Q Now that I have decided to become my own boss, how do I go about opening a practice?
Anxious in Cheyenne, WY
A You may become overwhelmed at the thought of how much money you will have to spend when opening your own business. If you choose to open your practice in a pre-existing space instead of building a new office, you will save on average $100,000. This is only one of the many important decisions you will make; there is still much to do. You will want to choose a practice management consultant that will be your back-bone through the entire process. A great consulting company will not only give you all of the pieces, but also show you how they fit together. Consulting a practice management company should be the first thing you do, before you have chosen your location. The location of your practice is one of the keys to your success. Then, when you are set up and ready to go, they will show you how you can increase your revenue. You will need to select an attorney for all of the legal issues that come up when opening any business. Healthcare attorney’s have the most experience in helping you open a practice. As much as you may want to do it yourself, an accountant is needed. You want someone to take care of paying your future employees, payables and receivables, taxes, and you will need an accountant to develop a start-up budget. In the long run, investing in these people’s expertise will save you time and money. You will also generate more money than you ever could have because you will have the time to do so. The more time you spend on being the marketing analysis expert, the office manager, the front desk person, the attorney, and the accountant, you take time away from developing and implementing a viable practice. It is always in your best interest to consult someone who has made these mistakes and use their expertise to receive guidance from their broad range of experiences.
Once you have your basic business structure in place, you need to start thinking about the things you will need in the next few weeks. Remember, do not spend your time on anything that is not directly income generating. Do you need to get credentialed, if so, do you know what plans you should get on? Who is going to be doing your billing? What equipment do you need to buy? What are you going to do for marketing and business development? How can you keep your overhead low, especially with being a new start up and a solo-practitioner? Now that you have started your practice, how can you grow it? What other products and services should you provide to increase your revenue?
You have made the decision to tough it out; no one ever said being an entrepreneur was going to be easy. Next month we will dive into how to interview, who to hire, and once you have employees chosen, how to keep them happy with different compensation packages.
Lisa Goldberg is the Executive Director of Physicians Choice Concierge (PCC), a company with 16 years experience specializing in practice operations and financial/business services for chiropractic practices. Lisa Goldberg has consulted in the opening of many new practices. Contact Lisa at 888-369-2224 or at [email protected] for a personal consultation, or if you have a question you’d like to ask in an upcoming issue.