In the last post (Chiropractic Marketing Is A Changing) I began revealing the answers to a recent blog survey I conducted. I left the answer to the final question to be discussed in full today.
The question I asked my readers was:
5. What is the biggest challenge you see facing you as a chiropractor over the next year?
The answers I received were very surprising. Let me explain…
First, a bit of history. I asked a very similar question in a survey about a year and half ago. The most common answer at the time had to deal with getting new patients. This was no surprise, as that has always been the biggest struggle in running a chiropractic practice.
Chiropractors struggle with the problem of getting new patients for a couple of reasons.
Reason #1: The common misconception of chiropractic by the public.
Reason #2: Most chiropractors complete disregard for using effective marketing and measuring ROI.
Number 1 above we can do little about individually, other than keep making our practices successful so we can reach more people. But the second reason above is totally within your control.
Why do most chiropractors have a complete disregard for using effective marketing? There are various reasons I’ve heard from doctors over the years, ranging from the “marketing is not professional” to the “it just doesn’t work in my area”.
So it wasn’t a big surprise to me that this was the most common answer with my survey last week. 36% of people mentioned new patients or marketing as their biggest problem. It’s definitely still a problem chiropractors face, and will be until we all become better educated on real chiropractic marketing.
What was a surprise was the second place answer, coming in at 35% of respondents mentioning it in their write-in answers. This new category of answers had to deal with health care reform (Obamacare) and the issue of cash practice or cash patients!
Now you may think this has been around for awhile, so it’s not big deal to see that answer. But think about it for a minute. Almost as many people are concerned about how the insurance industry changes will affect their practice as are concerned about actually getting new patients. This is a big change in our profession.
Especially when you consider only 4-5% of people mentioned anything about insurance or cash patients 1.5 yrs ago in my survey.
Also, what I’m noticing is that chiropractors are looking at the cash practice as a better, less stressful business model because of these new health care laws. This is much different from 5-10 years ago, when most chiropractors were switching to cash practices for more philosophical reasons.
I’m curious as to what you think about all this?
Leave a comment below telling us what type of practice you have now (cash or insurance), and if you plan to change it in the future (and if so, why.) If you didn’t participate in the survey last week and you leave a comment below discussing this, I’ll send you the link to the bonus marketing audios I gave away. (I can see your email address when you leave a comment, so you don’t need to put it in the comment itself.)