Opening an urgent care business may seem like a challenging task, but it can also be an incredibly rewarding one. With the increasing demand for immediate medical attention and the growing need for alternative healthcare options, the urgent care industry is booming. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global urgent care market size is projected to reach $35.5 billion by 2028, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1%. If you are considering launching an urgent care business, it is important to understand that it requires thorough planning, careful execution, and a lot of hard work. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive checklist of the ten essential steps you need to take to start your urgent care business successfully. From conducting market research and creating a business plan to identifying marketing strategies and setting up a website, we will guide you through each step of the process. So, if you are ready to turn your vision of starting an urgent care business into reality, then grab a notebook and a pen, and let's get started. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of what it takes to launch a thriving urgent care business and the tools and resources you need to succeed. Let's dive in!

Research The Industry And The Competitive Environment

Before diving into the urgent care business, it's crucial to research the industry and the competitive environment. This includes identifying the current market trends, assessing the local demand, analyzing competitors, and understanding the regulations and legal requirements.

Identify Market Trends

The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and keeping up with the latest trends is essential for any urgent care business owner. Research current market trends and understand how they will impact the industry. For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased demand for telemedicine and virtual healthcare services. Keeping up-to-date will help you make informed decisions when it comes to launching a successful urgent care business.

Assess the Local Demand

Identifying the local demand for urgent care services is critical. Conduct a feasibility study to determine the demand for your services in your target area. This study should assess the population size, demographics, income levels, and potential competitors in the area.

Analyze Competitors

Analyze the competition in your target area. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. This will help you learn from their successes and avoid their mistakes. Additionally, it will help you how to position your urgent care business to stand out from the competition.

Understand Regulations and Legal Requirements

Starting an urgent care business requires following certain regulations and legal requirements. Be familiar with state and federal regulations for healthcare services, and the requirements for obtaining licenses and permits. Seek guidance from an experienced healthcare attorney to ensure compliance with all legal obligations.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Attend industry conferences and events to stay up-to-date on industry trends and connect with potential partners.
  • Reach out to industry professionals, including physicians and registered nurses, for their insights on the business.
  • Research and network with government organizations, such as the Small Business Administration, that may offer support and guidance for launching your urgent care business.

Conducting thorough research is the foundation of launching a successful urgent care business. By identifying market trends, assessing the local demand, analyzing competitors, and understanding regulations and legal requirements, you'll be better positioned to create a business plan that addresses the needs of your community and sets you up for success.

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Create A Business Plan

Starting an urgent care business is a challenging task that requires a lot of planning and preparation. One of the most critical steps in this process is creating a solid business plan. A business plan will help you map out the steps you need to take to open your urgent care business and ensure your success.

Here are ten essential steps to follow when creating your urgent care business plan:

Step 1: Define Your Vision and Mission

  • Tip: Make sure your mission and vision statements are clear and concise.
  • Determine what you want your urgent care business to accomplish and what services you will provide.
  • Define the target audience and patient population you plan to serve, including age, gender, and location.

Step 2: Conduct a Market Analysis

  • Tip: Identify your top competitors and conduct research to find out what sets your urgent care business apart from theirs.
  • Identify the market niche your urgent care business will fill.
  • Conduct SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Step 3: Define Your Services and Product Offerings

  • Tip: Clearly outline the services you will provide and the costs associated with each service.
  • Develop a pricing strategy for your services and identify your charges for different services.
  • Determine the level of care you will provide for each service.

Step 4: Establish Your Goals and KPIs

  • Tip: Make sure your goals are measurable and achievable.
  • Develop clear and concise goals for your urgent care business, including revenue, patient volumes, and satisfaction rates.
  • Choose the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you will use to measure your performance against your goals.

Step 5: Develop a Marketing Plan

  • Tip: Focus on your target audience and use marketing channels that will reach them.
  • Identify marketing channels you will use to reach your target audience, such as social media, email marketing, and local advertising.
  • Create a marketing budget and plan campaigns that will help you meet your business goals.

