Do you ever think about why you became a chiropractor? And not just a chiropractor, but the owner of a chiropractic business?
Some docs, if they will admit it, will say it was for the money. And there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you still provide good patient care. Many say they did it to help other people, and that’s a noble reason. But you can help people working as an associate.Why take the risk of running and owning your own practice?
When I first went to chiropractic school, I wanted to help people and make a ton of money. But 2 years into practice, I was doing it for a bigger reason.
You see, two years out of school I went through a really hard time in practice. I was only averaging 3 new patients a month and collecting about $3000 – with an overhead of $15,000!
Describing how bad things were would not even do it justice. I was working late almost every night, doing 2-4 spinal screenings per week and holding talks for audiences of one – both with awful results.
At times like these in your life, you really begin to see clearly. Your priorities are stripped bare, and you can’t kid yourself anymore.
That’s when it hit me…
It wasn’t the patients who were suffering. They were still getting quality care and couldn’t tell the practice was suffering (we clusterbooked then, so they thought we were busy!) Even if my practice folded, they could just go on to another chiropractor, so it didn’t really affect them.
It was my family. My pregnant wife who was struggling up three flights of stairs each day in our new “apartment home” – sometimes having to lug over 50lbs of grocery with two toddlers in tow. It was our baby girl, who at her 3rd Christmas, could never know how much our hearts broke because we couldn’t buy her gifts. Or when my son was born, extended family brought food for a gift, since our fridge and pantry were completely empty.
You see, my family were the ones suffering the most. While my patients were great (and I loved helping each one of them), they didn’t really care wether I made $25,000 income that year or $200,000. No one cared about the success about my practice more than me and my family. We depended on it. It’s what put food on the table.
It became totally clear to me then. I owned and ran a chiropractic business so I could do something I loved — helping others get well — AND make a good living for my family’s future, hopes and dreams. I obviously loved chiropractic, but I certainly wasn’t fulfilling the second part…giving my wife and kids what they deserved. A better home with a yard, food, vacations and peace of mind.
That was the turning point. I knew I had better learn to run a business successfully and grow my practice. Because it wouldn’t matter how much I loved chiropractic, or how good an adjuster I was, if I couldn’t keep the doors open. And most important of all, my family depended on it.
I realized the biggest problem I had was that my practice was missing good marketing strategies. Marketing that brought in a high return on investment, quality new patients, and consistent growth month after month.
Have you every seen a struggling practice that had too many quality new patients? I haven’t.
You know how to adjust. You know how to be a good chiropractor. That’s not the problem. Learning a new technique or a new billing procedure will only get you so far. Marketing is the key. Without it any practice will struggle.
Below are the reasons I run my own business. What are your reasons?