Quite a few chiropractors and even chiropractic gurus straddle the fence with this one. I’ve heard speakers at some of the “pump it up” chiropractic seminars say that if “you just help the patients the money will follow.” But we know that’s not completely true.
For example; if you are an associate doctor, you’re helping patients, but you’re probably earning a meager salary. If you have no financial policies in your office and patients get care at no cost, you can help a lot of people, but you’re not making money.
So what is the purpose of practice? I would bet that you have two purposes in practice. Your chiropractic purpose is to help people get well. Your business purpose is to make a profit. I know, the words “making a profit” leave a bad taste in the mouths of some people and some circles consider it politically incorrect. Yet that’s why we became business owners. Our main reason to start a practice is not to pay more in taxes or give people jobs. You didn’t just wake up one day and say “I want to start a business so I can be an employer!”
It’s not that being a doctor of chiropractic is difficult. Once you become skilled in the techniques of adjusting patients, it’s really not that complicated. However, being a business owner is very tough and it’s not getting any easier. It’s one thing to see patients, but it is also your responsibility to make sure everything is running smoothly and efficiently. In order to keep things running smoothly systems need to be in place. In fact, Michael Gerber wrote a book titled “E-Myth” and the whole book is about implementing systems in your business.
Here’s a short list of the systems you need in place…
- new patient marketing system (including external and internal marketing)
- a system to convert new patients to care
- a case fee system that allows for you to be profitable
- a patient reactivation system
- a system to convert patients to wellness/maintenance/lifetime care
- an education system to keep retention (patient visit average) high
Now what was that saying again?
How about; “Care for your patients, with the right systems in place and then money will follow.”