Chiropractors who finish their degree and open their own practice expect to make decent money. With the massive expenses involved in getting a chiropractic education and starting a practice, the upper five figures are the bare minimum most chiropractors expect to receive.
So, how much does a chiropractic owner make? A chiropractic owner makes an average of $98,500, although this number can be as low as $30,000 or as high as $200,000+.
There are a whole host of factors that influence how much a chiropractor owner can make. To learn about these factors, and to learn how to increase your chiropractic owner's salary, read on.
Let's start off with some facts. According to Chiropractic Economics, the average solo practitioner makes about $99,500. Most chiropractic owners are solo practitioners, so this number will likely be relevant to you.
There is a minority of chiropractic owners who make significantly more than $99,500 per year. These owners usually have large, high-volume clinics staffed by at least one other salaried chiropractor.
There is also a minority of chiropractic owners who make much less than $98,500. These chiropractors typically don't work many hours, or otherwise liven in a rural, low-income area.
The biggest indicator of a successful chiropractic business is practice size. And I'm not talking about the size of the building ‒ I'm talking about a consistent stream of patients coming in the door each week.
While there are many ways for a chiropractic owner to increase their income, none of them will work if the owner doesn't have a decent patient base.
Time not spent working on patients is time you're not making money, so a constantly full waiting area means a chiropractic owner is at least making the $99,500 average.
The best use of a chiropractor's time is to be working on patients as much as possible. Adjustments are what bring in the money and make the whole business viable, so any time spent that isn't treatment-related is probably a sign of wasted potential.
To combat this, chiropractic owners can hire support staff. Getting someone else to handle answering the phones, billing concerns, patient sign-in, insurance claims, and other tasks not related to treatment will almost assuredly increase profits. If it doesn't, the owner needs to work on new patient acquisition to bump up their income.
Office expenses are a necessary but somewhat painful drain on the chiropractic owner's income. Rent, utilities, office supplies, chiropractic supplies, cleaning supplies, and other expenses will all make a dent in an owner's salary at the end of the year. As long as it doesn't negatively affect the practice, cutting down costs in any one of these areas can help boost a lower than average salary.
Many chiropractic owners also need to consider the loans they took out to finish their schooling and open their practice. While these coats were necessary and not considered typical expenses, they will also affect how much an owner takes home each month.
The hours per week a chiropractic owner's practice is open will also have an impact on their yearly income. It's a pretty simple equation: the more hours the practice is open, the more space in the schedule to fit patients in.
Long hours aren't always fun, but they are often necessary for a chiropractic owner to earn a decent living. This is especially the case when first starting a practice ‒ to work up to the point where the owner can earn a decent living off of relatively few hours, they first need to put in the upfront effort to build that patient base.
The office location is an important but hard to quantify metric in determining a chiropractic owner's income. The cost of rent obviously plays a role, but you also need to consider some less concrete characteristics:
It's pretty difficult to change your practice location once you've chosen an office, so owners should think hard about this before signing a lease or purchasing a building.
As a healthcare provider, chiropractic owners have a position of authority to recommend and sell supplements or healthcare accessories to their patients. Many of these items sell for over $100, so even a small profit margin will add up over time.
Although selling these things can be relatively easy money, the well-being of the patient needs to remain the top priority. Chiropractors should only recommend products to people who genuinely need them. If someone doesn't need a product, pushing one on them anyway is not only not in the patient's bear interest, it will also risk the patient losing trust in the chiropractor and not returning for future visits.
Perhaps the most important aspect of a chiropractic business in this modern world is a practice's web presence and marketing strategy.
There are more chiropractors competing for patients than there have ever been. It's more important than ever to market chiropractic services to the people local to the practice. In fact, it's so important that doing this correctly could make or break the whole business.
Unfortunately for chiropractic owners, marketing is a complex skill ‒ one that they don't teach much of in chiropractic school. A good marketing strategy involves all of the following components, and I'm pretty sure none of these are on any of the chiropractic school curriculums :
Resource Recommendation: If you’re looking for an amazing book on how to better manage your practice so you’re focusing on profits first, then I highly recommend the book by the same title Profit First by Mike Michalowicz.
If you're a chiropractic owner, improving your practice's bottom line is probably the thought that's on your mind the most. The following tips should help you decide what to focus on to build a more profitable business.
Before trying to increase the amount of money coming in the door, you should cut down on the money leaving your bank account. All of the following strategies can help you do that:
While hiring additional employees goes against the "cut your expenses" advice we just talked about, there are a number of things you should be hiring other people to do.
As a chiropractor, your skillset is in treating patients. Don't waste your time answering phones, calling insurance companies, or cleaning your waiting room. Hire someone to do these tasks and focus on what brings the money in ‒ caring for patients.
Of course, a practice that doesn't have a large patient count yet will have a difficult time justifying the cost of a new employee. Use your best judgment to decide when to hire additional people.
The number one way to make more money as a chiropractic owner is to get new patients.
And the number one way to get new patients is through effective marketing.
As we discussed earlier, marketing is surprisingly complex and nuanced. There are so many small factors you need to consider that can completely tank your marketing strategy. While you're free to play around and see what you can do on your own, serious marketing is honestly a task best left to experts.
If you'd like to see what a comprehensive chiropractic marketing strategy can do for your practice, schedule a free consultation with Ignite Marketing. We'll take a thorough look at all aspects of your business and tell you how you can maximize your new patient acquisition without breaking the bank.