Business Plan Basics for your Practice
Studies have shown that successful businesses started off with a business plan, and chiropractic practices are no exception. Organizations with a business plan perform more efficiently than those who do not have one because business plans characterize the roadmap of achieving your objectives.
Even though you primarily view yourself as a health care practitioner, if you own all or part of your practice you are also an entrepreneur. While a chiropractic business plan includes many of the same components of any standard plan, there are elements in a chiropractor’s business plan that are unique to the profession. Remember, you will need a solid business plan to obtain financing to start or expand your practice. We’re providing this blog post to introduce its key elements.
Every Business Plan is Unique
Keep in mind that every business plan is unique, just as your chiropractic practice differs in some way from every competitor. While you want to include all the pertinent and specific information relating to your practice, you don’t want a fill-in-the-blanks, cookie-cutter approach. When a lender reads your chiropractic business plan, they should not only read a well-organized, well-argued document that doesn’t leave them asking a lot of questions but should also be able to take away the vision you have for your chiropractic business.
Business Plan Basics
Start your business plan with the obvious – what is your service, how is it structured, and what are your goals to make the practice a success? While the concepts are obvious, how you reach your goals may not be, and this aspect of the chiropractic business plan requires a great deal of thought.
Actions to make a successful practice
If your practice is new, you’re starting from scratch. If your practice is successful, this is the time to review what works for you and what is not working as well as you had planned. There are several components of a business plan which consist of the following:
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- Market Analysis
- Competitive Analysis
- Management and Organization Description
- Product and Service Description
- Marketing Plan
- Sales Strategy
- Financial Projections
To expand on these 10 main components of a business plan, there are additional things to consider, especially for a chiropractic practice, which we’ll elaborate on below.
Determine if you will offer additional services
Offering various services can distinguish you from your competitors. By definition, every chiropractor offers chiropractic manipulation, but most practices are not limited to just that. Do you offer, or plan to offer, complimentary services such as massage or nutritional supplements? Do you offer something unique in your area, such as hydrotherapy? If you don’t offer other services now, do you intend to do so in the future and how will you integrate them into your practice? It’s not just financial institutions that want this information. Putting it in writing helps you build a roadmap for a continually evolving business.
Identify your patient base
Identifying patients and potential patients is crucial to a successful practice. Research the demographics of potential patients in your area. You can find market demographics through your local Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) branch. Typically, the SBDC has free advisers available to help with business plan development, too.
While you can’t expect patients from out of your region to use you as a practitioner, will you market complementary therapies such as supplements, to a wider audience? How do you market your business and services to your patient demographic? How do you intend to grow your patient base? Whether it is by holding information sessions for the community, participating in community activities, extensive conventional or social media advertising or other means, it is vital that lenders know your practice should continue to grow and thrive.
Identify yourself, your business, and your team
A summary of your educational and business background, along with that of your top employees, is a critical part of a business plan. It’s essential that lenders know who they are dealing with when they review your plan. Identify yourself, including your professional experience and expertise, as well as your other valuable assets – members of your team. You don’t have to go into huge amounts of biographical detail, but you must include what your team members contribute to the business. If your practice is new, you chose them based on prior experience, so include those particulars.
Identify practice areas
Do you intend to focus on specific practice areas, such as sports medicine, or is yours a general family practice? If you are focusing on particular areas, how will you attract the patients you seek?
Determine not only your priorities but what makes them a priority at a particular phase of your business. For example, in the beginning, finding the right business location is a top priority, and that makes sense. Later on, bringing in another chiropractor to help with your workload may prove a top priority, because without another doctor, your business can’t grow.
Outline your goals and strategy
When a lender, or anyone else, reads your chiropractic business plan, they must come away with a clear idea of your goals and the strategies you will employ to meet them. There’s little value in stating your goals are A, B, and C if you don’t outline ways in which you plan to attain them. Try to stay as specific as possible. If you have a goal in mind but haven’t yet developed a strategy to meet it, consider options, and include them in the business plan. The act of creating a business plan forces you to come up with concrete ideas for issues that were formerly vague.
With these in mind, we’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg, so keep an eye out on our next blog where we will go over how to write a business plan.
ChiroTouch provides this information with the understanding that authors or speakers are not experts in finance, regulatory policy or law. ChiroTouch shares this information to the best of our knowledge and experience.