Dr. Eugene Kramer began Chiropractic in 1997 after he graduated NYCC in Seneca Falls N.Y. His beginning of Chiropractic and his interest began by talking with a friend of his who was in the pre-veterinary program at Rutgers University. He spoke to Dr. Kramer about Chiropractic and his interest in the profession. Upon a summer break, Dr. Kramer had the unique opportunity of following a Chiropractor around for a full day in his home state and really enjoyed the philosophy of alternative care and the modalities and procedures he used to get patients well. That became the beginning for Dr. Kramer and applied to graduate school in 1993.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
The naming of my company (New England Spine and Disc Center) when I first started in Rhode Island was solely inspired by designating a location and an idea of what the company was about in one single title. It was more for instant recognition and understanding of our business. I felt that it was important to do so in such a flooded field.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Typical days usually begin at 9 am and run until 6 pm and the primary focus is on patient care and organizing data on patient care prior to their arrival at the office so that the day runs seamlessly. In addition, make sure that all equipment that we use such as ultrasound, cold laser therapy and electric muscle stim units are working properly. Inspection and cleanliness of operating spaces is crucial for success.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Ideas of the practice are given through your own imagination but more importantly they are given life in a more rapid fashion from patient feedback and your own success within our treatment models that we use. Either therapies are effective or they are not. Ideas of more effective patient care then can be better developed.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Trends are critical to understand in our business as patients are seeking more options and advances in therapeutics. With Google and other search engines, patients have educated themselves to alternative therapies and the benefits of those therapies. Offering them a wider array of therapies is important. Some trends that are exciting in the chiropractic arena is the use of cold laser therapies and spinal decompression for disc injury. Although these therapies have been around for some time, adoption of these treatments is important to the global success of our profession in clinical settings. Therapies unfortunately that are valuable are not always covered by insurance-and that makes for a more challenging outcome for financially strapped patients.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Only a multitude of habits as a practitioner will make you successful. But the most important trait to have is good communication and a true caring of patient outcomes and understanding of the human emotional experience.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I were to begin from the start all over again, I would have been in a much better position if I had hired a manager who’s strengths offset my weaknesses. I’m not a great businessman but a much better doctor.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
In my business charity goes a long way for the poor or needy. However, most professionals would not recommend “free care” to anyone as it can be abused. I pride myself on helping the disadvantaged.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
In business communication skills are very important and enhancing those skills repeatedly is of primary importance in and out of practice. Without it there is confusion and repeat business is sometimes lost.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
There are no strategies for the growth of a Chiropractic office. There are good outcomes and bad outcomes. There are doctors who convey information well and in a kind way and others that don’t. At the end of the day patients want to know what their problem is and can you fix it. Hopefully with great therapy and treatment, the patient is pain free and more educated. Pain elimination is the goal. Everything else is secondary in an acute patients mind.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest failure as a practitioner in my earlier years was lack of organization and prioritization. Additionally, not hiring the right professionals to focus on the areas I was weak at enforcing. I also feel I lacked the proper skills in understanding potential employees weaknesses and its chronic influence in my practice. I made poor choices in staff over the years.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
In starting a business location and the state that you practice in is critical to success I believe. It also depends on what TYPE of practice you have. You have to make that early determination prior to establishing your clinic anywhere. Determination of establishing a family practice, cash only clinic or a personal injury clinic or a hybrid MD/DC clinic are very important. Hard to change these models once implemented and reversing course. Reimbursements vary GREATLY from state to state.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best 100 dollars I ever spent was on a pair of orthotics which is critical for mechanical stability of the foot and spine/pelvis.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I utilize a program called EZ Notes which was developed by a chiropractor and it has many great tools and options to document and bill accurately. Many learning tools for patients are also embedded in the program in the form of educational handouts and treatment plans. It decreases the amount of time to document a daily encounter and is very user friendly.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is a great book for anyone getting started in any business. Follow in the footsteps of those who have made mistakes but have succeeded.
What is your favorite quote?
A famous quote I like is by Albert Einstein – ” Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.