We had the good fortune of connecting with Ben Bumguardner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ben, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I always liked the idea of being my own boss. Growing up and watching my dad start his own business instilled in me pretty early on that it was possible and that you have so much more control over what happens on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis. Especially when it comes to time off. I would say as I got older and started to learn more about my profession, I learned that there were a lot of ways it was being implemented that I did not agree with or thought could be done better. I believed I could do it more efficiently and more profitable. I also believed that after 5 years of owning my own business (as a sports chiropractor) I would be significantly farther along than I would have been if I had walked into someone else’s business and had the ability to relax. I was ready for the constant hustle and grind that would make me into a better sports practitioner.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Alpha Sports Chiropractic is the place for professional, Olympic, weekend, Club, and high school athletes to go to recover and ultimately increase their body’s own ability to recover and therefore perform at a higher level. We implement research, experience, and are patient lead when it comes to treatment. We train our athletes to know exactly what it is we can do and eventually will become almost “al la carte” when they come in. The athletes that we have been seeing for some time now come in and request our protocols for certain areas, and we oblige. We do this because we know they understand exactly what they are receiving, and they have been in the clinic frequent enough to understand what works for their body. What sets us apart from others in our community is the simple fact that no one else does what we do. We treat every individual to the same standards treat our Olympic and Professional athletes. We have built a team of referrals that we work with when things are either outside of our scope or would do better with another person. We do not look to see every person in the community, we look for the likeminded, athletic mentality that people possess who are trying to perform better in their area. We also treat everyone that comes in like family. I do not lie to people. I have learned that being upfront with people and telling them exactly as it is not a common practice and that has set us apart. Our practice is loud, with high open ceilings just like the gym. We have TVs going and our Spotify playlist blasting while we are treating our athletes. As part of my professional career, I have dreams of working with Team USA Track & Field and any other Team USA team through either their NGB (National Governing Body) or though the United States Olympic & ParaOlympic Committee. I have gone on to acquire my post doc CCSP (Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner) which allows me to spend time with the NGBs and the USOPC on treatment stints. My goal is to keep getting better and learn from the best so I can apply the best treatment to our patients at Alpha. I want to work the Olympics, and I will. The road so far to where we are is a fun story. When we tell people this, they often look confused as to why we would do it this way, and I will be honest, it was the best way to do it. When my wife and I moved to College Station we decided to treat everyone and anyone for free until our clinic got built out. So, for 6 months we went around to every gym, precinct, fire department, CrossFit gym, and rec center letting people know what we were doing. Most people did not believe us until someone else tried us out. It took about 3 weeks for my wife and I to be fully booked out 8-5 and sometimes later for myself. We did this without any money coming in for 6 months. Was it hard? I do not know. We planned accordingly and had the finances to support this, but no income for 6 months while providing for my wife and my first child (Khapri) wasn’t exactly easy either. We loved the hustle and could see the dream coming together and that is what drove us to keep going, that and my type of business is fun to be in. We did that for about 6 months while waiting for our building to be finished and ready for us to move into. Once we moved in we ran a campaign to let everyone in town know that we were continuing our free care for the first 2 weeks we were open, so that people could see what we have been working towards. We hit the ground running. Thanks to all the people we had already been taking care of and the new people that those loyal athletes kept sending in we, were in the black the first month of operations with only taking payment on the latter half of that month. It was in incredible. Some of the lessons we learned along the way were typically all about ourselves and what we like to do. There were many opportunities to make more money, but we felt like it took us away from our core and after one attempt at one of these “extra” income sources we have not strayed again. I believe that has worked out to our benefit. We do not partake in traditional advertising. We work strictly by word of mouth, and some bomb reviews on Google. Our brand and our story are about loving the people we get to treat and taking care of them as best of our ability. Our goal is to have every person faced with a challenge in their body to have a place to go and get help with it. Our goal is to be the best hands you can find in the area. Our goal is to be able to help every athlete compete at a level higher than they realized they could achieve. Our goal is perfect motion. That obviously does not happen, because we are broken individuals, but I will not stop working for that. Our brand is loyalty and integrity. I will give my everything to help you do something you wish to do better and have fun while getting there.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them to see Texas A&M’s campus and Kyle Field if possible. We would have Fuego’s Tacos at some point and a crepe from Sweet Paris. If we wanted to really eat well my wife and I would cook for them, probably steaks. We would most likely hang out at a CrossFit gym. The best things in College Station are being able to eat a good meal and watch a movie without breaking the bank. That and hanging out with our friends at our house. My wife and I love to host game nights and bible study. I would also probably take whomever we have over up to fly for a little bit and see College Station from the air.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My dad has been showing me how to operate a business since I was around 3. He has acquired multiple and sold some along the way, and as all that has happened, he has been good to his employees and grown an amazing business with an even better reputation. I would argue that in the US no one does it better for the niche that he serves. My mother has helped me out mentally and physically from day 1. She is the one who instilled in me that I can do anything I want and that I was meant for great things. She is the reason I have so much confidence. Not only did she help to prepare me mentally but physically was on the ground when we opened up the clinic and worked as our Director of First Impressions for about 4 months until we could hire someone to help out. She helped us to hit the ground running hard and fast. We would not have grown as quickly without her help. My wife is my biggest supporter and has the ability to make anything she touches pure gold. I would not be as far along as we are if she were not with me. She is the opposite of me in most ways and that has worked amazingly when it comes to starting/owning a business. Her encouragement and constant faith that if we do what we were called to do that the Lord will bless us, and she hasn’t waived from that. And as far as I am concerned the Lord has blessed us tremendously. I know with every fiber in my body that God set us down this pathway before we ever realized. We have had way too many “lucky timing” incidents for it to not have been orchestrated. I also believe that God has blessed our hard work. There is a formula that I read in Dave Ramsey’s Entreleadership that state Focused Intensity (hard work) over Time (days, months, years) multiplied by God equals Unstoppable Momentum. So far, our hard work over the last 5 years setting this up and then running it has been met with better outcomes than we could have dreamed. That Unstoppable Momentum is real, and I thank God that he chose to bless us in this way. I quickly picked up a mentor when we got to College Station for investing/business advice. He made me read Rich Dad Poor Dad (which I love), Cash Flow Quadrant, Think and Grow Rich, and Millionaire Next Door. Outside of that we meet up with him once a week for an hour to discuss investing and what we are doing to generate passive cash flow as well as how Alpha is going and what can we do better. We have consulted him on hiring and firing, implementing new tools in the practice, and basic operation management of our clinic. I believe the Lord put him in our lives for many reasons, and one of those big ones was to bless us with his wisdom so that we can learn from him and make good decisions. His name is Carson Sheen, and we would not be here without his guidance. So, I basically have a village to thank for being where we are today. I am currently in Cabo writing this and would not be here if our practice could not sustain us being gone for a week, which points even more to the blessings that have been bestowed upon us.
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