Step 6: Develop a Financial Plan

  • Tip: Be realistic and conservative when developing your financial plan.
  • Calculate your startup and operational costs, including rent, payroll, equipment, and supplies.
  • Develop revenue projections for the first three years of operation.

Step 7: Create a Staffing Plan

  • Tip: Develop a strategy for attracting and retaining top talent.
  • Determine the number of staff members you will need, such as physicians, nurse practitioners, and front desk staff.
  • Create a staffing plan that includes job descriptions, salaries, and benefits.

Step 8: Determine Your Legal Structure and Obtain Required Licenses and Permits

  • Tip: Consult an attorney to determine the best legal structure for your urgent care business.
  • Check the local regulations to identify which permits and licenses are required.
  • Register your business with the state and obtain the necessary permits.

Step 9: Choose a Suitable Location and Build Out Your Space

  • Tip: Consider the convenience and accessibility of your location for your target audience.
  • Choose a location that is easily accessible for your target audience.
  • Design and build out your space to meet the needs of your patients and staff members.

Step 10: Develop Policies and Procedures for Operation

  • Tip: Create policies and procedures that are compliant with local, state, and federal regulations.
  • Develop policies and procedures for your staff to ensure the smooth operation of your urgent care business.
  • Create protocols for handling patient care, medical emergencies, and staffing issues.

Tips & Tricks

  • Tip #1: Don't underestimate the importance of market research.
  • Tip #2: Consider partnering with local healthcare systems to enhance your services.
  • Tip #3: Focus on building trust with your patients by providing high-quality care and customer service.

  • Develop A Financial Model

    The financial model is the backbone of your urgent care business. It helps you to predict the future revenues, expenses, and profitability of your business, and provides valuable insights for making informed decisions. Here are some essential steps to develop a financial model for your urgent care business:

    • Determine Your Start-up Costs: Do your research and identify the costs of leasing or purchasing a facility, equipment, supplies, staffing, marketing, legal, and accounting fees. Make sure to factor in a contingency reserve to cover unanticipated costs.
    • Estimate Your Revenue Streams: Analyze the market demand and competition in your target market to determine your potential patient base. Project the volume of patients per day, per week, and per month based on the marketing strategy and advertising budget.
    • Establish Your Billing and Pricing Strategy: Determine your pricing structure for services, such as urgent care visits, wellness exams, diagnostic tests, and vaccinations. Identify the payment methods, insurance carriers, and collections process for billing.
    • Forecast Your Expenses: Estimate your ongoing costs, such as rent, utilities, staffing, medical supplies, insurance, taxes, and marketing expenses. Consider different scenarios, such as the seasonal fluctuations, changes in the regulatory requirements, and unexpected events.
    • Calculate Your Profitability: Project your net income or loss based on the difference between your revenue streams and expenses. Develop a break-even analysis to determine the minimum amount of patients needed to cover your costs and achieve profitability.
    • Use Financial Tools: Utilize financial software or spreadsheets that can help simplify and streamline the financial modeling process. Consult with a financial advisor or accountant to ensure that your financial projections are accurate and realistic.

    Tips & Tricks:

    • Be conservative in your revenue projections and realistic in your expense estimates. It's better to underestimate your revenue and overestimate your expenses than vice versa.
    • Stay up-to-date with the latest healthcare laws and regulations that affect your urgent care business. Make sure to comply with all the federal and state requirements, such as HIPAA, OSHA, and Medicare/Medicaid.
    • Consider developing a cash flow statement that shows the inflow and outflow of money in your business over time. This can help you to manage your working capital more effectively and avoid cash flow problems.

