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A chiropractic business development and billing company is offering resources for doctors of chiropractic to survive COVID-19 now, and prepare for business to resume after the coronavirus crisis.
Dr. Nathan Unruh, CEO of SIDECAR, says it’s vital for chiropractors to “turn into the storm” during hard times.
“Hope and worry won’t make it better,” Unruh says. “We firmly believe that business leaders must be realistic and prudent while also taking the opportunity to look at what they’re doing. How solid are your systems and procedures? We have to tighten the screws and prepare to launch when this crisis passes, because it will pass.”
One of the big questions for many chiropractors is whether to stay open at all. Many don’t have a choice if their state or provincial government requires closure, or their clinic is in a building that shuts down. Others are struggling with whether staying open is in the best interests of patients and staff.
That’s a decision each chiropractor makes based on their circumstances, says Unruh. But hunkering down and waiting for better days may not be the best strategy for the long term.
“As business owners, we all want great staff who are loyal and don’t jump ship for 50 cents an hour down the street,” Unruh says. “It’s times like these when we build that loyalty by doing whatever we can to say we’re going to fight for our practice and we’re going to fight for you because we’re in this together.”
There’s no simple formula for how to do that. Budgets are real and when there’s less or no revenue coming in, the instinct is to shut off the money going out. There are steps you can take to solidify your business situation, Unruh says.
“In times like this, during crisis, cash is king,” he says.
To that end, there are several practical steps chiropractors can take, including:
- Talk to you banker about extending credit if you need it
- Talk to your personal financial planner and suspend contributions to a 401k or IRAs for several months
- Tax deadlines are being extended in many cases, but even then, think of the IRS as a vendor. Ultimately, you will have to pay taxes, but delaying the payment is like a short-term loan. The IRS will charge interest on the payment, but it’s based on the prime rate and is quite low compared to other financing options.
- Be open with your staff. It may be necessary to reduce hours, or take early PTO, or even periodic furloughs. But being honest and explaining the circumstances, demonstrating everything you’re doing to stay viable in the short-term for long-term growth, develops shared purpose.
The “Business Survival Kit,” a collection of online resources, includes:
- Interactive training
- Patient messaging for email and social media
- An online business-needs analysis
- A document to create Key Performance Indicators to measure your business health
- And 10 actions you and your employees can take now to prepare for growth
The clearinghouse of resources also includes the replay of a webinar Unruh led on the topic, where guests included Dr. Ray Foxworth, founder of ChiroHealth USA; Bill Esteb, co-founder of Perfect Patients; and Dr. Shahana Alibhai, an MD who specializes in dealing with fear and anxiety.
The “Crisis Survival Course” is available now for no charge or obligation and includes 90 days of access to a crisis management course on the Overdrive interactive training platform.
“We are not just chiropractors,” Unruh says. “We are community leaders. It is in times of stress that true leadership emerges. These are the times when strength breeds resilience, when confidence provides hope.
“The enemy isn’t biology. It is psychology.
“Turning into the storm is frightening. I compare to the buffalo. I’m from South Dakota and the buffalo is a symbol on the Great Plains of our strength. There used to be millions of buffalo on the plains and when one of our big storms would sweep through, the herd turns into the storm. Cattle huddle together and try to hide.
“The buffalo get it through the storm faster and in better condition.”
Click for more information on the Business Survival Kit.
To sign up your free Crisis Survival Course go to sidecar.lpages.co/crisis-survival.
Our company was established by chiropractors, for chiropractors, and is still run by chiropractors. In short, we understand your challenges in the shifting sands of reimbursement. We are dragon slayers – a sharpened sword in a time of need. With a collective 75 years in experience, SIDECAR can offer proven methods for achieving a successful chiropractic practice. To learn more go to sidecaredge.com.
Learn more about the Business Survival Kit