Setting up your own business is no easy task. If you are a medical practitioner, you will be spending a reasonable amount of time and money before you can even get qualified patients in your clinic. Before opening your own medical clinic, you should consider some factors first to avoid any problems in the future.
1. Research on the medical tourism industry
The growth rate of medical tourism is ever-increasing. Countries are now competing where they once used to be rivals. This industry has become a massive market that even hospitals outside of these countries are now taking part in it, too. These are just some examples of what the medical tourism industry looks like currently:
- Malaysia was able to provide free healthcare for its citizens through public funds and private health insurance schemes, which allowed them to invest more money into developing and promoting their healthcare facilities and services (Malaysian Ministry of Health). They also offer quality treatments at competitive rates (Malaysian Ministry of Health).
- Taiwan has created the Tourism Bureau Medical Division under its cabinet-level Council of Economic Planning and Development. The bureau was able to increase visitor arrivals by marketing Taiwan’s high-quality medical resources to people worldwide (National Geographic).
- Thailand is one of the countries that offer free healthcare for their citizens while selling medical services at competitive prices (Thailand Medical Services Directory).
- India is currently considered one of the best places for affordable but high-quality treatments, so much so that it has become a significant hub for medical tourism. It offers different packages depending on your travel plans and flight transfer information (India Tourism). Even more options are available in this country, including wellness or Ayurveda programs and fertility or rejuvenation treatments.
2. Define your target audience
Before opening a medical clinic, you need to think about whom you wish to serve in the long run. Do you want to provide services based on geographical location? Are you going to specialize in one field of medicine? Who is most likely to visit your clinic? Are these people primarily from out of town, or do they belong to a particular demographic group? Come up with a specific niche market and focus only on them for now. Make sure that it’s something they would be interested in paying for, and make sure that what you offer them is also available at other places.
3. Determine how much money can be made
Just because businesses worldwide are now investing in medical tourism, it doesn’t mean that you should start a clinic as well. You need to make sure that there is a market for your type of services before venturing into the business. There’s no point in creating a replica of another already established and successful company.
Another thing to consider here is how much money would be needed to set up a clinic or purchase equipment such as medical supply carts, exam tables, etc. How much do these things cost? Are they affordable based on the amount of money you are willing to invest in your own clinic? How about paying for rent? Would there be additional costs involved, such as recruiting staff, hiring marketing personnel, etc.? Do thorough research on what needs to be paid for and what does not to have an idea of how much it will cost from the beginning.
4. Review your qualifications
Are you qualified enough to provide medical services? This requires a license from the state. You need to have a proper educational background so you can understand what needs to be done for each patient. Are you the only person who will work at your clinic, or will other people be involved? Everyone must have the proper credentials and certificates to ensure that safety standards are being met at all times.
5. Research on your competitors
You cannot just open a clinic without knowing what your competition looks like. Spend time looking into their websites, reviews by clients, marketing strategies, etc. What do they offer? How do they promote themselves online and offline? How much are they charging for treatment compared to what you’re planning on offering? You need to look at the positive and negative aspects of these companies to develop your own game plan.
6. Decide on where you want the clinic to be located
Do you want your clinic to be situated in an urban or rural area? It will also help if you know how many people live in that specific location. You may target people worldwide, but it’s still important to consider the convenience factor so that they aren’t too far away from your actual site.
7. Start advertising early enough
It does not matter how much money is earned when starting a medical clinic. There is always a risk involved when doing business. Thus, it’s crucial to advertise early enough so clients who wish to avail of your services can make a call or book an appointment for a consultation. You don’t want to wait for too long before launching a campaign because people will forget about you once they lose interest.
8. Be realistic on setting prices
Many factors affect the price of medical treatment, such as the cost of living in that specific area, rent, wages, etc. It’s better if you check with other clinics on how much they charge first to know what fees need to be collected from patients every month.
It’s important to be aware of these factors before opening your own clinic. You may have a good idea about what needs to be done, but there are still chances it will not work out as planned. Ensure that everything is documented and organized for future reference once the business starts running.