    Analyze Capital And Funding Requirements

    One of the crucial steps in opening a successful urgent care business is analyzing the capital and funding requirements. This helps in determining the necessary funds required for startup costs, and also for running and growing the business. Here are the key aspects to consider:

    • Startup Costs: These are the initial expenses required to set up the business. This includes leasing or purchasing the office space, buying equipment and supplies, hiring staff, and obtaining necessary licenses and permits. You need to have enough funds to cover these expenses before you can start seeing patients.
    • Operating Costs: These are the ongoing expenses required to run the business. This includes paying rent, utilities, salaries, insurance, and marketing costs. You need to have a solid financial plan in place to cover these expenses until the business becomes profitable.
    • Working Capital: This is the amount of funds required to keep the business running on a day-to-day basis. You need to ensure that you have enough cash on hand to pay bills, buy supplies, and cover any unexpected expenses that may arise.
    • Growth Funding: Once your business is up and running, you may need to secure additional funding to expand the services or open new locations. You need to have a plan in place to demonstrate the value and potential growth of your business to lenders or investors.

    Tips & Tricks:

    • Consider getting a business loan from a reputable lender or bank to cover startup and operating costs.
    • Research and compare available financing options to get the best rates and terms.
    • Prepare a detailed business plan that outlines your financial projections, market analysis, and growth potential.

    By analyzing the capital and funding requirements, you can ensure that you have enough resources to get your urgent care business up and running successfully. With careful planning and management, your business can thrive and provide much-needed healthcare services to the community.

    Determine Location For The Business

    The location of your urgent care business can have a significant impact on its success. It is important to choose a location that is easily accessible to your target market, has ample parking and is visible to passersby. There are several factors to consider when selecting a location for your urgent care business, including:

    • Demographics: It is important to choose a location where your target audience resides. For instance, if you are targeting families with young children, then your location should be in a residential area with a higher concentration of young families.
    • Competition: You should identify the existing urgent care clinics in the area and evaluate their services and pricing. Choose a location that has a high demand for urgent care services but has low competition.
    • Accessibility: Make sure that your location is easily accessible by car or public transport. Also, choose a location that has ample parking space for your customers.
    • Visibility: Select a location that is visible to passersby. This will help increase foot traffic to your urgent care clinic. Consider a location on a heavily trafficked street, near a busy intersection or next to a popular retail store or restaurant.

    Tips & Tricks:

    • Consider leasing commercial space instead of purchasing property. This will give you more flexibility in case you need to relocate in the future.
    • Research the local zoning laws and regulations to ensure that the location you choose is suitable for an urgent care clinic.
    • Consult with a commercial real estate agent to help you find the best location for your urgent care business.

    Once you have identified a suitable location for your urgent care business, you should conduct a market analysis to determine the demand for your services. This will help you determine the appropriate size of your clinic and the number of staff members you will need to hire.

    In conclusion, selecting the right location for your urgent care business is crucial to its success. Keep in mind the demographics, competition, accessibility and visibility of the location when making your decision.

    Obtain Necessary Licenses And Permits

    In order to legally operate an urgent care business, you will need to obtain certain licenses and permits. These requirements will vary depending on the state and local regulations where you plan to open your business. It is important to do your research and find out what specific requirements you need to meet in your area.

    • Start by researching the licensing requirements in your state. This may involve contacting the state health department, medical board, or other relevant agencies.
    • You may also need to obtain specific permits for your urgent care facility, such as a building permit or health permit.
    • If you plan to have employees, you will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
    • Depending on your state, you may also need to obtain a business license or register your business with the Secretary of State's office.
    • It is important to stay up-to-date on any changes to licensing and permit requirements in your area.

    Tips & Tricks

    • Work with an experienced business attorney in your area to ensure you are meeting all licensing and regulatory requirements.
    • Consider joining a professional association for urgent care providers, as they may offer resources and support for navigating licensing requirements.
    • Keep all necessary licenses and permits up-to-date and in a visible location in your facility to avoid any legal issues.

