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Considering opening first clinic, some advice needed

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Roman Ro, Oct 9, 2017.


Estimated time to get to consistent level of bookings

  1. Around 3 months

    0 vote(s)
  2. Around 6 months

    0 vote(s)
  3. Around 12 months

    2 vote(s)
  4. Around 18-24 months

    7 vote(s)
  1. Roman Ro

    Roman Ro Member

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.

    About to purchase a detached house, located on main road, approximately 29,000 cars go past every day, 30 mph speed limit, excellent advertising spots on side walls of the house, that would be easily seen by passing drivers/passengers. Bus stop outside and across the road. Excellent space at ground level with dedicated entrance with parking for 4 cars outside, aiming to open at least 1 office (living accommodation at first/second floors.

    This will be my first ever clinic. Considering the above, how long do you think it will take to start generating consistent level of business? I plan to leaflet around 10 mile radius too.

    Thanks v much in advance.
  2. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    It took my business partner and I three years to generate a consistent level of business in my first practice. That was with 200,000 local head of population, in the North-East, with Collieries and shipyards still working at full pelt, and plenty of money going around.
    The practice was situated just one street off a very busy town centre.

    The fashion for winklepickers and stiletto footwear had only ended 15 years previously, so plenty of deformed toes, and at that time we still treated all verrucae.
    We had a pretty good chance of building a practice quickly. It still took three years.

    If you are good at your job, and good with people, and depending on your qualification and experience levels, I'm guessing that you will take three to five years, depending on what you think is a decent level of business.

    One bit of advice - don't leaflet. It's unprofessional, and the actual method of message delivery says far more about you and your practice than the printed words on the leaflet will (and not in a good way).
  3. Catfoot

    Catfoot Well-Known Member

    Hi Roman Ro,
    A good rule of thumb is to equate one full day of trading to every year in business. So, working on that formula it could take 5 years.
    However, there are many variables and that ^^ "rule" is by no means set in stone - could be less.

    If you are planning to put up any (large) adverts on the side of the property, it might be a good idea to check with the Council first, so you don't breach any planning regs

    Good luck with your enterprise.:)
  4. Pauline burrell-saward

    Pauline burrell-saward Active Member

    How long is a piece of string???

    All depends how much effort you are willing to put in.

    How about an editorial in the local papers, talks to the W.I advertise in the church mags.
    go see local G/P's, practice nurses.

    Go see all the other pods/Chiropodists, FHP osteopaths, Physio.

    Careworkers, ( you can get lots of referrals from these).introduce yourself to all the local shops including the barbers, hairdressers, chemist, its amazing how often you get referrals from the barbers.

    Join the local business group , you might have to help put up the xmas lights but you soon get to meet local business people.

    get the local printers to do your cards, bit more expensive than the net but they know ALL the local area

    Make your surgery somewhere the Pts want to come to ?? mags, newspapers, coffee, flowers .

    Word of mouth is the best advertising.

    Its now 25yrs since I started and I am having so much trouble cutting back as I'm so well known

    good luck
  5. Roman Ro

    Roman Ro Member

    Thank you for the feedback provided!

    If I was to lease premises, would £13,000 per annum all inclusive (rent/service charge/utilities) be a reasonable amount? I found premises that are on the ground floor at the back of the property (not possible to have a sign that would be seen on main road), ample parking at back right by the entrance and what's more important can easily be converted into 2 treatment rooms and a reception.

    Basing on 48 week operation and 5.5 day week gives me 264 business days. Therefore expenses linked to property leasing would cost me £50 per business day. In this area podiatry 'market rate' is around £25 per half hour appointment.
  6. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    £25.00 per half-hour is very cheap.
  7. Roman Ro

    Roman Ro Member

    I do not disagree, I completely agree, but how does one tackle this issue? We live in an era of public continuously doing price comparisons.
  8. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    You need to price yourself according to what you are worth. Fees for podiatry treatment commonly range between £30 and £40 in the UK.
    Price comparisons do not really enter into the equation. If £25 per half-hour is the norm for that area, I would not consider basing my practice there.
  9. Roman Ro

    Roman Ro Member

    What is your opinion regarding the lease?
  10. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    It's irrelevant if you can only charge £25 per half-hour.
  11. Claire72

    Claire72 Active Member

    Hi Roman Ro. Would you be paying for reception cover for 5 days a week, and running two clinic rooms? Could you sub let one of the clinic rooms to another practitioner (physio?) whilst you built up the business?
  12. Roman Ro

    Roman Ro Member

    Really? Your lower charge was only £5 away. This is potentially £100 per hour 2 rooms plus a doms service. Not getting the logic.
  13. Roman Ro

    Roman Ro Member

    We'll see how it goes, there are 2 of us (H&W team). It is a reasonable suggestion to rent 1 room out to another professional whilst establishing pod practise, until the time we start hitting maximum capacity.
  14. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    Yes, but that is very best case scenerio, and in any case £30.00 is at the low end of fees. It's easy to sit with a calculator and crunch numbers. The trick is to make those numbers a reality. What if you only see ten patients some weeks? What are likely to be your busy months? Your slack months?

    Look - after rent, rates and utilities you have to factor in the cost of equipment, materials, CPD, indemnity insurance, time in treating patients, and admin/cleaning up time. Then you have to factor in your car wear and tear and petrol if you are going to do doms. And your advertising, however you choose to do it.

    Building a practice from scratch is very rewarding, but you must stack the odds in your favour as far as you can.

    Join OSGO or similar buying club and get some advice from them. It is in their interest to make you successful, so you'll continue to buy from them.
  15. Lorcan

    Lorcan Active Member

    If I were doing it again from scratch I would get a business mentor straight away before I started.
  16. Roman Ro

    Roman Ro Member

    Are we allowed to run practice from an office facility? The planning permission applies to the whole building (office use), do podiatry practices need to have independent property so that D1 permission is obtained, I mean if you run a practice from home (dedicated area in your house) you don't need D1, what about office use to do podiatry?
  17. Catfoot

    Catfoot Well-Known Member

    I would discuss this with your local Planning Dept ; https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/9/change_of_use

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