You’ve been working at the hospital or clinic for so long that it’s become comfortable. Your salary is great. Although your relationship with your superiors leaves something to be desired, you value your coworkers and cherish the opportunity to help your patients feel better and obtain improved quality of life. It would appear as though you have the ideal job—the ideal life. Yet you can’t help but want more. When you’re in bed at night, you can’t seem to shake the thought that you could be helping your patients in a much more lasting way. You’ve always wanted to be a healthcare professional who secures lasting results for his or her patients, but you can’t dismiss the thought that there is something missing.
You long to practice using a more holistic approach. You long to address the underlying cause(s) of your patients’ health concerns and help them find lasting health and true inner peace. You long to start your own practice or clinic where you can treat your patients the way you want to treat them—the way they want to be treated. But is that even possible? Are you really capable of being your own boss? I mean, who are you kidding? You’ve never taken a single useful business class. You know nothing about starting, not to mention running, a business. You’ve seen many of your colleagues take the leap into starting their own practices only to end up running out of money and having to return to being someone’s employee. How can you truly live your passion—your calling—by successfully starting your own business where you treat your patients according to your philosophy of healing? And, even more important, how can you do this while decreasing the likelihood of you running out of money or constantly worrying about finances?
Steps to Minimizing the Growing Pains When Starting a Practice or Clinic
In order to minimize the growing pains that are inseparably associated with starting your own practice or clinic, there are three important steps you need to take. To be successful, you need to start working toward these steps well before quitting your current job. First of all, you’ll need to do your homework by familiarizing yourself with the market. Secondly, you’ll need to get your finances in order. Third, you’ll need to invest in yourself and your future. I’ll explain each of these steps in the following sections.
Do Your Homework – Conducting Market Research
Before quitting your job, it’s crucial that you familiarize yourself with the market in which you desire to start up. What is the size of the market? What percentage of the market is currently paying for or is otherwise likely to seek out your services? What are these people like? Here we’re thinking about both their demographics—age range, ethnicities, languages, home location, etc.—and their psychographics—values, lifestyle, habits, interests, opinions, underlying beliefs, and thought processes. It’s important to note that you’ll be constantly refining your understanding of the psychographics of your ideal patient. I personally recommend surveying your best patients to learn more about their psychographics. This is what we do in my practice and we’ve found it to be very beneficial in helping us to reach more people like our best patients.
As a part of your market research, I also recommend building relationships with complementary businesses that serve your target audience. This will be a great asset to you, as you’ll be able to do joint ventures and build a strong referral network.
Also, become familiar with practices or clinics offering the services you plan to offer or practitioners who share your philosophy of healing. Talk with or consider shadowing these providers. Get an idea of startup costs. What are they paying to reach potential clients? Find out what the experience at these clinics is like. Having these conversations has the potential to save you a great deal of disappointment.
Get Your Finances in Order
The second step—and these aren’t necessarily linear—is to get your finances in order. After conducting your market research, you should have a better idea of startup costs, marketing budget, and more. You should already know how much it costs for you to live on a monthly basis. I recommend putting these two figures together and calculating how much money you will need to live and fund your clinic or practice if you don’t see a single patient for at least six months. This should be your savings goal.
If you calculate that number and it is unbelievably high, you may need to downsize in your personal life. You may need to start a much smaller business than you originally intended. Whatever it takes in your unique situation, do what you need to do to ensure that you have at least six months of savings stored away. Keep in mind that it takes a lot of effort to get going from nothing. You want to be in a position to invest the necessary time and labor in the beginning stages of your business, and if you are constantly worried about finances, it will detract from the rate at which you’re able to progress.
Invest in Yourself and Your Business
The third and final step to minimizing the growing pains when starting your own practice or clinic is to invest in yourself and in your business. One of the most important things you can do to quickly increase cash flow in your business is to obtain or sharpen your skills in therapies that people are used to paying cash for, such as intravenous nutrient therapy. Ideally, you’ll need to become skilled at these therapies before you quit your job. You should also invest in yourself by learning basic business and marketing skills. Begin to think of yourself as a marketer who delivers healthcare services instead of as a practitioner. You may also opt to hire a business coach or a marketing team. Whatever you choose to do, don’t be afraid to invest in yourself. In the long run, this is the investment that brings the greatest returns.
To learn about optimizing your patients’ health through nutritional therapy and marketing your nutritional therapy practice, enroll in the IV Therapy Academy course. You can learn more here.