    Set Pricing & Offerings

    Setting the pricing and offerings for your urgent care business is a critical step that determines your revenue stream. Before setting them, it's essential to research your competitors, assess your operating costs, and determine the level of care and services you intend to offer.

    Here are the steps to follow when setting your pricing and offerings:

    • Research your market: As a new player in the urgent care market, research is essential. Study your competition to get an idea of the standard pricing for their services. Assess their scope of services and determine how you will differentiate yourself from them. Use this information to come up with targeted pricing and services for your urgent care business.
    • Determine your operating costs: Calculate your overhead expenses, including rent, utilities, supplies, staff salaries, and equipment. This will help you understand the minimum price you need to charge per service to break even. Keep in mind that the goal is to predict profits, so the price should be reasonable but profitable.
    • Create a pricing policy: Develop a pricing policy that outlines what services your urgent care business offers and the price for each service. Determine whether you will accept insurance payments or set up a direct payment system for patients that don't have insurance. You should also consider offering discounted prices for loyal customers and bulk services.
    • Build a service menu: Design a service menu with detailed descriptions of all the services your urgent care business offers. This list will guide your medical personnel in providing your clients with medical assistance while giving patients a clearer understanding of your capabilities.
    • Offer telemedicine services: Telemedicine services have become a popular alternative, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider developing a structure for telemedicine triage and consultation to expand your client base.
    • Create a VIP package: Develop a package that offers an exclusive service to high paying clients; for example, expedited service or a private consultation area. This will give an added sense of luxury to your clients, setting you apart from your competition.
    • Partner with other healthcare providers: Consider partnering with other healthcare providers, including pharmacies and diagnostic services, to offer package deals and discounted prices for cross-promotion to expand your target audience.

    Tips & Tricks

    • Research your market and continually adjust your pricing to stay competitive.
    • Consider bundling your services and offering packages as a marketing strategy.
    • The pricing and services you offer should cater to the needs of your target audience.

    Hire And Train Qualified Personnel

    One of the most important factors of running a successful urgent care business is having a qualified team of personnel. This includes doctors, nurses, receptionists, and other administrative staff. Here are some steps to ensure you are hiring and training the best staff for your urgent care business:

    • Develop a hiring plan: Determine the number and type of personnel you'll need to run your urgent care business. Create job postings, set expectations, and development an interview process that helps you identify the best candidates.
    • Use effective screening processes: Pre-screen and background check candidates to ensure they are qualified and have no issues that might impact their performance. Conduct phone or Zoom interviews to help narrow the field and save time.
    • Offer attractive compensation packages: Make sure the salaries and benefit packages you offer are competitive in your local job market. This includes health insurance, retirement plans, time off, and other perks.
    • Create a comprehensive training program: Make sure your new hires are equipped with the technical skills and knowledge needed to perform their jobs effectively. Provide on-the-job training, regular reviews, and opportunities for continuing education.

    Tips and Tricks:

    • Provide opportunities for cross-training so staff can fill in for each other if needed.
    • Incentivize top-performing staff with bonuses or other rewards to keep them motivated and engaged.
    • Consider personality and soft skills when hiring personnel, as good communication and customer service are key to running a successful urgent care business.

    Secure Contracts With Providers And Vendors

    One of the most important steps in opening a successful urgent care business is to form contracts with reliable and trustworthy providers and vendors. This step ensures that you will have access to high-quality medical supplies, equipment, and staff, which are essential to providing top-notch medical care to your patients.


    • Research multiple providers and vendors before making a decision.
    • Check their references and reputation online to make sure they have a good track record.
    • Negotiate the terms of the contract to ensure that you are getting fair pricing and quality products/services.

    When selecting your providers and vendors, it is crucial to consider several factors, such as pricing, quality, and reliability. Pricing is important because it affects your bottom line, but you also want to make sure you are getting high-quality products and services that meet or exceed industry standards. Reliability is also a key consideration since you will need dependable suppliers and providers who can deliver on time and have backup options in case of any issues.

