My Top 5 Tips For Opening Your Own Practice

Opening my own chiropractic practice has been the greatest adventure of my life. Nothing has challenged me or brought me as much joy as this has, and it’s something I’m really proud of. I feel fortunate to have the support system that I do, and a huge, unexpected part of this whole journey has been the amount of students or fellow chiropractors who have reached out along the way and asked for advice or tips on how to start a practice of their own. I very much consider myself an INFANT business owner–I haven’t even been at this thing for two years yet–but I am always honored and thrilled to share my experience, my own lessons and mistakes, and the absolute minutia of wisdom I’ve gained along the way. I hope that more and more people can be inspired to venture out on their own or go after their dreams in ANY business venture, so I have compiled a brief list of my top tips for opening a practice with the hopes that some of the points are universal enough to apply to industries outside of just chiropractic. 

1. Be extremely honest with yourself about why you want to own your own business and also about how much work it’s going to take

It can be easy from the outside looking in to romanticize entrepreneurship, but the reality is that it’s a ton of work, there is often significant financial risk, and success is never guaranteed. For example, something I often hear is, “I want to open my own practice so I have flexibility with my schedule and have more free time.” And that is a great goal, but if that is your expectation going in, you may be sorely disappointed when you realize how little free time you actually have (at least at the beginning). It’s important to make sure your reasons for wanting to open are rooted in reality and aligned with your values. Business ownership is not for everyone, and that is ok!

2. Take the time to create a detailed business plan and KNOW. YOUR. NUMBERS.

While it’s easier and way more fun to live in blissful ignorance of your finances and to just “hope things work out”, that is a recipe for disaster in business. It’s important to know exactly how much it’s going to cost you to operate your business (rent, NNN, insurance, utilities, supplies, etc.), and then know exactly how many patients/clients per week you’ll need to see or products you’ll need to sell to make this happen. Before I opened my doors, I made sure to know exactly how many patients I needed to be seeing every single week to be profitable. This was extremely motivating for me to market my business and grow my patient base, and it gave me a goal to strive for early on.

3. Keep overhead low.

This one can’t be stated enough. Some of the best advice I got in the beginning was, “It’s better to have to outgrow a space than to have to grow into a space.” And wow, that could not be more true. It is HARD in the beginning, friends. And sh*t is expensive. I was personally shocked at all the costs involved with owning and operating a space, and my initial hopes of “cool so I’ll just pay rent and anything leftover is profit” were squashed REAL quick. Keeping your overhead to a minimum can set you up for success in the beginning and ease your stress levels when you’re just trying to keep your lights on. I promise, as long as you are providing a great service, no one is going to care if you don’t have the most tricked-out office with all the latest and greatest equipment.

4Clearly define your niche/target audience.

This should influence just about everything you do in terms of location, marketing, social media, mission statement, etc. It is tempting to just want to reach everyone and be everything, but it is much more efficient to figure out what you’re best at and focus there. Think about who specifically you’re trying to reach, and ask yourself questions like, “what social media platforms are these people using?”, “Where are these people hanging out or spending their free time?”, “What part of town do they live in?”, “What are other interests they might have?” Putting yourself in the shoes of your ideal client will make you a much better marketer.

5Be patient and keep going.

I don’t know the exact statistic, but an overwhelming majority of small businesses fail. Do I need to reiterate that this sh*t is hard? A huge lesson I’ve learned is that the most successful people don’t necessarily have any special talents or circumstances, they simply just kept going and kept working, even when it might have seemed like they were failing. Right at the moment when you think everything is failing and you’ll never make it (and trust me, there will be those moments), is exactly when you need to put your head down and keep moving. I’ve learned that right on the other side of that moment is likely a breakthrough or win of some sort. Don’t miss it by quitting too early.

I could talk for literally hours about this topic. It is obviously near and dear to my heart, and I want nothing more than for others to pursue their dreams and go after that idea they’ve been tossing around in their brain for years. If you’re someone who’ considering venturing out into the great world of business ownership, I hope you were able to glean at least one nugget of wisdom from this list. I plan on making a part 2 to this blog, so keep your eyes peeled for more on this topic. Thanks for reading, friends!



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