If you already feel overwhelmed, start with a few tips for running your chiropractic business
If you’re a chiropractor running your own business, there’s a lot to keep track of and it’s tough to find a sense of balance — and sometimes success.
Even if you’re not self-employed, some of these habits could be killing your success in the long run. That’s why it’s crucial to identify your own challenges and be prompt about resolving them. Otherwise, these negative habits can fester into destructive forces in your business.
1. Not building your systems
Without processes, it’s easy to lose track of patients, billing, marketing and anything else your practice needs to thrive. Having the right software such as practice management or EHR is also important for staying organized.
Unfortunately, new clinics and even more experienced chiropractors sometimes rely too much on memory, paper and “just winging it” through their daily work. In the long run, these habits often result in being overwhelmed and haphazard business operations.
2. No plan
In small businesses like chiropractic clinics, it’s easy to focus on your specialty, chiropractic care, while neglecting your second job, which is being a business executive. Sometimes, this means the business runs without a business plan.
Have you ever noticed that every business model has a product or service, and a back-office management function? Larger companies often employ a management and executive team alongside employees who do the core work of the organization. When you’re self-employed, you’re both the executive team and the front-line employee. You see patients but you’re also ultimately responsible for everything that happens.
A lot of chiropractors are really great at providing patient care and not as focused on planning what’s next.
3. Reactive thinking
For your practice to grow, you have to be proactive about making improvements, marketing and taking the right risks. Unfortunately, many chiropractors are instead reactive thinkers who make business decisions in response to challenges, rather than basing their decisions on where they want the business to go.
Over time, it’s hard to grow a business that’s constantly just reacting.
4. Too much research and planning
Of course, you can also get into a habit of overthinking and doing too much research for your business. If you just keep seeking information but don’t act, you’ll struggle to get anything accomplished.
Instead, research enough to support the actions you’re taking. Then act. If you get stuck, go back to your research, but don’t forget to keep moving.
5. Unsuccessful multi-tasking
The human mind can multi-task up to a point. Often, though, we think we’re successfully multi-tasking but we’re actually wasting a lot of time going back and forth among various tasks.
Each time you have to refer back to something, you lose time trying to become focused again. It may be better to focus on a single task until it’s finished before moving on to the next thing on your list.
6. Surrounding yourself with the wrong people
The people we spend time networking with and hanging around can have a dramatic influence on us and on the results we get. The wrong people are too negative, don’t support our goals and discourage us. They also might not have anything helpful to contribute to making us better people.
If you have a bad feeling about the company you keep, maybe it’s time to find other people.
7. Growing at the wrong pace
Too much change in your business too quickly can easily put added strain on your practice or cause you frustration. Many businesses try growing too fast, which adds expenses and may harm the health of your practice.
You can also grow your practice too slowly, so it’s important to strike a balance between responding to patient demand and keeping growth manageable.
8. Being too nice
Some chiropractors try too hard to be helpful. Perhaps they give away too much chiropractic care, or they refuse to send overdue bills to collections because they’re worried about former patients. A front desk associate is taking advantage of lenient policies to disappear for the day without calling in.
Regardless, it’s important to stand up for yourself and your practice. If a vendor is too pushy, be polite but firm about your business decisions. If a patient is rude or doesn’t treat you with respect, be professional but remind them about your policies.
Without standing up for yourself, you run the risk of going out of business. That’s not fair to the patients who depend on you.
9. Being noncompliant
Compliance is a huge issue for chiropractors, yet many don’t want to take it as seriously as they should. Compliance errors are costly and may jeopardize your entire practice.
If you’re not sure where to start, do some of your own research or seek out a compliance specialist for guidance.
10. Giving yourself what you ‘deserve’
Working hard? You probably deserve the day off, or maybe a raise. Being self-employed gives many chiropractors additional flexibility that other people often don’t have.
This means you can decide to take more money out of your business, take additional time off or have a liberal social media use policy for yourself. Ultimately, as long as you follow the law, you can do whatever you want.
It’s also dangerous. If you use your freedom at work to waste time or money you can’t spare right now, it can hurt your chances of success. It’s challenging, because many chiropractors work very hard and put in long hours — even if there’s no margin right now, the temptation is there to take out what you can.
Chiropractic success is worth it
Although it’s not easy to break bad habits and move your business forward, it’s definitely worth it. To increase your chances of success, choose one or two goals or bad habits to focus on first. Don’t be afraid to keep experimenting until you find strategies that work for your business.
1. Ennico, C. “10 Ways to Kill Your Business.” smallbizdaily. Published: July 2015. Accessed: April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.smallbizdaily.com/10-ways-kill-business/
2. DeMers, J. “10 Bad Habits Preventing Your Business from Succeeding.” Entrepreneur. Published: February 2016. Accessed: April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/270130