Right now is a great time to be in the chiropractic business. The industry is expected to grow over 4% each year and reach $17.9 billion in size by 2025. Growth is being fueled by larger numbers of patients looking for alternative treatments (around 35 million a year), larger numbers of chiropractors to serve them and plentiful options for chiropractic funding. By all accounts, these forces will continue to benefit the industry for years to come.
In spite of the sunny forecast, however, success is never guaranteed. The influx of chiropractors increases competition, which in turn heightens expectations among the growing patient base. Today’s chiropractors have incredible opportunities in front of them, but only if they manage their practices carefully.
Of all the issues that can disrupt a practice, cash flow is the most common and consequential. Without enough cash on hand, business grinds to a halt and growth can become impossible. Chiropractic funding presents a strategic safety net chiropractors can take advantage of as they invest in their business development and financial health. Use these other smart strategies to help your practice seize the moment.
Keep Your Labor Costs in Check
Wages are one of the largest ongoing costs at any chiropractic office, so it’s worth your time to occasionally reevaluate your staffing needs to ensure you’re not over- or under-staffed. Consider whether you could outsource responsibilities like billing or office cleaning. It’s not advisable to slash wages or benefits, but you may be able to tweak your policies – like the amount of paid vacation people receive – in ways that lower overall labor costs.
Practice Sound Financial Planning
Chiropractors are medical professionals first and foremost, so financial planning and business management may not be the first priority. A practice is a business like any other and needs to have a sound financial foundation in place. That means having the experience, expertise, plans, and policies necessary to manage all the money the practice handles. This point might sound obvious, but many practices fail because they don’t focus enough on the basics of their business and then chiropractic funding becomes an issue. If you’re not confident in your financial planning abilities, look into finding individuals to help keep your books and business projections in order.
Hire a Good Accountant
Related to the previous point, you will want to form a relationship with a CPA as soon as the practice opens. A good accountant can handle taxes, which is an important and overwhelming obligation. They can also provide sound financial guidance and oversight that most practices are lacking in-house. Find a CPA you can build a long-term relationship with because the better they know your practice, the better they can serve your business needs.
Have an On-Demand Funding Source
Even with careful planning, finances are hard to perfectly predict or control. You might experience a lean period and consequently, struggle to make payroll or other bills. Alternatively, there may be a time-sensitive opportunity – the opportunity to lease ideal office space – that you don’t have enough cash on hand to pursue. Both these scenarios are common, which is why chiropractors should have an on-demand chiropractic funding source available like small business loans. They offer a quick infusion of cash exactly when it matters most, without generating an onerous debt in the process. Only take out loans when you need them, but don’t hesitate to use them to stabilize or grow your business.
Master Billing for your Business
Billing is a complex process, and if you don’t do it perfectly you’re missing out on revenue your practice has already earned. The best way to optimize billing is to eliminate problems from the claims process. Start by verifying insurance eligibility for all of your patients, even if it’s a tedious process. Then make sure any pre-authorization requirements are followed and the claim is entirely free of data entry mistakes. You may never be able to perfect billing entirely, but any amount of effort you make translates directly into more revenue.
Implement the Right Technologies
There are tons of technologies available to specifically help chiropractors manage their finances and improve their operations. These range from medical record technologies that help you better serve patients to payroll automation tools that can save you time and prevent errors. A practice thrives by delivering a human touch, but that effort becomes a lot easier when the right technologies are doing the heavy lifting of office administration.
Invest in New Equipment
Buying or leasing new equipment is a major upfront cost and a necessary one – ultimately, it’s an investment in the future of the practice. New equipment helps you bring in extra revenue by lending a modern, state-of-the-art shine to your practice, which demonstrates your commitment to quality care. You should leverage your equipment updates in marketing messages to make a powerful statement to potential clients. These equipment updates also allow you to offer new services or rearrange your pricing structure. This is an instance where you can invest in your practice to achieve greater returns; chiropractic business financing is available to help your practice access the latest and greatest equipment in the industry.
Your finances can either be an obstacle or an asset. Once you understand how to manage them effectively, every aspect of your practice will improve. The experience becomes better for patients, staff, and especially you, as the business owner. Therefore, the benefit of sound financial management isn’t just less anxiety and more stability – it’s an advantage that directly boosts the bottom line.