It wasn’t so long ago that medicine and business were something of an uneasy mix. These days, however, it’s a different story. Doctors and healthcare professionals can excel in the hospital environment, of course. But there are more opportunities than ever for the entrepreneurial minded healthcare provider.
That said, being a fantastic doctor doesn’t mean you will excel in business. You will need an understanding of how the business world works if you want success – so here is an introduction to some of the basics.
Believe in what you are doing
The first step for any doctor wanting business success is to believe in what they are doing. Why are you starting this practice or health care provision? What drives you to offer these services? If it’s ‘for the money’, you might want to reconsider your options.
While finances will drive some of your thinking, you should never stray from the reasons you became a doctor. It is your passion for helping people that will help your business shine and stand out from the competition. Get that right, and you have already won half the battle.
Don’t be afraid to get advice
You are a doctor, first and foremost. It’s where your skills lie, and although it is possible to be an entrepreneurial genius as well, it is a rare combination. With this in mind, never be afraid to pay for business advice. When you are running a business, there is an enormous range of subjects to consider.
You might need help from accountants, IT professionals, marketing experts, and a lot more besides. Focus on your skills and ability to treat patients, and find the right people to handle the business side of your practice.
Focus on communications
Communicating your message to the general public is going to be a vital process for your new business. It has to work on two levels. First of all, you need to be able to deliver your message and explain what you do in layman’s terms.
The second area to focus on is providing excellent service to your customers. Patients might need to contact you at all hours of the day – even when your practice is closed. Look for professional telephone answering services for all of your medical office communication needs. It’s a cost-effective alternative to paying for staff to be available around the clock.
Always think ‘retail.’
One of the biggest problems doctors face when they start a practice is learning how to operate as a business. A good way of solving this issue is by thinking like a retail business.
For example, you should always offer value and several treatment options to suit a wider range of budgets. Also, consider upselling – it’s often the area where profit margins can increase.
Finally, building a great business is all about creating and maintaining stable relationships. Not just with your patients, either. You will have to work on relationships with staff, suppliers, and other healthcare businesses in your area.
Networking will be key, too. There is a delicate balance to strike between doing what you love and running a business – but success depends on you getting that mix right.