Starting your own medical practice can be the most rewarding experience that you ever have, but rewards don’t come without their challenges! Along your journey, you will run into some key decisions that could negatively impact your eventual success, so it’s crucial that you think about your longterm goals when you make them.

To help you build a successful practice from the ground up, we’ve gathered together a list of frequent mistakes physicians and dentists make when starting their own practice. Avoid these top 5 mistakes and you won’t be very far from securing your future success!

MISTAKE #1: PLANNING DOESN’T START EARLY ENOUGH

Many medical professionals decide to start their own practice upon finishing their residency or when they are leaving their current employment, but this isn’t soon enough to start all the necessary preparations.

Sufficient planning takes 4-6 months (6 months if you need credentialing). There will be many people involved in helping you with starting your own medical practice and everything will take time, often more time than you anticipated so give yourself enough.

Read: 5 Secrets to Successful Business Planning for Your Practice

MISTAKE #2: LACK OF RESEARCH WHEN IT COMES TO LOCATION

Another big mistake that is made when setting up a new practice is poor research when it comes to location. Often, this leads to buying a space that is not appropriate for what they need or overpaying for a location that isn’t necessary.

Location needs to tick all of your boxes: it needs to offer sufficient space for what you need, be in an easily accessible location for your patients, and be suitable for expansion. Prime real estate can be key to surviving in a competitive healthcare market so invest the time to do the research – high visibility and heavily trafficked areas are key!

Read: Buying Vs Leasing Space for Your Practice

MISTAKE #3: NOT LOOKING AROUND AT ALL BANKER/LOAN PROGRAMME OPTIONS

Financial assistance is another area where physicians and dentists fall down when starting their own practice as they don’t shop around! By not looking at multiple loans from banks and/or organisations, they most likely aren’t getting the best bang for their borrowed buck.

Don’t leave money on the table; look at three different options (at least!) and weigh the pros and cons. Pay particular attention to the eligibility requirements, loan amounts, interest rates, fees, and other terms and conditions when it comes to securing funds.

MISTAKE #4: BAD MATH OR NO MATH BEFORE MAKING INVESTMENTS

In the beginning, everything is an investment so you have to be smart with your money. The mistakes to avoid at this stage is under-spending, as this could impede the growth of your practice in the long-run, and overspending, as you will need a sufficient cash flow in your first year.

When starting your own medical practice, do a cost-benefit analysis before any investment. Yes, technology can increase productivity and efficiency while saving you money and driving additional revenue, but you should always quantify your benefits first.

Read: How to Put Together a Budget for Your Practice

MISTAKE #5: SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH THE WRONG STAFF

Last but not least is surrounding yourself with the wrong staff. When starting your own medical practice, you will need people who are motivated and invested in the success of your practice, people who share the same values as you and what you do. If you don’t, it can be the difference between success and failure.

Always remember to hire slow and fire fast. You will need to invest a lot of time and money into training your staff, so don’t waste either of them on people who don’t share your vision.

GIVE YOURSELF THE BEST CHANCE WHEN STARTING YOUR OWN PRACTICE

Mistakes can be costly, so prepare for the worst and avoid these top 5 mistakes.

Need help with your business planning or cash flow strategy? We can help you to ensure that whatever decision you make is a success. Just contact me via mitchell@affluenceca.com.au and I’d be keen to help.

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