Simply having the right location, office space, equipment, and financing isn’t enough in business. Starting a new healthcare practice or growing your current practice requires having leadership skills and being business savvy — two things you may not have been taught in school. There are five key ideas to help you stay on track for practice success.
Create a Business Plan
A business plan is more than a tool for your lender. It helps establish your practice’s identity. It also helps create a path or steps for your short-term goals and long-term vision.
Planning ahead helps guide you as you make decisions about your practice. If it doesn’t fit in with your plan, it may not work for you or your practice. Your business plan should include a description of your healthcare practice, market analysis, and a profile for your desired patient/client. Review and update your plan every few years with your team to make sure it still suits your needs and goals.
Consider it a reference point to keep you on track to achieve your goals. The document also serves as a great training tool for new employees and makes sure current employees are in alignment with you and your vision.
Be a People Manager
As a dental, medical, or veterinary practice owner, being a competent people manager can help you attract and retain employees who help your practice operate effectively. Be sure to document practice policies and guidelines, which include having an employee handbook. Including job descriptions can help the team understand their responsibilities and set expectations.
Communication and being a good listener are important, too! Create an open, honest, safe environment for team members. When you can learn from and listen to one another, it helps ensure your success together.
Budget for Serious Marketing During Your Early Years
Consider setting aside a percent of collections toward attracting new patients. Establish a brand that reflects your practice’s vision. The brand should include your name, logo, and website. Work with a digital healthcare marketing company for help attracting and converting local leads into patients.
Consider hosting a grand opening. Invite patients and others who may send you referrals. Have your team help with the planning.
Since e-mail is the new direct mail, start collecting patient e-mail addresses, with their permission, from the start and use the e-mail newsletters as a way to drive traffic to your website. Community-focused tactics – such as supporting local non-profits or kids’ sports team – can also be an effective way to let neighbors know you have opened a practice.
Focus on Creating Cash Flow
For practice growth, you must collect enough revenue to cover your operating expenses, pay down debt, and make an adequate profit. One possible tactic is through a recall system in which you schedule the patient’s next visit at the end of the current appointment. This includes scheduling appointments for routine hygiene, vaccinations, or wellness exams.
Work with your financial consultant to understand your practice expenses, both fixed (those that do not change with practice activity, such as rent) and variable expenses (those that change proportionately with patient activity, such as supplies).
Have a Team of Advisors
Even as you embark on your practice journey, it is crucial to create a team of advisors. Working with a team of professionals including attorneys, CPAs, and real estate brokers who specialize in working with healthcare practices may help you save time and money.
But don’t stop working with this professional team when you open your practice doors. These team members may be able to offer help throughout your practice’s life. Professional associations may also offer services to help you maintain and grow your practice.
At LenDRgroup Consulting, we care about the long-term success of your practice. Whether you need services for practice financing or business consulting, we will create a customized plan to fit the unique needs of your practice and your career.
Our lending platform of 300+ dental and healthcare-specific lenders was developed with the purpose of helping dentists, veterinarians, and physicians. We want you to achieve your practice ownership goals while eliminating the obstacles associated with practice financing.
To date, we have helped hundreds of dental, medical, and veterinary professionals launch, expand, and grow their practices. LenDRgroup Consulting understands your business needs and can help you avoid costly mistakes. So, let’s get started. Contact us today for a consultation.