The realities of launching and running a DPC practice can be stressful and challenging for you and the people closest to you. Here are some things to think about as you get started, so that you and your family can better manage the stress and face the challenges on the road to success.
Some DPC practices are able to quickly build a good-sized panel by converting their FFS patients to members, however you should plan for a possible — or likely — reduction in income as you work to build your panel. It’s critical that you take steps now to make sure you’re as financially and mentally prepared as possible prior to launching.
Start by having an open and honest family discussion about how things will change. Don’t limit yourself to just talking about income and other dollars-and-cents issues. Think about how it could impact your family’s lifestyle, including things like vacations, education and entertainment, along with community and charity work.
Use these questions to guide your conversation:
Don’t limit yourself to these questions. The key point is that you want to take a holistic look at your life.
Once you‘ve had your family discussion, work together to come up with a plan for addressing the challenges you could face in the future. Planning for these things as a family will better prepare you for facing them together when they happen.
Tip: Consider meeting with a financial advisor. They’re an impartial sounding board that can offer you fresh perspectives on your personal and business finances.
The Good News: You already have many of the skills needed to run a business.
The Bad News: You still have a lot to learn and do to succeed.
As a business owner, you must understand things like cash flow and billing, along with paying staff and the IRS. You’ll also need to attract new customers, while keeping the ones you have.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a business expert on day one. There’s plenty of support out there from family, friends and other people you’re connected to. You can also reach out to DPC doctors in your area, or join online communities.
Tip: Hint’s online community is a good place to ask questions.
Some questions to get you started:
New questions will come up as you move closer to launch, and even more after you open your DPC practice. The key thing is to start thinking like a business person before you launch, so you can build a plan for entrepreneurial success over the long term.
If you want to build a solid foundation for your Direct Primary Care practice, you need to have honest conversations — and ask yourself tough questions — today. But if you’re willing to do the hard work now, then you’re more likely to experience personal and job satisfaction long into the future.
Remember: You don’t have to know it all and do everything on your own. What’s important is to ask for help as you get started on your journey and whenever you need it along the way.
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