The most successful chiropractors may recognize that they’re more than just care providers. They’re also entrepreneurs who need to continually develop marketing and business professional skills as best practices evolve.

With average annual earnings from $39,104 to $122,711, the success of chiropractic practices can vary immensely. Improving your skill set could help you maximize earnings, practice efficiency and develop practice-defining patient loyalty. Read on to learn five skills every chiropractic professional needs.

1. Be Proactive

Chiropractors manage people and processes, both of which can benefit from a proactive, or predictive, management style. The difference is about keeping the big picture in mind. If a patient file is lost or a time slot gets double-booked, a reactive manager would work to find an immediate solution for the issue. A proactive Chiropractor would ask “why” it happened and consider smarter solutions for practice-wide process improvement.

2. Work Smarter

Working smarter, not harder, should be an overall goal of your practice. Entrepreneur Joel Runyon writes that it’s easy to get caught up in “fake work.” If you’re drowning in billing work or constantly putting out fires, you may be working “harder.” Outsource time-consuming tasks like billing when possible, and encourage your people to practice focus, goal-oriented work.

3. Be Mentored

Forging a relationship with a highly successful practice owner can allow you to avoid repeating common financial mistakes. It may also help you with smart selection of chiropractic practice management software or marketing tactics. For business owner Alex Pirouz, finding the right mentor led to 328 percent growth in six months.

4. Respect Time

Practice owners or managers need a mindset that is focused on the value of time. By recognizing that time is a nonrenewable resource, you could get smarter about delegating tasks internally and to third-party resources, evaluating your marketing for highest-return activities, and investing in quality talent.

5. Embrace Technology

Billing, patient communications, and compliance are three major pain points for many chiropractors. Not only can the right technology help you avoid non-compliance with Chiropractic Electronic Health Records requirements, it can introduce massive efficiency. You could gain better cash flow with smarter billing and consistency in the patient experience.

Professional Skills to Take Your Practice Onward and Upwards

Many chiropractors choose their career because they have a passion for helping patients achieve better quality of life. Your ultimate goal is to help people live without chronic pain, and the “other” aspects of managing your business can even feel like a source of stress.

Fortunately, developing professional skills can reduce stress. By learning to make proactive decisions, working smarter and embracing the right technologies and outsourcing opportunities, you can be more effective each day.