Are you interested in starting a functional medicine practice? Dr. Deb explains 5 things you should know before getting started and keep you in business for a lifetime!
Do not miss these highlights:
01:36 Why do you need to have an INNATE DESIRE to own a Practice, as well needing to be really INTERESTED in running a Business
02:37 First thing - There's going to be turnover
04:04 Second thing - Sharpen your pencils…Get ready, there’s going to be more Paperwork and Protocols
05:24 Number three - Life Happens…Not everything is going to be perfect
06:13 Number four - It's your business…You have to be hands-on, be present, be aware, and be involved
07:26 Fifth thing - You get gratification by what you do, by helping people…Your business will grow over time
Transcription of Episode #12:
You're listening to the Functional Medicine Business Podcast featuring Dr. Deb, one of the most creative Functional Medicine business practitioners in her industry. She shares the wisdom and knowledge that she has gained over 25 years of functional medicine, a pioneer in functional medicine, scheduling, leadership and Practice Management. Dr. Deb has a wealth of knowledge and is eager to share to help functional medicine become more productive, and for the practitioners and patients to live better lives. Our podcast shares the good and the bad of our industry. Because Dr. Deb knows the pain you live every day building a functional medicine practice with practical tools on how to manage money, taxes and patient care. She will discuss it all with you. Welcome to FM bi podcast, the functional medicine business podcast.
I'm your host, Dr. Deb, and today I want to talk to you about the five things that you need to know before starting a functional medicine practice. Now there are many different rules and regulations in every state for who can practice independently who needs a practicing collaborating physician who can own a practice who can't own a practice. And those kinds of things we'll talk about on a different podcast. But today what I want to talk about is what is it that you actually need inside of you, before you start your medical practice.
And first and foremost, I think you have to have this innate desire to want to own a practice, to want to be a entrepreneur, because you're no longer just a practitioner, once you own a practice, you are an entrepreneur. And what that means is you're not only taking on what's necessary to help the patients heal and get better. But you're also taking on a leadership role in business Excel itself. And it is up to you to make that practice be successful financially. Now your patients are counting on you, your employees are counting on you, their families are counting on you. So this is a lot of pressure and a lot of stress, once you start really thinking about it, that everyone's livelihood depends on the choices that you make. So you have to really be interested in running a business, to have a practice that's not only successful, but also grows and continues to go on beyond you.
So the first thing I think that everybody needs to know once they figured out that they are an entrepreneur, and they can handle this is turnover, you are going to have turnover. When I started in my practice, I was lucky enough to join a practice that had a lot of longevity. They were in practice, my senior doc for 40 years. He had employees that were with him for 40 years, 20 years, 15 years. And I just assumed that was normal, everybody was going to have a practice like that everyone would have longevity. But that's not the case, especially today, people jump from from career to career to job to job depending on what's going on in their life at the time, depending on how much money they're making, depending on what they want to do. So the days of thinking that you're going to hire someone and they're going to stay with you for 40 years are gone, that is not going to happen anymore. So just realize there's going to be turnover, people are going to be hired, they're going to be fired, some are going to show up for work, some will call you some won't. Some you'll hire and they'll never show up for day one. And you'll never know they're not showing up. So things like that are going to happen. You can't take that personally, in my early days of business, I took all of those things personally and it is not personal. It is about them don't make this about you because it's not. So just keep that in mind.
The other thing is number two is paperwork and protocols. There's going to be more paperwork than you care to think about. Now you think you've got paperwork and documentation of your protocols and your patient visits. While there's just as much documentation on the business side. Many times people forget that when they're running a business, they have to document things. You now have a corporation. So you have to follow corporate rules. You have to keep meetings, not just your office meetings, but your business meetings, you need to actually have business meetings. You need to look at this from a business and everything needs to be documented. You need to document hiring and firing and complaints and you need to document discussions with your team that aren't going well. All of those things need to be documented. Everything needs to be kept track of. If you're billing an insurance, there's going to be a lot more paperwork on that side that you You're probably not used to doing so you're going to either have to do that or you're going to have to hire somebody to do your insurance billing, we recommend that you start a cash practice, it's easier, there's less hassle. And in functional medicine, most of what we do is not considered medically necessary. So oftentimes, it doesn't get covered by insurance anyway. So sharpen your pencils get ready, there's lots of paperwork.
Number three is life happens. That is the reality. Life happens. Everything happens to us, with us together with us. So you're going to live through deaths in the family, you are going to live through traumatic things with your your patients, and your employees and you and you're gonna have to just get used to it, the days of you getting upset over something small have to be gone. Not everything is going to be perfect. Not everything is going to run smoothly every single day the way you want it to. That's just the way it is you can try for that. And I would recommend you strive to have a smooth practice. But get it in your head from the beginning that life happens. And not everything is a big ordeal.
Number four, be present. You have to be hands on. I know a lot of people talk about I want to own a business. But I don't want to be there every day, I don't want to see all the patients, I don't want to be the face of the practice. I don't want to be this. But the reality is, it's your business. If you're not there, you don't know what's going on. If you're not in the day to day trenches with your team, it's easy for them to pull things over on you, it's easy for them to hide things from you. And unfortunately, the less time you're there, the longer it's gonna take you to figure out that something's going on, and that there's a problem.
So I really think it's important for you to have hands on. That doesn't mean that you have to let the business consume you. That doesn't mean that every single thing has to be done by you. I'm not saying micromanage. I'm saying be present, be aware, be involved. Don't just start this practice, think everybody is going to run it for you. And you're going to be able to lay on the beach and not be present. That is not how it goes. This is your baby. It's your idea. It's your dream, you have to be there to make it happen.
Number five, this is the last one is instant gratification. Everyone expects when they open the doors for their business patients are going to flood in people are going to want to work for you. Everything's going to be amazing life is going to be great. You're going to be making all the money that you want, and you're not going to have to worry about anything. Well, guess what, if you've ever birthed a child, you know that creating a baby takes nine months, your business is not going to be amazing in a month. It's not gonna happen overnight. It takes time. It takes longevity, it takes commitment. Everybody wants instant gratification. Everyone wants to be known today, everyone wants to be the best at what they do yesterday. That's not how business works. That's not the reality. That's not how our practice works. You get gratification by what you do helping people seeing people and your business will grow over time. But it takes determination and it takes time. So don't expect everything to be amazing right out of the gate. You need somebody that can walk alongside of you and help you grow and help you be the person that you want to be in business. But please don't go into this thinking that you're going to make a million dollars in the first year because the likelihood of that happening is not there. Unless you already have a history you already have some clients. If you're starting from scratch, it's going to be a challenge. So just be realistic in what you're looking for. So those are your five steps in starting a functional medicine business. I hope they've been helpful. I hope this has been helpful. Click to subscribe so you can hear our latest podcast that we launch every single week a new episode for you on functional medicine business. Thanks for listening.
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