Are you a young doctor with dreams of opening your own practice? If so, click here for a helpful guide on how to start a successful medical practice.
For many newly trained doctors, the dream of starting up a medical practice is a common one.
However, starting a practice can be challenging, to say the least.
Thankfully, though, there are some steps newly trained doctors can take to reduce the stress associated with opening up a new medical practice.
In fact, if you keep reading, you'll learn exactly what you can do to make the journey of opening up a medical practice, a smooth one.
Think About How You're Going to Fund Your Medical Practice :
It costs a lot of money to start a medical practice. You need to think of starting a practice in the same way you'd think about starting a business.
To begin with, you need to figure out how you're going to fund the opening of your practice. If you do not have your own money to invest into your practice you can instead use a small business loan to help you get the ball rolling.
Obtaining a loan can seem like a daunting prospect - especially if you already have a lot of debt from learning how to be a doctor. In some cases, you may be able to seek out a portion of the funding you need, from the government. You can do this by checking the government website designed to assign grants/federal funds.
You will need to present a solid case if you are going to obtain funding. For instance, you could say that your medical practice is going to serve an unmet need in the area - such as rehab center.
Not all practices that apply for funding will receive funding. You need to be prepared for this scenario. If you find out that you are not going to receive funding, you might feel like abandoning your dreams of starting a practice.
However, it always helps to keep some perspective, of which can help make the idea of obtaining a loan somewhat less daunting. You are not seeking out a loan to invest in some sort of untried business idea/concept. You are seeking out a loan to invest in a medical practice.
People will always need the help of a medical practice.
Provided you are not entering a location saturated with existing practices, there will be a long-term demand for your services. This means that it should not be too hard to turn a profit - and therefore pay off your loan.
Make Sure You Obtain the Proper Credentials :
If you are going to run a medical practice you need to obtain the right credentials.
For most practices, there are three main credentials that should be sought out, before seeking and treating patients.
The first is a 'state license.' This is a license you obtain from the state in which you reside. This will make it so that you are recognized by their medical board.
The second credential is something known as a National Provider Identifier. This is a number used by insurance companies that helps them keep track of the healthcare providers they are working with.
The third credential is a DEA registration. The initials DEA stand for Drug Enforcement Agency. This credential is required by a practice that wants to prescribe medication.
You may need to seek out more credentials than what has been listed here. What you need will ultimately depend on what services your medical practice is going to offer. For instance, if you are going to offer X-Rays, you will need to seek out a credential for that.
How to Get the Best Results When Marketing Your Practice :
If you want your practice to be profitable, you need to put some thought into how you are going to market your practice. You should not assume that people will find your practice, simply because you've built one.
Before you think about specific marketing tactics - you first need to think about what your medical practice is going to offer potential patients. The people who are going to be using your practice will likely have specific problems or goals.
Someone might want help with a certain procedure, or they might want some help to prevent an issue. A very basic example of this might be a 'flu shot.'
In the modern era, marketing can take many forms. In simple terms, though, you can either focus on marketing online or offline. For many medical practices, online marketing can provide the fastest return on investment.
With that in mind, let's take a look at what you can do to get the best results when marketing your practice online.
What You Can Do to Market Your Practice Online :
There are two methods you can use to market your practice online - organic marketing or paid marketing.
With organic marketing, you will create specific content, based on the topics people in your local area will be searching for online.
When such people find your content, there's a good chance that they'll reach out to so they can learn more. That is because they will perceive you as an authority, after having read your content. If you live in Seattle, an example of such content might be 'how to get the flu jab in Seattle.'
You can also make use of paid marketing.
To do this, you can use a platform known as Google AdWords. This platform allows you to advertise your practice when people type in certain keywords.
Similar to our earlier example, you can make it so that your practice appears when someone searches the keyword 'flu shot Seattle,' for example. If you run a rehab center, you might focus on a keyword such as 'find rehab centers.'
When you are using the AdWords platform, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. You can find out how much it is going to cost you 'per click' by using the Google Keyword Planner. This tool will also help you identify other keywords that are worth targeting.
Focus on Hiring High-Quality Staff :
If you are a fledgling practice, you need to do everything in your power to develop a good reputation amongst your local community.
Apart from doing stellar work - one of the best ways to establish a good reputation is by hiring high-quality staff. You want to hire people who are competent as well as friendly and approachable.
Competent staff will protect your reputation by doing good work. Friendly and approachable staff will leave a good impression on people when they first interact with your practice.
This is especially relevant for the people who are going to be answering the phones or working on the help desk. After all, for a lot of potential patients, these members of staff will be the first people they interact with in regards to your practice
During the initial interview, you should get a good sense of whether or not someone will fit the criteria laid out above. Of course, even if someone seems like a good fit at first, it is essential that you provide some training. This training will ensure staff knows what is expected of them.
If you find someone who will be a great fit in your practice, but they'd like to be paid a little bit more, consider making the investment. The positive impact they'll have on potential patients can have a massive impact on your reputation.
This can help you earn back the little bit more you are paying, in a relatively short period of time
Invest in the Right Software :
Running a practice can become very complicated, very quickly. Luckily, you can use practice management software to help make things easier. Different practices have different needs. It is hard to recommend which one will be best, for your practice specifically.
If you want to find the right software, first assess your needs. You may require some unique features that are only found in specialist forms of management.
Should you find a software that looks promising, read some reviews on it. Be careful though - some websites will promote a software they think is bad, just because they're getting a commission to do so.
Therefore, in order to obtain a genuine review, try to find reviews that come from other doctors.
These people will be in the best position to detail how good the software is at doing its job.
Whenever invest in any software, make sure your team members are fully trained on how to use it. Otherwise, they will run into problems with the software, when the practice is open during the day. This can lead to frustrated patients, thereby harming your reputation.
The task of opening a medical practice can feel so challenging, that if you ever get around to opening one, it can feel as though you've performed a medical miracle.
In this post, we've gone through some of the things you need to keep in mind if you're thinking about opening a practice. You need to focus on how you're going to fund your practice but also on obtaining the proper credentials.
You also need to think about how you're going to market your practice.
This can all feel a bit overwhelming at the moment. But if you take things one step at a time, it won't be long before you're running a thriving practice of your own.
Want to learn more about marketing your practice online? Check out our marketing section to learn more!
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