How far in advance should I plan my private practice launch?

This is a common question for those contemplating the launch of their first private practice. Those of you who are already on your second or higher launch have likely learned the answer the hard way.

The rule of thumb is to allow at least one year. More complicated launches, including those requiring a purpose-built structure, typically require an additional 6 to 12 months, for a total of up to 2 years.

Here is a rough timeline to follow (see figure below). Your specific circumstances will determine the precise order and duration of each phase. The AA Team in Step 1 refers to a team comprised of an Accountant and Attorney, both with specializations in your area (i.e., dental or medical). These specialists should know all the specific challenges you can expect to face, and will have access to other relevant service providers.

Practice Launch Timeline

Practice Launch Timeline

 

6 Comments

    Jean W.

    Should i negotiate directly with the landlord or get a real estate broker to negotiate for me?

      Yuval Bar-Or

      When seeking real estate for your private practice, it is highly advisable to use the services of a real estate broker who has allegiance to you. That is, one who works for you rather than working for the landlord. In either case, the broker is likely to be paid by the landlord. The key is to ask in advance where the broker’s allegiance lies. I recommend doing so through email to create a paper trail. A good broker will have a realistic sense of the local market and will be able to gauge whether you are being offered a decent deal by the landlord. S/he should also be able to help negotiate the fine details, including clauses that may prove very important in future, such as renewal options.

    DocZ

    I work in a hospital and am thinking of starting my own practice. How important is it to get an architect? Can’t i just buy some eixsting office space, paint the place nicely and open for business? What difference does the architext make, if any?

      Yuval Bar-Or

      An architect is not always necessary. If you only need a small space, and/or find one that has already been converted into medical space that meets your needs – you can do without.
      On the other hand, if you are building from scratch, undertaking large scale conversion, and/or concerned about people-flow through your selected space, an architect is almost certainly needed.
      Architects are trained to combine aesthetics with function, and to do so while meeting legal building-code requirements. A contractor may not have all these skills/capabilities.

    Anonymous

    Who are the other relevant service providers when considering a private practice?

      Yuval Bar-Or

      In addition to the Accountant and Attorney, you will likely also need a commercial real estate agent/broker, possibly an architect, contractor(s), equipment supplier(s), a lender/bank, and specialized technology solution vendors. In some cases medical practice consultants and/or marketing specialists can also prove useful.

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