Business Plan 101

 

As a physician going to a bank for a loan to start your practice, you may find that just having your diploma will inspire a certain amount of confidence in the loan officer. However, at The Institute for Podiatric Excellence and Development our new practitioners will attest that a well-developed business plan is far more likely to help you seal the deal. Below are some basics on what your plan should contain to get you started. A good resource for developing a business plan and also for many other aspects of starting your own practice is U.S. Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov).

Start With Some Self Reflection

By now you’ve probably already given a good deal of thought about the type of podiatric practice you plan to open and who you hope to serve. Developing your mission statement will definitely help you define the scope of your business. At this point you want to identify your goals, the population you plan to serve and how you will accomplish this.

Here are 4 questions to ask yourself:

  1. What service or product does my business provide and what specific needs does it fill
  2. Who are my potential customers and why will they choose to come to me for the services and products I provide?
  3. How will I reach my potential customers?
  4. Where will I get the financial resources to start my practice?

Once you nailed down the answers to these questions you should be able to come up with a fairly accurate guesstimate of your income and expenses for your first three years of practice.

Creating a Plan

Using the information you’ve calculated above you can now start to formulate a business plan. A typical business plan has 4 elements:

  1. Description of the business
  2. Marketing
  3. Finances
  4. Management

Each of these elements requires some in-depth explanation so that the lender can see what you plan to do, how you plan to reach your patients, the cost/income you project and how you will manage your practice including patient care, your staff, physical office and financial resources.

As an IPED member, you have access to many experienced podiatric physicians and can get the answers to the hard questions about income, expenses, fees, practice pitfalls, staff and all other aspects of the field necessary to constructing your plan and succeeding in your practice. To learn more, contact us at: info@podiatricexcellence.org.