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April, 2012

Boost Your Income Without Increasing Your Workload

By Peter Fernandez, DC

Your practice is busy and your patient volume is consistently where you want it. You are making a good income but you wonder, "Where do I go from here? "I want to achieve more, but I don't want more work." If this is you, read on. You are about to discover how to significantly increase your income by providing chiropractors with a much-needed service – a service that will help more DC's achieve practice success – a service you can provide with little to no additional work on your part.

Become a Practice Incubator

Incubate means to cause to develop. Incubator refers to a person or thing that incubates. In the business world, a company that leases space at affordable rates to different businesses within the same building, and provides those businesses with the use of an essential core of business services, is considered an "incubator company." These services located in the same building as the business tenants might include items such as accounting, customer billing, marketing advice, telephone answering, photocopying, fax utilization, internet and transcription services. By sharing these essential services, their cost is at a significant savings for each of the business tenants. In essence, the incubator company helps the individual businesses to develop or grow by providing them with affordable space and business support services.

Due to the significant savings in business-related expenses, incubator companies make it very easy for a new business to get started and to quickly show a profit. At a time when 80% of all new businesses are failing, businesses that start in an incubator are experiencing an 87% success rate. In addition, established businesses operating within an incubator facility grow much faster and more profitably due to the reduction in business expense and stress that an incubator affords them. With statistics like these, it is no surprise that the demand for incubator-type companies is rapidly growing.

Serve Your Profession and Make Additional Money

Turn your office into a "practice incubator." If you have extra room in your office, lease it to an independent contractor (another DC) and supply them with the essential chiropractic business services you already have in place, i.e., a CA to answer the telephone and make appointments, an insurance CA to bill and collect on patient accounts, the use of your x-ray machine, a therapy CA and use of therapy equipment, etc. You simply provide the independent doctor with the use of the staff, equipment and services you are already paying for. The only expense the independent DC would have is the fee you are charging them for your office space and services, and possibly adjusting tables if you do not already have some available. Medical centers have successfully been using this practice-incubator concept for years – they provide various medical-related services to the doctors who practice within, yet each doctor‘s practice is separately owned and independent of the others. This concept can also work for you and your independent contractor DC's practice – helping you achieve greater financial success and helping the independent contractor open and/or build their own practice.

A Right Way and A Wrong Way

It is important that you establish your "practice incubator" following the rules and guidelines that satisfy the IRS independent contractor requirements and your goal of boosting your income with little to no increase in your workload.

Your first step is to learn how to set up a mutually beneficial independent contractor relationship with another DC.

Not all independent contractor arrangements are the same. I would consider some unquestionably unethical though otherwise legal. For example, a DC having lost his entire practice came to me for help. He had worked as an independent contractor in another DC's office and with no legal recourse, was forced to leave. He had built his own practice, but due to a non-competition agreement he had made with the other DC, when he left he also had to leave his practice behind. He was devastated, he was angry, he was determined never to work as an independent contractor again. What was my advice to him? To open a new practice as an independent contractor within another DC's office. Well, if a person's fury could literally create sparks, he would have gone up in smoke along with everyone else within ten feet of him. He said to me (in less publishable words), "I was taken advantage of by the last doctor, why would you want me to go back into that same situation?" My response was, "You won't go back into the same situation because I won't let you. The independent contractor relationship can and should be a win-win for both doctors. I have helped many DC's who could not otherwise afford to open their own practice, find success and satisfaction in an independent contractor arrangement."

We negotiated a very good deal with another doctor. My client, the independent contractor, has now been there for five years, (there is no reason for him to leave) he makes good money, and the doctor who owns the facility is making good money from him. Everybody won! When done correctly and under a mutually-beneficial arrangement, bringing independent contractors into your office is a great way to generate more income simply by maximizing the use of business resources you are already paying for.

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