Maybe you grew tired of the pressure to see too many patients in too little time. Perhaps you were sorely lacking a work-life balance. It could be that you didn’t have a voice in big group decisions. Or you might have simply decided that working for someone else isn’t for you.

No matter how you arrived at the decision to start your own medical practice, one thing is certain: there are common mistakes you’ll want to avoid. Be sure to steer clear of these pitfalls.

1. Not budgeting enough time for planning

Opening a medical practice takes time. Chances are, you’ll need to work out funding, lease office space, negotiate contracts with vendors, purchase malpractice insurance, select a legal structure, and get licensed. Oftentimes there’s little you can do to accelerate these processes.

2. Not getting everything in writing

When communicating with lenders, realtors, vendors, insurers, lawyers, and other parties, be sure to document everything. Recollections about promises can be hazy, and a paper trail may come in handy should you need to renegotiate or cancel a contract.

3. Not researching location

In a competitive healthcare market, real estate is often the key to success. You’ll need to make some decisions: Do you want to share a building or have your own space? How important is visibility from the street? Will you buy or lease the property? What does your budget allow for? Try to find a space that’s accessible for your patients and that best serves your needs.

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4. Not taking time to find the right staff

From your receptionist to your office manager, you need a team you can rely on to keep things running smoothly. Finding the right employees can be tricky, but it’s made easier with a plan. Map out every role you’ll need to fill, post enticing job ads online, and pay close attention to personality in the interview process. Keep in mind, your patients are more likely to stay with you if they feel comfortable with your staff.

5. Not asking for help

Entrepreneurs must remain mindful of the things they don’t know. Do ample research and talk to colleagues in the industry who may have opened medical practices of their own to find out what tripped them up when they first started out. These measures will help you reduce frustrations, delays, and expenses.