As a student, one is often barraged with stories of “the real world” that exists after graduation and how scary it is. No more “free money” and very real bills can leave the unexpecting graduate feeling very intimidated. Logan has a good business development curriculum, but no class or seminar can fully prepare one for life after graduation. I was a good student, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and I most certainly learned everything I could about the business aspects of practice. However, I too have had my taste of “the real world.”
I decided to open my own practice because I know I can succeed. I have the right mix of ambition and personality traits to make it work. However, without the right planning all the ambition in the world can still lead to failure. One must have a plan. One must know what to do and in what order.
It was in pursuit of a plan that I chanced upon Dr. James Anderson with the Alumni Relations Department at CCC-KC. I learned that Cleveland offers his business coaching services at no cost to all chiropractors. Both recent and past graduates, Cleveland alumni and other graduates could utilize his extensive knowledge. Utilizing the free services of a veteran businessman and chiropractor has been an invaluable investment of my time. I met with him weekly before I opened to discuss plans and keep me on track toward building a successful practice. In fact, I still keep in touch with him when unexpected situations arise (a very common occurrence in practice!). He also helps me to realize that the feat of opening a practice is obtainable, especially since he operated 3 successful clinics in his career.
Below is a small sampling of the plethora of knowledge I’ve gained from working with the Alumni Relations Department at CCC-KC that has proven particularly useful:
1. Having three open houses during the start-up phase. One for friends and family (basically a warm-up), one for the business community (Chamber, Rotary, etc.), and one for the general public. Have drawings for prizes at each one and be sure to have a sign-up sheet to collect email addressed to send out subsequent newsletters.
2. Adding value to your business cards by putting an offer/discount them.
3. Probably the most invaluable advice I’ve received is communication tips for dealing with different personality types. This allows me to instantly identify a person’s communication style and to adjust my style accordingly. This also has proven helpful when communicating my Office Manager (and keeping her happy!) as well as assisting me in networking events and my personal life.
For too long the chiropractic community has been at odds with itself. We should look at each other as friends and colleges rather than competitors and docs with rival philosophies. The fact that Cleveland offers these services at no cost to all graduates sends a clear signal to the chiropractic community about its commitment to the advancement of all chiropractors. I feel it would be a wise allocation of resources for all schools to follow Cleveland’s lead and implement similar programs to ensure the success of future doctors.
Do yourself a favor and call the Cleveland College Alumni Relations Department today! Whether you’re going to open your own, buy/sell a practice, associate, independent contract, hire staff, retire, change practice locations, or most other problems, you have a great free resource for advice. You may reach Dr. Anderson’s office at 913-234-0619.