Business Planning

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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 certification requirements.

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!  

Be Well.

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