Health professionals are enclosed in the four walls of their clinics, yet part of us knows the real opportunity is waiting for them outside.
Yes! There's more to medical practice than taking care of your patients. If you have ever had an inkling that the point of health care is not merely locking you as the practitioner into an ever increasing series of doctor-patient relationships, then this article series is for you.
As healthcare practitioners, we are thought to be flexible - those graveyard shifts, different cases we handled and multiple demands on our time - so it's easy to go with the flow when it comes to considering private practice. Or maybe, we’re seeking advice from the practitioners around you, or asking people we've met along with path of practice to teach us what it's like to work as an independent health professional and run our own business. Trouble is, these practices are unlikely prepare us to be successful medical business owners - which is what you are, even if you're working in partnership with someone else more business savvy than you. You remain responsible for your own path. Your business is the one of the greatest opportunities to “make good” on the investment of all those years of work and study. It's also the biggest risk of losing more than $100,000 or more in business set up and even more in opportunity costs.
Your current level of business education and support may not be enough to withstand the race of entrepreneurship.
First thing’s first: you need to know the different stages of a business (any professional services business) and pay close attention to it and how it applies to medical businesses. For the ease of reference, from here on, we’ll use the term “medical business” to refer to any business in the medical, allied, alternative, disability or aged care sectors.
The following are the 6 stages of a Medical Business.
- Start it (or Re-start it) – how to envision your business, what you need to do or change to turn it into a reality
- Set it up – the practical aspects of business, financial, operational set up
- Support it – medical staff management, reporting and legal requirements
- Systematise it – Business: IT, accounting, HR, patient management, suppliers, office management and financial management. Personal: managing time, holidays, and family expectations
- Scale it – Locking down the current function and growing a health business. Creation of multiple sources of income
- Sell it (or Share it) – Preparing the business for sale, or for part-purchase by another practitioner.
The most common struggle of starting is how to actually start. For the next step, click here.
For those who remain uncertain: there is life outside our clinics. There is more to the medical profession other than dealing with patient's' condition. All you need to do is explore and get on with it. Yes, get on with it. You don't have to be a business major in order to get it. The most successful businessmen and women were in fact college dropouts. What they did was to start, observe and address the challenges that occurred at each of these six stages.
With the right resources and support, you can definitely create a profitable business. To sign up for our newsletter, visit here.