You might say Andrew Tucker was born to be an entrepreneur after growing up in a family of business owners. Today, as a tax attorney and CPA by training, he guides physicians and dentists who want to launch and run their own businesses.
“There's something amazing about the entrepreneurship opportunities in the United States,” Andrew says. “But when people are coming into the idea of ownership, particularly from a trade where you're a doctor first or an accountant first or an attorney first, it's really hard to think about that role of entrepreneurship.”
In this episode of Prosperous Doc®, Andrew shares best practices for professionals who want to launch their own practice or become a partner, including how to start with the launch mindset before you’re ready to go on your own.
He talks about why it’s important to first make an honest assessment of yourself and your leadership style, understand who you need on your team to ensure success, and be clear about why you truly want to run your own business. According to Andrew, having a strategy for tracking expenses and key performance indicators, coupled with a production plan, can help you stay on track and reach your financial milestones.
Andrew also addresses what it’s like if you’re going into a partnership. Uncomfortable situations might arise and he shares how to address issues before they jeopardize your practice.
“If you don't think something's working, have a candid conversation. They [your partner] may be feeling the same way. And it gives you an opportunity to kind of redefine parameters and boundaries.”
Finally, Andrew talks about how to find the balance between fast and slow change and building a team that will help you achieve your goals.
Name: Andrew Tucker
What he does: A tax attorney by training, Andrew is also a CPA and CFP®, and helps clients maximize wealth through a unique blend of tax-centric cash flow strategies. Andrew has also served as a guest lecturer for various professional associations, including the American Dental Association (ADA), Dentist Entrepreneur Organization (DEO), and the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists (PCSO).
Company: Spaugh Dameron Tenny
Words of wisdom: “There are opportunities opening up everywhere all the time, you just have to be ready and willing to see them.”
Top takeaways from this episode
★ Seriously consider why you want to own your own business. Put pen to paper to determine your goals for entrepreneurship and develop a realistic picture of why you want to make the switch to running your own business. Be intentional in considering if it’s really right for your personality and professional and personal life.
★ Know your leadership style. Take a personal inventory assessment to see what you can take on as a leader and whether a partnership might be appropriate. Andrew advises using a SWOT analysis to look inwardly and understand one’s skill set before stepping into an ownership role.
★ Create a production plan for your organization. Identifying and quantifying the production value dollar amount that you think people will be able to provide can help you plan your financial goals for your practice.
[12:31] More than serving patients: Andrew talks about the realities of owning your own businesses as an owner-doctor or partner, sharing a clear picture of what’s in store.
[14:46] Don’t be afraid to have difficult conversations: Ending a partnership can be uncomfortable, but delaying the inevitable can worsen the situation. Have candid conversations early on to try and solve issues before they become bigger problems.
[16:14] The pace of change is key: When transitioning into entrepreneurship, a lot is in flux — some things move quickly, while others move slowly. Knowing that you don’t have to change everything at once can help you keep the momentum going and serve patients, too.
[22:40] Know your KPIs: Define your key performance indicators for success. Practice management software is important to help track information and guide you through your daily operations. This information will be invaluable as you grow.
[24:44] Narrow your KPI focus: Since tracking everything can create confusion, it’s better to focus on the indicators that are specific to your practice and your patient population. For example, that could be treatment conversion rate, collection ratios, and variable expenses.
[29:04] Surround yourself with a team that understands your business: Specialization is important for your advisory team, but other team members, like payroll, may not need to have experience with your specific type of practice. Having a solid team can reduce some of the stress of running your own business.
[32:42] Start the transition to your own practice before you launch it: Cultivating a growth team by fostering relationships with people who have a growth curve mindset will help you make the transition to becoming an owner.
Having a financial plan leads to better money making decisions, financial stability, and peace of mind. However, according to Debt.com, only 30% of Americans have a financial plan in place. Complete this list of key questions to help get you started organizing your finances.
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Disclaimer: Prosperous Doc podcast by Spaugh Dameron Tenny highlights real-life stories from doctors and dentists to encourage and inspire listeners through discussions of professional successes and failures in addition to personal stories and financial wellness advice. Spaugh Dameron Tenny is a comprehensive financial planning firm serving doctors and dentists in Charlotte, NC. To find out more about Spaugh Dameron Tenny, visit our website at www.sdtplanning.com. You can also connect with our host, Shane Tenny, CFP at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter.
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