Like all other small business owners, doctors and physicians are not immune from dealing with cash shortages. When these cash gaps are anticipated—and certainly when they hit—it’s not uncommon for doctors to seek outside financing to cover their expenses on a temporary or short-term basis.
After they’ve decided they need money, doctors need to then figure out exactly how they’re going to go about securing funding. They have a lot of options:
- They could turn to a traditional financial institution. But banks are hesitant to loan money to new businesses to the point where fewer than half of applications are approved. Beyond that, the loan approval process can take forever. Doctors can’t really afford to wait.
- They could sell a stake in their practice to an outside investor. But many business owners are reluctant to give up any interest in their companies, especially when they only anticipate short-term cash shortages.
- They could try to land a loan through the Small Business Administration. But the application process is long here, too. And there isn’t an unlimited amount of money up for grabs, making it that much harder.
Luckily, there’s a fourth option that doctors are increasingly utilizing: securing financing through an alternative third-party business lender.
Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever for doctors and physicians to find the financing they need at rates they can afford. And unlike other kinds of loans that take forever to show up in your bank account, the funds acquired via alternative small business loans are available within a few business days.
There are a number of ways doctors can put small business loans to use. Let’s take a look at six of them.
- Grow your own medical practice
Some doctors open their own practice right after medical school. Others work with more established physicians for a bit before jumping ship to open their own office.
In either instance, small business loans provide the funding they need to get insurance coverage, meet licensing requirements, rent office space, establish an LLC, buy the latest equipment and more.
- Cover late payments and non-payments
Even when they have insurance, it can be impossible for patients to afford medical bills. This translates into the harsh reality that medical providers don’t get paid for their services more often than you might think.
Doctors have no control over whether their patients will pay their bills promptly. By securing a small business loan, however, they’re able to cover any gaps attributed to uncollected revenues.
- Remodel, renovate, or expand your practice
If your offices and exam rooms look like a set from Mad Men, it’s time for you to modernize your office to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Small business loans can be used to cover the costs associated with bringing your offices into the 21st century.
- Hire talented professionals—and pay them well
Whether you’re starting a new practice or have been in business for years, you can use small business loans to cover any payroll gaps you may encounter. These funds can also be used to increase your staff’s pay if money gets tight.
Remember, your employees work really hard for you and are critical to the success of your practice. Having cash flow problems isn’t a fair excuse to withhold raises when they are due.
- Purchase new supplies, equipment, and technology
In order to give your patients the level of care they deserve, you need to make use of the latest medical devices, technologies, and other equipment. You can use small business loans to add to your arsenal so that you provide your patients an even more wholesome and comprehensive medical experience.
- Launch marketing campaigns to gain new customers
Just because you’re a doctor doesn’t mean your practice is immune from having to do what most other businesses have to do.
Small business loans can be used to launch new marketing campaigns that are designed to retain existing customers and attract new ones. For example, during flu season, you may want to spend some money advertising the fact your office gives flu shots. Small business loans will cover all associated costs.
As a doctor, you don’t have a ton of time to spend trying to secure a small business loan. And you can’t wait forever to be funded, either. The good news is that by using a consumer comparison service to shop a variety of third-party lenders in a matter of minutes, you’re able to find the exact small business loan you need to grow your practice right away.