Starting a Chiropractic Practice: Where do I start?

Where do I start? The all consuming, burning question of all fledgling Chiropractors. Our generation is hoping that apple may have an app for that coming out. After speaking and listening to you, the future of our profession, voice your fears about starting a chiropractic practice, it is horribly apparent that no one is addressing your concerns.

Just go, Google, and try to find good information on starting a chiropractic practice. Aside from a few student forums, several periodic articles and some sites by disgruntled MD’s and DC’s bashing our great profession, there doesn’t seem to be many content rich sites out there for us.

Now there are several companies that put out information such as dynamic chiropractic and Chiro-Economics which often have good content occasionally on this subject, but it’s truly a challenge to find trust worthy materials on a consistent basis.

In the past I’ve stated my love for this profession and how the future of it depends on you! While practicing chiropractic you get to see the true results and the impact the doctor of chiropractic makes to patients lives and their futures, (the exact reason you are in college). If we continue to graduate boat loads of Chiropractors and not equip them for the realities of small business management and productivity, we’ll will continue to see the 82 or so percent of practicing D.C.’s struggle to pay their bills. That my friends, is not making an impact on peoples’ lives or preserving our profession. Helping new doctors succeed what drives me to take the time to give you this blog. Let’s get to some meat and tators.

Here are some of the things I wish someone would have taken time and talk with me about in Chiropractic College. No one did it for me, so let me do it for you.

TOP 10 THINGS I WISH I’D KNOWN IN SCHOOL

10. Where I’m going to practice?
- Is it a good market, (what is a market?)
- Location in market

9. Business Plan
- How am I going to start?
- Plans & Goals for my practice
- How to write an effective business plan

8. Financing
- How to get a bank to loan money
- Why good credit matters
- How to fix my credit while still in school

7. What’s the best business structure?
- LLC, SUB – S, Sole Prop.
- Which is the most tax friendly

6. What do I need to look for actual building?
- Stand alone or strip mall
- Layout, patient flow
- Permits, leases, equipment
- Buy vs. lease

5. How is office going to run
- Office protocol
- Patient flow
- When, where
- Don’t shoot from hip

4. Staff – manage staff
- Need Staff – the most important part of practice
- Great Doctor, poor staff, poor practice
- Hire, fire, pay, motivate
- Referrals to office

3. Marketing – where are patients coming from
- Newspaper, screenings, yellow pages, TV, mailers
- What is effective, getting folks to your office for help

2. Insurance – Taboo, don’t talk a lot about in school
- Know the rules, how to play
- Every state is different
- How to teach someone else how to deal with them
- How to get paid if you want to stay in practice

I don’t want to overwhelm you, but when you get out of school, it’s flat out overwhelming.

…..and the No. 1 thing I wish I’d know when I was sitting in your shoes..

1. There are people out there who want to help you.
- Other docs, mentors, visit/observe them… Read their blogs!
- Professors @ Chiro School: Great resource when in practice as well
- Management groups
i. Good ones, Great ones, and ones to run from
ii. Who’s there to help and who’s there just to make money
(When I was in school I thought they were all out for $)

We are going to explore each of these over the next few posts! Believe it or not from just reading this list you will be further ahead of where I was while sitting in student clinic.

Question: What area are you in need of knowledge, and what do you plan to do about it?

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