What difficulties might a chiropractor face?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 50,300 chiropractor jobs in 2018. The Bureau also estimates that more jobs are in the making. Yet, like all healthcare specialities, a chiropractor specialty is not without its struggles. Such challenges may include:
- Financing new and generally expensive equipment
- Gaining new clients and keeping existing ones
- Absence of working capital for improvements or growth
- Meeting the costs of hiring and training employees
- Competition from other local chiropractic businesses
- Managing every day working operations
Luckily, there are financing tools available to offset most of these challenges. New equipment can be financed with an equipment lease or term loan. Also, putting aside funds to market your chiropractic business can help you gain new patients and regain your existing base of clients.
Financial Growth Tips for Chiropractors
Prior to meeting your first patient, you will need to have a business growth plan written up. If you don’t bring in new patients, suffice to say, your business will not be successful.
Here are some top tips to help you ensure that your chiropractic business is successful:
Top Tip #1. Get to know the current state of the industry
The chiropractic industry currently generates $12.26 billion a year in revenues and is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.32% by 2025. Chiropractors attend to 35 million patients a year, mainly in small clinics. It is a business that favors a clinic environment.
The industry’s growth will bring with it new competition, and by 2020 the American Chiropractic Association predicts that there will be 80,000 chiropractors working in America. Another 2,500 will be expected to graduate from college every year. This will make the industry increasingly competitive. As a chiropractic entrepreneur you will need to ensure that your business stays ahead of the others. You can do this by having a healthy business that positions itself well in terms of marketing and services.
Top Tip #2. Know what it costs to start a chiropractic practice.
In addition to a chiropractic degree, which can begin at $120,000 and go up from there - starting a chiropractic practice demands a significant amount of capital.
To begin with, you will need to find a location and rent or buy the premises. You may also need to purchase or lease equipment including, X-ray machines, tables, and technology tools for a receptionist. It may even be necessary to adjust the physical spact to make separate rooms for patients.
You will also need to advertise for staff, interview and hire them. You may be required to purchase licenses, and to hire a lawyer to create a business that is a legal entity. When you put together your business plan, consider all of these items and the costs associated with them.
Top Tip #3. Retain current patients and attract new ones.
Establishing strong relationships will help you create your business. You’ll want to set aside time to get to know your patients, ask them questions about their kids, pets and hobbies. When they see that you understand the impact of their pain, they are more likely to trust that you can solve their problem. That increases your chances for success even if it costs you more time.. You will also want to solicit feedback from all of your patients. This shows your patients that their opinion matters and helps them feel invested in your success. Feedback may also help you identify improvement and growth potential.
You should also spend time marketing your business to attract new patients. Don’t forget to include marketing tasks in your business plan. For various reasons you will lose certain patients over time. You will thus need to ensure you have a steady inflow of new patients to ensure your chiropractic business remains viable. You may wish to consider adding a social media strategy, or, you could partner with referral sites and ask current patients to leave a review for your business on such sites. Another option is to offer promotions and special offers for new patients.
Top Tip #4. Add new technology to your practice.
Chiropractic is a hands-on profession, which relies on technology to better inform patient care. You will require at least one X-Ray machine to assist you when you need to create a treatment plan and keep an eye on results.
As a business you could also invest in practice management software which has the ability to integrate with electronic health records. This may help you streamline processes such as scheduling and billing. Such software can also be used to ensure compliance with all regulators and insurance providers.