing you need to focus on is the top standard of care for your patients. Of course, you would want to do the same for your own practice, but there are other things you need to think about, like how to best outperform your competition and get patients. This means that especially early on, you need to be willing to do a lot of self-assessment about what sets your practice apart. In some cases, this may be easy, like you have specific expertise or piece of equipment your competition doesn’t. In other cases, though, it may be harder. You may need to zero in on something like a convenient location or speed of processing. This is especially important when we talk about the next point.
Marketing may seem like something far removed from your duties as a medical professional. However, when you own a practice, you need to find ways to market to potential patients so they know what makes your business appealing.
How do you decide the best way to work through your marketing? Think about your audience. Depending on your specialty and your target patient group, you’re going to want to use different channels. For example, older people are going to have very different marketing plans compared to young families. This can mean using conventional mailers, social media/digital ads, or other methods. Just always think about the patients you plan on reaching.
We mentioned before that running your own practice presents an additional cost compared to working for an existing one. However, we should run down some of those costs for your reference. There are some of the obvious costs like renting/leasing office space as well as getting equipment, but there are other considerations to make as well. These include:
- Renovations to office space for equipment storage
- Office equipment and furniture, along with your medical equipment
- Running a website/establishing a digital presence
- Working with consultants on business ownership
- Tax/legal professionals
- Medical materials
- Payroll for all employees
Where you decide to outsource work will have a lot to do with your prices. For example, most doctors tend to leave their marketing in the hands of either an agency or outside professional. This shores up their lack of expertise in this area and allows them to focus on areas where they have more working knowledge.
In addition, many medical professionals try to find ways to cut down on these costs, especially in the beginning. This can be accomplished in a few ways, but one of the most common is buying gently used medical equipment early on. The impact on the quality of care you provide can be minimal, but you still get a price cut to work with.
Owning a business versus working at one instantly places you in the position of having to manage people. One of the most important decisions you’re going to make early on is hiring critical employees in your practice. It’s important that you have a good idea of what traits are going to make good employees so you can fill those roles appropriately. At the same time, a practice just starting out may not be able to draw in those top-level prospects. You may need to lower your standard or offer some sort of incentive if you can’t pay top salaries.
Along with hiring the right employees is learning to manage them. This means not only being able to delegate effectively but also being willing to hear their concerns. As a business owner, while you should be aware of everything going on, your energy is going to be spent in a lot of different areas. Your employees offer fresh perspectives that may be useful to you.
A major component of success in any area of small business, as we’ve already discussed, is efficiency. However, efficiency is not just finding ways to speed up your business operations, but ways to eliminate or alter tasks that could slow you down. Managing your medical certification is a key example of this. How so? You and your relevant staff (nurses, assistants, etc.) need to be on top of their certification to stay compliant and have all the latest knowledge to best serve your patients. However, in normal circumstances, this could mean potentially having to go to get classroom instruction and waste valuable time.
Online certification gives people the ability to do all this remotely at their own pace, which is a timesaver for your business in a variety of different ways. The key, though, is making sure you work with a provider that isn’t going to compromise on quality in the name of convenience. To strike that balance, be sure to work with our experts at ProMed. We offer certification and recertification courses that hold to AHA and ILCOR guidelines, including certifications in ACLS, CPR, BLS, and PALS. Feel confident with our 100% money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
Subscribe to ProMed Certifications | Medical Training Blog
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox