Tips for Healthcare Entrepreneurship

The healthcare industry is notorious for being one of the most taxing career paths one can take. Not only do healthcare professionals have to go through years of strenuous schooling to be able to sit for licensing exams. They also regularly have to work forced overtime, including nights, weekends, and holidays. When working for large healthcare systems, they are often paid wages that are too low for their work, the responsibilities they accept, the liability they are exposed to, and are frequently not treated with the respect they deserve. However, this doesn’t have to be the case if a healthcare professional chooses to pursue the path of healthcare entrepreneurship.

Becoming a healthcare entrepreneur

When starting, it is best to begin your healthcare business part-time. Run your own practice a few days a week, and work at the hospital or other healthcare setting on additional workdays. This will ensure that you have a stable income and can keep the lights on until your patient load becomes more substantial while also allowing you to dip your toes in the water of becoming an entrepreneur

“Although healthcare entrepreneurship can be exciting, not everyone likes the added responsibility of being a business owner,” asserts Jason Duprat, founder of the Healthcare Entrepreneur Academy. “It’s best to find that out before making too large of a financial investment into that career path.”

An excellent way for healthcare professionals to learn the ropes of being a healthcare entrepreneur is by becoming a 1099 contractor. As a 1099 contractor, you operate as a “self-employed” independent contractor while working under the roof of an established business. With this structure, you get some benefits of running your own business — such as more independence and control over one’s schedule— without having to do any of the legwork of marketing or finding new patients.

The goal of a new healthcare entrepreneur starting their own clinic is to build up a steady stream of patients. “At first, you start by taking on enough patients that you can get into the rhythm of running your own practice — be it offering direct primary care, aesthetics, or some form of holistic or wellness healthcare service like ketamine or IV drip therapy,” Duprat explains. “Then, once you feel confident that you are able and eager to do your business into a full-time career, you can increase your patient load to a level that can sustain transitioning to practicing in your clinic full-time.”

Being successful as a healthcare entrepreneur

Remember, when you start your own practice, you aren’t just a healthcare clinician— you are also a business owner. This comes with a different set of skills you may not have been educated on before. Most education programs at colleges and universities focus on teaching the knowledge and skills you will need to know throughout your career as someone that provides direct patient care. Being a healthcare entrepreneur, on the other hand, involves applying an entirely different set of business skills that you will undoubtedly have to learn.

As a healthcare entrepreneur, you should always be learning. Even though you may have your degrees and required certifications, there is always more to learn. Look into online courses, conferences, and certificates to further your career and knowledge. Not only will these help you provide better care for your patients, but they could also allow you to earn more money, as these more advanced qualifications will enable you to charge a premium for your services.

The healthcare industry is also highly regulated, meaning that healthcare professionals must continuously keep up to date on the most current standards and regulations. Furthermore, because the developments in medical treatment options are disseminated quickly online, patients will expect your practice to be on the cutting edge of patient care.

Another skill that healthcare entrepreneurs need to succeed is an understanding of marketing. Taking additional courses in marketing is not a bad idea for any healthcare professional wanting to start their own business, as marketing is key to business growth. Word-of-mouth referrals are great, but they generally aren’t the best way to attract additional patients quickly, which is what you will need to get to the level where you earn enough that your business can be your sole source of income.

For healthcare professionals, starting a practice and building your business is a process that requires a great deal of patience, but it can also be one of the most rewarding things you can do. “Many healthcare professionals complain about how cold and demanding the corporate healthcare world can be, but starting a practice is liberating,” says Duprat. “It allows you not only to work on your terms but also to provide care in the way they see best for your patients without having to worry about the corporate system and their prioritization of the bottom line.”

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