Why This Chiropractor Chose the Franchised Path to Entrepreneurship

Why This Chiropractor Chose the Franchised Path to Entrepreneurship
Image credit: Brandon Pettke
Brandon Pettke

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Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email ktaylor@entrepreneur.com.

When Brandon Pettke opened his own chiropractic practice, the entrepreneurial life was not what he expected. After two years of weak business, he decided to change course and open a franchise. Soon after opening his first HealthSource Chiropractic, business had doubled. Today, Pettke's only regret is he didn't open a franchised location sooner. Here's what he has learned.

Name: Dr. M. Brandon Pettke

Franchise owned: HealthSource Chiropractic Progress Rehab & Wellness in Burleson, Texas

Why franchising?

I had read the book E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber while I was in chiropractic college. Something really stuck with me from that book. I knew that in order to have a successful business, I needed to have solid business systems. I had tried for two years on my own to develop business systems within my private practice. However, I was unsuccessful. Therefore, I was looking for a franchise that already had a proven, successful business model for a chiropractic clinic. HealthSource was my answer.

Related: How This Mother-Daughter Duo Decided to Open a Home Building Franchise

How long have you owned a franchise?

I opened my HealthSource clinic in July of 2006

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

I owned and operated my private chiropractic clinic for a little more than two years.

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

In the chiropractic profession, there are many different practice management groups. They coach and lead doctors by trying to hone the systems a doctor has in place, and give ideas and suggestions. I knew I needed a complete business system for my practice. HealthSource had the most comprehensive business systems for the chiropractic profession by far. The company also had a proven track record financially.

How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?

I technically converted my private practice to a HealthSource clinic. Prior to HealthSource, I took over the space of a medical clinic. Most of the build out was already done, and I just had to make a few modifications. This cost me approximately $12,000. Beyond that, the rest of the initial investment went towards equipment, supplies, and working capital. The total initial investment was approximately $90,000 for me to open and begin profiting. Once I joined HealthSource, I spent $25,000 on the initial franchise fee and spent about another $10,000 on new signage, training costs, some initial marketing, etc. All in all, I spent approximately $125,000 when you combine my initial practice investment and the HealthSource conversion costs.

Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?

I first attended an all-day introduction about HealthSource and the services they provide. We call it “Discovery Day.” After that, I visited one of the actual clinics. I then called some clinics who had recently converted to a HealthSource clinic to see what their success had been with HealthSource. Finally, I consulted with my accountant (who is also my father and a successful entrepreneur). After doing my research, I realized pretty quickly that HealthSource could keep my entrepreneurial dream alive.

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

Within just nine weeks of opening my HealthSource franchise, I more than doubled the practice. I was seeing more patients on a weekly basis than I ever had in the previous two-plus years I had been in practice. However, I found myself with a challenge that I never had before: I didn’t have enough team members to service the patients who were coming through our doors. HealthSource helped guide me through the hiring process and helped me find new team members. Once we had the new team in place, my clinic began to grow even more.

Related: I Had More Entrepreneurial Passion Than Experience. So, I Became a Franchisee.

What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?

In the health care industry, there are so many changes occurring with the insurance industry, compliance with medical documentation and keeping up with the most cutting edge treatments and therapies -- the list goes on and on. I personally do not know how an independent chiropractic clinic can effectively keep up with all the changes, without having a solid team around them that is looking out and aware of all the various changes in our profession. In traditional medicine, my medical colleagues have hospital systems and large group practices that provide this oversight and support for them. In chiropractic, most parts of the country do not operate under this same model. Therefore, I think owning a franchise, like HealthSource, is a no-brainer. It allows the doctor/owner to know that the business systems are in place and functioning, so they can solely focus on delivering the absolute best care to the patient.

What’s next for you and your business?

In addition to owning two HealthSource franchises, I am also a partner in the HealthSource Regional Developer group for the state of Texas. As regional developers, we lead, consult, train, and coach the HealthSource franchisees throughout the state. Our continuing goal is to help grow our existing HealthSource offices to reach more and more patients, with exceptional chiropractic care, Progressive Rehab, and preventative wellness care. In addition, we are looking to add more clinics to our team throughout the state of Texas. As we grow and continue to provide excellent care to patients throughout Texas, it only serves to further establish the HealthSource brand nationally. Long term, we want to expand our model of chiropractic care internationally. We have already begun investigating markets on which to expand and enter into internationally.

Related: Running a 'Toddler' and 'Infant' Massage Franchise

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