I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Reed Shiraki, the owner of Honor Box Chiropractic, a practice in Pearl City, Hawaii. (yes, we’re jealous!) His business story is inspiring and I hope you enjoy it.
1. Tell us about your background and how you started your business.
My journey to chiropractor and small business owner was not a straight path. When I graduated high school I actually wanted to be a painter, so when I enrolled in BYU-Provo I was an art major. I did my church mission in Hiroshima, Japan and came back with a refreshed view of what I wanted to do. I became a recreational management major because I really enjoyed working with kids.
I switched majors again at the encouragement of my now wife, Eriko. My new plan was to graduate with a Japanese language bachelor’s and then go to law school. I was on my way, but then four months later it dawned on me – I didn’t want to be a lawyer.
I visited the BYU Counseling and Career Center for some inspiration and as I was browsing the brochures I saw one on chiropractic and what a career could be. I knew instantly that’s what I wanted to do.
Three months later, my pregnant wife and I moved from Provo to Kansas City so I could attend Cleveland Chiropractic College. In 1998, we moved back to Hawaii and I started as an associate at Hawaii Chiropractic Clinic in Aiea, Not too long after I opened up Hawaiian Pacific Chiropractic in Kalihi. In 2013, I opened a new clinic in Pearl City and renamed my practice Honor Box Chiropractic.
2. What services does your business provide?
Everything we do centers around the chiropractic adjustment. The first appointment includes palpation and observation of movement and posture, physiotherapy (like ice, heath, traction, or elective stimulation), and a percussion massage to loosen up the back. In the second appointment, our customers can expect their adjustment.
3. What is The Honor Box Code, and what does it mean to provide care to those who may not be able to afford it or who cannot use their insurance?
I truly believe that spinal alignment is a key element of good health. Most people look at chiropractic as if it’s a kind of luxury — something nice to treat yourself with from time to time, especially when pain hits. However, I believe a healthy spine is absolutely necessary to achieve optimal health. The Honor Box provides a way for me take care of every single person who walks into my office, regardless of their financial situation. This Honor Box system is often called a blessing by my patients who use and appreciate it, but it actually is a greater blessing for our practice, because it allows me to focus solely on the welfare of the patient without the stress and worry of “selling” my services. The Honor Box has helped me develop into the best chiropractor I can be.
4. You have some great reviews on Facebook and your website. How valuable are testimonials and reviews to your business?
Right now, to me, the value of positive reviews and testimonials have less to do with attracting new business, and way more to do with the way that these affirmations from others reinforce to us that we are doing the right thing, in the right way, and offering a service that is truly appreciated by others. This is a boost to our Honor Box’s team morale and strengthens are resolve to persevere and press forward, knowing we are on the right track.
5. What metrics do you look at to assess your business growth? How often do you look at these numbers?
Because of the volatile nature of collections through the Honor Box, it is vital that I record and analyze stats on a daily basis. Key stats I look at every day include: amount of total patient visits, amount of new patient visits, total collections for the day, and the average amount collected per patient visit. While the fluctuations of stats between the highs and lows can be overwhelming at times, over the years since 2001, I have a firm idea of what I can rely on as an expected average of these key stats when looked at with a long-term perspective.
6. What was it like looking for financing as a small business owner? What about your industry made it challenging to obtain financing?
In 2013, I really wanted to move my practice from Honolulu to Pearl City. There was a perfect office space available at the time where I wanted to set up my practice. The move, new lease agreement, and build-out costs would – on a shoestring budget – run me close to 100K. My savings, a business line of credit from my bank, and a SBA loan would cover just over half of that. Right when I thought that the new office would not work out, I got an OnDeck mailer. I thought that I had nothing to lose, so I applied. I was stunned how quick the approval and funding happened. Where my local bank took several weeks to approve my SBA loan and then get the funds into my account, OnDeck took only a couple days.
7. How have you used your OnDeck financing?
I originally used OnDeck funds to build my dream practice in Pearl City. Since then, I’ve used additional financing to run advertising campaigns on radio and TV, as well as extra working capital to hire a new doctor to work here with me at Honor Box Chiropractic. My last weeks of practice in my Honolulu office, I was averaging about 285 patient visits a week. Last week, my office cared for 527 – that’s an 85% increase! We are growing!
8. What are you most excited about when thinking about the future of your business? What’s on the horizon for Honor Box Chiropractic?
I am most excited when I think about all the people we can still help. The ones who are currently racked with pain taking pill after pill just to find some relief – who with chiropractic can get off the prescriptions and start enjoying life. I am excited to help more and more patients achieve a better life through chiropractic care. In 2018, we will be using some of OnDeck financing to launch a one-year newspaper campaign to tell even more people in Hawaii about the Honor Box and the power of chiropractic!