My Acupuncture Business Plan

April 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Acu Insighter Newsletter

Carefully Plan Your Acupuncture Business

Carefully Plan Your Acupuncture Business

I wish I had understood the importance of writing a well thought out acupuncture business plan for my Chinese medicine practice when I opened my clinic in 2000.  It would have saved me a great deal of frustration, not to mention time and MONEY.

But when I graduated from acupuncture school I was not focused on business, marketing, or any of those mundane elements of commerce.  I wanted to BE an acupuncturist.  That’s it! I was finally free of classes, exams, and supervisors.  I was ready to start healing people and that’s really all I wanted to do.

Believing your only requirement for success is being a great acupuncturist and providing fantastic services to your patients is a huge mistake.  Remaining focused on improving your acupuncture skills at the exclusion of learning basic business principles is one of the “10 Big Mistakes I Made Opening My Acupuncture Practice”.  (Both the ebook and video are available for free download at www.Lisas10BigMistakes.com.)

For better or worse, in 2005 I was forced to write a real acupuncture business plan in order to get a bank loan.  My husband and I had a grand vision of purchasing our own clinic rather than continuing to lease expensive office space.  With help from a fantastic volunteer at our local SBA (Small Business Administration) we were able to put together a formal acupuncture business plan, complete with acupuncture market research and financial projections for our acupuncture practice.

I am not going to tell you it was a fun or easy thing to do.  It was hard work and took months of meetings with our SBA volunteer and hours of writing and re-writing.  Nonetheless, throughout the entire process, my husband and I kept saying to each other, “why didn’t we do this sooner?!”.

We learned SO MUCH by going through all the different business planning stages and realized that if only we had taken the time to plan out our acupuncture business when we opened our clinic, we would have avoided countless struggles.

It was clear that we had made some very poor business decisions, simply because we did not go through the process of planning out our acupuncture business.

This is one of the reasons I have decided to make our actual acupuncture business plan available to other acupuncturists, students, and new graduates.  I wish I had a plan like this to use as a reference when I graduated from acupuncture school.  I hope you read this plan BEFORE you make some of the crucial decisions about your practice!

After all, this business plan resulted in us securing a bank loan and a SBA loan (two loans) to purchase and build the acupuncture clinic of our dreams.  In fact, we ended with an acupuncture clinic attached to our home, which is ironic since this was NOT even included as a possibility in the formal business plan that we wrote!  To me, this shows that going through the steps of planning out your acupuncture business is more important than what ends up on paper.

The one area that our acupuncture business plan really lacks is in the marketing plan.  We were not at all Internet savvy at the time of writing our plan and therefore we did not include any information about marketing our acupuncture practice with a website and other powerful Internet resources.  If you are writing a business plan today for your acupuncture practice, you must include Internet tools and resources as an integral part of your acupuncture marketing plan.  If you are not sure how to do this, please read my book, “Complementary and Alternative Marketing: How to Attract New Patients, Market Your Practice, and Earn Passive Income With Your Acupuncture Website” available at www.ComplementaryAndAlternativeMarketing.com.

I am counting on you to take these resources and use them to build a successful acupuncture practice, because the world needs more acupuncturists!