Lou Holtz, former football coach and ESPN analyst, once said, “In this world you’re either growing or dying so get in motion and grow.”
If you agree with him, as a service-based business professional intent on taking your business to higher levels, then you’re likely looking for various ways to elevate and grow your base practice.
Adding specialty services to your chiropractic practice is a great way to expand your income potential and reach of your business. Specialty services can include acupuncture, massage, or other spa services. Start with weighing the pros and cons of adding services to your practice.
Benefits of adding specialty services
- Gain a competitive advantage. Take a look at other businesses in your area and see what services they offer their patients. If your local market is lacking in a particular service, adding that to your service list will fill that hole in your area and can drive new patients to your practice.
- Improve your patients’ experience. As a service-based provider, customer retention is about creating positive patient experiences and relationships. Offering your customers additional services focused on improving overall health and wellness can greatly enhance their experiences while in your office. Additionally, it can create an opinion of your practice as the place to go for lifestyle advice and information.
- Diversify revenue streams. Additional revenue streams can enhance profitability of your business. By diversifying into other service-based areas, you create a safety net in the event one branch of your business is in a seasonal downtrend.
Barriers to implementing specialty services
- Upfront costs. As with any new service or product line, initial and continued costs are a significant factor. Funding the expansion into specialty services may mean adding debt, using cash you have on hand, or increasing your prices. Sam Ashe-Edmunds of Demand Media says, “Review your cash on hand, credit lines and last year’s cash flow, and then create post-expansion cash flow projections to determine if you will have enough capital to handle an expansion.” 1
- Altering your brand. Depending on how you’ve chosen to brand your business, implementing specialty services may change your current image. Decisions to change your brand should be made after looking at data detailing your current brand health.2
- Added responsibilities. Increasing your list of services and making your practice bigger means that you will have more management responsibilities. How much time to you currently spend on management, and how much more time do you have available? If you prefer to be with patients, do you have the staff to take on these new tasks?
Building a business plan for your expansion
Your next step is to build a business plan around the services you would like to add to your practice. Your business plan should answer these questions:
- Which services are you, your patients, and your market interested in?
- Which services will bring in the best income for their cost?
- Do you need a bigger space or additional staff to run the new services?
- What marketing will you need to inform your patients as well as interest new ones?
- What are the initial costs to start, and where can you find the capital?
- What is the expected monthly income compared to the monthly cost of these new services initially, in 1 year, and in 5 years?
When adding specialty services to your practice, planning is key. Examining your market area, asking what your patients want, and detailing your income potential are ways to makes sense for your business. In the end, a change in services is not small move. You will find value in taking these steps to learn and improve your business.
1 Ashe-Edmunds S. “Business Economic & Financial Considerations When Expanding.” Houston Chronicle. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/business-economic-financial-considerations-expanding-63898.html. Published April 2013. Accessed July 2015.
2 MIT Sloan Management Review. “Measuring Brand Health to Improve Top-Line Growth.” http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/measuring-brand-health-to-improve-topline-growth/. Published October 2007. Accessed July 2015.