Drs. Lorraine and Martin Jones were ready to open their first chiropractic office.
They were told by everybody not to hire a designer to layout and design their first practice. They said “the word ‘luxury’ came up more than once. But, now that we’re… standing here in the actual space and it’s done, I do not feel like it is a luxury. I think the cost was necessary, I don’t feel like it’s an option.”
The doctors’ ultimate recommendation for people who are looking to start a new Chiropractic office: Know where to put your money and make sure you’re putting money where it’s really going to make the impact to your bottom line. The following is their interview on the process of working with us.
How did you find us?
Scott: We are here with Drs. Lorraine and Martin Jones of Williamson County Chiropractic in Round Rock, Texas with finishing their space the 2nd of April, 2015. What we are going to do is we are going to talk about what we have been doing and to hear their process. So first – how did you find us?
Dr. Lorraine: I found you on a Google search, I was just looking for someone to help me to design or paint, help me pick out colors and furniture for our office. We didn’t even have a dollar amount and didn’t know how much things were costing because, you know, we had a certain amount to work with. I think that’s really where we started and I think we really wanted to how much was this going to cost…
Finding the Services they truly needed
Carolyn: So we had a Complimentary Consultation and you guys hired us to do the Space Plan and the Concept Design.
Dr. Lorraine: And that’s when we were going back and forth between the 1000 square foot or the 1800 square foot and you pretty much said “listen, if you’re going to make more money with the space – only then you want to consider going bigger,” because we were scared.
Dr. Martin: We submitted a 1200 square foot space to you and you were like “based on what you are telling me you want to do – this is not going to work. It’s too small.”
Carolyn: Well, we talked about what your needs were and based on what your needs were and your vision, we came up with how many square feet you need before we ever looked at a space, remember?
Dr. Lorraine: Uh, huh. This is small.
Carolyn: and we talked about – you can cut out some of this desire space needs to get into the 1200 – and that’s when you were like “no, we can’t.”
Dr. Lorraine: Then this one opened up at 1600 square foot and we were like this was perfect…
Carolyn: Yes, because we did the number process – what we call the programming to come up with the square footage allowance – before you actually brought us the plan to do the square footage layout – we determined that this was right in line with that number we came up with, right? And so we did the layout and we went through the ideas and created the concept document.
Designer wasn’t in their Plan
Carolyn: But before that, let me ask you this first – what was your biggest concern about hiring a designer?
Dr. Lorraine: Well, that’s easy. Money.
Dr. Martin: Money, because everybody under the sun, people in Chiropractic… when I say “everybody” I’m not exaggerating, everybody said not to do it, you’re going to get in over your head, financially.
Carolyn: So they said “Do not hire a designer”?
Dr. Martin: Yes, absolutely, do not. Our management company, peers in the field (besides Austin and Matt)… everybody said do not do this for your first practice. You will be in over your head.
Dr. Martin: So that’s the stigma that is out there.
Carolyn: So, do not do it because you’re hiring an interior designer?
Dr. Martin: Because of the art side of it – people will love that but the price as you go down the road is higher. Our consultants said “you haven’t even put money into the build outs yet and all you will have is a piece of paper that says ‘well, this is what it’s supposed to look like.’” And we were scared to death and I don’t know. I was the one that was scared to death the whole time and she was “no, we need to do this,” and I was like, “I know we need to do this, I want to do this, but…,” – And we did it, you know, we did it.
Dr. Lorraine: Well, we didn’t have a lot of extra money… We literally didn’t have a clue, we didn’t. It was a sheet of paper drawn in with what we thought our rooms were going to be, but it wasn’t until you had us do a Concept Design that we even knew what that was. It really brought our vision to life.
So how would they have gotten there?
Carolyn: So how do you think you would have gotten there, how did your peers or your management group think you would have even gotten there?
Dr. Lorraine: I don’t know, because I really….
Dr. Martin: The practice management group gave us a floor plan that was similar, but it wasn’t the same thing, as the finished floor plan.
Dr. Lorraine: It didn’t matter. A floor plan is one thing, but look at this office.
Dr. Martin: That’s what I’m saying. A floor plan is one thing, but the concept of what we have, the way it actually looks and feels, the lighting and all that stuff.
Scott: So your coaching was basically telling you that an interior design was kind of an added luxury?
Dr. Martin: Exactly. The word “luxury” came up more than once. But, now that we’re here and you’re standing here in the actual space and it’s done, I do not feel like it is a luxury. I think the cost was necessary, I don’t feel like it’s an option.
Dr. Martin: I don’t feel like it’s an option. I feel like you somehow have to budget for that because your flow could be messed up. Obviously, there’s always the desire of more space. We can’t control that. This is what we work with.
Carolyn: Well, we maximized it.
Dr. Martin: Yes. In fact, as of right now we technically have an extra room that we have yet to use. That is expansion built in.
Scott: And now that you have some designer touches to your space. What does it to do to your confidence?
