Physicians who want to become an entrepreneur can follow these 10 simple steps to success:
1. Decide on the goals of your business.
The first step you will want to take is to decide your realistic goals for your business. Are you going to have a small enterprise where you are the main focus of the business? Alternatively, are you planning a business where you can leverage yourself, build scale, and eventually sell the enterprise?
2. Come up with an idea.
Physicians will want to generate an idea for a business that is realistic, viable, has potential to be profitable, and that they are passionate about. The idea need not be original if you can do it better, faster, or provide better service or higher quality.
3. Determine the amount of risk you are ready, willing, and able to take.
You will want to decide how much capital, time, and energy you are ready to put into the business. Many entrepreneurs underestimate the amount of time and money it will take to get their idea off the ground.
4. Research your idea and learn as much as possible before you launch your business.
Many new entrepreneurs get so excited about their idea that they do not take the time to fully research the market and their potential competitors. You will want to determine specifically what will make your business attractive, unique, and profitable.
5. Who are your potential customers/clients and how will you reach them?
You will want to define what your target market is and how you will reach them cost-effectively. Avoid selecting a huge market that cannot be marketed to in a cost-effective manner. A niche market will be easier to market to and may be more profitable. Traditional marketing methods include: advertising, direct mail, email, social media, blogging, etc.
6. Get it “in a box” before rolling out.
When starting out, you will want to perfect your product/service so that it works well, is profitable, and is well received by your customers/clients. Avoid rushing to market before you work out the new business kinks.
7. Develop a simple and easy to navigate website.
While having a website is not essential to starting your venture, it will help:
• Establish your credibility,
• Make it easier for customers/clients to find you, and
• Help with your marketing/promotion efforts.
8. Landing your first customers/clients.
While you do not need a formal business plan, you should develop a plan for obtaining your first customers/clients. “Whatever it takes” is often a good approach. Build your reputation with testimonials from your satisfied initial customers/clients.
9. Protecting your “idea” for your new venture.
While you generally cannot “patent” your idea, you can protect your idea by effectively using copyright, trademark, or service mark protection. The assistance of a lawyer familiar with business origination is highly recommended.
10. Just do it better.
The success or failure of your new business venture will eventually depend on the quality of your products or services. Do not be overly concerned about competition so long as you can deliver a higher quality product/service. Competing on quality as opposed to price can be a successful business strategy.
Those physicians who are willing to devote the time, effort, resources, and energy to their new business venture are best positioned to succeed as a physician entrepreneur.
About the Author
Steven Babitsky, Esq. is a serial entrepreneur and the president of SEAK, Inc.