A critical adjustment to your clinic’s backbone is a proper training program
Training is critical. If you want to build a million-dollar clinic, then you have to train like a million-dollar clinic owner.
This is not hyperbole. In the world of chiropractic, the importance of training cannot be overstated. Yet, all too often in the chiropractic industry, training tends to be inadequate, if it’s even present at all. This is the primary reason turnover tends to be high, especially at the front desk position.
How can a clinic thrive when its employee entrance is a revolving door? With an under-prepared team, it’s nearly impossible to provide superior-quality patient care, but with the proper mindset and planning, a clinic can achieve next-level results for its patients and community.
Focus on training
The current largest chiropractic and functional rehab-based franchise in the United States was founded with a focus on training. Training programs need to be routine and robust (the hallmark of any successful franchise). For franchises, training ensures that franchisees are educated, because trained team members are more viable team members.
Viability increases the team’s value to the clinic and, subsequently, their value to the patients they serve. All things weighed and balanced, a well-trained team helps deliver a consistently higher level of experience to patients.
A driving need
Well-regulated training is a necessity because, typically, non-clinical team members have zero experience in the realm of chiropractic and, quite often, virtually no experience in the health care industry at large.
Clinic owners must address these training concerns. Indeed, it is incumbent upon each clinic owner to choose a training and support system that can teach him or her how to grow an incredibly fun and ethically profitable business, a system that can also teach the owner how to become an excellent leader and CEO of his or her practice. This will surely result in well-trained team members and higher employee retention rates.
Yet, owners often find that providing training requires a sizable investment of resources (time and money). Owners are often doctors, and doctors don’t often have the educational background and experience necessary to build a training program.
Training and support
A leading-edge training program also needs to be combined with a dynamic support system.
Franchises can provide full-time support for every facet of running a practice, from attracting new patients to providing live, on-site training for franchisees. Franchise regional developers are provided who have the time, training and resources to visit each office, often monthly, where they make real-time assessments, “take the pulse” of each clinic, and mentor each team member face-to-face. This is the kind of mentorship that works, and it requires a well-tested, quality-controlled, methodical approach.
The proof of success for a franchise and franchisees is in the reporting: On a consistent basis, the clinics that train produce statistics that rank between the center and top end of the “sweet spot,” the optimal point of achievement. The clinics that don’t train as aggressively are easy to identify because their metrics begin to migrate to the lower end of the bell curve. By closely following these metrics, support teams can quickly and easily recognize when a clinic is training correctly and when it is not.
Franchises can provide discerning observations and a detailed analysis
of every clinic, every week, which is then addressed during on-site visits — a recipe-like system that provides top results.
After initial onboarding, franchise owners and their teams continue learning and growing throughout their respective careers, continuing to access lessons and engage in trainings. They train with team members and regional developers and attend workshops and regional conferences.
Budgeting the resources
In order to deliver a similar experience, individual clinics would have to make a sizable investment of resources. Their challenge is building a training and support program with virtually no background in pedagogy and business coaching.
In the world of chiropractic, stand-alone clinics must wear many hats. If the one they wear for training isn’t a good fit, then clinic owners should review their budgets and assess their resources. If they believe that training is expensive, they should consider the cost of no training — or worse, poor training. The costliest scenario is the one in which an owner must pay to correct the routine practices of team members that are inaccurate, wasteful and potentially hazardous. Research shows that it takes between 3,000-5,000 repetitions to break a bad habit, while learning a new habit requires only 300-500 movements.
Clinics should introduce each new team member to a thorough and precise training program as soon as possible. In the matter of forming good training practices, muscle memory comes at a premium.
Your best practice
Training is critical to a clinic’s success. It’s the reason why, before starting a franchise, I ran the largest clinics in their markets. I owe the success of my second office — a million-dollar office that ran so efficiently I could go eight months without walking through the front door — to training. Eight months could go by, and I would still know the name of each person on my team.
Training is not new to our industry. It’s merely a best practice, which, unfortunately, was never adopted by chiropractic and other fragmented industries.
Successful companies invest in successful ideas borrowed from other professions, and myriad professionals across a vast network of related and unrelated industries agree: A company’s success is oftentimes dependent upon the self-sustaining, smooth-running mechanics of a fantastic training program.
CHRIS TOMSHACK, DC, is the founder and CEO of HealthSource, a chiropractic franchise with nearly 300 domestic and international clinics serving more than six million patients. Tomshack was in the Air Force ROTC at Ohio University and served in the National Guard. He authored The Ultimate Practice Adjustment and co-authored Freedom from Fat. For more information or to contact him, visit healthsourcechiro.com.