AN UPDATE 2.0: What’s next?

Last week we gave you an update on what we had been up to for the past few months. Now that you’re up to date, we want to fill you in on what’s next and what the to-do list looks like for the next month.

Our main objectives are ensuring the physical space is ready, that we have a plan for the day-to-day operations of the clinic, getting started on building the team, and having a financial plan laid out. Let’s take these 1 at a time:

What’s next…

The physical space:

So far, the contracting has gone smoothly. We did a walkthrough of the space last week at at that point all electrical, plumbing, and HVAC were roughed in, and the drywall was up. What’s next is to make sure everything is hooked up and running properly, lay the flooring, and paint the walls. Luckily, our landlord is contracting the space and has done a great job of making sure everything is done well. A few of our responsibilities for the unit is to schedule the installation of our IT network (phone/internet), and register with hydro and gas companies. We’ve scheduled the installation for March 1 (move-in day) and will transfer the utilities over to us once we take the space.

Day-to-day operations:

#1 Software: Take it away, Jane..

There are a few things here that we need to take care of. The biggest being our note-taking process. We’ve followed suit with most of our colleagues in the field and have subscribed with JaneApp. Jane is beautiful; administrator, note-taker/keeper, and business analyst all-in-one!

So far, the software has been incredible. For started, the user interface is great and easy to use. More importantly, the support Jane provides is what sets them apart. Any time I am unsure about how to do something, I just google “JaneApp” followed by my question. We haven’t had a problem that hasn’t been able to be solved this way yet. We’ll spend the next month (and beyond) configuring the EMR to how we want it and play around with all the features.

#2 Hardware

Since we’ll be on an electronic medical record (EMR) service, we need something to take those notes on. We could use our laptops, however we don’t want to be lugging those around from room to room all day. Plus we wanted to create some work-life boundaries, and getting tablets for note taking can aid in establishing that.

The first place we looked for tablets was Apple. After putting 2 iPads, 2 Apple Pencils, and 2 Magic Keyboards in the cart and seeing the subtotal, we decided to go elsewhere. We ended up finding a great looking tablet that would support our needs and for a great price. We’ve played around with them a bit and they’re perfect for what we need.

If you’re in the same boat and don’t want to/can’t afford the iPad, check these out: Lenovo Chromebook Duet (10.1″) 2 in 1.

#3 Payment processing

Lastly, since no body carries cash anymore, we need a way for our patients to pay for their services. There are a lot of options when it comes to merchant terminals:

A great first step to setting this us would be to speak with your bank. It’s likely that they are partnered with a company that provides payment processing solutions. If you don’t like what your bank may be offering, you could go with any company you want and simply sync it up with your account.

For us, we saw that JaneApp had recently integrated with Square. We checked out a quick tutorial online and saw how easy and seamless the experience was to process payments with Square.

It was a no brainer for us to order a Square terminal for 2 reasons: 1)the integration with JaneApp, and 2) the 1-time payment for the terminal. While you’ll always be paying a small fee for all your transactions (approx 2.5-3% on credit sales, and 10 cents for debit transactions), most payment processing companies require you to pay a monthly fee for their service (rental of the terminal). The Square terminal had a higher upfront cost however, over a short period of time (6 months-1 years) it becomes more cost-effective.

*If you are using JaneApp, check out the integration with Square. They currently have a promotion going on!

Building the team

#1 The people

Personally, this is what I am most excited about. I can’t wait to align with like-minded practitioners on the mission of elevating our community. With that being said, we don’t have a timeline for this project. We want to focus more on building a team of the RIGHT people, opposed to simply filling the space. I have no doubts that there will be hiccups and we will make mistakes when it comes to this (any) aspect of the clinic. Being new to this process, it’s inevitable. All we can do is lead with integrity and learn from the experience. With that being said, that understanding doesn’t make us any less excited to connect with some amazing people and get to work!

#2 The legal

In order to enter a great relationship with our partners, we need to ensure we have great contracts. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be working with our lawyer in preparing drafts for our contracts. Having professionally done contracts is extremely important to us. We see the importance of this after seeing colleagues walk away from associateships and deals due to poorly written and structured contracts. Yes, professional services are expensive, but these are not the areas where you should be penny-pinching.

Prepare a financial plan

Before taking this project on back in late 2019, we wrote out our projected Start-up costs, cash-flows, balance sheet, and income statements. While a lot of research went into these, at the end of the day they were just that – projections.

Now that we have a more accurate view of what our costs and expenses will look like, it’s time for us to revisit and adjust our financial plans accordingly. These are the 3 main areas that require re-working.

#1: Start-up costs

In the post “Starting A Business: The First Steps” we shared our list of projected start-up costs. We made this list by thinking of every possible thing we could to get an idea of the level of investment we would require. To date, we’ve kept a log of all of our expenses (supplies, equipment, services etc.) and continued to update the list by adding things we need and removing things we don’t.

The task we have at hand now is to assess what we have spent so far and reassess what our expenses will look like over the first few months. While it may be tedious to rework this, it would be fiscally irresponsible to work off of projections from over 1 year ago.

#2: Monthly expenses

Similar to the start-up costs, a lot of our projected reoccurring/fixed expenses (rent, utilities, phone/internet ect.) were more-or-less arbitrary. Of course, we did our due diligence and reached out to colleagues to get a feel for what to expect. While that provided us with great insight, we now have concrete quotes in order to ensure our finances are 100% accurate.

Our plan moving forward here is to work out an accurate figure for what our fixed and variable monthly expenses will be. Once we have that, we’ll multiply that figure by 3 months. That 3-month figure will be our benchmark of the amount of cash we will want in the business account come opening day. That cash in the bank will be our operating capital. This allows us to pay our bills without replying solely on operating revenue for the first few months, relieving some tension.

The countdown is ON!

Just over 1 month until we take the space and really start to realize our dream. Are we nervous? Of course. Are there a lot of unknowns? Definitely. Will we make mistakes? Yup. Do we regret taking this on? Absolutely NOT.

Dr. Andrew Thomson signature sign off