Checklist for setting up a medical practice

Setting up in general practice can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow the right steps, and you can quickly get back to what you do best with minimal fuss. 

It’s a good idea to think about how you want to run the business, who will be running it with you, the location of your clinic and whether your finances are in order.

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1. Research your demographic

One of the first things you will need to consider is your patients, so it is worth investigating the demographics of your preferred locations to work out who you are likely to attract.

If you’re specialising in a certain field, think about whether your practice is close to your target market—for example, families, young singles or the elderly. Are you interested in starting out in a growth area? Are property prices on the rise?

This might tell you more about your long-term market. It might also have some bearing on whether you choose to buy or rent the property for your practice. 

2. Decide to either buy in or start from scratch

Do you currently work in a practice? If there is a suitable succession plan, or an opportunity to buy from the current owners and take the reins, this might be worth considering.

There can be less risk in this approach, because you are taking over a going concern. Hopefully you will know the practice well—and this includes the patients, the facilities, the location, the people and the politics. This sort of knowledge can’t be underestimated.

However, you may be the type of person who prefers to build a business from scratch.  You may have a vision to create the practice of your dreams. There are pros and cons to each approach, but it’s a must to start out with a good idea of how you see your practice in the long term.

3. Surround yourself with good people

Obviously, you want to work with experts who know what they’re doing throughout the process. This starts at set up, with the banking, building and fit-out professionals. These are all people who need to share your vision from concept to realisation.

The same goes for your practice colleagues. Think about whether you plan to go into business with other partners, or keep your hands firmly on the levers and employ a team of supporting health professionals. This will depend on the way you like to work, and will not only influence how you structure your practice but how you select the people who will help you set it up.

4. Think about the space

Part of considering what the practice of your dreams might look like is the space itself. Does the practice have good visibility from the main road?

Is it easily accessible, with ample parking, public transport in the vicinity and handicap access? If not, how easy will it be to get the building up to your mandated standards?

Consider whether you’re going for a purpose-built practice or planning to purchase an old building and renovate it. These decisions might be informed by how important factors like car parking, natural light, insulation and design are in creating the look and feel of your practice. If you’re planning to own these premises, this will impact upon your financial liabilities and returns, now and in the future. 

5. Protect your investment

If you’ve been considering going into business, you’ve probably got some capital put away. It’s vital to get information about securing finance to make your practice dreams a reality, and to ensure you’re not investing your savings unwisely.

Consider your medium and long-term goals when you look at loan options, and remember to ask about hidden costs. It’s a good idea to get advice from professionals about every aspect of the loan lifespan before you sign up for anything.
 

Ready to start looking at you first medical practice? Get more detail about the process and options open to you with our Medical Practice Purchase Guide. Or are you keen to seize the day? Contact us on 1300 131 141 to discuss how we can tailor a financial solution to your needs.

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