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Small Town Chiropractor Adjusts to Big Time Success with the Nebraska Business Development Center

The story begins with what Dr. Erich Landen thought was the worst day of his life. He was playing football for his high school in Chadron, NE and sustained a bad ankle injury. Landen tried many different treatments, but none were successful, so he feared he would never play football again.  He decided to try going to a chiropractor, and was not only amazed at how much it helped, but that he was also back playing football his senior year. That visit stayed in the back of his mind, and ultimately resulted in him switching from being a business major in college to a major in exercise science, followed by three and a half years of additional schooling to become a chiropractor.

During his undergrad studies in Kearney, Landen took a part time job as a chiropractic assistant, and quickly became sure that this would be his career. He also decided that he wanted that career to be back in Chadron, which he calls a great place to live and raise a family. Chadron also has fantastic small business resources available like SBA’s resource partner the Nebraska Business Development Center. NBDC assisted Landen with putting together his business plan. But setting up a practice in a small town has its challenges, the biggest of which is getting new patients through the door. With multiple forms of healthcare available, a smaller population base, and pre-existing misconceptions about chiropractic care, getting a strong customer base didn’t come easy.

Landen made great efforts to overcome these challenges. His practice treats newborn babies all the way up to 99 year old women. His goal is for his clients to have a great experience and their pains relieved in a safe and natural way.  Landen has also added acupuncture to his list of provided services, which has become 25% of his practice. No one else in Chadron was offering it, and Landen saw it as another great way to treat people naturally and safely, without the use of prescription drugs and surgery. He states, “when [I] talk about how acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years, people look at me funny. But that doesn’t bother me because it’s consistently worked.”

Landen’s consistent emphasis on customer service and natural healing has led to a steady stream of referral clients. He says, “getting people through the door was just being patient and building things the right way. We don’t do a ton of advertising. The majority of patients that come in are sent by other patients. That’s priceless. In small business referrals from other patients – you could never pay for any kind of advertising like that. An endorsement from a friend or family member or someone else is gold. We try to create the best atmosphere and experience for everyone.  We try to build that trust and rapport with people so there are no reservations. The most rewarding part has been referrals. It makes you feel good when you know you are doing a good job.”

All in all, Landen’s passion for customer service and healing people without the use of drugs and surgery has resulted in a highly successful small business. Since starting in early 2010, Landen Chiropractic has added four employees and more than doubled their square footage by moving into its current location. When asked what advice he would give to new small business owners, Landen replied, “Be patient. Try to do things the right way. It takes longer to build up a business that way, but that’s how you build something that’s more sustainable.” Landen also says that keeping your eyes open to opportunities is critical, and to never limit yourself.  Landen looks upon his early days as a chiropractic assistant in Kearney as an undergrad fondly, and it’s an experience he extends to current college students interested in becoming chiropractors.  He frequently hires such students for the summer, and gives them the job exposure that he had as an undergrad. He shows them how a chiropractic office is run from evaluating, treating, billing and insurance – a crash course in what it takes to be a successful small business owner. He says, “There’s a lot that goes into that, and a lot of it I didn’t have when I opened up. Even with all the great experiences I had, some things you don’t know until you do it, so I’m trying to put those experiences out front.”

From high school football player to injured athlete, to small business owner and mentor – Dr. Erich Landen definitely turned the worst day of his life into lifetime success!

Company Name: 
Landon Chiropractic, P. C.
Chadron, Nebraska