How to Create a Successful Private Practice Business Plan
If you’re a medical professional discerning whether you should start a private practice, it’s certainly a weighty decision with a lot of important factors to consider. Maybe you’ve been working for a hospital for some time and are wondering if going into business for yourself could be a better fit for you. You could also be fresh out of medical residency and are considering options for your next career move.
Starting your practice can be a very rewarding endeavor. You have a lot more control over things such as location and equipment and have more influence on your patients’ overall experience. At the same time, running your practice is not without its fair share of challenges to be overcome.
What’s in a Business Plan?
Doctors who run private practices often find there are two major factors vying for their time and attention: running the business and providing patient care. In private practice, you cannot have a practice without the business, and you cannot have a business without the practice. Both factors help to sustain each other. However, if you’ve decided to open a private practice you should prepare yourself that there may be some moments when, as a physician, you will have to decide which of these facets is most important.
If you prefer to focus all of your time and energy on providing patient care, starting your practice might not be the right choice for you. Working in a hospital also allows you to share patients with colleagues, which creates a better work-life balance for many physicians.
Alternatively, if you like having a bit more variety to your workload in addition to practicing medicine, then running a private practice will bring you the daily diversity you’re looking for. In addition to patient care, you’ll have the added responsibility of running the business and the many elements that are linked to that.
Private Practice Considerations
It’s not that you would automatically make more or less money by running a private practice versus working in a hospital. The two employment scenarios affect your salary in different ways. Working at a hospital will mean your salary might be more regular, but it’s connected to the revenue of the hospital. Budgeting for a private practice must include overhead and the salaries of anyone working with or for you in addition to your own salary, and this process is now something you’re directly involved in as a business owner.
What Are Your Four C’s?
For those familiar with the SWOT analysis technique of evaluating your personal or professional capabilities, the 4 C’s of your business plan will be something you can understand. Everyone can benefit from identifying these four elements in setting up their business plan. They allow you to evaluate your practice from a professional and personal standpoint so that you can make the right moves and create a business plan that reflects your ultimate goals and capabilities.
The Four C’s refer to four questions you can ask yourself when business planning for your private practice:
- What are your capabilities (strengths)?
- What are your challenges (weaknesses)?
- What are your chances (opportunities)?
- What are your concerns (threats)?
You might have answers that fall into multiple categories, and that’s fine. For example, your position as an emerging practice in a town where there wasn’t a practice like yours before is an opportunity, but it can also be a threat—there may be a reason a practice like yours doesn’t exist already. When you have all this down on paper and you know what you are truly up against, you will be better able to create a business plan that sets your private practice up for success.
Review Your Plan
One important part of business plan creation that often goes undone is the review of the plan over time. A business plan isn’t something that you create and walk away from. As your business grows and changes, you will likely find areas where you want to make changes to your business plan or where you need to modify goals and strategies that are being used, for one reason or another.
Regular reviews of your business plan, every six to 12 months (or as needed) will ensure that your practice is still on the right track and that your business goals are still on point. It will also give you a chance to add new strategies and business endeavors, as well as to plan for future expansion and growth. If things have changed, you can course-correct sooner than later, and make sure that your business plan keeps up with your practice as it grows.
How Can ClinicMind Software Help?
ClinicMind is a practice management solution that’s designed to deliver total practice management in a single platform. It streamlines many of the day-to-day business operations involved in private practice while also serving as a robust EHR/RCM system that makes keeping patient records simple and streamlined. ClinicMind can provide support for credentialing, billing and consultations, and more. With their dedicated support for all the business-related elements of your private practice, you will be able to spend your time taking care of your patients, which is part of the reason you chose to go private in the first place.
Any business is only as good as its initial business plan. Although you are in the business of caring for people, at the heart of it, your practice is still a business and it has to be treated as such. When you take the time to create a structured, solid business plan, you will be better able to follow the path that you’ve set forth for your practice and find success. As part of that plan, you should embrace tools like ClinicMind software that can help you streamline day-to-day operations so that the business end is taken care of and you have more time to spend with your patients. Find out more about how ClinicMind can help your private practice get down to business.