Few entrepreneurs could assert that they were fully prepared for the vicissitudes of opening their first business. For most business owners, trial and error become the only remedy to fill the gaps that not even business school could prepare them for.
The uncertainty embedded in opening a business acquired a more substantial dimension for Dr. Craig Taylor and Dr. Cliff Taylor, co-founders of Taylor Chiropractic and Wellness. Their scientific background did not prepare them for the challenges of the business world, posing a unique quandary for these two chiropractors.
“The hardest part of opening a chiropractic practice was learning to be a businessperson,” recalled Cliff during a recent video interview. “As Biology undergrads, which we were, you don’t really get the business sense. All we did in school was science, science, science.”
Today, Dr. Cliff and Dr. Craig are the owners of one of the leading chiropractic brands in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Years after opening their first clinic, these Atlanta-native twin brothers have gained significant notoriety for their hands-on caring approach. They have helped thousands of patients lead a healthier pain-free lifestyle. As they continue to grow, Taylor Chiropractic and Wellness has locations in Buckhead and Inman Park/O4W.
Craig and Cliff recognize that their inexperience in entrepreneurship aggravated the early challenges of opening their practice. At chiropractic school, they were trained to become specialists in helping patients find relief from chronic and mild pain; however, it did not prepare them for the intricacies of opening a business. After launching Taylor Chiropractic and Wellness, these two brothers were forced to empirically learn the technical aspects of running a successful business.
In a recent interview back in March, Craig and Cliff connected via Zoom to narrate some of the early challenges of opening their practice.
Seeing the current success of Taylor Chiropractic and Wellness, it is excusable to hear with disbelief that its founders had no entrepreneurial experience before opening this clinic. Today, Craig and Cliff anecdotally recall their inexperience during the early days of their entrepreneurial career.
“The greatest challenge was learning how to run and structure a business,” said Cliff. “Unfortunately, we learned none of that in school. We didn’t even know where to start.”
Undergraduate and chiropractic schools failed to provide Craig and Cliff with the basic hard skills that any entrepreneur must possess to open a business. The two brothers are regretful that undergraduate degrees in Biology and doctorates in Chiropractic medicine did not provide students like themselves with the tools necessary to pursue an entrepreneurial career.
“Some say that doctors are the worst businessmen, and years ago, I would have agreed with that,” jokingly admitted Cliff. “Thankfully, we have learned from our many costly mistakes and continue to explore ways to improve.”
“To this day,” continued Cliff, “we have trainees and interns in our practice who have limited knowledge about running a business and how to simply apply for an LLC. It’s sad that [chiropractors] don’t get more of that at school.”
On top of the challenge of empirically learning the technical aspects of establishing a chiropractic clinic, Craig and Cliff faced the conundrum of finding the capital to finance their new business. The two brothers had graduated from chiropractic school before embarking on their entrepreneurial journey. Thus, they had to knock on multiple doors before encountering a bank willing to provide them with a loan with no proof of previous income.
With limited entrepreneurial experience and the pressure of large student debt on their shoulders, opening their own practice was a risky bet for Craig and Cliff. Yet, it was a risk that these two brothers were determined to take.
“One of the biggest challenges was obtaining a loan,” said Craig. “You need capital to open a practice, but we had no capital coming straight out of school; we only had student debt. So, finding a bank that would take the risk and lend us money was not fun. Fortunately, we were able to find a small local bank that put their trust in us. The loan was paid off in our first year.”
Today, the obstacles encountered by Craig and Cliff in the early days of Taylor Chiropractic and Wellness are nothing more than anecdotes that the two brothers recount with a slight air of nostalgia combined with pride.
Nowadays, Craig and Cliff work arduously to continue to expand Taylor Chiropractic and Wellness and reach new communities. The secret of their business success has been their commitment to helping educate their patients to achieve a pain-free life, an approach that the two brothers proudly call the “Taylor way.”
“Our patients are considered family to us, and we like to embody the same principles in our own lifestyles. Chiropractic care is only the beginning and is not a cure-all. To live a healthy lifestyle, it requires self-control and dedication. concluded Craig. “This is why our focus is a more comprehensive approach to chiropractic care that incorporates physical therapy, nutrition, spinal traction, rehab, and preventative medicine.”
By Juan Sebastian Restrepo,
With Artistic Initiative Agency