Chiropractic Business Model: 5 Reasons Why Chiropractors Fail
July 9, 2018 by ChiroTouch Article EHR, Business Management, Billing


  • Running a chiropractic business requires a chiropractor to fulfill the role of healthcare provider and small business owner.
  • Many chiropractic businesses fail due to a lack of organization and poor billing practices.
  • To run a successful chiropractic practice, you need to develop a business plan and implement organizational strategies in your practice.
  • Using completely integrated chiropractic EHR software supports your practice’s success with automated practice management features.

Running a successful chiropractic business can be a difficult task. Just like any other business, it’s important to carefully prepare and plan out your business and finances. Here are a few reasons why chiropractic business models fail and tips on how to avoid them.

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Why Chiropractic Business Models Fail

As a chiropractor, you are a medical professional. However, as someone who owns their own chiropractic practice, you are also a small business entrepreneur. Your role as a small business owner puts you in a vulnerable position due to the high failure rate among small businesses.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that between 1994 and 2019, 67.6% survived at least two years. The five-year survival rate dropped to 48.9% after five years and 25.7% after fifteen years. These numbers show that nearly half of small businesses will have failed after five years.

Many chiropractic practice owners fall short because they don’t identify common pitfalls that cause chiropractic businesses to fail and implement strategies to avoid them. Below are five common reasons that chiropractic businesses fail and a few tips to help you avoid making these same mistakes.

1. Lack of Patient Awareness

Your chances of succeeding as a new chiropractic practice are low if you don’t get the word out about your services. 97% of people use local online searches to discover local businesses, and 88% of people call a local business within 24-hours of finding it through a Google search.

If you aren’t putting time and effort into promoting your practice to increase patient awareness in the local markets, you’ll miss out on the revenue your practice needs to survive.

To grow patient awareness about your practice, develop a strong chiropractic marketing strategy to expand your local audience. Start or maintain a blog and use local SEO keywords in your content. Take the time to develop relationships to get more referrals from MDs to boost your revenue.

2. Lack of Delegation

Successful businesses remain successful because they have strong leadership that delegates responsibilities in the company. When done right, delegation distributes task completion to trained people who know what they need to do and perform their job well.

If you don’t delegate properly or haven’t hired the staff to delegate operational tasks, you may struggle to handle the workload on your own. Trying to provide patient care on top of scheduling, payment processing, billing, and insurance is likely to lead to burnout and inaccurate bookkeeping.

To avoid this pitfall, you’ll need to hire the appropriate staff for your practice. Consider bringing on a chiropractic assistant and chiropractic biller to help you get your practice off the ground. Your CA and biller can handle the practice management side of operations while you focus on your patients.

Additionally, implement a cloud-based chiropractic EHR system that can simplify and automate administrative tasks for the entire practice.

3. Not Maintaining a Business Plan

Like any small business, maintaining a business plan is part of the key to success. A chiropractic business plan can help you outline all areas of your practice and set the goals you’ll need to succeed.

Writing a business plan forces you to anticipate challenges and develop possible solutions. It also helps you narrow down your chiropractic niche and identify your ideal patient base.

Without a business plan, you won’t have achievable objectives for your practice and will likely face unanticipated challenges that can throw you off course. You may also struggle to implement a marketing strategy without thinking about what type of patients you want to reach.

Work on a business plan before starting your chiropractic business. Then, check periodically with your business plan to see how your practice performs compared to your objectives. This will keep you accountable to your own expectations and help you identify changes you need to make to meet these goals.

4. Lack of Organization

Poor organization leads to several problems in all types of business. A lack of organization causes poor communication between you and your staff. It leaves a bad impression on patients who receive poor service due to long wait times, incorrect billing, or hurried chiropractic care. A lack of organization also leads to a loss of revenue from low patient-retention rates and non-rescheduling of missed or canceled appointments.

To avoid this mistake, implement organized, consistent processes for your chiropractic practice. The right chiropractic practice management software gives you access to online scheduling, making it easier for patients to schedule or reschedule appointments. Modern practice management software can also reduce patient wait times with digital intake forms.

The right chiropractic EHR will allow your staff to complete administrative tasks quickly so they can spend more time focusing on your patients.

5. Not Billing Correctly

If your practice is seeing a healthy number of patients, but your profits aren’t adding up, the culprit is likely your software and billing system. The right chiropractic practice management and billing software can make the difference between chiropractic success and failure.

You should not have employees entering data manually, increasing the odds of mistakes. Payments and claims should be posted and submitted automatically. If a patient’s insurance has expired or they have reached their visit maximum, you need software that tells you that beforehand.

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Support a Successful Chiropractic Business With ChiroTouch

If your practice management and billing software aren’t integrated, your bottom line suffers. ChiroTouch provides chiropractors with completely integrated chiropractic EHR software that supports a successful business model.

With ChiroTouch, you benefit from online scheduling, automated insurance and billing, and automated intake to keep your practice running efficiently and reduce costly errors. ChiroTouch also includes features that streamline workflow, automate administrative tasks, and simplify charting.

Book a demo to learn more about how our chiropractic EHR software can help you run a successful chiropractic practice for years to come.

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