Thinking about opening an orthopedic podiatry practice? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Orthopedics Podiatry Business Overview
Most people don't realize that our feet contain 52 bones -- a quarter of all the bones in the human body. With the potential for so many things to go out of kilter, the foot area supplies a steady stream of patients for podiatrists and orthopedists.
The podiatry profession has a positive outlook and is expected to experience 9% growth over the next ten years. Although solo practices have been the norm for orthopedics and podiatry professionals, the trend is toward the formation of group practices. From an entrepreneurial perspective, group practices minimize individual risk and give medical consumers access to a broader range of services.
In many cases, orthopedics and podiatry physicians and surgeons focus on a board-certified medical specialty such as sports medicine, pediatrics, dermatology, diabetic or geriatric podiatry. As a startup entrepreneur, your specialty will depend primarily on your training and certification, but you may want to consider recruiting associates to tap into other areas of specialization.
Entrepreneurial Tips for Orthopedics Podiatry Physicians
Most startup orthopedics and podiatry physicians and surgeons are more than prepared to handle the medical aspects of their endeavor. But many aren't prepared for the rigors of owning a small business. For that, you'll need to start thinking like an entrepreneur -- starting with a handful of tips you'll want to implement in your practice.
- Prioritize service. In the small business universe, superior service is a proven way for startups to compete against larger communities. But the idea of customer service-as-a-competitive-advantage has yet to catch on in segments of the medical community. Today's medical consumers have choices -- from the beginning, dedicate your practice to giving your patients a first-rate service experience.
- Get a handle on billing. A bad billing system is a major threat to the survival of new medical practices. Think about it . . . Every uncollected insurance payment or patient bill is a non-producing asset that can't currently be utilized elsewhere in the practice. Either outsource medical billing to a professional or hire an office administrator who knows billing inside and out.
- Wear two hats. The most challenging aspect of owning a podiatry and orthopedics practice is the constant demand of wearing two hats at the same time. As a medical professional, patient care should always come first. But at the same time, you need to continually hone your business leadership skills and maintain a sharp eye on the dollars and cents of your enterprise.
How to Create a Winning Orthopedic Podiatry Practice Business Plan
If you've done your homework, you already know that writing a business plan is the most critical thing you can do for your company.
Although it might seem like an unnecessary formality, your orthopedic podiatry practice's business plan is a document that will shape your goals and strategies on a go-forward basis.
Furthermore, a good business plan will help you avoid key startup mistakes. Lacking a solid business plan, many startups find themselves rudderless and incapable of executing consistent decision making processes, while committed business planners rely on their plans to guide all of their decision making and short-term planning efforts.
Don't Overlook the Competition
Long before you open an orthopedic podiatry practice within your community, it's essential to determine how many competitors you have. We've provided the link below to help you get a list of local competitors near you. Complete the form by entering your city, state and zip code to get a list of orthopedic podiatry pactices that are close by.
How tough is the competition in the market you are considering? If the competition is too tough, you may need to think about starting the business in a different area or even start a completely different business instead.
Studying the Market
If you are seriously contemplating launching an orthopedic podiatry practice, it's essential that you talk to somebody who is already in the business. It's very unlikely that the local competition will talk to you. What's in it for them?
Thankfully, an owner of a an orthopedic podiatry practice in a different city will be much more likely to talk with you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
How do you find an orthopedic podiatry practice founder in another city who you can speak with?
Simply, try our helpful link below, type in a random city/state or zipcode, and start calling.
Acquisitions vs. Startups
There is a lot of debate about whether it's better to start a new orthopedic podiatry practice or acquire an orthopedic podiatry practice on the business-for-sale marketplace.
Unless you have compelling reasons to launch a new business, buying an existing orthopedic podiatry practice may be the better choice.
Established orthopedic podiatry pactices are already equipped with the resources and processes new business owners struggle to acquire. The key is to locate a business-for-sale that closely matches your ownership philosophy and professional objectives.
Don't Forget About Franchising As an Option
Your chances of achieving the entrepreneurial goal of doing well with your venture immediately improve if you opt for franchising and benefit from the prior work of others and their lessons learned.
Before opening an orthopedic podiatry practice, you ought to investigate whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might help you avoid common entrepreneurial mistakes.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing orthopedic podiatry practice, try these useful resources:
If you sell to orthopedic podiatry pactices, this isn't the right place for you. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.