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Let's get this bread: A practice owner's journey to financial independence

Pave the way for your growth and success with these strategies.

It's the busiest time of the year, isn't it? You're prepping for the holidays, juggling personal commitments, and tackling those year-end tasks for your business — sorting out accounts and devising strategies for year-end finances. Maybe, like us, you're also pondering next year's goals (hello, New Year's resolutions!).

If achieving financial independence tops your list, we’ve got your back! Below, we're sharing effective strategies to help you reach financial freedom and gear up for success in the upcoming year and beyond.

What’s next (Dream big, doc)

To start, take a moment to celebrate your current achievements. You're not just a doctor; you're an entrepreneur making a real impact while caring for your patients. (But hey, let's keep that humility intact.)

Now that we've cheered for where you've been and where you stand, let's pivot toward where you're heading. Achieving true financial independence demands a clear vision of your future life. It's time to reassess both your personal and professional goals. Begin by focusing on the upcoming year, but keep that larger-than-life perspective in mind (we challenge you to dream big). You might already own one practice but envision having three. Perhaps retirement has a specific age tag for you. Remember, as an entrepreneur, you hold the power to adjust, refine, and expand your plans.

Ask yourself:

  • What holds the most value in your life?
  • Where do your aspirations lead you?
  • How do you visualize your ideal life?

Once you've considered these aspects, you can evaluate your current financial status and outline your future goals. This clarity not only shapes your life's purpose and vision but also lays the foundation for your practice. By establishing your own clarity and defining your 'why,' you can then focus on the 'how,' driving daily decisions and nurturing a company culture that fuels your practice's success and aids in achieving your financial goals.

More money in your pocket (Work smarter, not harder)

Once you've gained a clear perspective on your goals, it's time to translate these visions into actionable steps. Each small business, particularly in healthcare practices, presents its own unique intricacies, adding layers of consideration. To confidently plan and expand, taking a holistic view becomes essential. While cash flow is crucial for meeting immediate financial obligations and planning for the future, it's just one piece of the larger financial puzzle for a business owner. Take a moment to assess your current financial situation (consider your assets, debts, and cash flow) and other resources. Understanding your present standing provides a realistic starting point to craft better strategies for your future.

Next, it's time to put together a detailed financial plan. And here's a tip, you don't have to go at it alone; this is where a team of experts, such as a CPA, can be incredibly helpful. Define measurable, attainable objectives that align with your vision. Whether it's expanding your practice or planning for retirement, set specific financial milestones for yourself and your practice.

For thriving practice owners, success largely hinges on having well-organized finances that actively work for them. You might be working on building personal wealth, preparing for a renovation, or establishing an endowment; achieving these aspirations as a business owner requires more than just assessing available funds in a bank account. An industry-specific banking partner can help by offering tailored guidance and dedicated support. (This is the bread and butter of our Healthcare Banking team, btw).

Beyond making sure your money works for you in the background (and being aware of your financing options, if applicable), having a team of financial experts handling various aspects within your practice — ranging from business checking to payroll — empowers you to optimize your financial situation. For instance, merchant fees tend to increase annually without warning. Having time to review these fees might uncover hidden costs and opportunities for improvement. For dental practices that accept insurance, a review of insurance plan reimbursement can also be advantageous. Revisiting and renegotiating insurance plan reimbursements can result in an increase in reimbursements, meaning more money in your pocket at the end of the day.

Enhancing what you have (Sometimes you have to spend money to make money)

Renovating your healthcare practice can significantly increase its value, expand its capacity, retain existing patients, attract new ones, and enhance the overall office atmosphere. But, is it a worthwhile investment?

While considering changes, it's beneficial to envision yourself as a patient to identify areas where small investments could yield significant improvements — or where larger renovations might be necessary. Every few months, enter through the front door, take a seat in the waiting area, observe your surroundings, and encounter the entire office visit from a fresh perspective.

Some practice owners employ an 'ugly list' exercise, meticulously noting everything from water stains on ceiling tiles and necessary paint touch-ups to broken equipment and aging flooring. (Landscaping considerations are crucial, too!) This comprehensive overview helps them prioritize and plan ahead.

Once you've compiled your list, the next step can be challenging: accurately estimating the costs of envisioned changes, particularly in today's market with fluctuating material costs. Collaborating with a specialized dental lender, proficient in project planning and construction, can provide valuable assistance and aid in navigating discussions with your contractors. At Provide, our customers benefit from engaging with a dedicated project manager experienced in both loan closing and construction management. 

And, of course, let’s not forget about technology! As practice owners progress in their journey, keeping abreast of the latest technological advancements ensures they provide quality care to their valued patients. Do you possess the tools to work smarter, not harder? Do you have the resources to give your patients the best care possible? Each owner might have different priorities; for instance, one office might focus on enhancing patient comfort, while another emphasizes technology. What are your priorities?

Investing in your community (It's the right thing to do. Also, karma)

Making an investment in your community is making an investment in yourself and your practice. As you think about tech upgrades, renovations, and other financial goals, consider the role you play in your community. 

Engaging with the community extends beyond mere generosity or smart marketing; it's an opportunity to create a genuine impact in the community you serve. Practice owners who actively participate in their community — whether through sponsorship, volunteering, or supporting local events — not only strengthen their practice's reputation but also reinforce their mission and vision. It's a chance to showcase dedication beyond patient care, demonstrating a commitment to the local community. (And these efforts offer valuable marketing opportunities. You can leverage these occasions to promote special offers or expand your brand, fostering exposure, trust, and loyalty!)

Okay, let’s recap (and then get to work)

As you approach the year-end and move towards financial independence, start by celebrating your past achievements and gaining clarity on your future goals (and, yes, dream big!). Allocate time to delve into your finances meticulously. Plan thoughtfully and find the small victories within your practice. When considering significant investments like renovations or tech upgrades, put yourself in your patients' shoes and prioritize accordingly. Engaging with your community isn't just about good marketing; it's about genuinely making a difference (and spreading good karma).

Remember, you're not alone on this journey, lean on your strategic partners for support. And don't overlook your connections here at Provide. Reach out to your sales representative as you progress through your practice ownership journey. 

By taking these steps, alongside the support of your strategic partners and leveraging Provide's expertise, you'll pave the way for your own growth and success. 


This content is for informational purposes and does not constitute the rendering of legal, accounting, tax, or investment advice or other professional services by Provide or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, and it is being provided without any warranty whatsoever. Please consult with appropriate professionals related to your individual circumstances.

© 2023 Fifth Third Bank, National Association. All Rights Reserved. Provide is a division of Fifth Third Bank, National Association. All lending is subject to credit review and approval. Fifth Third Bank, National Association, 38 Fountain Square Plaza, Cincinnati, OH 45263, NMLS# 403245, Equal Housing Lender.