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Long-term practice planning

There are a number of financial strategies that specialist doctors can employ to protect and grow their practice.

Specialist doctors are at the centre of their business model. They are the sole reason their business exists. As a result, they are personally responsible for their staff and for the growth and success of their practice. While this can be stressful, there are some effective ways to help manage a specialist practice and minimise these concerns.

Developing a comprehensive business plan and setting up a sound financial framework that will assist in starting out, expanding and protecting the business and aid its future growth, should be a major priority. Planning backed with an effective financial structure is the best way to ensure continued success. It also provides a buffer for any unforeseen circumstances.

Starting out

When setting up a practice, it’s essential to have a comprehensive business plan in place from the outset. A good business plan is like a roadmap for a practice, helping to navigate the path ahead. A fundamental part of this plan is understanding and developing a cash flow analysis to give a clear snapshot of your financial situation. This document will show whether there is enough cash to grow the practice, or whether there is a need to obtain finance to grow. If finance is required, this document may be helpful in identifying which financial products are needed in order to achieve the set growth goals. A business plan will also include other elements such as a marketing plan and a demographic analysis of the potential market, for example.

While this will differ for every practice, having a business plan will help to determine the most effective way to use the available money. This, in turn, will help guide other decisions about the most appropriate type of finance to seek, if needed.

Taking the time to plan with a financial adviser is the most assuring way to get a new practice off to the best possible start.

Let your SMSF work for you

Owning your own rooms can be a smart move for medical specialists. Separating the ownership of the rooms from the ownership of the business can not only protect the investment, but may also provide tax advantages. A way to achieve this is purchasing rooms through a self-managed super fund (SMSF).

There are other advantages in using an SMSF in conjunction with a practice as it offers control over assets, particularly over investments the fund makes if diversifying the portfolio. It also offers much more flexibility than traditional super funds with multiple investment and retirement options available.

A financial adviser can help set up your SMSF to ensure that all the benefits are safely accessed, while meeting all of the legal obligations.

Preparing to expand

If a practice is doing well and is busier than ever expected, it may be time to consider expanding. This could mean taking on more staff, bringing in an associate, buying new equipment, renovating the existing premises or even moving to a new building. Every one of these options has its own set of financial implications that need to be navigated carefully. Further advice will most certainly be required to finalise and cost the various options available to you.

Retirement

It can be almost impossible to imagine retiring as a young specialist doctor who is just starting their  own practice, but that day will eventually come. Once again, it’s important to include retirement in any long-term financial goals. Planning ahead is the most important part of retirement and will determine if the end result is a happy and fulfilled one.

The simple fact is that specialists face unique business considerations along the way and there are many different ways to structure the financial framework to ensure long term success. To assess all the possibilities and create the most appropriate and effective plan, an experienced financial adviser is one of the biggest aids to your success. With effective financial strategies like the above in place along with team of experts to guide you, as a medical professional you’ll then feel more comfortable with focussing on what matters to you most – your patients and providing the best care possible.

 

Click here to see how a specialist cardiologist achieved her goals through using finance through her SMSF. Contact one of our financial specialists on 1300 131 141 to discuss the options available to you.

  • Important Information

      The issuer and credit provider of these products and services is BOQ Specialist – a division of Bank of Queensland Limited ABN 32 009 656 740 AFSL and Australian credit licence no. 244616 (“BOQ Specialist”). Terms, conditions, fees, charges, eligibility and lending criteria apply. Any information is of a general nature only. We have not taken into account your objectives, financial situation, or needs when preparing it. Before acting on this information, you should consider if it is appropriate for your situation. BOQ Specialist is not offering financial, tax or legal advice. You should obtain independent financial, tax and legal advice as appropriate

      BOQ Specialist is not offering financial, tax or legal advice. You should obtain independent financial, tax and legal advice as appropriate.