This is the fifth part of the chronicling of opening my second Men’s Health practice. As many of you already know, I am opening up a second practice location. I will be writing a series of “diary” articles to enlighten everyone on my progress as I enter these unclear waters. This will benefit me as it will help track my progress, but my main hope is that it will motivate many of you to get off your ass and get started building a niche side practice. I will also include little “tips” that I have learned along the way as I chronicle my journey.
It has been 3 months since we opened my 2nd men’s health practice! I had planned on updating everyone sooner, but when you get a practice up and running, it ends up really just running itself, so I didn’t have a whole lot of news to report. With that said, it has been going “okay.” Slower than I had hoped, but going well. My practice is officially on autopilot!
Tip #27: It usually takes 3 months for a part-time niche side practice to go on autopilot. Remember, this is when the revenue pays for the expenses of the business. This is a very exciting time for a practice! It means that you are no longer having to invest money into the business to keep it running!
Now, at this point, all the revenue coming in is going to be considered profit. BUT… I am not going to be paying myself anything from this practice quite yet. Instead, I am going to reinvest all the profits back into the practice so it can grow.
Tip #28: Try to hold off on paying yourself anything from your niche side practice during the first 6-12 months. This might sound torturous, but trust me, the money you are investing back into the practice will help it grow! In time, the practice will get busier and busier which will ultimately result in SIGNIFICANT profits. Those high profits are what will propel you towards financial independence!
Many of you are probably asking “well, how much are you making?” Not as much as you think… Since opening, we have made roughly $9,000 in revenue. This is not that much, and I had hoped it would be more, but I am satisfied with it as this is a VERY part-time practice for me. I seriously spend like an hour a week on this seeing the patients. My medical assistant otherwise runs the practice for me. In contrast, my first men’s health practice brought in $90,000 in revenue in the last 3 months, but I have had it for over 2 years. At present, this 2nd practice is on a similar trajectory as my first one. I remember that it took 4-6 months for my first men’s health practice to begin generating any significant money.
Tip #29: BE PATIENT! You have to give your part-time practice some time to flourish. Yes, these numbers might not seem that great, but remember, this is VERY VERY VERY part-time. I am still doing everything else in my life, this is just another side hustle. The more revenue streams you develop, the wealthier you will become.
Now, have I run into any speedbumps the past 3 months? Not really… Most of the speedbumps occur during the START UP phase of your practice. Once you get past those, then it is smooth sailing. Far too many nurse practitioners give up after a few speed bumps… You should not do this. You need to remain persistent with your efforts.
In terms of speedbumps, the biggest one we have ran into was a billing error for our automatic payments. For some reason, the charges were not being processed and all the patients were hit with 2 months of bills all at once. We have no idea how this happened, but to say the least, it really pissed off the handful of patients we have. To maintain the few patients we have, I had to give everyone a discount on their next month of treatment, which unfortunately decreased our profits.
Tip #30: Keep your patients happy! Providing friendly, convenient, and affordable care should be a priority in your business. Always stay on top of patient complaints and resolve them as quickly as possible. Most patient complaints revolve around money, therefore, fix the issue by giving them free services and products!
Outside of the billing speedbump, that is essentially it. Our biggest hurdle has been patient acquisition. I was expecting more patients as I do not have any competition around.
So, to increase the volume of my practice, I have increased my marketing budget. I am using some revenue from my first men’s health practice to invest in this as I do not have the funds from the 2nd practice to do it. This doesn’t bother me as it is all the same entity and ultimately, the same money. Both of my men’s health practices are operating under the same LLC and have the same bank account. The only difference between the two is that I use separate credit cards to keep track of their separate expenses.
In terms of marketing, I have invested heavily into local golf course advertising. I have purchased tens of thousands of score card advertisements, advertisements on golf ball cleaners, and have even put ads in the golf courses “Course Guides.” Men who play golf are my target market: wealthier men.
Additionally, I have put some ads in local newspapers and publications. I am finding that digital advertising is not working well for this 2nd practice. I am not sure why, but the market is slightly different than my first. With that said, I have stopped social market advertising and have just stuck with Google Ads and ensuring my Google Listing is receiving some reviews. So far, it is working moderately well.
Like I mentioned before, my biggest hurdle with this 2nd practice has been obtaining new patients. A large demographic of men’s health patients are first responders such as police officers and fire fighters. Unfortunately, I have yet to obtain any of these patients. For this reason, I will be putting some ads in some niche firefighter and police officer publications (such as their state fraternal orders quarterly publication) in hopes that it will generate interest from that demographic. Once I get just 1-2 of these guys, then word of mouth will spread like wildfire!
Tip #31: Every niche practice will have its associated niche target market. Sometimes, it is impossible to figure out who that market is until you get started and you begin to see patterns in who your patients are. Once you get a few of these niche people in your practice though, then they will tell all their friends and you will see an influx in your patient volume!
At this time, I am moderately satisfied with the performance of the 2nd practice. I really had hoped it would be busier than what it is, but that is business! You just never know until you give it a try! I will continue giving it some time to grow and flourish and tinker around with my marketing campaign. There is little else I can do to obtain more patients other than continue trying other marketing routes. Yes, it is expensive, but you need to think of it as an investment in your business. Remember, marketing is the number one function and the number one expense of your business. If you fail to properly market, then your practice could potentially fail.
More to come as more developments occur!