Jessica Bullock Scarratt proudly opened the doors of her very own chiropractic practice Family First Chiropractic in her hometown of Dothan, Alabama in August of 2013.
Jessica’s appreciation of her chosen field began at the young age of 12 years old when she was dropped on her head performing a complicated stunt in her dance class. The injury resulted in a significant strain to the muscles and ligaments in her neck causing her to lose range of motion. She also began experiencing horrific headaches and migraines.
Little did Jessica know then that when her parents took her to a chiropractor to begin treatment for her neck and headache pain that this would lead to her life’s calling. Jessica states, “After starting chiropractic care, my headaches ceased, my range of motion in my neck returned, and I was healthier than ever! Learning firsthand the benefits of chiropractic care, I decided that this was the profession I wanted to be in so I could change peoples’ lives the way mine was!”
Completing her bachelor’s degree at Auburn University and receiving her Doctor of Chiropractic degree at Life University, Jessica graduated both institutions Magna Cum Laude. She quickly realized though that for all of her education, she still faced challenges in opening her own dream practice. “In chiropractic school, we didn’t learn a whole lot about business plans and office start up.”
Thankfully, she continues, she heard about the Small Business Development Center at Troy University (TROY SBDC) and made an appointment to meet with a business advisor.
“The main task and challenge for me was securing a business loan to cover start-up costs. My business advisor met with me in person and we communicated by email many times as she helped me construct a business plan to map out my business step by step (which I’m now so thankful for) as well as to take to the bank. She also advised me on banks that would be more likely to make start-up business loans. She went above and beyond my expectations! With guidance from the TROY SBDC I was able to get more than enough with an $83,000 loan plus a $20,000 line of credit in a little more than six months of graduating chiropractic school.”
Jessica says that she was able to pay all of her bills after month one in business. Now, three years later, she only owes around $5,000 on her business loan and plans to pay it off this year.
“The TROY SBDC is such an amazing resource that I let all of my colleagues know about it when they begin the process of opening a practice. If more people used these incredible – and free – resources, I think it would give soon-to-be new business owners the confidence they need to make their dreams a reality!”
In addition to stimulating Dothan’s economic growth by locating her thriving practice there, also creating two part-time positions, Jessica contributes to her beloved hometown in other ways.
“Something that has always been very important to me is giving back to my community. Throughout the year, we have several opportunities to raise supplies and/or money for different organizations. Our biggest event is our Annual Ladies Night Out event that we have each January. Our first year hosting it, we donated $200 to the Wiregrass Humane Society. Our second year, we donated $600 to the Wiregrass Hope Group and they used the money to buy car seats for their clients. This year, we were able to donate $1,000 to the Wiregrass Children’s Home. It has been amazing to watch the event grow each year so we are able to donate more money to our chosen organizations.”
(The event is now so popular that it was featured in the May 2016 issue of Dothan Magazine. Click here and find page 44 to read all about it.)
Jessica also gives back to her old dance company, Patti Rutland Jazz, by adjusting their company members pro bono because, she says, “I know how crucial chiropractic care was for me in my dancing career.”
As Jessica so unselfishly uses her business to enrich the lives of others, she recently found out just how much her business means to her personally.
“This April, I had my son and juggling business life and mommy life proved to be difficult. It’s just me and my part-time help. Luckily, I am blessed to be able to bring him to work with me every day and I have a nanny come to the office and help with him as needed. If I hadn’t started my own business, this would not have been possible, so I am very thankful!”
Jessica’s patients are thankful as well as she is the only chiropractic office within 75 miles of Dothan that specializes in pediatrics and pregnancy. Her healing touch has helped babies avoid getting tubes in their ears, helped women suffering from years of infertility get pregnant and helped kids with ADHD and autism excel in school and social settings.
Ready to begin your own success story? A network of Small Business Development Centers, in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, are located across the state of Alabama ready to assist you. Find your local SBDC office by visiting here.