Advanced Chiropractic Clinic

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Family Chiropractic Business Plan

Market Analysis Summary

Job prospects are expected to be good for persons who enter the chiropractic practice. Employment of chiropractors is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations through the year 2010 as consumer demand for alternative community grows.

Chiropractors emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyles and do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery. As a result, chiropractic care is appealing to many health-conscious Americans. Chiropractic treatment of back, neck, extremities, and other joint damage has become more accepted as a result of recent research and changing attitudes about alternative community practices.

The rapidly expanding older population, with their increased likelihood of mechanical and structural problems, also will increase demand in the chiropractic profession.

Demand for chiropractic treatment is also related to the ability of patients to pay, either directly or through health insurance. Although more insurance plans now cover chiropractic services, the extent of such coverage varies among plans.

Increasingly, chiropractors must educate communities about the benefits of chiropractic care in order to establish a successful practice.

In this occupation, replacement needs arise almost entirely from retirements. Chiropractors usually remain in the occupation until they retire; few transfer to other occupations. Establishing a new practice will be easiest in areas with a low concentration of chiropractors.

4.1 Market Segmentation

The Advanced Chiropractic Clinic will focus on the following market segments:

  • Blue collar work force (age 18-44);
  • Active baby-boomers (age 45-64);
  • Retired (age 65 and up);
  • Children (age 0-17);

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

Blue Collar Workforce
St. Mary's and the surrounding area has a high number of blue-collar workers in a number of different work places.

These workers are in stressful job settings with little or no on the job training in work-related ergonomics. Many of these jobs require repetitive movements and lifting that cause stress and injury over time.

Chiropractic has an outstanding track record when treating work-related injuries, like low back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Dr. Azzato will have the added help when reaching out to these workers because he has a number of friends and family members, which have long standing careers at these work places.

Baby Boomers
The Baby Boomer age bracket is nearing the stage in their lives that demands chiropractic care to prevent many of the problems of aging. Many dysfunctions of the body occur as we age and this target market is a prime candidate for the services we provide.

Family oriented
The clinic will have a family oriented patient base, this includes patients of any age, gender, race, educational status, or religion.

All persons in the community and/or surrounding area are eligible patients. Advanced Chiropractic will also strive to educate patients who are parents, so they can have their children, regardless of health status, benefit from chiropractic care.

Family/Friend Referrals
A big advantage of starting a business near your hometown, where there is a large family base, is that in the early stages of building a patient base I expect to receive referrals and treat many of my family members.

I also have two family members who run small businesses in the area and I will be coordinating marketing projects through them to increase my presence in the area.

4.2.1 Market Needs

The need for chiropractic services is increasing in a dramatic fashion. More and more patients of the medical model are now looking for alternative cost-effective ways to prevent injury and remain in a state of health. This is even more important in the current recession economy where people more than ever many be facing employment and insurance problems. Chiropractic is a valuable tool that is very affordable for most people.

The aging of America is the single most dominant factor in the future of medicine, chiropractic, and the health industry. Today, one in ten Americans use chiropractic services; that will increase with the aging of the population.

The arithmetic is simple. Today there are approximately 33 million Americans over the age of 65. In 20 years - only a generation - there will be 60 million, almost doubling in size. By their sheer numbers, the elderly will propel the upward growth of all medical services across the spectrum of health care delivery.

Older Americans represent nearly 13 percent of the population today. Older Americans are surviving the acute episodes of chronic diseases - the heart attacks, strokes, mastectomies - and recovering to high-health lifestyles.

These age groups have substantial disposable income and will be investing in their own health. The aging of America will push demand upwards for medical and chiropractic services, and impel a closer working relationship between the DC and the MD for care of their older patients.

Chiropractic's future is promising. Demand is rising; so are chiropractic expenditures and revenues. Growing health consciousness by American consumers is well-aligned with the chiropractic philosophy of fitness and natural treatment. The aging of the population should swell demand for chiropractic services.

4.2.3 Market Growth

Chiropractic is the fastest-growing and second-largest primary health care profession. There are approximately 60,000 doctors of chiropractic in active practice in the United States spread from rural areas to inner cities. More than 10,000 students are currently enrolled in chiropractic educational programs accredited by a federally recognized body (CCE).

