Physician side businesses

Why some docs are pursuing entrepreneurial aspirations beyond their primary profession.

When it comes to pursuing entrepreneurial aspirations, a common path many physicians take is practice ownership. Today’s environment, however, presents even more opportunities for physicians interested in starting their own venture—and they’re not alone.

The slowdown that resulted from the pandemic has both forced and enabled physicians to consider new ways of doing business, inside and outside of healthcare. Even as they’re back to seeing more patients, many physicians continue to pursue alternative ways to strengthen their financial position by creating a new revenue stream through a side business. As we embrace remote and virtual ways of doing business, it becomes easier for some physicians to fit new opportunities into their schedules without disrupting day-to-day patient responsibilities.

Benefits of a Side Business

There are numerous ways a side business can benefit physicians, including:

  • Additional Income. The income from a second business is especially useful in uncertain times, during slow periods of regular business, or due to an unexpected event. By supplementing what you earn as a physician, you can gain more financial security to pay down debt, grow your wealth, invest in new opportunities, or set aside money in an emergency fund.
  • Full Ownership and Freedom. Another benefit of a “side hustle” is the freedom that comes with owning a business. You control the operations, and you get to decide the investments you make and the risks you’re willing to take. As the owner, you choose how much time to put toward it and you alone can reap the financial benefits.
  • Pursue a Passion. Beyond the potential income, some physicians are pursuing a side business as an outlet for a passion project or personal interest. Many doctors pursued medicine because of a desire to help others. Consulting, teaching, or leading CE courses are other ways in which you can give back by tapping into your medical expertise to help others become better in their practice. Other side business paths could include private telemedicine, writing a book, investing in real estate, or pursuing something entirely outside of medicine.

Getting Started

Once you’ve decided what to pursue, you may need working capital to get your idea off the ground. Finding the right partner is critical to helping you achieve your goals. Every lender and loan are different, so physicians should analyze their options in order to get the maximum benefits. Some loan features to consider include:

  • Repayment Terms. A loan with longer terms can help you obtain a lower monthly payment, giving you access to more cash every month that you can use to cover other costs or set aside for the future. Paying less each month will put more money in your pocket and provides flexibility as you start up your new venture. When starting a new business, having access to cash is critical.

  • Speed of Funding. Working with a lender that can get you your money fast will allow you to put your plan into action and get to market quickly. As a busy physician, you shouldn’t have to endure a lengthy application process or wait weeks (or months) to obtain a loan. When you’re ready to bring your idea to life, your lender should be, too.
  • Credit Impact. When you apply for a loan, you will undergo either a hard credit inquiry or a soft credit inquiry. When a hard inquiry is made, your credit score can be impacted and can stay on your report for up to two years. A soft inquiry, however, leaves no imprint on your credit report. Ask the lender what you can expect before you start the application process so you can protect your financial standing. Taking out a loan to improve your financial situation is no reason for your credit score to take a hit.

In a challenging economy, it’s important to ensure control of your finances and career; exploring additional revenue streams is one way to do that. By pursuing a side business, and working with the right partner, you can feel more confident about your financial security.

About the Author

Chris Panebianco is Chief Marketing Officer for Bankers Healthcare Group, a provider of financial solutions for physicians. He is responsible for marketing initiatives to support BHG’s commercial working capital loans, personal financing, commercial and personal credit cards, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, and collection management. Panebianco has more than 11 years’ experience in financing the needs of healthcare and other highly-skilled professionals. For more information, visit bankershealthcaregroup.com/specialties/physicians