    It is highly recommended that you consult with a healthcare attorney to ensure that your contracts are legally binding and protect your business interests. An attorney can also provide valuable advice on the terms and conditions of the contract, including payment structures, delivery times, and warranties, among others.

    In addition, it is essential to regularly review and update your contracts with your providers and vendors to ensure that they are still meeting your business needs and goals. Make sure to communicate any changes or concerns with your providers and vendors and work together to resolve any issues that may arise.


    • Create a vendor scorecard that tracks performance-based metrics such as delivery times, product quality, and customer service.
    • Set up regular meetings with your providers and vendors to review your scorecard and discuss ways to improve performance.
    • Consider setting up contingency plans for any potential supply chain disruptions or issues that may arise.

    By securing contracts with reliable and trustworthy providers and vendors, you are setting your urgent care business up for success. This step not only ensures that you have access to the necessary resources to provide top-notch medical care, but it also helps you build long-term business relationships that can benefit your business in the long run.

    Identify Marketing And Advertising Strategies

    Marketing and advertising are vital for any business to grow and succeed. In the case of an urgent care business, these strategies are even more important as they directly impact the number of patients coming in for immediate medical attention. In this chapter, we will discuss some of the tried and tested marketing and advertising strategies that you can implement to ensure your urgent care business gets the attention it deserves.

    1. Build a Strong Online Presence

    In today's digital age, it is essential to have a strong online presence. Create a professional website for your urgent care center, and make sure it is optimized for search engines. This way, people can easily find your business when searching for medical care services in their area. You can also consider creating social media accounts to promote your business and engage with potential patients.

    2. Partner with Local Businesses

    Partnering with local businesses can help increase brand awareness and attract new patients. This could be through sponsoring a local event or offering special discounts to employees of nearby companies. By partnering with local businesses, you are also establishing your business as a trustworthy and reliable healthcare provider in the community.

    3. Leverage Email Marketing

    Email marketing is an effective way to stay in touch with your patients and keep them informed about your services. Regularly send newsletters with healthcare tips, updates about your business, and any promotions or discounts you are offering. This will keep your patients engaged and make them more likely to return to your urgent care center when they need medical attention.

    4. Use Google Advertising

    Google advertising, also known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, is a great way to target potential patients who are searching for medical care services in your area. With Google advertising, you only pay for the ad when someone clicks on it, making it a cost-effective way to advertise your business.

    5. Provide Great Customer Service

    Providing excellent customer service is one of the best ways to attract new patients and retain existing ones. Make sure your staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive to patients' needs. Create a welcoming environment in your urgent care center, and make sure your patients feel heard and cared for.

    Marketing Tips and Tricks

    • Stay consistent with your branding across all platforms and marketing materials.
    • Don't be afraid to get creative with your marketing campaigns to stand out from the competition.
    • Monitor your online reviews and respond to any negative feedback promptly and professionally.

    By implementing these marketing and advertising strategies, you can create a strong brand for your urgent care center and attract a steady stream of patients. Remember to stay consistent with your messaging and to regularly evaluate your marketing campaigns to ensure their effectiveness.

    In conclusion, opening an urgent care business requires careful planning and execution, but it can be a rewarding and profitable venture. With the global urgent care market projected to reach $35.5 billion by 2028, there has never been a better time to enter the industry. By following our comprehensive checklist, which includes researching the industry and competitors, creating a business plan, and hiring and training personnel, you can successfully launch a thriving urgent care business. Don't forget to secure contracts with providers and vendors, set prices and offerings, and develop effective marketing strategies. And of course, creating a website and social media presence is crucial in today's digital age. By putting in the hard work and dedication, you can turn your vision of an urgent care business into a reality. Good luck!

    Excel financial model

    Urgent Care Financial Model
    • 5-Year Financial Projection
    • 40+ Charts & Metrics
    • DCF & Multiple Valuation
    • Free Email Support