Chiropractic services are in high demand. Tens of millions of Americans routinely opt for chiropractic services and this number is rapidly growing. In 1993, more than 30 million consumers made chiropractic a regular part of their health care program.

The "Fifth Annual Salary & Expense Survey Results" show a rise in chiropractic patient visits from 97 visits per week in 2000 to 117 visits per week in 2001 to 135 visits per week in 2002. The number of visits per week is a relatively good number to measure the strength of chiropractic as a business model. Also, the survey revealed a rising gross and net revenue over the past three years.

Job prospects are expected to be good for persons who enter the practice of chiropractic. Employment of chiropractors is expected to grow faster than the average, increasing 21 to 35%, for all occupations through the year 2010 as consumer demand for alternative health care grows.

Chiropractors emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyles and do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery. As a result, chiropractic care is appealing to many health-conscious Americans.

Chiropractic treatment of back, neck, extremities, and other joint damage has become more accepted as a result of recent research and changing attitudes about alternative fashion practices. The rapidly expanding older population, with their increased likelihood of mechanical and structural problems, also will increase demand.

Demand for chiropractic treatment is also related to the ability of patients to pay, either directly or through health insurance. Although more insurance plans now cover chiropractic services, the extent of such coverage varies among plans. Increasingly, chiropractors must educate communities about the benefits of chiropractic care in order to establish a successful practice.

In this occupation, replacement needs arise almost entirely from retirements. Chiropractors usually remain in the occupation until they retire; few transfer to other occupations. Establishing a new practice will be easiest in areas with a low concentration of chiropractors.

4.3 Service Business Analysis

Chiropractors, also known as doctors of chiropractic or chiropractic physicians, diagnose and treat patients whose health problems are associated with the body's muscular, nervous, and skeletal systems, especially the spine.

Chiropractors believe interference with these systems impairs normal functions and lowers resistance to disease. They also hold that spinal or vertebral dysfunction alters many important body functions by affecting the nervous system, and that skeletal imbalance through joint or articular dysfunction, especially in the spine, can cause pain.

The chiropractic approach is holistic, stressing the patient's overall health and wellness. It recognizes that many factors affect health, including exercise, diet, rest, environment, and heredity.

Chiropractors provide natural, drugless, nonsurgical health treatments, and rely on the body's inherent recuperative abilities. They also recommend lifestyle changes - in eating, exercise, and sleeping habits, for example - to their patients. When appropriate, chiropractors consult with and refer patients to other health practitioners.

Like other health practitioners, chiropractors follow a standard routine to secure the information needed for diagnosis and treatment. They take the patient's medical history, conduct physical, neurological, and orthopedic examinations, and may order laboratory tests. Xrays and other diagnostic images are important tools because of the emphasis on the spine and its proper function. Chiropractors also employ a postural and spinal analysis common to chiropractic diagnosis.

In cases in which difficulties can be traced to involvement of musculoskeletal structures, chiropractors manually adjust the spinal column. Some chiropractors use water, light, massage, ultrasound, electric, and heat therapy.

They also may apply supports such as straps, tapes, and braces. Chiropractors counsel patients about wellness concepts such as nutrition, exercise, lifestyle changes, and stress management, but do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery.

Some chiropractors specialize in sports injuries, neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics, nutrition, internal disorders, or diagnostic imaging.

Many chiropractors are solo or group practitioners who also have the administrative responsibilities of running a practice. In larger offices, chiropractors delegate these tasks to office managers and chiropractic assistants. Chiropractors in private practice are responsible for developing a patient base, hiring employees, and keeping records.

4.3.1 Business Participants

Chiropractors held about 50,000 jobs in 2000. Most chiropractors are in solo practice, although some are in group practice or work for other chiropractors. A small number teach, conduct research at chiropractic institutions, or work in hospitals and clinics.

Many chiropractors are located in small communities. There are geographic imbalances in the distribution of chiropractors, in part because many establish practices close to chiropractic institutions.