Starting a chiropractic practice is complicated. You have many decisions to make and there are many aspects of each decision. For example, finding office space and signing a lease is one of the most complicated decisions, involving many weeks of search, detailed discussions with commercial Realtors, leasing companies, and attorneys. Just the lease document alone is difficult to read and make decisions on. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of starting a practice and to over-complicate everything. Here are some tips for keeping things simple:
“¢Start with the Essentials. Ask yourself, “What do I absolutely need to do first?” For example, here is a quick list of some essential tasks:
1. Get a business checking account
2. Get a business phone
3. Find an office space
4. Buy furniture and equipment
5. Get your chiropractic license, business licenses, and permits.
6. Let people know about your business.
If you just did those six things, you would be able to see patients and make money. Sure, there are many other tasks, like creating a business plan and getting bank financing, but if you had a small amount of cash, you could start your practice immediately.
“¢Keep it Small. You don’t have to start the world’s largest practice immediately. Find a small office or work in someone else’s office when you start. The bigger you get, the more complex your startup will be. “KISS” means “Keep it Small and Simple.”
“¢Set up a Simple Financial and Legal Structure. You can start as a sole proprietor and eliminate a lot of paperwork and expense; you can always change to an s-corporation or an LLC later, if you decide that is a good idea. Use a simple financial system, possibly just using a spreadsheet or a program like QuickBooks Online.
“¢Find Trusted Advisors. Select an attorney, a CPA, an insurance agent, and (hopefully) a banker you can trust, so they can take many of the difficult decisions out of your hands. You will need to pay for their services, but they know more than you do about these subjects and they can make your startup much smoother.
“¢Use a practice management company. Some new DC’s like to go solo, while others feel they need the help of someone who has been down the road before. If you have a practice management coach or advisor who can walk you through the process, it will cut down on the number of complex decisions you need to make.
You probably are getting the idea: Start small, keep it simple, and the process of starting your chiropractic practice will be less complicated and allow you more time to market in the community and, of course, more time for your family and your life.