A great aspect of operating a chiropractic practice is the freedom to do what you want, when you want. Another is the ability to control your income. In fact, many people go into chiropractic for that reason alone. Yet, of those who enter the profession, many wind up suffering, because they believe operating a practice is all about providing treatment.
But operating a practice is largely about operating a small business.
Whether you have been practicing for several years, are deciding to become an independent consultant, or are an associate, there are several things you can do to achieve startup success.
One: Be active
Whether you purchase a practice, purchase a list of patients, or begin a practice without a patient base, work is required. Even if your location is at a busy strip mall or intersection, just because your name is on the sign doesn’t mean patients will come through your door.
Operating a practice requires conducting activities like any other retail or service-oriented business. Such activities can include: writing articles, speaking, holding seminars, building websites, blogging, attending networking events, giving interviews on television or radio, and getting involved in community activities.
The more involved you are in your community, the more potential patients will meet you, and they will begin to call your office.
When these individuals become patients, they’ll tell others of the value you provide, which creates buzz in your community and grows your brand. And it’s your brand that develops continuous revenue.
Two: Measure your output
Oftentimes, practices fail because of a lack of looking at numbers. These metrics include patient volume, accounts receivable, accounts payable, work-in- progress days, marketing
expenses, and insurance claims.
Those who fail to look at these numbers will likely fail to succeed. By comparison, the best chiropractors and their chiropractic assistants (CAs) know the exact number of patients they see per week as well as their expenses to the penny.
As you gain more awareness of your expenses, you better understand your needed income and the activities that generate it.
Smart chiropractors reinvest in their business to ensure there is not only money today but also money for tomorrow. They also save for their retirement, which is another benefit of watching the numbers.
Three: Know how to delegate
Unfortunately, many chiropractors and CAs believe delegation is a sign of weakness.
And, some people don’t delegate because it takes a lot of up-front effort.
But getting others to take on important things lets them assert their skills and abilities. It is vital to engage others to help reduce your labor.
And delegation at some point will require you to find a CA. This will be the greatest help you can have.
Four: Master customer service
If you really want a successful practice, you must provide stellar customer service.
Patient service includes answering calls within two rings, confirming and rescheduling appointments immediately, sending thank-you cards after reports of findings, and sending gratuity cards on birthdays or anniversaries.
Engage patients regularly with newsletters and updates they find valuable. As long as customer service is top of mind in your practice, you will be top of mind to patients.