If you’ve decided you want to set up your own practice – whether you’re a newly qualified chiropractor or have years’ of experience in the industry – then you’ll know that there are a million and one things you need to think about! From premises and budgets to marketing and equipment, prepare for a few very busy days and sleepless nights as you form your business plan and start to pull everything together. We’ve come up with 5 steps for you to follow that will help you to get your business up and running…
Sort Your Finances
Finances are key to any successful business and a chiropractic practice is no different. You’ll need to figure out how much you have to spend and then work out whether you need any additional cash flow. If you do, you may want to consider borrowing from friends or family before approaching a bank or other investor as you’ll often pay high interest rates for bank loans. Make sure you have cleared all or as much of any personal debt as you can before borrowing money for your business.
Think About Your Marketing
Carrying out market research is essential before you set up your practice. You’ll need to choose a premises and location and market research can help you to see how much demand there is for chiropractic services in your area. Once you’ve chosen your premises and have setup your practice, there are other types of marketing you ‘ll need to do. Why not consider sending out a chiropractic newsletter to existing patients to keep them informed with relevant news – they may even forward it to friends and family, attracting new custom. You should also consider using social media for marketing – it’s one of the most effective ways to reach a wider audience and it’s ideal for start-ups as it’s relatively low cost too.
Choose your Premises
It’s important to purchase or rent premises you can afford – many businesses starting out like to rent a room at another practice for their treatments, but if you can afford more then get more! Make sure you don’t overspend as it’s vital to keep your overheads as low as possible until you’re more established. You should also consider the location; it needs to be accessible for people, so consider things like distance from the town/city center, available parking etc.
Advertising in local press or classifieds is a great way to attract the first few patients to your business. Of course, you may already have some patients if you have been working as a chiropractor for another practice. Low-cost local advertising will help to keep costs down and ensure that you’re targeting only those who live near your practice. You’ll find plenty of ideas for small business advertising online and ensuring you have an up to date, well designed website with all your business info including opening hours is a great starting point for attracting new patients.
Provide a Great Service
It might sound obvious, but you need to provide a great service if you want your patients to continue using your practice. Make sure you don’t open your practice before you’re ready – everything has to be perfect for your first few appointments to ensure that people will continue to come to your clinic. Word of mouth is a powerful tool and if patients have a negative experience this could damage your reputation and mean that people in the local community are distrustful of your services. Ensure that everything is organized for opening day, and perhaps consider offering a special discount to your first 5 patients – this is a great way to build a positive reputation and can help to attract new patients to your practice.
Hopefully, this article has made you feel a bit more confident about starting out on your own. Starting any business can be tough but the key is really marketing your services. Be proud of your achievements and what you’re offering to people and this will come across. There will be lots of hard work ahead as you work to promote your practice and build your customer base, but the end results will be well worth it – a successful chiropractic treatment center with satisfied patients and happy staff!