What Are the Costs of Running a Chiropractic Business?
The first step toward starting your own practice is to create a chiropractic business plan that provides details on expected costs. Here are a few of the most common expenses you’ll need to include:
- Office Space: The first cost you’ll need to factor into your estimates is office space. This can run you anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 per month, depending on the size of your office, its location, and whether you’re leasing or buying.
- Building Improvements and Remodeling: Once you’ve acquired your office space, you’ll likely need to do a bit of remodeling to make sure it meets your needs. This includes creating a comfortable waiting area with inviting décor, adding a fresh coat of paint, and replacing old flooring.
- Equipment: If you want to make your patients feel well, you’ll need a variety of equipment to do so. Make a detailed list of all the equipment you require—such as chiropractic tables, cold lasers, and electronic muscle stimulation tools—then shop around to learn exactly how much they’ll cost; you could spend between $10,000 and $30,000 or more purchasing the latest equipment. Note that you should also acquire equipment breakdown coverage.
- Business Licenses and Insurance: Don’t forget to add in the cost of acquiring your business license and insurance; this may run you several thousand dollars.
- Personnel: It’s important to hire knowledgeable professionals you can trust to staff your chiropractic office. Of course, finding, hiring, training, and retaining the best personnel costs money; you should expect to spend between $4,000 and $7,000 per month for each employee, depending on their position, years of experience, and the local cost of living.
- Marketing: As you’re setting up your chiropractic office, don’t forget to invest money into marketing, including business signage, a professional website, direct mail campaigns, social media advertisements, networking membership fees, and business cards. A thorough marketing system will cost you several thousand dollars.
- Office Equipment: You’ll need to make sure your office has everything it needs to operate successfully. This includes desks, chairs, computers, printers, a telephone system, cleaning supplies, and software to track patients, billing, payroll, employee records, etc.
- Inventory: Your office may choose to sell products to patients, such as supplements, supportive mattresses, cervical support pillows, and orthopedic bracing. If so, you’ll need to calculate the cost of acquiring inventory, which could run anywhere from $1,500 to $7,500, depending on the products you choose and how many you keep in stock.
Keep in mind, this is just an overview; your chiropractic business plan should include a more detailed breakdown of anticipated costs.
Types of Loans Available to Chiropractors
There are various types of chiropractic business loans available on the market. Some of the most common are:
- Equipment Financing: These loans can be used for just one thing: equipment. Outfitting your chiropractic office with all the necessary equipment can be expensive, but luckily the terms for these loans are long, which helps spread the payments out over several years.
- Business Line of Credit: A business line of credit is a flexible spending account that you can access any time you need capital. These are great to pay for unexpected expenses like replacing broken equipment or to solve temporary cash flow problems.
- Chiropractic Practice Acquisition Loans: The purpose of chiropractic practice acquisition loans is to provide you with the capital you need to purchase an already-existing practice. Loan limits for these loans are typically high with extended repayment terms.
- Commercial Real Estate Loans: Commercial real estate loans are ideal if you’re purchasing property to build your own chiropractic practice. You can expect high loan limits and long payment terms with these loans, which is good news considering the high cost of office space.
- Business Expansion Loans: The intended purpose of a business expansion loan is to help you grow your practice. These funds can be used in practically any way that helps you achieve that aim, including remodeling your office, hiring additional employees, upgrading your equipment, and marketing your services.
How to Use Chiropractic Business Loans?
Chiropractic business loans can be used in many different ways. Here are just a few suggestions:
- To Move or Expand: Financing is often used by chiropractors who have been in practice for a few years but want to move to a new building or expand their current office.
- To Acquire Cutting-Edge Equipment: Maybe you weren’t able to afford the latest equipment when you first started your practice, but now you want to upgrade. Many lenders offer options that allow you to purchase the equipment necessary to keep your business thriving.
- To Update Your Office: Loans are often used when chiropractors have been in their current office a while and they need to upgrade its interior.
- To Cover Occasional Expenses: Loans don’t have to be used for major purchases or upgrades; they can also be used to cover any day-to-day expenses you may incur as you run your practice.
- To Grow Your Practice: Additional capital also comes in handy when you’re ready to grow your practice. For example, you can use funds to hire a marketing firm, bring on more personnel, or offer new products or services.
How to Qualify for a Chiropractic Business Loan?
While there’s never a guarantee that you’ll qualify for a loan, there are certain steps you can take to improve your chances of approval, such as:
- Build and Maintain a Good Credit Score: One of the most important qualifications—and the requirement that often prevents borrowers from getting financing—is your personal credit score. Make sure to make monthly payments on time, reduce your debt load, and avoid bankruptcy to improve your credit score and increase the likelihood of loan approval.
- Check the Lender’s Qualifications: No two lenders are alike; each one has its own unique set of qualifications. Check with each lender you’re considering to make sure you meet the requirements before applying.
- Have or Create a Solid Business Plan: Many lenders will want to see that you’ve carefully considered how to build your business before offering you a loan; you can do this by drawing up a detailed chiropractic business plan.
- Gather the Necessary Financial Documents: You’ll need to provide financial documentation to secure a loan. The number and type of documents will vary by lender, but you should at least have bank statements, a cash flow statement, a list of business assets, and tax returns for the past several years.
- Apply to Loans Selectively: It’s important to be selective when applying for loans; don’t waste your time filling out an application if you don’t match the requirements or the loan doesn’t meet your needs. Doing so will increase your chances of approval.
How to Apply for a Chiropractic Business Loan?
Applying for a chiropractic business loan may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need to do is:
- Decide on Your Desired Loan Amount and Purpose: The first step is to define what you’ll be using the loan for and how much you need. For example, do you need $25,000 to purchase new equipment for your practice or $750,000 to finance new office space?
- Evaluate Your Options: Once you know your desired loan amount and purpose, you can start looking through the various options on the market and comparing their features.
- Choose a Lender: After evaluating different lenders, you should be able to eliminate those that don’t meet your needs and focus on one or two preferred lenders.
- Start Your Application: Many lenders make the application process as easy as possible; to get started, all you’ll need to do is provide some basic information about you and your chiropractic practice.
- Supply Financial Documentation: Depending on the lender, you may also need to provide supporting documentation, such as bank records, tax returns, and cash flow statements.
- Wait for Approval: Once you’ve completed the application and uploaded your supporting documents, all you have to do is wait. Many lenders—especially alternative lenders—can provide you with an answer almost immediately; that’s one of the benefits of working with an online lender versus a traditional bank.
- Sign Documents and Receive Funds: After you’ve been approved, all you need to do is sign the loan documents and funds will be deposited into your account.
As a chiropractor, your primary focus is on healing people and helping them to live pain-free lives. But to do that, you need access to capital to keep your business running. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to secure financing through traditional institutions because they view chiropractic care as alternative medicine. The good news is there’s a wide range of chiropractic business loans available through alternative lenders to provide the funding you need. All you need to do is research your options and find the loan that best meets your requirements.