Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alli Urbanik Kimmel, Founder of Spreading Roots Acupuncture, PLLC., located in Mount Kisco, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine specializing in women's health. I work with people who are looking for a more personalized and holistic approach to their health.
Tell us about yourself
When I was a teenager, I developed a number of health conditions that no doctor had a real answer to. I felt terrible, but on paper, my labs were routinely coming back to normal. I'm half Chinese, and my mom started sending me to her acupuncturist, which helped me tremendously. As a patient, acupuncture and Chinese medicine helped me heal my digestive and reproductive health, and I felt called to share this with other people.
There are so many people suffering from real health conditions that are considered "subclinical" or that can't be diagnosed by the biomedical field who are often made to feel like their symptoms must be in their heads. I am driven every day to help people better understand their bodies and bring balance to their internal body systems. It brings me so much joy to help people heal after what is often years of feeling unwell.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I opened my private practice 1.5 years ago and have been blessed with expanding from a one-treatment room office with two regular patients a week to a three-treatment room office suite with an average of 35–40 patients per week in that time.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Juggling the work-life balance is definitely a challenge. I am my business—I am the practitioner, the receptionist, the office manager, the bookkeeper, the janitor, and more—and I have a 3.5-year-old daughter. I am in the clinic three full days per week, and the other two days are a constant juggling act between getting all of my non-patient-facing work done and taking care of my daughter.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't bite off more than you can chew financially. I started in a smaller office space that was not perfect for my needs with a short lease term to build my practice because the rent was very reasonable. Once I had built my practice to a size that was generating enough revenue to cover the expenses of my ideal space, I felt comfortable signing a longer-term lease.
- Get out there and meet people. I am an introvert, and this is always a challenge for me to do. Be present at events in your area and talk to people. Even if they don't need your services at that time, you never know who they might pass your card to, and sometime down the line, when they do need what you offer, you will be the first person that they think of to reach out to.
- Cultivate reviews and recommendations. Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends are the most reliable way to build a private practice. You can even offer a referral incentive when you are first building your practice to help get more people in the door.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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