Fork in the road

Completely out of the blue a chiropractor phoned me to say that she was renting an office suite in the next street which she was going to convert into a clinic for alternative practitioners. She wanted this to be multi-disciplinary, and would I like to join them?

She told me that she had recently qualified as a chiropractor and her husband was renting the property for her, providing she made a good business from it. She talked about advertising campaigns, open days, drumming up business; each practitioner was responsible for bringing so many new clients into the clinic on a weekly or monthly contract. She was confident that everyone would benefit and soon the place would be thriving. The new clinic would put all the little front-room, makeshift clinics out of business, she said.

First reflections

At first I was carried away with her enthusiasm. After all, it’s not often as a homeopath that you get head-hunted for a job. Then I began to feel anxious. It was beginning to sound like either I joined her or she would put me out of business. I had one of the little front-room clinics she referred to. Whichever choice I made, I might regret it.

Deeper reflections.

I decided I would reflect on it using, “what if?”

What if this was a wonderful healing community of alternative practitioners. I would be working among like-minded people and together we could advertise more efficiently and help more people. But how could I know if the other practitioners were dedicated? Maybe they were just part-timers without any real commitment.

What if this was the perfect opportunity to decrease the amount of desk work I do? I could gain a lot more clients with the advantage of group advertising and having a secretary to make bookings.        

What if I was asked to advertise the new clinic to my mailing list on a regular basis? That would only increase the amount of desk work I do. I am also uncomfortable with combining the roles of salesman and health practitioner, although I guess it happens elsewhere.

What if I don’t join the climic and they find another homeopath? Potentially there are enough patients out there for both of us. But I would be very upset if a rival practitioner tried to poach my current patients.

What if I join the clinic and it folds after six months? I would look pretty silly moving to the next road and back again. Maybe I would lose some patients. At the moment it is only the confidence of the manager that makes it sound like a successful business.

What if I join them and my business decreases? Perhaps my patients won’t like the atmosphere at the clinic or it is too noisy? I would also lose money through room rental, when working from home was free.

Conclusion: I’ve found six variables in answer to my dilemma and there are probably more. I have decided there is an element of blackmail in this business-manager’s proposal. She says she will put me and my front-room clinic out of business. But this is only a threat. I need to remind myself of my patient’s loyalty. They won’t be enticed away from me just for a cheaper fee. I have decided not to join the new clinic.

2 Comments on “Fork in the road

  1. A difficult dilemma. It does carry an ‘air’ of bullying (cloaked in enthusiasm). We all have facility to be effervescent with promoting new business ideas all optimistic and fireworks. But maybe there needs to be a business plan to back up the deal. I think your reflections had led you to a sound decision. Your reputation runs before you and your practice will grow at a rate you can manage. I would be reluctant to ‘share’ with others now after so long managing my own business. wishing you continuing success.

  2. I would not want to work with anybody who relished the idea if putting other healers out of business. there is something fundamentally wrong there, don’t you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *