This week seemed to be all about business. Dr. Yurasek, our
program's assistant dean, invited Honora Lee Wolfe, marketing
director of Blue Poppy Enterprises and author of Points for Profit:
The Essential Guide to Practice Success for Acupuncturists, to
speak at National. She presented information from her book about
things students can do to build a practice while still in school.
Many students want to be a health care professional and help their
patients but don't know the first thing about business, opening a
practice or associating.
National also has a business planning class that is required for
all students and is taught by Dr. Hodges. It was scheduled this
weekend for the AOM students, and having Honora speak was a bonus
because she has an acupuncture background and can relate to us a
little more than chiropractors. Chiropractic business laws and
practice codes are different from acupuncture.
Since my husband, a chiro student, and I have a year before we
open our practice, this is the crucial time to start building a
business plan and figuring out where we want to practice. Number
one on Honora's list of things to do to build a practice is to
decide what state and city to practice in. This alone is a tough
decision. Laws are different from state to state. A good idea is to
check on the NCCAOM website for links to state laws and
Once a state is chosen, one must explore the demographics of
different towns to decide if it will be a good fit for the
practitioner. Dr. Hodges recommends picking a town one not only
wants to practice in but also live in because it affords more
opportunities for business relationships and meeting the public
during non-business hours.
We are required to write a business and marketing plan,
curriculum vitae, and a narrative report for our Business class.
The business plan is crucial not only to keep one on schedule but
it is also required by banks when requesting a loan. The bank
scrutinizes every detail of your business plan. Unfortunately, with
the current economy it seems to be harder to obtain loan money, but
Dr. Hodges suggests working with the Small Business Association
often found at the local community college. They will help with the
business plan and obtaining funds to open a business.
The business plan is a hefty project but it gets the ball
rolling and open's our eyes to a world beyond school and studying.
I look forward to this project and I have already started some of
my research and I will keep you updated with any fun facts I learn!