Note: This article first appeared in the Summer 2016 edition of the Texas Journal of Chiropractic, the premier resource for Doctors of Chiropractic in Texas.
Many new doctors graduate from chiropractic school, decide to launch their own practice, and subsequently discover that while their education prepared them to deliver quality care to patients, it did not prepare them to own and operate a business.
Doctors of Chiropractic aren’t the only victims of this curse. I spent more time in law school learning about the medieval roots of modern property law than managing a law firm. But while the former is an interesting conversation topic (perhaps), it’s the latter that keeps me from filing for bankruptcy.
The legal profession has historically relied on apprenticeship to fill the gaps in law schools’ practical training. The same goes for Doctors of Chiropractic, who typically learn how to operate a clinic by working for an established practitioner. But what about the doctor who opts to start his or her own practice immediately after graduation? Or the doctor whose boss spent more time on the golf course than mentoring employees? Where do they begin?
The first step is to assemble a team of professionals to guide you to success. Most small businesses need an attorney, banker, and CPA from day one. Identify professionals who have experience working with healthcare practitioners and understand their unique needs. Place an emphasis on the professional’s ability to speak clearly and concisely – because advice you can’t understand is worthless.
Don’t overpay, but remember that the hundreds you save by filing your own business formation papers with LegalZoom, or your own business taxes with TurboTax, may cost you thousands in the long run.