Did You Activate Your GPS for Medical Practice Success?

MedicalMediaWEBYour medical practice is still a business and as such, needs a business plan.  This is your GPS that you will be following.  “Winging it” is a big mistake and can be a costly one!

Consider a business plan as what you envision for your practice, mapped out on paper (or computer screen, more than likely).  Start out by letting the ideas out on the screen.  Think about it and then come back and refine it.  Do this process a few times until it speaks to just what you envision.  Going through the process forces you to confront complex issues and helps to formulate an economically sound business.

An effective business plan projects 3-5 years into the future, pinpointing the route the medical practice intends to take and milestones to achieve annually along with revenue projections.

Sound business plans will:

  • Enable loan acquisitions
  • Keep you following your goals and guidelines
  • Provide structure for analytics and business modifications according to analytical results
  • Improve ROI (return on investments)

Template for your Medical Business Plan

Check out www.sba.gov.  It is a wonderful resource and the site provides several business plan models.  Key components are as follows:

The Executive Summary

The executive summary is the foundation of your practice, delineating your practice as a whole, your goals and practice profile.

Elements to provide in your executive summary include:

  • Mission Statement– delineates what your practice is all about
  • Practice information– names of the staff, the physicians, the medical assistants and nurse practitioners as well as who if any will be covering the practice outside the business.  Add the number of staff members and the various locations of the practice if there is more than one.
  • Financial Information– insurance companies including Medicare and Medicaid that the practice participates in.  What fees are not covered?  Must payment be made upfront or can it be billed?  Are credit cards accepted?

Company Description

Your company description is a key element for prospective patients searching for your type of practice.  It stipulates the services that the practice provides, the types of patients you serve and the elements that differentiates you from your competitors and colleagues.

Products and Services

List what services you provide, both in office and at the hospital (mentioning which hospitals you are affiliated with).  Do you provide products, spa services, biofeedback?  Everything that you provide should be promoted here.

Promotion Plan

Strategies here include:

  • Television and radio ads
  • Ads on Facebook and Twitter (if your target market is found here)
  • Advertorials in newspapers and magazines
  • Marketing at trade shows
  • Press releases
  • Marketing at events and health fairs

Market Analysis

Your market analysis should include:

  • Your target market (gender, age, specific medical conditions)
  • Description and outlook of the industry, growth rate
  • Needs of the potential patients- demographics or location of the patient catch basin, will telemedicine be available to them?
  • Obstacles to the practice (EMR, ICD10 adoption)
  • Regulatory restrictions and how you will comply

Marketing Plan

The marketing plan outlines the strategies to grow and expand your medical practice. The effective one will delineate how you will reach your target market and how you can implement loyalty programs to prevent current patients from transferring to your competition.

Under this category, you will shape your USP or unique selling proposition.  This is key as it distinguishes your practice from your local competitors.  This should be a statement that strongly resonates with patients who desire reliability, good doctor-patient interactions and engagement as well as short wait time in offices.

Any advertisements or ways in which you will be reaching your target market will also be strategized here.

Marketing Materials

The marketing materials are the ways you promote your practice to both current and prospective patients.  They involve your website, brochures, business cards, and newsletters.  Also consider a logo and tagline which are both memorable to viewers.

Operating Plan

This section of the business plan reveals the nuts and bolts of the practice such as office space, computer programs, inventory, production and who will be responsible for reach aspect of the running of the practice. Simply put, the operating plan follows the practice specifically from the time the doors open until the last patient leaves.  It will seek to focus on those parts of the practice that make it successful and outsource the areas that are unproductive or lose money.

Financial Plan

Illustrations and Exhibits

Additional categories that lend themselves well to a medical practice includes:

1) Marketing Strategy

Different strategies to implement include:

  • Speaking engagements
  • Newsletters/E zines
  • Social Media
  • Blogs
  • Participation in Health Fairs

2) Online Marketing Plan

Key components here include:

  • Identification of keywords– 3 or 4 words that identify your practice, what people search for when they look for you and ways your website will be optimized.
  • Social Media Strategy– implementation of guest blogs, forums, chat rooms and other websites
  • Search Engine Optimization Plan: document ways that your keywords will play a role on your website

It is imperative to remember that a successful medical practice is one that has been carefully thought out and executed according to plan.  Long gone are the days that you can just open your doors and patients would flock to see you.  Involving your self with the business side of medicine may be distasteful to you, but crucial for your survival.

If you need help with your business plan or would like to discuss it further, I would be happy to sit down with you and analyze your needs with a free consultation.  Call: 561-325-9664.