Starting your own practice has likely been your goal since you decided to pursue your career as a chiropractor. Once you get to the point of starting your own business, knowing how to reduce risk can help protect your young practice and aid in your success.
5 Ways to Reduce Risk
Recently, Young Upstarts put out an article, "A Startup Founder’s Guide To Reducing Risk", in which they summarized a few ways that new startups can avoid peril and strengthen the likelihood of surviving in the world of business.
1. Start Lean
Most startups fail. This is a fact. And while each startup fails for its own set of reasons, many blow up as a result of trying to do too much too soon. (Young Upstarts)
In regards to starting lean, don't feel like you need to grow too much or too fast. On average, chiropractic offices have 1-2 employees and remain that way for the lifespan of the practice. We'll evaluate the importance of employees, again, lower in this list.
Know your market and have a plan for how you will realistically serve it in the upcoming years. With realistic expectations of how you will provide your services, you can avoid unnecessary expenses.
2. Keep Excellent Records
As a healthcare provider, keeping excellent records extends into two areas: your patients' records and your business' records.
Patient medical records
Maintaining accurate and secure medical records for your patients is a great responsibility. Whether you choose to process paper records, electronic medical records (EMR), or to use more comprehensive electronic health records (EHR), unmanaged records are a risk.
- Patients can lose trust if your not able to efficiently retrieve and process records
- Duplication of effort and billing errors can cost your practice money
- Unstandardized records can be extremely difficult to migrate to a new system
Business financial records
Staying accurate and up to date in your accounting is paramount. Sloppy accounting practices can create real problems in operating your business and even get you into legal trouble.
You should never leave the office at the end of any day or week without having all finances reconciled with the proper supporting documentation. It’s easy for one slip-up to snowball into another. (Young Upstarts)
3. Keep Cash Burn Low
Cash burn rate refers to how quickly your business spends cash (typically expressed per month). Monitoring and controlling your net-negative cash flow is essential to keeping your head above water.
Start by calculating your current burn rate. Then, you can take steps towards lowering your burn rate. This practice is especially important in the early days of your business, and should be continued to ensure the longevity of your practice.
4. Protect With Insurance
You're in the profession of taking care of other people, but do not forget to take care of yourself too. Imagine that you suffer an injury while working. You will need to take time off and seek treatment. All the while, you'll have your own medical bills and no income.
Business owner/workers' compensation insurance is absolutely essential to safeguarding yourself as a small business owner. Additionally, you should get malpractice insurance to protect your business from the possibility of a patient filing a malpractice lawsuit.
5. Hire the Right People
Take the time to hire the right employee(s). In a small business, each employee makes up a giant portion of the business.
The right employees don’t just have skills and experience. They need to be the right fit for your culture and objectives. Otherwise, conflict will erode the relationship and leave your company worse off than before. (Young Upstarts)
Additionally, hiring the right employees and retaining them can greatly reduce costs and help your chiropractic business survive.
Put It All Together
The time to take risks will come when your business can sustain the potential set backs. During your early stages, it's typically best to reduce risk and protect your new chiropractic business from unnecessary threats.
Reduce Risk by Having a Good Chiropractic Website
Your website is still the most important online property for your chiropractic business. Be sure that you choose a quality website provider.
We've been providing great websites for chiropractors since 2000. We continue to develop top-tier sites at the most affordable rates. Browse our website for detail about our N8 Chiropractic Websites.
If you've got questions about setting up your website or how to best marketing online, schedule a free 1-on-1 to get answers.