Setting up a medical business: Step-by-step checklist

Don't leave anything to chance! Follow our 9-stage checklist for setting up a medical practice and ensure you have covered all aspects of starting your business.

Step 1: The five-year goal.

Consider the kind of practice you would like to be running in five years (see page 5 of Medical Business Management). Work backwards from there, and determine where to start.

 

Step 2: Start planning your business.

You can sketch your ideas, discuss them with colleagues (page 56), or you may already know what you are looking for.  Consider the roles within your practice, who will run it, who will make key decisions, what will your role be?  Now think about service planning, who are your patients or clients, where and how will you find them, how will you provide services, and what services will your practice provide?

 

Step 3: Location, location, location.

Before you progress to a formal business plan, and start your set-up, consider whether your business will succeed.  Investigate the health needs and demographics in the area, what are the costs of setting up in your preferred location, is parking sufficient?  See pages 6-8 and 20 of Medical Business Management. You may wish to engage a consultant to assist with this step.  At this point, financial projections can be very beneficial.

 

Step 4: Read up and find resources.

Make sure you have your copy of Medical Business Management.  This will give you a step by step understanding of where to start, how to plan and meet your goals.  Start using the resources on the Medibusiness website.

 

Step 5: Formal business plan.

Depending on your structure, and who your business partners are, if any, you may need to consult other stakeholders at this point (see pages 25-26 and 31-38).  Your plan should be written down, and clearly articulate both your short term and long term goals, up to five years (see pages 11-20). 

 

Step 6: Networking.

Keep up your networking.  Run your plans past those with experience, speak with a consultant, ensure your plans are clearly thought out, and able to be implemented.  Network with those who will refer business to you, find out what you need to do to ensure you start with a good flow of business from opening day. 

 

Step 7: Professional advice.

Don’t forget to run your plans, your projections and any partnership agreements or legal documents past your lawyer, financial advisor, accountant or consultant as applicable (page 37). If you are buying into a practice, then you should be speaking with your business broker about your plans, and how you will fit in with the business in order to achieve your goals.

 

Step 8: Websites and social media.

Engage a website designer, this should be someone that you can communicate easily with.  Consider social media and how to handle it (see pages 39-50).  Think about how your patients, clients or referrers will find you.  Ensure you are portrayed professionally.

 

Step 9: Registration.

Register with the appropriate authorities (pages 18 and 29).  You have a lot to think about when starting up your own business.  Don’t forget you will need to register with all or some of the following authorities; Medicare, Medicare online, Private Health Insurance, the Australian Immunisation Register, and payment gateways such as HICAPS and Tyro.  You may also need to apply for a site certificate if you intend to register with Medicare, and apply to store or handle certain medicines.

 

Checklist 

  • I know what kind of practice I would like to own (page 5 of Medical Business Management)
  • I have my copy of Medical Business Management
  • I have discussed my plans with trusted colleagues, consultants and/or my business partners
  • If I have business partners, I have a partnership agreement in place
  • I have built and documented my business plan
  • I have found the best location for my practice
  • I have consulted with my lawyer, accountant, and/or financial advisor
  • I have a trusted industry expert/mentor, or consultant that I can call on for advice
  • I have set up my online and offline business presence
  • I have registered with the appropriate authorities