By Adam D. Soyer, DO
Keeping an orthopaedic practice—particularly a solo practice—profitable is challenging. Solo practitioners are usually the only revenue generators for the practice. To be successful, they must also assume the roles of office manager, administrator, and accountant. In my experience, the solo practitioner must take a very active managerial role in the practice, even though he or she will likely have little formal business training.
A good business plan increases the chances of success, but on-the-job experience is probably the most important asset. The solo practitioner should design a business model around an efficient workflow and personally do any research. Consultants may be beneficial but are also very costly. Colleagues are better sources of information, especially for evolving technologies such as electronic medical records (EMR) or practice management software. Solo practitioners shouldn’t be afraid to challenge vendors and negotiate. The key to success is profitability. Revenues must be greater than expenses, period.