Dr. Lorraine: It is so, I think, it’s just unbelievable. Well, the pride that we have because of the way our office looks, obviously, is just…
Dr. Martin: Our attorney came by yesterday and he’s just like shaking his head and he goes “you are the kind of Chiropractors we want to work with.” Now obviously that’s us, but being here and seeing our space and seeing the professionalism of it, you cannot say it doesn’t help it. He was sold on us before we got this space, but you know, just seeing this as a level of… I can bring medical Dr. Frank in here and I am not… I don’t feel lacking at all.
Carolyn: Wow! So what do you think about your patients? How do your patients react?
Dr. Martin: We’ve had a lot of comments, actually.
Carolyn: But I mean, not just how your space looks good, but what do you they think?
Dr. Lorraine: We’re not perceived as a new practice. This space is not a new!!!
Dr. Martin: People don’t even know. Our first patient we’ve seen here doesn’t even know that he is a first time patient. We didn’t want people to know, yes, we wanted people to know it’s a new location but it’s not a new practice.
Concerns about Money
Carolyn: So, OK, let’s look at your biggest concern. What did we do to ease those concerns about money? Your biggest concern was hiring a designer was the money and everyone was telling you “no.” How did we ease those concerns? So you were saying on the phone conversations were a good thing? Testimonials were a good thing?
Dr. Lorraine: Yep, obviously the phone calls and the testimonials mattered, but when we came to you and said “this is the amount of money that we had,” it was very important.
Carolyn: Well, this is what I don’t understand. You had this much money to spend, how do you know how to use that money the best if you don’t have someone to help you?
Dr. Lorraine: If you don’t have someone guiding you, there’s no way…
Dr. Martin: There’s no way.
Learning about the Process
Dr. Lorraine: And this is a huge process, we didn’t know that getting a lease could take a year to sign a lease on a location.
Dr. Martin: We didn’t know. We were clueless.
Dr. Lorraine: We didn’t know; we had no idea. I didn’t know it took that long, but it did take us a few months and we were like “this is forever.”
Dr. Martin: I feel, to summarize the whole thing for me, personally, it’s just my whole process.
All the way here, we’re standing here thirty days in and we’re rockin’ and we’re doing great, but my whole thing, to summarize it is I just didn’t know… If you were to say, if I walked into something like a graduating class right now and we were to talk about all this, how does it work, how do you do, what do you do five years into practice, how do you start a practice, all this stuff, for me should we hire CrossFields to do all this or should we not? And the way I would summarize it is “do you want your practice to look like you’re starting here your first day out of school?” Because it really is an image, and we’re competing big time in this community. I mean, really, it’s Austin, Texas. People have a very high standard for everything they do here. We wanted a different face for our profession. For us, that means we wanted to bring it up a full notch and to say “no, it doesn’t matter who you are, businessmen or lawyer – Chiropractic is very professional and it helps you – regardless of who you are, regardless of your class or income, whether you’re a billionaire or live in a box, it’s going to benefit you.”
People feel comfortable here. That’s something else, too and that has to play into it. It’s amazing to me how many people we have under our care right now that are in their 40s, 50s and 60s that have never been to a chiropractor. They are here, under care, excited to be here, showing up for their visits, doing rehab, and this has to speak something into that.”
Dr. Lorraine: I think it’s like Matt said, “Choose the best of the best, you cannot afford not to.”
Dr. Martin: I would agree – you cannot afford not to do it. You guys are able to reassure them that you are not going to take them to a place that’s going to allow them to get in over their head. We didn’t even know you guys, and everybody else with any authority or experience said “Don’t do it; they’re going to take you in over your head. And so we constantly had this apprehension, like “she’s this designer; what’s going to happen; we don’t have $50,000 to throw into that, you know.”
Dr. Lorraine: I wasn’t as worried as him.
Dr. Martin: Yes, I was stressing over it…
Carolyn: But he was getting a lot of feedback; that’s what typically happens.
How we Helped them Realize their Dream
Dr. Martin: At the end of the initial meeting, you let us know “we’ve worked with people in the past, we understand the sensitivity of a start-up, we’re going to give you everything you want, and then some, and you’re going to make the choice as to how far you want to take this. We are going to show you the dream.” And we say – you do. You have a way of showing the dream. I remember we were looking at the concept of this thing that you’ve put together and it was like “My God, that’s what it looks like.” We could actually see that. This was Phase I. Someday we’ll see the whole Phase, like hardwood, lighting, or everything that we wanted to do.
Carolyn: Or do you even need to?
Dr. Lorraine: Yeah, I know!
Dr. Martin: You let us know that we can have peace of mind and basically open up that line of communication. Like, you don’t have to share your budgets with me… but it would help… For others, we suggest you just explain to them that you are sensitive to that and that you’re not just going to take their concepts and desires in mind but that you are going to do it with their financial ability in mind, that you are going to help them walk that out.
Carolyn: So you want me to really make sure I say that and make it known. It’s not just about start-ups, everyone’s concerned about the money.
Dr. Martin/Scott: To some degree.
Carolyn: We’ve never had anyone say, “Oh, I’m hiring a designer because my EGO wants me to hire a designer.” I wouldn’t want a chiropractor who would say that. I say – Know where to put your money and make sure you’re putting money where it’s really going to make the impact – in your function first, then in your form, and ultimately – your bottom line.