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5 business plan mistakes to avoid when starting a medical practice
A strategic approach to your business plan can ensure your medical practice is not only up and running smoothly, but continues to grow and achieve optimum patient outcomes. Avoid these common pitfalls and you’ll be on your way to getting your exciting new practice off the ground.
1. An ill-determined business structure
When starting your practice, your plan needs to evaluate your business structure, staffing needs, local and regional competitors, as well as the short-term, mid, and long-term goals for your practice growth.
If these are not clear from the outset, then you won’t be able to communicate your plan effectively to staff, as well as stakeholders like banks and investors, which could significantly impact your ability to obtain finance.
2. You don’t plan early enough
Starting a practice takes time, and patience, but don’t be too eager to make that leap to start out on your own without ensuring you plan well ahead.
Whether you’re starting out or restructuring your existing practice, any planning takes time, and most likely a lot more than you anticipate.
Failing to develop your plan early enough could mean you miss valuable steps in evaluating each part of your practice in the detail and care needs, and giving rise to potential missed opportunities.
Even when staff, stakeholders, and finances look promising, unforeseen delays need to be accounted for, and there’s certainly nothing you can do to speed up administrative processes like credentials and licensing.
3. Not shopping around for finance
Most practices require a financial structure and a loan from a bank or financial institution. Failing to shop around for the right finance option can limit your options both at the start, and in the future, as the practice grows. Try to examine at least three different options in terms of loan structures, interest rates, fees, and terms and conditions relevant to securing the fund your practice needs.
4. Failing to future-proof your practice
In the beginning, everything is an investment, and making the right decisions to future-proof your practice can have a huge impact as your practice evolves to adapt today’s digital and data-enabled health ecosystem.
Before you install the latest equipment or software, do a cost-benefit analysis and see what solution can really give you true value – or help generate efficiencies, costs savings to help drive additional revenue.
For instance, setting up in as little as two weeks, Helix, a cloud-based practice management software solution from MedicalDirector, allowed We Care Medical Centre to leverage an easy to use, flexible and mobile solution from the very start, freeing up more time to focus on growing the practice and enabling better patient care.
5. Over-complicating your plan
The best business plans are simple, agile and offer scope for scalability. As a start, you need to consider as a foundational exercise:
- how many patients you expect to visit your clinic weekly
- whether you need any referrals
- how you will target new patients
- the patient demographics in your region
- setting your fees and charges
- your projected weekly income
Obtain as much professional advice as you can across the appropriate medical networks and associations in the beginning, to ensure your plan is well-defined, transparent, and aligned with your ultimate vision for your new practice.