If you are a qualified dentist who has been practising for a long time or just completed your internship, you may be contemplating starting a private clinic. Running a clinic takes more than just clinical experience as you have to handle the business side very professionally to make it a viable business. This article will take you through the business perspective of starting your own clinic.
Create A Solid Business Plan
The first step in starting a private clinic is creating a business plan. The plan should articulate:
- Your budget and sources of funding
- The size of the practice
- The type of services you will offer
- The location of your business
- The target customers
- Marketing mix
After assessing these variables, you should then ensure that that you have enough funds to start the business and that the capital covers both contingencies and cash flow. You should ensure that you have enough cash reserves to cover the first six months of operation. Business might be slow at the start and may not generate enough cash to cover recurrent expenditure such as rent and salaries.
You can either start the practice from scratch or acquire an existing business. Either way, make sure that the premises will get council approval for that kind of business, and that is in good condition. Further, ensure that the location is suitable for dentistry practice and the target customers. For instance, if you target lower-end customers, you can select a premise located near a public hospital with a good flow of dentistry patients. In contrast, if you are targeting the middle class, your premises should be near middle-class residences or a private hospital.
Acquire Equipment and Hire Staff
After selecting the premises, you should then proceed to acquire the equipment you need to run the clinic. This includes both office furniture and specialized dentistry equipment. After that, you can hire both administrative office staff and qualified practitioners. Make sure that you insure the business against various risks.
Get Your Licenses in Order
Before opening your business, make sure that you are compliant with all the requirements for practising dentistry in Australia as outlined by the Dental Board of Australia. You should also ensure that all the clinical staff at your clinic are accredited by the Australian Dental Examinations.
Start A Website
Marketing is essential to the success of any business, and you should advertise your services on different channels. You can start by creating an immaculately designed website to sell your practice online. Several web design agencies specialise in creating customized healthcare websites and can create one for you on budget. Take a look at the Pure Dentistry website to get an idea of how a good website should look like.
Finally, make sure that all your finances are in order by keeping proper books of accounts. It also helps to spruce up your accounting skills or even hire a qualified healthcare accountant depending on the complexity of your business. Wishing you all the best in your new venture.