Starting a Practice
Making the decision to start your own practice is a big and exciting step. Before you commit, make sure you’ve considered your personal situation, your strengths and weaknesses, and your confidence and risk tolerance levels. Starting your own practice can be extremely rewarding, but it’s not a decision to make lightly.
Your Business Plan
One of the first things you should tackle is to construct a well-thought-out business plan. This will include steps such as charting your practice mission and values, your business goals, your pricing plans, the research you’ve done on the competition and the market, your financial projections and much more.
When it’s complete, you’ll have to present your business plan to a lender so you can secure the financing you need to open your practice. Be prepared to answer in-depth questions and defend your plan. Once your lender has approved, congratulations! You’re ready to move forward.
Among other things, you’ll need to find a location and sign a lease, order signage, order equipment, work with professional advisors, set up your accounting system, and obtain malpractice and business insurance.
Once you get close to opening, you’ll have even more details to work out: hiring employees, setting up your office, ordering supplies, fine-tuning your budget, implementing your marketing plan.
Benefits of Starting a Practice
The biggest benefit to starting your own practice is that you’re the boss. You can decide how you want to run your practice, from the location of your office and the hours you’re open right down to your company logo and office décor. Depending on your personality and preferences, making all of these decisions, not to mention carrying the financial burden, can also be the downside.
Another big benefit is that you get to choose your team. You can staff your practice with professionals who have similar professional goals and practice beliefs — and treat each other and your patients with respect.
- Before you get too far down the road with planning, make sure you can obtain financing for a start-up.
- Similarly, make sure you have enough financial backing or savings to live while you are getting set up.
- Make sure there’s not already an existing practice at your preferred location.??
- Research the area and the demographics. It’s ideal to be in an area underserved by naturopathic doctors or one where you can quickly build a patient base.
- Equipment is expensive. Do extensive research on the costs of new equipment or used equipment in good condition.
- There are many ways you can keep your budget in check without negatively impacting the quality of your practice or plan. Here are a few to consider.
It’s a lot of hard work and responsibility to own your own practice — but many doctors will tell you that it’s worth it to have something that is completely your own.