If you are a doctor and you are looking for a real change of pace and lifestyle this year, one thing you may have already considered is opening up your own practice.
Starting a medical practice is a massive challenge and it is something which you will need to take a lot of blood sweat and tears to do.
However, the ability to work in your own personal space, treat patients from your local area and become a trusted figure of the community is something which is second to none.
So, what do you need to do to open a surgery of your own this year?
1. Get funded
The first step to starting up your own surgery is to get funding from your own personal finances or from elsewhere. There is a large cost in running a surgery because you will need to hire staff, pay for medicine, get equipment and licences too. Make sure that you take the time to write down every possible initial cost to set up your surgery and create a word document which summarises the cost as well as the benefits of the surgery in the local area.
If you don’t have the money in your own bank account you will need to find some way to build your money and this will often be through a loan from the bank. When trying to obtain a loan from the bank you need to put a business case together to outline your ideas and how they would benefit the community and this will help to persuade the bank to invest in your idea.
Once you have money you will also need to check with your local authority and see what kind of licensing you need to open and run the practice.
2.Get equipment and staff
Once you have got the approval for your project and you have started to build the office itself, it is time for you to look into hiring a team to help you once the surgery opens.
Hiring medical staff is something which should be taken very seriously and ideally you will want to complete 2 rounds of interviews to make sure you are gaining the best possible people for the job.
As well as hiring staff you will want to look at kitting out your office and these are some of the systems and items you will likely need:
Once you have gathered these things, you will be able to start kitting out the office and turning it into a real working surgery.
3. Decorate for comfort
One of the best things you can do for your workers and your patients when opening a surgery is to make the design as comfortable and cosy as you can. It can be daunting for many people to visit the doctor and a lot of people become stressed and worried before their appointments. This is why it is a good idea for you to create a cosy and comfortable environment where people feel safe.
Homely touches can do a lot to ease the stress of a doctor’s visit and you can add many things to the space to make it feel more like a real home. A TV is a great way to share medical videos and it will be a good distraction for your patients as they wait to be seen. You can also think about adding plants throughout the space as plants are proven to reduce stress and calm people down.
Also consider a community collage wall in the waiting room where local artists and children can share their work for a few months at a time so that people can enjoy the work and get to know their fellow neighbours. This can be a fun way to bring the community together and it will also be feat exposure for artists who are hoping to sell their work.
4. Get sharing
Once you open the doors to your medical surgery it might take a little time to get the first load of patients through the door. In the countdown to opening the doors, it is a great idea for you to pay for a postal leaflet drop off of everyone within a certain range of the surgery. This will allow local people to check it out and sign up ahead of the launch and this can be a great way to secure your patients early on. Make sure to also encourage people to share you with their friends and family and even open a social media page or group to try and fit in with the community.
Technology is one of the best possible ways to grow your small business. Here are a few tips on how you can do that.
Create A Great Website
When you’re starting a business, your first step should be to create an excellent website. The first important point for your site is that it should be easy and intuitive to navigate. A dark grey font against a black background might look chic but if your prospective customers don’t know what exactly you do, it isn’t working! Your contact information should be extremely easy to find so that they can get in touch with you through email or phone, and your mission statement should be front and centre. Your site should echo the ‘feel’ of your company, whether it’s sleek and professional or colourful and chatty.
Using social media is one of the absolute best ways to communicate with your customers. One of the chief problems that people have with technology is that it doesn’t feel completely personal, but using social media can be extremely personal. Use sites like Twitter to create a company voice – remember to be chatty but professional at the same time, and post links to relevant articles that your customers may enjoy. Creating a personality through your social media accounts will make people want to interact with you and form a personal relationship with your company, thereby creating brand loyalty. It’s important to remember that each form of social media can be used for different purposes. Facebook is great to build up communities, Instagram is perfect for any posts that you want to use to display the aesthetic of your product, and Twitter is a way to build up relationships with possible customers and interact with other Twitter accounts. It’s also a great way to answer any customer help inquiries. Just remember to keep it cool and professional at all times!
Using technology is a perfect way to make sure that your systems are as streamlined and efficient as they possibly can be. For instance, you can use technology to track your deliveries and make sure they’re in the correct place – for example, if you work for a beverage company, SmartKeg can help you to track your kegs around the world. You can also use technology to sort out payroll and invoices so that you don’t have to puzzle over the numbers yourself.
Having a paper free office is absolutely ideal in this increasingly more eco-conscious world. If you need to read a document, you can email it to a tablet or an e-reader instead of printing it off. Consider your reasons for using paper – how necessary is it really? What exactly are you using it for? Paper filing systems can take up a huge amount of space. They are physically cumbersome and often take a long time to wade through, whereas archiving your databases online means that they are considerably easier to search through for something specific. Technology can be extremely green as well as efficient.
Adding tech to your small business might feel like a big expense, but in the long run the efficiency and savings will be more than worth it.
