Top tips that help chiropractors improve their chiropractic practice and building a better business.
Seminars. Emails. Conferences, experts, and speakers. There are countless resources out there for chiropractors, which means there are endless messages coming at you every single day, touting tried-and-true strategies or miraculous steps that will make your practice grow.
Who do you listen to, what action should you take, and where do you begin? It’s difficult to sort through it all and make an action plan. So we’ve done some of that for you. Here are seven tips that cut through all the noise and will help you get down to business.
1. More doesn’t mean better
No matter the goal, it’s a natural tendency to collect as much information as you can before taking action. For instance, you might be struggling with how to implement a better patient registration process. So you search for online advice, have lunch with fellow chiropractors to get their opinions and attend as many conference sessions as you can on the topic. But six months later, you’re still not sure what to do and no changes have been made.
You can gather all the knowledge you need, but if you never take action, it’s pointless. Most people who are information gatherers are comforted by the process. But it’s the taking action part that brings out uncertainty and the fear of failure. It’s easier to do nothing at all. This is called analysis paralysis, the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.
Here’s a thought: what if your experience and common sense has already given you all the information you need to know? It’s always good to attend seminars, search online and seek the advice of colleagues and experts. But at some point enough is enough. Trust yourself, make a plan, and take all that information you already have and do something tangible with it.
2. Find what works for you
Have you ever become enamored or even obsessed with an industry expert or motivational speaker? Maybe you bought all their books, found their talks on YouTube, and even adopted their strategies, advice or philosophies only to realize it just wasn’t working for you?
There are lots of accomplished, knowledgeable and prolific experts out there who have valuable insights, with the experience and results to back them up. And their business models can motivate and inspire. But the problem is that some of the successes that other chiropractors or practice management experts have experienced are from processes or strategies that can’t be duplicated. Maybe it’s the size or resources they have that you don’t have. Or maybe it’s because your personality is completely different, and you’re brain simply doesn’t work the same way.
Listen to what other successful experts have to say, but stop to think if it’s right for you. Pay attention to your own strengths and preferences, and develop your business accordingly. Follow your professional passions, and find a way to grow your practice around them.
3. Focus on practice production
For those of you looking to be more profitable, you’re probably focused on your overhead, and how you can reduce it. Maybe you’re thinking about holding off on pay raises or postponing that lobby remodel you so desperately need.
ACOM Health clients often say that the reason why it took them so long to hire a professional billing service is because they didn’t want to spend more money. When helping our clients be more profitable, we frequently find that the overhead isn’t the problem. It’s the low level of production that’s stifling their growth. By increasing production, which often requires partnering with outside experts who can ease practice management responsibilities and stress, you’re on your way to higher profitability
4. Forget about the “magic pill”
If you’ve ever struggled with losing weight, you know how many diet programs and pills are out there that promise to help you lose 10 lbs. instantly, or magically burn fat into muscle. It’s alluring to think that there’s one button you can push that will transform your practice into a money-making machine.
The reality is that there are lots of moving parts to your chiropractic business, all of which are important. Gaining new patients alone won’t make you successful. You also have to reduce claims that go unpaid, improve your internal processes, stay up with coding and provide excellent customer service. All of it matters.
If you want a successful practice, you’re going to need all those moving parts to work in tandem. Forget about trying to find that magic pill, and focus on all the little things that will make your processes better, and generate a higher level of success.
5. Make improvements where you can
Many of the chiropractors we work with feel like they’re running a race with no finish line. They feel like they can’t possibly do one more thing, and we completely understand. If you’re feeling that way, then it’s easy to be complacent and do nothing.
You’ve probably heard this advice before, but there’s a reason why so many suggest it: find ways to work smarter. You can increase production without working 24/7. All it takes is finding the areas that are lacking and making necessary improvements. This could mean a patient registration process with fewer errors, a better chiropractic practice management software system that provides the tools you need, or hiring experts who can keep up with regulation changes and make sure you’re getting paid
6. Nurture patient and community relationships
You can have the swankiest lobby and most up-to-date practices, and patients may or may not notice. They do notice, however, how you make them feel – both physically and personally. The real value for patients and your community is your services, and the relationship they have with you. They want to feel comfortable and safe, and yes, they want to like you and your staff. Your practice is more than your accounts receivables and profit margins. Your patients will keep coming back and referring you to their friends if they have had a good relationship with you and your staff
7. Look beyond the numbers.
Most experienced chiropractors will tell you that this business isn’t going to make you wealthy. In fact, the average salary for a chiropractor who manages their own practice is about $75,000. And to realize a return on your practice investment, well, it may take awhile. If you’re focused on how fat your wallet is, you’re missing the bigger picture.
Rather, reframe your thinking and look at your practice as a terrific investment. You are in a position to enjoy a stable lifestyle complete with fulfilling relationships, the pleasure of helping people, and hopefully, lots of time off.
The key is to make the most of it means maximizing profits and developing a low-stress business. If what you are doing is not working, consider what you can do to make it work. By looking at your work as an investment, you’ll realize that little gains throughout the year add up. Improve your processes, and get help if you need it. There are outside experts who can ease your stress, streamline your processes, and help you be more profitable.
Do you need help?
While we’re not in the remodeling business, ACOM Health billing experts can help you find solutions for a more successful chiropractic practice. In fact, our average client earns an additional 11.6% on every claim, which is an additional $1,160 per month for every $10,000 in insurance claims. Give us a call at (866) 286-5315 or visit our consultation page to find out more about how we can improve your practice.