By Michael Tetreault, Editor-In-Chief
OCT 6, 2013 — One of the riskiest times for any business especially those in the concierge medicine and private medical marketplace is when it first opens. In the first two years, three of every ten start ups go out of business according to the US SBA. Our research arm, The Concierge Medicine Research Collective surveyed doctors over the past several years and has found that 10% of doctors starting a concierge or retainer-based practice go out of business in the first two years also. And while the US SBA also claims that by five years, half those start ups are history, the concierge medicine and direct care industry is still so new, we still cannot confirm that this statistic applies with much certainty.
So how can you improve the odds that your practice start up will survive that tough first years? Here are five important steps to take:
- Talk to your patients. Concierge Medicine Today (CMT) recently learned that some concierge physicians employ nurses, NP’s and PA’s to see their patients. While that common, what we learned in addition to that is not good for surviving those first few years in practice. We learned that some physicians will oversee the care the NPs, PAs, and the like, and not even see the patient the entire first or second year. Not visiting with your patients when you are supposed to be providing face-to-face service with your customers will not help you retain these patients in the years to come.
- Step One in Starting Your Concierge Medicine or DPC Practice Right — If you are one of the thousands of physicians, emergency room doctors or recent medical school graduates currently considering starting up a direct primary care or concierge medicine practice selling exceptional service, time or home visits, the first thing you need to seriously consider is not your start-up budget, not the location and not the hours you will be working. The first thing you must consider is the services you will be selling and the business model you want to use. What’s the old adage, ‘plan your work – then work your plan.’ Patients, start-up capital, leased space and even employees will follow an confident leader with a plan. CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE …
- Choose your location carefully. Whether you’re in a town where patients can see your practice on public streets or one where you will be located in a suite of offices, make sure your practice is where it needs to be to maximize “new” prospective patient interest.
- Keep expenses down. Look for every possible way to save. This will allow you to keep going longer, hopefully until revenue starts to cover your practice expenses. Postpone unnecessary purchases, or pick up a broom and clean the office yourself. Do it all yourself, for as long as needed. Surveys from our organization, CMT, report that the majority of concierge medicine and private, direct care practices employ less than 2 employees per year. Source: www.ConciergeMedicineToday.com
- Plan for problems. The only thing as sure as death and taxes is that unexpected issues will crop up with your newly born private-pay, concierge medical business. Sit down and think about everything that could go wrong – then, make a plan for how you will survive each possible scenario. Talking with an attorney prior to having someone take legal action is and could be a very important step for your practice to survive in the years ahead.
- Analyze your numbers. Even though it’s hard to find time in those crazy days after you first start signing up patients, it’s important to stop and look at your numbers to see where your practice is headed. With 10% of concierge and private-pay medical practices folding in the first two years, it’s vital to understand and forecast where your greatest potential is to grow your practice. If your practice is not going where you’d like it to, change course and surround yourself with good advisers, maybe other physicians in similar situations and medical practices can help. Most successful concierge medical practices go through multiple internal process changes before they find their groove.
- STARTUP: Finding Capital For Your Concierge Medicine/Direct Care Office in a Tough Economy — Although concierge medical clinics and direct primary care doctors offices are popping up across the country, some hopeful owners are still struggling to get financing, and this has many “docpreneurs” wondering how to go about getting the cash they need to either start or maintain their medical business. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE …
Are you an concierge or direct care doctor that has made it past the first year? How did you do it? Share your story in the comment section below. Are you a doctor struggling to survive, need more patients? Share your story below with others.
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Our focus at CMT is on reporting and writing the news — not to sell you someone of something. We exist to report, educate, observe, guide and be a trusted resource for doctors and patients looking for more information about this marketplace. By popular demand, we’ve added categories (SEE BELOW) to help doctors, business-owners and individuals connect with trusted, ethical, relational experts in the concierge medicine and direct [primary] care marketplace that people can trust and we’ve thoroughly examined.
We’ve assembled the brightest concierge medicine and direct primary care marketplace’s top-notch individuals, leaders and companies to help you in your practice — no matter what phase you’re in. Concierge Medicine Today’s Innovators Panel is not bought – it’s earned. We partner only with individuals and companies who hold themselves to a higher standard of excellence, have a proven track-record in the concierge medicine and direct primary care space and are passionate about making things happen and bringing ideas to execution for doctors and staff. In many ways, innovation is key to your success no matter where your medical practice is. The minute you stop innovating is the minute you become mediocre.
- Startup Experts … with experience in multiple startups.
- Industry Experts … individuals with a wealth of industry-specific experience.
- Knowledge Experts … mentors with experience in a specific range of business skills (Legal, Accounting, Finance, Marketing, IT, Infrastructure, Operations, etc…)
You’ll be amazed by the level of advice and customer service our INNOVATORS Panel provides to physicians, patients and businesses. Our network of concierge medicine and direct primary care companies, businesses, mentors and coaches can discuss with you your needs and provide nonbiased information and guidance you can trust. They will give you sound guidance — without any sales pitch. Simply drop us a line or send us an email to ‘Editor@conciergemedicinetoday.com‘ and we’ll review your inquiry and send you the contact information for the INNOVATORS in your area!
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Concierge Medicine Today IS a multi-faceted, multi-media news and reporting organization with experienced journalists dedicated to covering this industry and it’s many physicians and stories across the U.S. and Canada. We’ve been writing about this marketplace for years. Nearly a decade ago, Editor-In-Chief, Michael Tetreault created Concierge Medicine (News) Today to fill an information void he found when he began researching concierge medicine and retainer-based medicine in Atlanta, GA. Michael found that there was no central repository of concierge medicine, direct primary care or retainer-based information anywhere on the internet, and with that, the idea for CMT and Concierge Medicine Canada was born.
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We hope this article will help those who are looking to start your own concierge medicine practice or direct primary care clinic in your local area. If you have any questions about the article, please be sure to leave them in the comment section below or email us your thoughts, comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 770-455-1650.