Do you want to start a medical concierge practice? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a medical concierge practice business with NO money and no experience.
Are you a medical doctor? Do you want to become your own boss but don’t have enough startup capital to set up a medical clinic or hospital? If your answer is positive, then you should consider starting a concierge medical practice business.
What is a Concierge Medical Practice Business?
Concierge medical practice is a practice that gives room for a unique relationship between a patient and his or her doctor (primary care physician) in which the patient pays an annual fee or what is known as retainer-ship, hence concierge medical practice or concierge medicine can also be called retainer medicine.
This retainer fee may or may not be in addition to other charges depending on the doctor. In the united states, patients pay an annual or monthly fee which often totals about $1,200 to $5,000 per year.
When it comes to starting a medical related business, it is advisable to first look at the existing laws in the country or the state you reside. This is because there is hardly any country that does not pay serious attention on their health sector.
The health industry is usually highly regulated so as to guide against the infiltration of quacks or substandard medical clinics, hospitals or health facilities.
In essence, if you have chosen to start your own concierge medical practice business, then you would need to pay a visit to the health and medical regulatory body in your country (the department/ministry of health and medical services) to get all the needed information that is required before you can legally start your own concierge medical practice business in your city.
So, if indeed you truly want to start your own concierge medical practice business, all you need do is to read this article and you will be well informed and equipped. You can start your concierge medical practice business from a small town In the united states and if you are consistent and creative, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes a nationally recognized brand.
Steps to Starting a Concierge Medical Practice Business
1. Understand the Industry
Concierge medical practice business is classified under the Business Concierge Services industry and players in the industry are known for providing on-demand services to clients that range from business executives to employees and individuals.
Players in this industry offer a wide variety of services such as medical practice, running errands, conducting grocery and personal shopping, making travel and restaurant reservations, and home management services et al. The services may be provided in-person or remotely via telecommunications.
For instance, in hotels or resorts, a concierge company assists guests by performing various tasks such as making restaurant reservations, booking hotels, arranging for spa services, recommending night life hot spots, booking transportation (like taxi, limousines, airplanes, boats, etc.), coordinating porter service (luggage assistance request), procuring of tickets to special events, and assisting with various travel arrangements and tours of local attractions. Concierge also assists with sending and receiving parcels.
In hospitals, concierge services are becoming increasingly available. A hospital concierge provides services similar to those of a hotel concierge, but serves patients and employees as well. This helps hospital staff members who work long shifts, and helps to provide work-life balance.
Usually, concierge services companies will bill on an hourly rate and depending on the type of task, service charges can fluctuate drastically. Other companies bill a flat monthly fee based on the number of requests a member or client as the case may be is allowed to place each month.
For instance, in the united kingdom, since the year 2000 and as of 2010, concierge services have become a key marketing and loyalty tool in the banking sector. This type of service offering is also known as lifestyle management.
If you are considering starting your own concierge medical practice in the United States, then you should try and work around the industry barriers. As a matter of fact, it is absolutely compulsory for any investor who is looking towards starting a concierge medical practice business to meet extensive federal, state and local laws and regulations.
These regulations relate to the adequacy of medical care, equipment, personnel, operating policies and procedures. Regulations also involve maintaining adequate records, preventing fires, setting rates and complying with best practices in the healthcare and medical industry.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own concierge medical practice is that the business is one of the easiest businesses to start in the healthcare and medical industry, it is a profitable business and it is a business that can be started with minimal start – up capital and of course minimal employees.
Over and above, the Business Concierge Services industry is very open to any aspiring entrepreneur who has the required skills to start his or her own concierge services business and of course make good money from the industry.
As a matter of fact, it was projected that over the next five years, new technology will continue to emerge that will make it easier for more players to come into the industry hence increasing the competition in the industry.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who need the services of a concierge medical practice business is not restricted to a group of people. The truth is that everyone who has the financial capacity is a potential client for a concierge medical practice business.
In essence, the demographic composition cum target market for a concierge medical practice business is all encompassing; it is not restricted to any gender, race, tribe or group of people.
So, if you are looking towards defining the demographics of your concierge medical practice business, then you should make it far reaching to everyone in and around the location where your concierge medical practice business is located with the capacity to pay for your services.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
It is important to state that concierge medical practice business is a niche area in the business concierge services industry so there is no niche area in this line of business. Concierge medical practice business owners engage in the practice of the business of medicine that gives room to a unique relationship between a patient and a doctor (primary care physician) in which the patient pays an annual fee.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The level of competition in the business concierge services industry to some extent depends largely on the location of the business, your niche area of operation and of course the capacity of your concierge medical practice business. The truth is that as a concierge medical practice business owner, you are likely going to experience little or no competition because most players in the business concierge services industry render different services to their clients.
But that does not mean that you are not going to be competing against other concierge medical practice businesses in and around your coverage area and of course other players in the healthcare and medical services industry.
