Opening a New Practice

March 1, 2009

I am seriously thinking about opening a new primary-care facility with a colleague of mine. I have a location in mind, and I have many people encouraging me. I am just not sure if I should start this project. Do you think that this is a foolish move in this economy?

Question: I am seriously thinking about opening a new primary-care facility with a colleague of mine. I have a location in mind, and I have many people encouraging me. I am just not sure if I should start this project.

Do you think that this is a foolish move in this economy?

Answer: No, it’s not a foolish move. But you do want to have a solid business plan in place first. You shouldn’t be guessing whether it would work out; you should have some reason for thinking it will.

What will your total start-up costs be? Space is one thing. What about remodels, exam tables, supplies, staff costs until revenue comes in, marketing, signage, business cards, phone lines, and technology? Will you need a loan to cover these capital expenses? Can you get one in this environment?

It will take time for the practice to grow, so take a look at how many patients you would need to see during month one, two, three, and so on to begin to cover costs over time.

Will you contract with payers or be cash only?

Will you plan to grow the practice or remain low overhead and low volume?

At least run down to Borders and get a “Business Plans for Dummies” book to get the ball rolling.