San Diego, CA – September 29th, 2010 – ChiroTouch™, the nation's leader in chiropractic software, recently posted its latest article entitled Seven Practice Building Blunders.
Seven Practice Building Blunders
You may be earnestly doing everything in your power to build your practice, but you may be committing some common, fatal errors in the process. Here we'll discuss some of the common mistakes chiropractors fall victim to in trying to build, not bury their practice. Take a moment to ask yourself if you're guilty of any of these frequent mistakes.
Forget You're in Sales
American culture is soaked with advertising and marketing. We all have, deep in our subconscious or even closer to the surface, a negative image of sales people. They’re the pushy guys on car lots that won't let you go. They're the fast-talking telemarketers that interrupt dinner, right?
Maybe, but the reality is, you are in sales. Building your practice successfully means that when you look in the mirror, you're looking at a salesperson. Sales are essential to everything you do in your practice.
Educate yourself. Find out how much you don't know about how the web can help bring in new patients. Do you need a website? If you have website, do you need a better one? Have you considered a blog?
Whatever approach you decide to take, treating marketing as a side project to your business is one of the most common mistakes chiropractors make. But it's easy to correct with a little time, attention, and research on your part.
Move Because You Feel Like It
An expanding practice is the only good reason to move to a more expensive location. Many chiropractors find, after a few years, that they get a little wanderlust and want to try changing locations. Put your justifications for it into perspective and make sure your arguments for moving are supported by the numbers. Take a look at the hard facts, not vague generalities about how you think things are going.
Chances are you don't really need a new location, you just need to find less expensive ways to bring in new business and impress the patients you currently treat.
More expensive or larger office locations may only bleed your profits. If you're going to make a move, make sure the benefits versus the costs justify it in dollars and cents.
Chalk Up Referrals to Dumb Luck
Good referrals are a priceless piece of your business. All chiropractors dream of turning one patient into dozens through referrals, but that doesn't mean they're just gold at the end of the rainbow. There's a science to building the value of your clinic in the patient's mind. Is there anything on their fridge or their kitchen table reminding them of their experience at your clinic? A website, social media page, or a blog can be very helpful here, too. These outlets give patients a risk-free look at your clinic that, if done right, will get new patients calling you up and walking in your door.
Kick Back In Your Insurance Hammock
The services you provide that are covered by insurance are the foundation of your practice, but not the whole of it. It's hard to go wrong if you think of insurance payments as covering your costs. Your profit comes from cash-based extras that add both value and profit. These can range from over-the-counter products to aesthetic services, but should be customized to fit your practice and the needs of your patients.
Good chiropractic billing software should help you determine if you're building your practice or just resting in your hammock.
Work Too Much
Burnout has a cost. You might as well face up to it now, or you'll pay later. Remember that while your practice is made up of a lot of things, you are the most important component. Without you, there really is no practice at all. Treat yourself as your own most valuable asset. This doesn't mean you have permission to indulge in every lazy whim, but regular breaks throughout the day and vacation time during the year is vital to the survival of your practice. Use all the tools at your disposal to lighten the workload, including chiropractic billing software. Well-maintained chiropractic documentation should also help minimize hassles and stressful mistakes.
Overwork has adverse effects, particularly in the long term, causing you to lose energy and patience, both of which are crucial in dealing with people on a daily basis. Do your patients a favor and take some of your own advice.
Leave Your Business Cards At the Office
You spent hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars on those snazzy business cards and you're just going to leave them there, sitting in the office, doing no good? Carry your cards with you wherever you go. This falls under the same category as your wallet or your car insurance: you'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
After all, if your cards are with you and they get in your way, look at that as a reminder to get rid of them. Is your checkout clerk at the grocery store slouching horribly or complaining of back pain? Pass her a card. In social situations people will ask you what you do. If they show interest, it can be a great opportunity to offer them a business card. This can be augmented with an offer for VIP treatment. Have them tell the receptionist how they know you. Roll out the proverbial red carpet when they come in.
It's good to leave work at work, but don't ever forget that building your practice is something that happens 24/7.
Ignore The Community At Large
Be charitable. One important way to get your name viewed repeatedly is to be active and out there. Even when you're not "selling," you're selling. Get yourself involved with charity events in a way that goes beyond just writing checks and sending in logos.
These efforts will help you build trust with current and prospective patients, letting them know that you care about the community you're serving.
It would be nice if chiropractors didn't have to worry about all these details, but the fact is that you are the one in charge of building your practice and helping it continue to grow. Keeping everything in balance will help ensure a thriving practice.