What is the purpose of your practice? Is it to help people or to make money?
Quite a few chiropractors and even chiropractic gurus beat around the bush on this one. It’s often quoted in some “rah-rah” chiropractic seminars that if “you just help the patients the money will follow.” While this quote has truth to it, it’s not the whole truth.
Think about it. If you are an associate doctor, you are helping patients, but yet making a meager salary. If you have no financial policies in your office and everyone gets care for free, you can help a lot of people, but make no money.
So what is the purpose of practice? I would venture to say 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, in today’s politically correct world, making a profit is seen as some kind of evil. Yet that’s why we became business owners. Our main reason to start a practice is not to employ people or pay more in taxes. You didn’t wake up one day and say “I want to start a business so I can be an employer!”
Being a chiropractic doctor is easy. Once you learn to adjust patients, it’s really not that difficult. Yet, being a business owner is quite challenging. It’s your job not only to see patients, but to make sure everything is running smoothly. To keep things running smoothly you need systems in place. In fact, the whole book “E-Myth” by Michael Gerber was all about having 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
So what should the saying really be? How about “Help your patients, with the right systems in place, and the money will follow.”