The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the chiropractic profession is expected to grow at a rate of 12 percent over the next eight years.
Compare that to the national average for all other occupations combined and it’s almost double, with the average itself being somewhere around seven percent.
This is good news for anyone just entering this profession as it means that the jobs are out there once you’re ready to start making a living. But what if your dream involves working on your own and opening a chiropractic practice yourself? In that case, there are five things you want to remember when first starting out.
1. Success often means silencing your outer (and inner) critics
If there’s one thing that social media has taught us, it’s that everyone has an opinion about everything nowadays. Additionally, oftentimes those opinions aren’t overly positive. Therefore, if you have people in your life who are trying to dissuade you from opening your own practice, now is the time to tune them out.
Many will throw out the stat that 80 percent of all businesses fail their first year out of the gates. However, data provided by the BLS says otherwise. For instance, of the businesses opened in March of 2016, 79.8 percent were still open in March of 2017. So, either today’s new business owners are getting smarter, or that original number was wrong.
In addition to silencing those who are trying to talk you out of creating your own business, you want to silence your inner critic too. You know the one, telling you that you can’t make it or that you don’t have what it takes. People open new businesses every day, so there’s no reason you can’t be one of them.
2. Don’t expect yourself to know everything about business on day one
One of the reasons opening your own practice can be so scary is because you quickly realize that you don’t know everything you need to know to run a business. Seeing patients and treating their ails can be the easy part because that’s where you’ve been trained the most. However, running a business entity is completely different and takes a whole new skillset.
To help with this, you may want to take some business courses so you know what it takes to create a successful company. Even online courses that offer guidance with accounting matters, recordkeeping, and all of the other functions business owners must handle can provide the information you need to get started.
Conversely, you could also hire someone to take care of the day-to-day operational duties for you so you can focus more on seeing clients while they handle the rest. An office manager position would cover all of these types of responsibilities, and more.
3. A little honesty goes a long way
When first starting a new chiropractic practice, it can be tempting to act like you have it all together, both with your patients and your staff. However, many people appreciate honesty instead, which means admitting when you don’t know something or if it’s over your head.
Even something as simple as saying, “Hmm, I’m not sure how to handle that. We just opened up and I’m still figuring things out, so can I get back to you?” can go a long way. If you try to cover up times when you don’t know the answer and fake it, the other person will likely realize it and this can create a lack of trust that could hurt your practice in the long run.
4. Focus on one thing at a time
Talk to successful business owners and many will likely tell you that they got where they are today by doing certain types of marketing, setting up a website, creating profiles on social media, holding patient workshops, and about 100 other things. Talk about overwhelming.
Instead of trying to do all of these things at once yourself when you’re just beginning, focus on just one task at a time. Create a business plan that identifies your priorities and then work your way down the list, tackling each one as you go. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your practice shouldn’t be either.
5. Don’t forget about your personal life
Starting a new business often involves becoming so engrossed in the process that it’s easy to forget that there is life on the outside of your practice doors too. Yet, if you don’t cut some of your work days short enough to tend to your personal life, it could do you more harm than good.
For instance, one meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Epidemiology noted that many studies found that working longer hours is linked with higher incidences of coronary heart disease. Another study, this one offered by Stanford University, found that working more hours can actually reduce your productivity.
Therefore, don’t forget about your personal life and take some time out of your new practice to enjoy life a bit. It can help you both personally and professionally.
Opening a new practice can be stressful. However, remembering these five things when starting out can limit your angst, turning the process into something that’s more exciting than scary.