Setting Sail from Salaried Physician to Captain of Your Own Ketamine Clinic: An 8-Step Guide
Step 1: Chart Your Personal Financial Waters
The first question you need to ask yourself is, "How much treasure do I need to keep my ship afloat each month?" This involves taking into account all your monthly expenses like your ship's mooring fees (rent or mortgage), provisions (food), crew's wages (kid’s tuition), and even your own leisure activities. Understanding your monthly needs will help you calculate the amount of booty you'll need to stash away for those months when the winds of business are not in your favor. It also helps you identify your "enough number" - the amount of money you need to live comfortably and still enjoy life.
Step 2: Stash Away Your Emergency Treasure Chest
The size of your emergency fund will depend on your personal comfort level. Some may opt for a three-month cushion, while others may prefer a year's worth of expenses. This fund will serve as your lifeline during the initial stages of your ketamine clinic, when patient flow might be slow. Remember, not all ketamine clinics strike gold immediately. So, start calculating and saving, healthcare bosses!
Step 3: Navigate Your Own Health Insurance
As the captain of your own ship, you'll need to arrange for your own health insurance. Research your options and consider whether an individual health insurance plan or joining a spouse’s plan is the best course for you.
Step 4: Plot Your Retirement Course
Unless you plan on sailing the high seas of healthcare forever, you'll need to consider meeting with a financial adviser to plan for retirement. You'll need to determine how much you need to save to retire comfortably and chart a course to achieve your retirement goals.
Step 5: Lighten Your Debt Load
Consider paying off any outstanding debt or reducing it as much as possible. This will free up more resources for investing in your ketamine clinic. For some, this might not be an easy task (shout out to our fellow doctors with mountains of medical school debt!), but reducing your debt load can make your journey smoother.
Step 6: Keep Your Personal and Business Expenses Separate
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's crucial to keep your personal expenses separate from your business expenses. This will ensure accurate record-keeping and tax filing. If tracking these expenses sounds like a headache, consider getting help.
Step 7: Prepare for Income Fluctuations
Some months will be busier than others. It's impossible to accurately predict how many patients you will see when you start out. Having a plan to address these low cash flow months, like saving more during the more profitable months, can help you navigate these fluctuations.
Step 8: Consult a Tax Professional
As a small business owner, smart tax planning is essential. Working with a tax pro can help you take advantage of all available deductions and save you from potential financial headaches down the line.
While this blog post is a bit longer than our usual fare, it's by no means exhaustive. There are still other considerations like insurance coverage and estate planning. However, the steps we've covered should set you on the right course.
Is this a scary journey? Absolutely! But be ready to take the risk and chart our own course in the healthcare industry.
Are you ready to explore the possibility of opening and managing your own ketamine clinic? Register for our FREE Ketamine Clinic Masterclass and start your own journey.
Transitioning from a salaried physician to a ketamine clinic owner is a bold move, but it's a journey worth embarking on. With careful planning and a solid financial strategy, you can navigate the choppy waters of entrepreneurship and chart your own course in the healthcare industry.
So, healthcare bosses, are you ready to set sail?