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Business Spotlight - Graham Equine Complementary Medicine

Erin Andrews

February 13, 2020

Bringing to you today a Business Spotlight on one of our clients and friends Dr. Megan Graham owner of Graham Equine Complementary Medicine.  Her work consists of treating horses in both acupuncture and equine veterinary medical manipulation, which is much like chiropractic medicine. We wanted to interview Dr. Graham because it is not every day that you hear about her profession. Also being a mom of two and married to her husband who also runs his own chiropractic business, makes her story even more interesting. 

Read our full blog post to hear about Dr. Megan Graham’s story of deciding to start her own business, what attributed to her success, some words of advice and last but not least what it is like for two spouses running their own businesses and juggling life together.

What made you decide to start your own business?

“When I started out as a veterinarian in 2008, I never thought I would be a business owner. For 9 years I worked for a great group practice in Rhode Island and was very happy as an associate. However, when our family moved to Plymouth in 2015 the commute became a challenge and the time demand became too much when trying to balance work and raising two young kids. In January of 2016 I started my own business, seeing horses locally 2 days/week and continued to commute to Rhode Island Mon-Wed.  I really loved and looked forward to the two days a week I could take my time and see horses on my own schedule. So, in Dec 2018 I left the RI practice to focus on my business full time. I’m lucky in that my business model is simple and I have very little overhead so it's actually less stressful working for myself. I love being able to schedule work around my family’s needs.”

It is obvious you have a love for horses, but do you have another part of your business that you enjoy the most?

“It’s true I love horses – they are so smart and have wonderful personalities. They are more like dogs than most people realize. The relationship some of my clients have with their horses is incredible. When you have cared for a horse for 30+ years, an amazing bond is formed. I always tell people I have the best job in the world. I get to be outdoors all day long, traveling from farm to farm, making horses feel better. When I do good work, the horses are happy, and their owners/trainers are happy. What could be better?!”

To what do you attribute your success?

“There are so many factors in creating and maintaining a successful business. I think being a conventional equine veterinarian for 10+ years prior to focusing full time on complementary therapies gave me some “street cred.” I had established relationships with many of my clients prior to going out on my own so the trust was there. Word of mouth and referrals have been everything for me. It's pretty rare to get a call from someone who hasn’t already spoken to one or two of my clients. I also do my best to foster relationships with other horse professionals such as local veterinarians and farriers because it is a great source of referrals and we can help the horse so much more if we all collaborate. Open and honest communication with owners/clients and with other professionals is key to getting good treatment outcomes. And finally, I think I’m just lucky to live in an area where people are looking for more natural ways to alleviate pain, treat chronic conditions and improve performance in their horses and are open minded to trying new things.”

If you had one piece of advice to give someone just starting out, what would it be?

“The advice I would give to someone just starting out is make sure you have a reliable team of people around you. Get good advice from professionals, whether it’s your accountant, mentor, old bosses etc. Talk to other people in the same industry to find out what their mistakes or victories were in the early days of their business. If you’re a super organized type A person awesome, but if you’re not, find someone to help you with paperwork and all of the nitty gritty details. It took me several help sessions to even start to understand how to use QuickBooks. Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone.”

I know your husband also runs a business of his own, Graham Chiropractic...now we find this pretty awesome; two spouses running two separate businesses! Has this ever been a challenge for you two? Or maybe it has been helpful?

“Bryan was helpful when it came to answering a lot of my business questions and even more so when I was first studying veterinary medical manipulation (chiropractic). Treating people is clearly very different than working with horses but we share the same passion and confidence in what we do. Although he was nervous when I told him my plan to leave my old job and a guaranteed income, he agreed with me that you have to go with your gut. Even though both businesses demand a lot of time both in and out of the “office,” it’s so nice to be able to work together on scheduling so that we can maximize our family time. In this respect there’s certainly nothing better than being your own boss.”

Running your own business can be hard work, we admire anyone who takes the leap of faith and sets out to follow their dream and be their own boss. We think Dr. Megan Graham gave fantastic advice for someone who may be thinking of starting a business of their own. Getting help and asking for advice can really set you ahead and start you off on the right foot. We are happy to help guide your business to success whether it is advising, accounting, or payroll services. Our team is here to help!

You can follow Graham Equine Complimentary Medicine on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/grahamequinecomplementarymedicine


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