It’s easy to think that the only support system that your business needs, is you. Business is something that’s hard to master, especially as a new startup, or a business that’s in its early stages. Instead, people find that they just keep getting knocked back down by their business, rather than feeling like it’s growing from strength to strength. One of the reasons for this could be that you don’t have the right support system around you. Everything you build for your business, and every connection that you make becomes a support system. But it’s so easy to fall into the trap of making the wrong connections, simply because you think it’s the only option at the time. Think about how many deals you’ve secured in the spur of the moment, rather than looking around for the best option. Well, we’re going to try and change all of that for you, and show you three support systems that your business needs to heavily rely on.
Technology is a bit of a grey area for a lot of you. Aside from having your own laptop and phone, you might not truly understand how a strong IT structure becomes the backbone of your business. Whether you’re online or not, you will no doubt be dealing with data and valuable information each day, all of which needs to be stored somewhere. This somewhere is usually a server, one that you want to be heavily protected, and one that you know is going to function perfectly for you. Just storing data on your computer is not a viable option as your business grows. So Binatech is one of the companies who can help you to manage this. It’s so important to build a strong connection with your server management company, simply because you need to know that you can rely on them to protect your data, and prevent downtime. Downtime can lose a business hundreds during a busy period!
Management support is something else that we know small businesses don’t tend to steer towards. But if you’re running your business on your own, or perhaps you co-own it with someone who has minimal business experience, then management is going to be hard. So it might be worth considering bringing in professional management support part time. Just so they can help with all of the technical business side of things, the things you might be adjusting yourself to. These people won’t tell you how to do your job, but they will make it a hell of a lot easier!
Marketing is another big grey area. Other than social media marketing, we might not truly understand the different strategies that can be used, and it does show in small businesses. So why not take the time to focus on learning about the different strategies, and understanding how they should benefit your business. You can then monitor progress so much more closely when you do run campaigns, rather than relying on what the companies who you outsource to are telling you.
A healthcare practice can run profitably, providing it has enough patients stepping through the door. And hopefully, this will be the case for your practice, providing you are putting your patients’ needs first. If you aren’t, your patients might (and forgive the phraseology) lose patience with your practice and take their care needs elsewhere.
For the ongoing health of your business then, you might want to focus on a few key areas, as follows.
1. Improve your waiting area
Your patient care begins as your patients enter your practice. The waiting area needs to be comfortable and welcoming. It should be warm and designed in such a way as to evoke feelings of calm and peace; useful for those patients feeling anxious about their health visit. There should be plenty of space too, so patients have the freedom to gain a little bit of privacy away from other facility users. It’s in your best interest to redesign your waiting area with the aid of professional medical design firms such as Levitch, especially if there are any significant problems with your current layout.
2. Hire the best reception staff
As the face of your healthcare practice, your reception staff have the potential to make or break your business. If they are cold, rude, and unaccommodating to your patients’ needs, then they are failing in their jobs. Both on the phone and face-to-face, your receptionists need to be warm, sympathetic, and above all, caring. For your patients benefit, hire the people who can evidence their caring credentials, and commit to regular customer service training so your front-of-house reception staff can fully put your patients at ease when they enter your practice.
3. Improve waiting times
Consider this in two ways. Firstly, for any patients needing an appointment with you, don’t let them wait for very long. If they are worried about their health but can’t get an early appointment with you, they might very well look elsewhere for their care needs. And besides, the longer you make your patients wait for an appointment, the more danger of life to your patients if their health needs require early attention.
Secondly, don’t let your patients wait an age in your waiting room. While there will be times when you are busy, and appointments might overrun slightly, your patients might only get frustrated and walk out if they are forced to sit for longer than is reasonable. This is evidenced in this survey, where 30% of those surveyed stated that they had indeed walked out when made to wait.
To make life easier for your patients, you might want to bring in more staff as a means to cut down on waiting times with regards to both aspects we mentioned. You might want to extend your opening times too, be that in the week and at the weekend. You will then be able to accommodate more patients a week, and despite the expense of new hires and longer opening times, you might also make more of a profit within your healthcare practice.
As an owner of a healthcare practice, the needs of your patients need to be your #1 priority. We have discussed just a few, but use feedback surveys to fully understand the needs of the patients who attend your place of business. By caring for them, they will care for you, and by this we mean they will continue to make use of your services for their health needs.
To some, it can seem like smart technology is taking over the world. But, that doesn’t really have to be the case. Instead, it can make your life better and more enjoyable. You just need to know what you’re dealing with, and how best to get the most out of it. And because this is something that’s really growing at the moment, you’re likely to find that there are many ways you can get smarter in life. Let’s take a look.
First of all, we have entertainment. Now, we all know that the internet has very much changed the way we live. Hopefully, for the better for most of us. Yet, you can also apply it to things like TV and movies, your cell phone, and then also different voice technologies too. It’s safe to say that life can be more enjoyable, thanks to smarter technologies.
Also, we have sports. In more recent years, there has been a wealth of development in sports. Not only in the technologies that professional sports can use, and that we get to see on TV, but also in fitness. Smart watches, health trackers, and apps all make sports, health and fitness easier and more accessible.
But then also, you’ll find that the idea of getting ‘smarter’ can be applied to your energy usage too. If you’re not already smart, you may not really know what it is and what it can do. Just take a look at the infographic below to find more out about this.