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Two Questions to Ask while Prioritizing Tasks when Starting a Business

When nurse practitioners begin the process of starting a business, many of them get analysis paralysis. They start focusing on items that just don’t matter that much when starting a business. Over on the Facebook group I hear this time and time again. People just aren’t prioritizing the tasks that need to be completed to get a business up and running. They focus on junk instead.

You need to ask yourself 2 questions when you are prioritizing tasks during the startup phase of a new practice:

  1. Is what I am doing going to kill someone?
  2. Is what I am doing going to get me into legal trouble?

If the answers to those 2 questions are NO, then the task is not that vital to starting your business.

You obviously need to understand the medical component of the service you will be providing. It doesn’t matter if it is primary care, stem cell injections, or men’s health, you must understand the risks and benefits of the medical treatments you will be ordering. This is not even debatable.

You also need to understand the legalities of business. It can be broken down fairly easily:

  1. Do you have your limited liability company and operating agreement set up?
  2. Do you have your federal employment identification number?
  3. Have you met with your accountant and set up all the boring tax stuff?
  4. Do you have your consent forms? (provided in all Elite NP courses).
  5. Are you going to be seeing Medicare patients if accepting cash?
  6. Are you following state/local laws when it comes to your scope of practice and with operating a medical practice?
  7. Are you following DEA regulation?
  8. Do you have malpractice coverage?

That is it in a nutshell when it comes to the legalities of starting a CASH practice. When you begin accepting insurance, you have just complicated the above two-fold. You now must follow all Medicare/Medicaid/Private Insurance rules and regulations. It unnecessarily complicates business. But, if you want to start a general medical type of practice, you must play by their rules on top of the other general business rules.

Outside of these two questions, the rest is not THAT important folks. Too many people get focused on the small details that really don’t matter that much. What scheduling software am I going to use? What EMR do I use? What point of sales system do I use? What color pens should I use? These things should not take that much of your time when starting a practice. They don’t matter.

I did not have an EMR or scheduling software set up when I started my men’s health practice. We charted and scheduled on paper for the first 1-2 months! I was focused more on patient care and bringing in patients to the new practice. That is what matters.

You must be bringing in new customers which results in revenue, it does not matter what type of business you operate, this is the basis of business. Without money coming in, you will fail. Therefore, you need to focus on income generating work, not busy work. You must focus on marketing! MARKETING MARKETING MARKETING! This is the main function of your business if you want to generate a profit.

I have a general rule of thumb when starting a business: I need to have it 40% complete before I open, the other 60% can be figured out along the way. You will never be 100% prepared, YOU WON’T! Don’t even try because you are doomed to fail if you do. That is what I try to offer to my readers in my courses, about 40% of what you need. The other 60% can be figured out along the way.

I am opening my 2nd men’s health practice in the upcoming months as COVID is winding down. I will have these things finished before I officially open the doors:

  1. LLC and legal structure (which I already have as it is just an extension of my current practice).
  2. Lease a building and furnish it cheaply.
  3. Hire a medical assistant.
  4. Begin to hire a nurse practitioner, but I will see patients at first until I feel comfortable with finding someone.
  5. Use a basic EMR and scheduling software like Simple Practice.
  6. Use the point of sales system I already have.
  7. A basic marketing plan in my mind.

That’s it! Everything else can wait as we begin to see new patients and get busier. This location is 300 miles from me. Have I figured out how I am going to manage this from a distance? Nope… I will figure it out as we go. If I tried to figure out all of that, I would get analysis paralysis and never start. I have an advantage as I already have the systems in place, but I still estimate only being 60% complete before I open this second location.

Sometimes you need to shoot first and ask questions later with business. When it comes to starting a medical practice, ask yourself the 2 questions from the beginning of the article. If the answers are no, then it can likely be figured out AFTER you start. The best thing you can do when starting a business is to take action and get started! Overcome your fear, you will be okay!

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