It is important to also state that the competition in the concierge medical practice business is not restricted to concierge medical practice businesses in your location, but all across the globe because a wealthy man can fly-in a physician (concierge medical practitioner) from any part of the world as long as they have the financial means.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
It is important to point out the fact that in every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than the others.
Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years. These are some of the leading concierge medical practice businesses in the United States of America and in the globe;
- My Doctor Medical Group
- Concierge Medicine Today
- Austin Concierge Medicine
- Concierge Family Doctor
- Diamond Physicians
- Specialdocs Consultants, LLC
- Concierge Choice Physicians
- Healthcare Success
- Pinnacle Concierge Medicine
When beginning a concierge medical practice business, you just have got to get your costing cum economic analysis right if your intention of building the business is to generate profits, grow the business and perhaps expand the business and start competing at the national level.
When conducting costing and economic analysis for your concierge medical practice business, you just have to critically examine these key factors; place, pricing, and promotion. As a matter of fact, you would have to continue to review these key factors at regular intervals while running your concierge medical practice business.
As a concierge medical practice business owner, you just have to have a proper grasp of your competitive landscape if indeed you want to maximize profits and be in the frontline of the industry.
It is important to note that transportation, medical tools and equipment and overhead cost (if you maintain back-office staff members) are some of the most important factors contributing to the overall cost of running a concierge medical practice business and should be considered as a major factor when carrying out your costing and economic analysis.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
If you are looking towards starting a concierge medical practice business, you would have to start from the very scratch because available research shows that you can hardly get the franchise of a concierge medical practice business to buy. It is a business that is open to all and sundry.
Besides starting a concierge medical practice business from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other medical/healthcare related business which usually requires detailed groundwork before launching the business.
With a concierge medical practice business, you should just try as much as possible to acquire your medical license, register your business, purchase the required medical tools and equipment and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet to market your concierge medical practice business.
Please note that most of the big and successful concierge medical practice businesses around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to open your own concierge medical practice business today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established concierge medical practice businesses and of course other players in the Hospital and Healthcare industry in your target market location. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
Some other threats and challenges that you are likely going to face when you start your concierge medical practice business are mature markets, bad economy (economy downturn), stiff competition, volatile costs, and rising medical care prices.
So also, unfavorable government policies, seasonal fluctuations, demographic/social factors, downturn in the economy which is likely going to affect consumer spending and of course emergence of new competitors within the same location where yours is located.
There is hardly anything you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for your good.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
When considering opening a concierge medical practice business, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow; some concierge medical practice businesses design their business and services for the community market, while others for national market via franchising and branching out.
You can either choose a general partnership, limited liability company, or a sole proprietorship for a concierge medical practice business.
Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale concierge medical practice business especially if you are just starting out with moderate start – up capital, covering just a city and with minimal employees.
But if your intention is to grow the business and operate all across the United States of America, then choosing sole proprietorship is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your concierge medical practice business; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners, investors’ expectation and of course taxes.
If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your concierge medical practice business, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. It is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
If you are considering starting your own concierge medical practice business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Gregory Finbarr® Concierge Medical Practice, LLC
- Indiana James® Concierge Medical Practice, Inc.
- Morrison Philips® Concierge Medical Practice, Inc.
- Hillcrest® Concierge Medical Practice, Inc.
- Twelve Thirty® Concierge Medical Practice, Inc.
- Doctors Connect® Concierge Medical Practice, Inc
- Bonny Gold® Concierge Medical Practice, Inc.
- Vincent Bloomberg® Concierge Medical Practice, Inc.
- Borger Jasper® Concierge Medical Practice, LLC.
- Sharon Holmes® Concierge Medical Practice, Inc.
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance policy and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your concierge medical practice business.
Here are some of the basic insurance policy covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own concierge medical practice business in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Risk Insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Building/Property insurance
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own concierge medical practice business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
If you intend starting a concierge medical practice business in the United States of America, you are encouraged to pursue professional certifications; it will go a long way to show your commitment towards the business. Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career, and up-to-date in the market.
Besides it is almost impossible to run a concierge medical practice business in the United States without the proper professional certification. In most countries of the world, practicing any medical related practice without a license is typically illegal.
In most jurisdictions, individuals found to be providing medical, nursing or other professional services without the appropriate certification or license may face sanctions including even criminal charges leading to prison. These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own concierge medical practice;
- Registered nurse and Licensed practical nurse Certificate
- ACMPE’s Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE)
- Director of Nursing Services–Certified (DNS-CT)
- QAPI Certified Professional (QCP)
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hands of the law catch up with you.
