Opening a new chiropractic office is one of the potentially most fulfilling and profitable and yet scariest decisions you will ever make.
Any successful chiropractor will tell you that changing the lives of hundreds and even thousands of people in your community all while earning a great living is about as rewarding as it gets.
Unfortunately, most of the newer generation of chiropractors never get to experience the spoils of success because their practice never achieves the patient volume and income they envisioned when opening a chiropractic small business.
I don’t want to see this happen to you.
So today I want to share some advice that will benefit any chiropractor who is about to open, or has recently opened, a new chiropractic office.
Often times once a chiropractor seeks practice help and gets redirected to us here at SuccessfulChiro, they are already close to the brink of closing the doors on the dream they worked so hard to create.
In other words they are almost out of money.
A few of the reasons this occurs includes…
- Spending too much on build-out. Yes, you want your office to look modern and nice. But chances are you don’t need the same flooring and granite top reception desk as a high-end plastic surgeon’s office.
- Spending money on unneeded equipment. The reality is you do not need an $8,000 adjusting table. What you do need is a used adjusting table – that has the features your technique requires – that you have recovered so it looks new.
- Spending money on staff. Before you hire staff ask yourself if you really need the additional employees and expenses right now. People will not have a problem waiting while you check someone in or out when you are just getting started.
- Spending money on the latest and greatest. Whether EHR software, a website or a decompression table, don’t get sucked into thinking your need the newest and best. First ask ‘do I really need this?’ and if you do, find someone who can provide it for less.
You should be spending money on marketing so you can get customers through the door and saving it for overhead so you can pay the bills until you get your legs under you
The bottom line is ‘be conservative’ with your cash. Sure you want an office that looks good and runs well, but I’ve never seen a practice that went out of business because they didn’t have a $20,000 decompression table but I have seen plenty that ran out of money because of the new purchase.
Make it a Franchise
You probably don’t have any intention of franchising your business. However, in the (paraphrased) words of E-Myth author Michael Gerber, “…that does not mean you shouldn’t try to make it run as if you will.”
What is the biggest asset of buying a franchise?
Well beyond attributes such as brand recognition, it is the already proven systems and protocols that drive those systems that makes a franchise attractive to potential investors.
My advice to you is whether you have an insurance or cash practice try to make your office run 100% through protocols. Now, you will never achieve 100% in a service business but try.
Our Express Chiropractic franchise is based on a concept called Systems Based Services. That means that everything that can be is driven by protocols and scripts. That seems like it might make the staff robotic in nature but it actually has quite the opposite effect. It gives them more time to interact with patients casually while providing a consistently quality experience visit after visit for patients.
If you have bought any of our protocol trainings in the past you know that I tell you to write out the information as you go along so that you will have protocols created for your office once you are through the training.
From there you train, train and train more until everyone knows and performs their protocols for their position flawlessly day in and day out. And yes, this includes the chiropractor.
A few simple areas that should be covered include… open and close procedures, phone calls, onboarding new patients, doctor consult and ROF, doctor daily patient education, asking for referrals and reviews, and of course much, much more.
As a new small business owner there is a lot to learn from a how franchise operates.
But suffice it to say that you want to run off proactive protocols or your business will be relinquished to running via reactive responses to the problems that will inevitably arise.
You are your brand, your clinic is your brand, your employees are your brand.
Make sure your brand looks and acts just as you want and then tell the world – well at least your community.
When to market your business is a pretty simple formula. Wake up and start marketing and stop when you go to sleep at night. Repeat.
From the clothes you put on in the morning to the words you say (related to your business or not) at the next Chamber of Commerce meeting, the people you meet on the street are consciously and subconsciously evaluating your level of confidence and competence.
So the lesson here is ensure you and your staff are put together well so your brand is always looking and sounding good.
And now, go out and meet as many people as you can so they learn about you and your office.
When you start a new business your main focus is getting customers… Period
From spinal screenings and speaking to online article writing and Google ads, you should have at least 3 marketing directives underway at any given time.
And a rule of thumb is that the cheaper and more face to face the marketing is, the more effective it will be.
For example, getting out canvassing or manning a booth at a local health fair will standardly yield a much greater return for your money verses a mailing or billboard that may cost thousands.
Every day you should be seeking new chiropractic marketing opportunities and understand this…
There is NO magic bullet!
Regardless of what a well written ad in any chiropractic periodical or well spoke chiropractic marketing consultant will try to make you think, there is no 1 superior way to get new patients through the door. Marketing for new patients is just like fishing. If you have 4 poles in the water you are likely to catch more fish than with just one.
When opening a new business you are essentially starting with a blank canvass. How you paint the picture of what your new business looks like a year or even 5 years down the road all depends on the how you run it from the start.
Begin with good spending habits, strong protocols and relentless marketing early on and you will create a stable foundation on which to build a big thriving business.[Daron Stegall, DC is a SuccessfulChiro Success Coach. If you could use more help starting or growing your new practice, enter your name and email on the right side at the SuccessfulChiro home page and you will be on our mailing list].