The word “success” means different things to different people. Just as there is no one way to define success, there is no one plan that guarantees it.
If you asked five chiropractors who you consider to be successful how they achieved their success, you will more than likely find yourself with five different answers.
Although there’s no sure formula for success, the following tips can help you get on the path to success and make your journey down the path a little easier. The goal is to help you get some new referrals and keep the patients you already have coming back to visit you. In addition, these practice-building tips may turn your focus to an area of your practice that is in need of an evaluation, or maybe they will inspire you to come up with some of your own ideas to help strengthen your practice.
Write down your goals. Identify the goals for your practice, your staff, and yourself and put them in writing. Then, post these goals somewhere in the office where your entire staff will see them every day, in an effort to keep them uppermost in everyone’s mind. Let these goals serve as a “plan for success” for you and your staff. For a doctor and staff who are willing to commit to a plan of success, there is no place to go but up.
Spend lots of time at the office. When you’re not seeing patients, take some time to focus on ways to improve your office. Pay close attention to details that are often overlooked, such as the condition of your office’s parking lot, or make sure there’s an adequate amount of educational materials available in your waiting room. Also, use some of your spare time to clean and organize your office and evaluate ways you can improve everyday office procedures. This will also set a good example for your staff.
Communicate with your patients. Good patient communication builds your practice. When people can personally “see a difference” or “feel a difference,” they understand why they need your help. Sounds simple, but many doctors don’t communicate effectively, and as a result, patients don’t follow through.
The doctors who get the most referrals, get the best results, and have great patient compliance are nearly always the ones who do a good job of communicating. They take the time to explain and demonstrate why a patient needs a particular treatment plan, support, etc.
You don’t have to use big words to impress your patients — talk to them in language they can understand when discussing their problems and treatment. It is also helpful to ask patients if they understand what you are talking about. Do everything possible to help patients understand every aspect of their visit. However, remember to never talk down to patients. If you are doing a good job of communicating, they will let you know when further explanation is needed. Be enthusiastic and optimistic.
A positive attitude is always an asset, whether you are treating a patient or shopping at the grocery store. Be nice to everyone you encounter and show them you are genuinely interested. A positive attitude can be infectious, and you will notice your enthusiasm is rubbing off on your staff.
Stay busy. When you have extra time, do something special for your patients. You could write notes to the patients you haven’t seen in a while, just to let them know you have been thinking about them and are hoping they are doing well.
Make comparisons. Compare yourself with a successful colleague in areas such as actions, attitude, communication, enthusiasm, and examination. Ask yourself what you can do to be more like your successful counterpart. Don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues for advice.
Be sincere with your patients. Don’t constantly push your patients to come in for a treatment every time you talk to them. When they feel they need to come in, they will. Hounding your patients will give them the impression that you are more interested in their money than their well-being.
Don’t underestimate the power of positive thoughts. Remember that the positive thoughts you have about your practice will become real if you truly believe in them. Think of the saying: “Believe it, and you will see it.” Negative thoughts will only be a detriment to your patients, you, and your practice.
Perform postural testing. Part of your routine examining procedure should include proprioceptive testing of the postural attitude in standing, sitting, and reclining. It’s likely your patients will be impressed with these examinations, because you are doing more for them than traditional doctors.
Remember to always keep your focus on your practice. It’s easy to become distracted with other aspects of your life, but try to keep your thoughts on your practice and its success.
On any given day you’re in the office, there’s a group of people sitting in your waiting room. Many of them are waiting for you because they’re in pain and they want you to make them feel better. Would you like to help make sure the patients in your waiting room come back to you when they’re not in pain? Would you also like to have new faces in your waiting room each week? Whatever your goals are, if you keep your focus, you can make them happen.
For example, if one of your goals is to expand your practice, keep your mind open to all opportunities when thinking of ways to do this. If an ancillary product or service works and can help a patient feel better and stay healthy longer, then it should be a part of your practice. There is no lack of therapies from which to choose — orthotics, nutrition, hair analysis, massage therapy — the list is nearly endless. How you differentiate your practice from others in your area will determine in a large part how successful your practice can be.
When it comes to furthering your practice, keep your mind open to all ideas. There are many treatment procedures available that will not only help you expand your practice, but will also play a vital role in your patients’ treatment plans.