Your professional training prepared you to be the best chiropractic doctor you can be. But running a chiropractic office is quite another thing altogether.
That’s because running a chiropractic office requires entrepreneurship, creative ingenuity, and strategic thinking. Aside from the technical aspects such as billing management and patient flow management, there are some principles you must fully understand. Fully utilize these principles and your chiropractic office will become a reputable business within three to five years. Ignore them at your peril.
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Providing the best care and experience for your patients is paramount. It’s your customers who keep your business open, after all. Therefore, knowing how to manage those customers, their problems, and their finances is crucial.
Here are a few principles that can help to keep your business from going belly up.
Calculating your daily overhead is no different for your chiropractic office than it is for any other small business. Overhead, if you don’t know, refers to the daily expenses required to run a business. Therefore, growing your financial education is crucial. You need to ensure that you don’t spend all of your gross income on overhead and other business expenditures.
Financial management is an area that best-selling author Robert Kiyosaki knows all about. In his book Rich Dad Poor Dad, he states that a person’s “financial IQ” is made up of four areas. These are accounting, investing, understanding the markets, and knowing the law. Being financially literate helps you “identify the strengths and weaknesses of any business.”
2. Who Is Your Competition?
Keep patients and customers coming to your chiropractic office instead of your rivals’ doors. Learn all you can about your competition. For example, find out about any special rates and discounts they offer their patients to turn them into loyal customers. You can do the same.
Your loyal customers, those who keep coming back year after year, are the bread and butter of your annual profits.
This concept is similar to browsing and comparing prices in flyers for supermarkets. For instance, a supermarket such as No Frills has flyer prices that are typically 5% lower than, say, the prices in Food Basics’ flyers.
You can store data regarding patients’ insurance coverage electronically, in real time. For this purpose, you’ll need chiropractic billing software. Electronic software is undeniably more time-efficient than recording and storing patient information by hand. When you prepare your chiropractic office in this way, you show your patients that you value their time.
In similar fashion, you can train them to respect your time as well. There’s a mantra that applies here: “Show up 10 minutes early. If you’re on time, you’re already late.”
4. Money vs. Happiness
PayScale reports that the average chiropractor’s salary is $59,000+. This hardly makes up for acquiring a license that requires hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain. However, without your license, your business would only be minimal. You would have no credibility with clients, even those in desperate need of your professional services.
From a purely financial standpoint, becoming a licensed and practicing chiropractor is not a viable career choice. From a lifestyle standpoint, it may be one of the most rewarding choices anybody can ever make. Chiropractors and physicians are directly responsible for helping desperate people with desperate problems.
Because of your choice to be a chiropractor and to open a chiropractic office despite the financial drawbacks, a lot of people will feel lucky to be alive again.
One last word of advice: When you’re opening your doors for the first time, do not give in to the temptation of giving away freebies and write-offs. In order to succeed with your chiropractic office, learn how to negotiate with people. In a successful negotiation both parties give a little in order to achieve a common goal. And neither party feels as if they have been taken advantage of.