Starting a practice can be a daunting task.
Fresh out of school,Â a new DC has been trained in the complex art and science of treating the human body””but what about the art and science of running a practice?
You need to learn about the time, commitment, and energy that building a new practice entails. The journey will likely involve setbacks, but the following principles can help you in “setting up shop” for success.
Whether you’re new in town or simply new to practicing in your home community, make sure everyone is aware of your services. Meet and talk to as many people as possible: neighboring business owners, residents, and patrons.
There are ample opportunities to connect with other businesspeople, including those who may be members of the chamber of commerce, Rotary club, neighborhood associations, and schools. Be a part of initiatives and programs that better your surroundings and the people in it.
Consider partnering with local like-minded businesses to create educational programs on all things health. You can offer free digital foot scans or postural assessments to pique interest in your services.
Support your efforts with social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest linking back to your practice’sÂ website. Connecting and building relationships is fun! Likely, it’s one of the reasons why you pursued chiro- practic in the first place.
The right team
The people you hire can influence your growth””or lack thereof.
When you’re ready, hire (and train) a staff that understands your philosophy, the importance of chiropractic and getting adjusted, and the need for getting the spine continually checked for subluxations.
Your staff are the eyes, ears, and face of your practice; the first people patients hear on the phone and meet when walking through the door. Make sure they reinforce your practice philosophy and values with every interaction.
Offer the optimal experience
A detailed exam is required to determine if a patient is a chiropractic candidate. Use the tools at your disposal to create objective measures of the body and spine. X-rays, posture assessment tools, and foot scans help assess progress and improved function during the continuum of care.
Technology also makes a patient’s experience more memorable. When you talk through the results on-screen, patients begin to understand the concept of body imbalances and, in the case of the digital foot scanner, how the feet are involved. Reports that patients can take home and share with family and friends help reinforce theirÂ education, keep their care top of mind, and act as powerful referral tools.
Finally, offering products can help your patients and practice alike by supporting your adjustments and offering an extra source of revenue free from insurance hassles. For example: A carefully selected line of pillows, rehab tools, and orthotics can significantly contribute to practice growth.
In private practice, it’s easy to feel isolated, which is why it’s vital to stay connected to your purpose and your colleagues. For some, coaching or mentoring can help avoid costly mistakes. Additionally, coaching can provide strategies and accountability for reaching desired goals.
Be a part of your state and national associations, as the laws of your state govern your scope of practice. Resources available at your fingertips can help with practice building, continuing education credits, and healthcare law updates. Check into chiropractic networking groups like EPicenter of Chiropractic and Chiropractors on the Road to Excellence.
Educate for outcomes
Chiropractic has a unique philosophy that is unfortunately misunderstood by many. Chiropractors not only adjust spines, they adjust people’s perceptions of health and healing. It is a shift from fearing the body (and its symptoms) to embracing, loving, and accepting the body to allow for healing and improved function.
Every interaction with a patient (or prospective patient) is a chance to reinforce these values. Share your philosophy and the chiropractic story to patients through talks, during exams, and at in-house workshops, spinal screenings, digital foot scans, and community events.
Set goals to prosper
To grow, it is vital to know the current standing of your practice. Have clarity as to where you want to grow, whether it’s in new patients, PVA, retention, collections, products, or daily bests. Then generate realistic weekly, monthly, and annual goals; having 10 patients a month invest in orthotics, for example, can be a serious boost to your bottom line.
Learning doesn’t end at graduation. Patients trust you with their health, time, and finances; a trust that is both honoring and humbling.
Laying the foundation for a successful practice can be as gratifying as it is challenging, but well worth the time and effort. With clarity, diligence, and hard work, you will be on your way to changing the health of your community, one spine at a time.
Miaken Zeigler, DC, is a second-generation chiropractor practicing in Denver. She can be contacted through denverchirocare.com.