There are several ways to work as a chiropractor, and one that you may want to consider is as a franchise owner.
In some ways, owning a franchise gives you the best of both worlds—you can retain independence, but also have a support system. If you are considering a chiropractic franchise, there are several factors to consider.
The need for systems
Running a solo practice means self-running a business. DCs who run their own practices must have business systems in place. A marketing plan, branding, systems for paying bills, policies and procedures, a budget, projections, and so on—just as any business owner would have
In addition running a chiropractic office means adhering to federal and state regulations. It also means understanding coding and billing insurance companies, among myriad other details that are specific to health care-related businesses.
Choosing to become a franchisee can alleviate some of the worry about business systems. Being part of a well-known company is one of the biggest benefits of owning a franchise. You get the branding and marketing power of a larger, established company. Many franchises include a variety of support in building other business systems.1
Giving Up Control
Along with that support and market-power comes the loss of some independence. You can be limited in some areas, such as being required to follow corporate policies. In some instances, you may be restricted as to what services you offer. You may be required to use some systems you are not comfortable with, or use technology you don’t particularly like.
Many franchisees find a sense of freedom in not having to worry about branding, business systems, other peripheral tasks. It could mean being able to focus more on seeing patients, or learning new techniques. For DCs who want to provide care rather than develop a brand, owning a franchise can be the best choice.
Before You Decide
There are many steps to take before deciding whether a franchise is right for you. Read about the chiropractic franchises available in your area. Talk to colleagues, and to people who recently purchased franchises, as well as those who have been happy running a franchise for some time.
Most companies that offer franchise opportunities such as meet and greet days, where interested parties can visit the home office and meet the people who run the various departments. Such a visit can help you assess how the corporation is operated, and whether or not you would be comfortable working within its structure. Finding the right fit for your personality is critically important.
The financial aspect of buying a franchise is another area that you will want to think about carefully. How much is the initial investment? What support can you expect? What is the on-going fee structure like? What is the average income of other franchise owners?
Owning a franchise can be a great way to practice as a chiropractor, and there are plenty of success stories. However, it’s also easy enough to find tales of woe, where franchisees felt promises weren’t fulfilled. The best way to avoid franchise failure is to thoroughly investigate before investing.
1 Entrepreneur.com. “Why This Chiropractor Chose the Franchised Path to Entrepreneurship.” http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244001. Published March 2015. Accessed August 2015.
2 The Houston Cronicle. “Advantages and Disadvantages of Owning a Franchise.” http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-disadvantages-owning-franchise-3886.html. Published February 2011. Accessed August 2015.