Whether you’re looking for a new business venture or you’re a healthcare practitioner wanting to set up your own private practice, opening a new clinic is a good choice. There is always plenty of demand for healthcare facilities and it’s a rewarding project to embark on. However, when it comes to creating your plan of action, there is a lot to consider and we’re here to give you a helping hand to steer you away from some of the common pitfalls.

Aims and Objectives

Your first step is deciding on your overall aims and objectives for your new clinic. It’s important to have goals to work towards to motivate you and your staff, and to guide you when it comes to making important decisions going forwards. When creating these goals, it’s important to carry out research to find out where there are gaps in the market that you could fill, in order to attract patients. 81% of consumers are unhappy with their healthcare experience, so there is definitely demand for a new kind of service.

Think in terms of your business aims too. How much would you like to turnover in your first year, and how do you plan on going about doing so? How much of the market share would you like to have and how long do you project it will take you to get there?

Services

Every clinic is unique in the services it offers and you will need to think about what you will be capable of providing. What is there most demand for, and which services would you realistically be able to support with the facilities you have available? Would you like to specialise in primary care, mental health, addiction services, paediatrics, or a combination of a few?

Premises

Next, it’s time to think about premises. Location is crucial for any business but especially clinics as your patients need to be able to access you easily and quickly. The more central you are to towns and cities, the easier it will also be to raise awareness of your new business. Consider high footfall areas and those with plenty of parking available.

You also need to think about the internal structure of premises. In order to do this, you need to start planning how you would ideally like the interior of your clinic to look. Would you live to have a reception area with open plan seating? Will you need space for children to play as they wait? Would you like the waiting to room to be very separate from the treatment rooms, and how much space will you require within each of these areas? Particular consideration will need to be taken if you’re planning to carry out minor surgeries, as equipment will need access to certain power or water sources.

How you decorate your clinic will also have an impact on its success. Not only do you need to portray a feeling of cleanliness and professionalism, but you also ideally need to be able to create an environment that encourages patients to feel at ease. What colour schemes could be used to achieve this? Could lights, water features and music help with this? When it comes to fixtures, fittings and furniture there is a similar balance to try and achieve. They need to be suitable and practical, for example they will need to be easy to clean and be made of materials that don’t wear easily, however, they also need to fit into the aesthetic you’re trying to achieve. For example, you might want to give the impression of being a luxury private healthcare provider.

Finally, you will need to plan out what equipment your clinic will need. Everything from stationery through to high-tech medical machinery will need to be accounted for. Deciding which services you would like to provide will go a long way in helping you create an extensive list of equipment, as will market research into how clinics who have come before you have approached this challenge.

Staffing

Staffing will be one of your clinic’s most significant expenses, so careful planning on how to tackle this aspect of business is crucial. This is an area where thinking outside the box is going to help you not only cut costs, but also ensure that you are providing your patients with the best possible service.

Instead of taking on the initial and ongoing stress of hiring new employees, which involves significant HR responsibilities such as CV sifting, interviewing, document updating, disciplinary procedures, and adhering to various working regulations, why not outsource instead? There are some members of staff who will need to work in-house, for example healthcare practitioners, but when it comes to administrators, you can outsource to remote workers.

Outsourcing providers like Cymphony can supply a range of employees from call handlers and live chat agents, to virtual personal assistants. As they’re not your own, full-time staff, you only pay for their help when you need it; ensuring a definite return on investment. Cymphony have a body of highly skilled and experienced staff who are ready to hit the ground running when you need them. They’re well-versed in how to integrate seamlessly into an organisation and handle customer care expertly, helping you to develop a brilliant reputation.

Prioritising quality when it comes to staffing will help you to avoid some of the most common pitfalls when it comes to running a clinic. For example, accurate diary management is paramount if you want to retain your patients and make the most of your time. 63% patients said the most stressful thing about visiting a doctor is the wait time, so careful scheduling is crucial. The correct or incorrect cancelling and rearranging of appointments can make or break your reputation, while taking the time to send out appointment reminders and ask for feedback post appointments can really help you stand out from the crowd.

Procedures

Part of setting up a clinic is deciding on what kind of procedures you would like to put in place in order to make it run smoothly. For example, how will you handle medicine management, or the billing aspect of healthcare provision? How will you communicate with your customers and what kind of rules and regulations will you put in place to ensure that both your staff and patients are safe?

Opening hours are an important consideration too, as they can have a big impact on how successful your clinic is compared to its competitors. Longer opening hours are a simple way to ensure that you are the first choice for new patients. Convenience is a huge draw in the modern day, when people  lead such busy lives, so keeping communication channels open outside of normal hours is a good idea. Outsourcing to somewhere like Cymphony can help with this too as you can hand over the reigns when the physical clinic closes, allowing you and your staff to achieve a good work/life balance, while also benefitting from the fact your patients’ enquiries are being handled in a timely manner, and with care.

Publicity

Finally, publicity is key when it comes to setting up a successful clinic. It’s no use investing in creating an excellent healthcare facility if no one knows it’s there. 75000 healthcare searches are performed every minute on google so the demand is there, you just need to know how to tap into it. An online presence is clearly important judging by this statistic, so having a useful and user friendly website, as well as regularly updated social media pages is important. SEO, or search engine optimisation, is important for any business that wants to be discovered and there are lots of affordable digital marketing companies who can help you get your feet off the ground. Don’t forget the more traditional forms of publicity too, such as newspaper adverts, which can help you reach an older age group.

Now that you know the most important stages of setting up a clinic, you’ll have the confidence to make your goal a reality, without making some of the classic mistakes many make when starting out. And don’t forget to give Cymphony a call, to set the ball rolling in delivering an excellent service for a fraction of the usual cost.

 

 

 

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