In any business, you live and you learn over time. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a leg up with some tried and true teachings, tested by those who have come before you and still carry on successfully today. Let’s take a look at 8 lessons you can learn early on in your career that can help you steer your career in the right direction for years to come.
1. Keep a Healthy Savings Account
It’s wise to keep a minimum of one year’s worth of personal and business expenses on hand at all times. No one can predict the future, but you can prepare.
2. Your Practice Can’t Market Itself
As a chiropractor, it’s quite a hefty challenge to spin out perfect pitches on top of providing excellent care for your patients. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t keep a marketing calendar and a game plan in place to help steadily grow your practice. Social media and e-newsletters are two great places to start.
3. Appearances Matter
The way you and your practice look has a greater effect on your reputation than you might realize. Aim for a consistently organized and professional aesthetic appearance, and it will carry over into your patients’ impression of your services as well.
4. Find Your Niche
Everyone has something that makes them special. Maybe it’s your charisma, your specific modality, or your unique manner of running your practice. Whatever it may be, figure out what makes your practice special and capitalize on that feature. Find innovative ways to remind your patients why they are choosing you and not your neighboring chiropractor.
5. Manage Your Debt
One of the worst ways to begin a business is to start out underwater. And although you want your practice to be eye-catching and modern, that doesn’t mean that you should go deep into debt to outfit it with the latest and greatest in gadgets and overpriced furnishings. Buy used where applicable, and obtain new items over time, paying off debt as you go.
6. Invest in Your Team
Your staff members are a vital asset to your business. Remember to train them, support them, and offer them new challenges along the way. When you invest in your staff, they invest in you, and together you thrive.
7. Networking Works
Now that you’re out on your own, do you still keep in touch with old mentors and peers? If not, reach back out and make an effort to maintain those relationships. They can help you share ideas, remain connected to the chiropractic community, and offer unique perspectives and valuable feedback in the years to come.
8. Begin Your Career with the Right Technology
Your EHR is an investment in your practice both today, and into tomorrow. Be sure that it can support both visions effectively. No one wants to have to switch technologies right when their practice begins to rapidly accelerate, so make an informed decision early on and find a customizable, scalable, proven practice management software system that will grow along with you and your career.
9. Place Value in Your Healthcare Services
One of the biggest mistakes young DC’s make is to deeply discount, or provide their services at no cost. Usually this is done after a relationship is established and the DC understands the patient is tight on cash. But often times that same patient will then go out and spend $5 on a latte and $95 on their cell phone bill. Your services are valuable – and if you don’t place value in them, then neither will the patient. There are DC’s who are literally charging patients a fee just to get on the waiting list to be seen! If that doesn’t communicate value nothing does.
10. Understand You Are Both a Healthcare Professional AND a Business Person
Many DC’s, if not most, refuse to think of themselves as running a small business – but that’s exactly what most are doing. You have to market your services, run a small staff, invest in equipment, perform services, and get referrals: essentially duties common to all small businesses. The most successful DCs understand and accept this, and as a result spend time not only working IN their practice – but on it.