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own concierge medical practice business in the United States of America;
- Business and liability insurance
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- State Permit
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Employee’s Handbook
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a standard and well – equipped concierge medical practice business is not capital intensive especially if you choose to launch the business on a small scale and you only have a handful of full – time employees on your payroll. Leasing of a standard facility that can accommodate your staff members and of course the purchase of medical equipment are part of what will consume a large chunk of your start – up capital, in essence, if you choose to start the business on a large scale, you will need to source for fund to finance the business.
No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for start – up capital for your concierge medical practice business;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell of shares to interested investors
- Applying for Loan from your Bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from government, donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Concierge medical practice business is a business that can be sited in any location as long as there are people and organizations that can pay for your services. As a matter of fact, you can start your concierge medical practice business in your house and still grow the business to profitability.
Generally, in business, it cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to start your business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of appreciable growing population and of course people with the required purchasing power and lifestyle.
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your concierge medical practice business, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your concierge medical practice business;
- The demography of the location
- The demand for the services of concierge medical practice and other healthcare related businesses in the location
- The purchasing power of residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of concierge medical practice businesses and healthcare related services businesses that in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community
- The road network, traffic, parking and security et al
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
When it comes to starting a standard concierge medical practice business, you will need stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, oxygen tanks, and first aid kits, gloves and uniform and other related medical equipment that will aid you in carrying out your job.
It is important to state that this equipment can be purchased as fairly used if you are operating on a low budget. In setting up a small office for your concierge medical practice business, you will also need computer, printer, home healthcare software, telephones, pager, photocopier, scanner, and fax machine et al.
When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing a facility for your concierge medical practice business, the size of the business you want to own, and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice. Besides, you can operate this business from your home or from a small office space that can accommodate staff members working for you.
Good enough, the concierge medical practice business is a business that can be run as a one – man show, but if you want to build a business with corporate outlook, then you would need to hire some key employees to occupy certain positions in your organization.
Averagely, when it comes to starting a standard concierge medical practice business on a large scale, you would need the services of the following professionals; Chief Operating Officer/Chief Medical Director (you can occupy this position if you are a medical doctor), Marketing and Sales Executive (Business Developer), Accountant, Nurse Aides, Human Resources and Admin Manager, Nurses, Customer Services Executive/Front Desk Officer, Security Guards and Cleaners.
Over and above, you would need a minimum of 5 to 10 key staff members to effectively run a medium scale but standard concierge medical practice business.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
The service delivery process as it relates to concierge medical practice business is simple and straightforward and it is applicable to players in the business concierge services industry. Concierge medical practitioners (general physicians) are known for providing on-demand medical services to their clients.
Usually, a concierge medical practice business goes out there to source for clients and once they sign a business deal with the client, then they will automatically attend to such client whenever they get a call from the client. Depending on the type of sickness to be treated, most often than not, the treatment is carried out in the home or any choice location of the client. The reason why a client may leave their location when under treatment is when they have to go for medical test.
It is important to state that a concierge medical practice business may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated concierge medical practice business process is not cast on stone.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
The fact that the entry barrier for starting a small – scale concierge medical practice business is achievable means that there is bound to be more players in the industry no matter the location you choose to start yours. In essence, you must come up with creativity and innovations if you must carve out a market for yourself within the available market in your community, city, state or country.
So, when you are drafting your marketing plans and strategies for your concierge medical practice, make sure that you create a compelling personal and company profile. Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state in practical terms what you have been able to achieve in time past as it relates to your line of business. This will help boost your chances in the market place when marketing your services.
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your concierge medical practice;
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to households, hospitals, religious organizations, corporate organizations, HMOs and everyone in and around the location where you want to practice your concierge medical services
- Open your concierge medical business with a party so as to capture the attention of residents who are your first targets
- Advertise your concierge medical practice business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Leverage on the internet to promote your concierge medical practice business
- Engage in direct marketing and sales
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
- Leverage on the internet to promote your business
- Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your concierge medical practice business; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing for you
17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
One key factor that will help you offer your services at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum, and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products.
You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; it will help you save cost of paying sales and marketing executives.
So also, if you are able to secure business partnership with HMOs and medical insurance companies as it relates to getting referrals, then you will be able to get the right pricing and of course maximize profits from your concierge medical practice business.
As regards medications, medical tools and equipment and other medical and administrative supplies that you need to effectively run your concierge medical practice business, you need to ensure that you purchase your items directly from the manufacturers or from wholesale distributors in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantity of items you purchase directly from the manufacturers or wholesale distributors, the cheaper you tend to get them.
18. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If your intention of starting a concierge medical practice business is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand by working for clients all across the United States of America, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your concierge medical practice business;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and health magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your concierge medical practice business
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- Contact households, hospitals, religious organizations, corporate organizations, HMOs and everyone in and around the location where you choose to operate informing them about your business and the services you offer
- List your concierge medical practice business in local directories
- Advertise your medical clinic in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your concierge medical practice business is located
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles, ambulances and vans are well branded with your company logo