starting a private practice

Starting a private practice: a simple checklist

As you prepare to transition into private practice, understanding the business aspects of your medical practice is essential. With this simple checklist, our focus is on attracting patients, and we frame it within the context of a simple checklist that allows you to prepare the foundations of your new business.

starting a private practice

Starting a private practice: a simple checklist

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

February 2, 2022

Why values - mission - vision sessions are dead

starting a private practice

Workshops, training programs, ebooks and podcasts will appear to rain down from the sky as soon as you say it out loud, that you want to go in private practice. Quite often the overload of theory around this soul searching that seems to be thrown at you when you want to start a private practice, creates overwhelm. As a result, many doctors will turn their back on the provider who meant well and run in the other direction: they just get underway.

A private practice, like any other business, needs reflection. Start a pub in the wrong suburb and you’re in trouble. Invest in a food truck in the wrong climate and you will suffer. The same applies to setting up a private medical practice and some careful consideration is needed around the foundation.

When we work with customers who are preparing their transition into private practice, we work around quality questions. Here are just a few:

  • Why is this important to you?
  • What are the main activities you look forward to as the owner of this business, this private health practice?
  • What are the financial goals?
  • What kind of team do you see?
  • What is the 5-year plan? How do you see your practice then?

Other quality questions relate to the pitfalls and complexities of creating and running a business.

  • What would motivate other people to work for your practice?
  • What will you offer them besides a salary?
  • How will you create a positive atmosphere?
  • Who will be people you trust to help you manage the business?

Taking the time to work with these questions in great detail will save you the time of lengthy values / mission / vision workshops and of course, if it helps to be facilitated by a professional who helps you with the right questions. The questions are often more important than the answers, because they force you to inspect your business with a true 360 degrees perspective. When we work with you as a customer and plan your online strategy, we use questions like the ones above to create a clear direction for your practice as a business and as a brand.

starting a private practice

How to choose a location for your consultations?

starting in private practice

One of the biggest drivers in consumer choice, when patients choose a specialist, is brand positioning. Your location is part of that package, and it affects a whole range of other business aspects.

This is an overview of what to think of before you fall in love with a space, an environment, or a business proposal that includes a rental agreement for rooms:

  • Suburb and demographics: how does the space affect your overall reputation. Do you deserve better? Can the fit-out reflect what your practice stands for? Do the environment and the suburb resonate with who you are? You can access information from the Bureau of Statistics to check the demographics, for example.
  • Support systems: if your practice needs a particular type of staff or allied health colleagues, are they available in this area? Or do they have to travel too far? (Which means they will go and find another job sooner or later.)
  • Development plans: are you well-informed about the future of the precinct you are moving into? When new hospital developments arise, have you made the right choice? Have you checked for major roadworks that may affect accessibility? Do you have a view on the future of the suburbs that you hope to be serving with your private practice? Local council information can give you clarity in this field.
  • Hospital associations: does the location lock you in with one particular hospital? Or does it provide freedom to take on assignments and theatre lists in multiple hospitals?
  • Competition: is the area dense in terms of competition or can you easily establish a strong presence and be a leader in this catchment area for your specialty? Type the location and your specialty in Google to see how many competitors are already targeting your future catchment area.

Systemise the admin side of things before you start

private practice management

To make our checklist complete – and before I share the biggest business secret for doctors in private practice – let’s go over some of the admin aspects:

  • Business plan: a business advisor can help you create clarity about numbers
  • HR documents: policies, procedure manuals, induction documents and contracts
  • Utilities: systemising the admin is best done by an experienced practice manager
  • Signage: think future proof and coordinate this well with your general decisions about your brand (we will get to that in a minute)

The biggest secret about launching a practice

medical content marketing

Times have changed! And I’m not talking about the pandemic. I’m referring to the importance of digital compared to a decade ago.

Before, you would launch your practice and then order the commodity that was called web designer to…design your website. Then you would order the commodity called SEO to become more visible on Google.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"Launching a private practice in the twenty-twenties is different because new times require a new approach to establish an online presence, to attract patient leads and to build a successful private practice brand."

Market research in the digital space is critical to be well aware of your visibility as you launch and to create systemised lead generation. You don’t want to do this investment and rely on hope marketing, an obsolete attitude that consisted of just hoping patients would mysteriously land on your doorstep. 

Active market research involves the work of a specialised medical marketing agency such as Digital Practice. We map the exact Google searches that patients do in regards to your speciality, in your local market.

Content marketing is a technique you can then use to create visibility based on the data extracted from this local market research. It is an extremely powerful yet little-known new medical marketing technique, pioneered by Australia’s only data-driven medical content marketing agency Digital Practice.

Web design and web development should never be treated as a commodity or a standalone service. Just like you don’t plan the construction of your new luxury home with a premium builder/developer, to then tell them that your cousin knows a guy who can do all the bricklaying so they can leave that out of the quote. To use the metaphor, many doctors make the mistake of simply working with a bricklayer instead of a premium developer.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"Market research, content marketing, and integrated futureproof web development are the backbone of your future patient lead generation. They deserve your full attention because you deserve the best for your new private practice."

Things your practice manager must know before you start

practice manager training

Managing a private practice is obviously about the patients you help. It’s a remarkably intense and important role to take care of the patient and to take care of your business.

Taking care of your practice as a business also means: 

  • Understanding how patients land on your website on a monthly basis: which conditions or treatments you are visible for, what needs to happen to attract more patients for certain services and how you relate to your competitors in terms of Google ranking.
  • Understanding the content they are looking for and the content that makes patients stay or click through, take action or make a booking.
  • Assisting with a plan to increase your visibility over the next 12 months so you create a culture of ongoing growth

We help practice managers develop a deeper understanding of all-things-digital so your digital assets are managed within the practice, as well as by your agency. If you need help setting up a systemised approach to your online marketing as a new private practice, book your obligation-free consult now so you can stay ahead of your competitors when you launch.

Let's meet

Book a free strategy session

private practice business advice

Why not start with an obligation free virtual coffee on Zoom? We go over the plans for your practice and we explore the best first steps in the digital space. I look forward to hearing more about your plans soon!

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