If you are just starting out with your acupuncture practice, you need to put together a business plan, especially when you go to a bank or other investors to raise funds. It will help you convince them you are serious about being successful, and about making money.
But even if you have owned your operation for awhile, it is good practice to dust off your existing business plan to evaluate where you stand – or write your first one to give your business the focus you want.
Creating a framework for success
When you are a few years into your business, revisiting your original business plan will help you decide whether to stay on track or make some tweaks. Most of us need to tweak our models.
Many owners of small businesses open their doors with a strong skill set – such as up-to-date chiropractic knowledge – but perhaps few ideas about how to attract customers, keep them, and then continue to grow the business without spending great amounts of money.
A business plan will help.
What to include
Depending on your needs, a business plan might run to 20 pages as you explain all the details of your strategy and tactics over the next few years. For your personal purposes, a business plan can be a page or two.
Your first task should include writing a mission statement (or rewriting your existing one if necessary). You know what you want to accomplish when you report to work each day, but can you explain your goals and strategy for achieving them? It requires thought and time.
The particulars needed to meet your goals often come down to numbers: How many patients do you need to attract to break even? How will you attract those customers to your particular chiropractic business? How much profit do you want to make two years from now?
To answer those questions, you must outline what makes you and your offerings different than the competition. Maybe you are the only chiropractor in your county. Perhaps your skills have been featured in chiropractic journals. Your potential customers may be afraid of pain; can you convince them your treatment is pain-free?