Freedom is Possible in Your Upper Cervical Practice
One of the most common challenges doctors are expressing in our 2016 Upper Cervical Practice Survey is a lack of freedom in your upper cervical practice.
If you haven’t taken the 2016 Upper Cervical Practice Survey please click the link and take it now. This survey will allow us to help you know the types of content you want us to produce and also to establish best practices for upper cervical practices in 2016 and beyond.
But if you are like many upper cervical doctors you are likely yearning to have more freedom in your practice to be able to do the things you want to do such as take a vacation with your family or take a long weekend whenever you want or only work 2 days per week seeing patients or less.
This type of freedom is possible and many doctors have this in their practice.
If you desire to have more freedom in your practice follow the 4 steps below.
Have the Right People and the Right Amount of People
Jim Collins in his unbelievable book Good to Great discusses the concept of thinking about your business as if it was a bus traveling on a journey toward success. You as the leader are driving the bus and a key to success is having the right people on the bus (the right team members) and the right people in the right seats (the right team members in the right positions within your practice).
So who is the right person for your team?
The person who fits in with your company culture.
Every practice has a culture.
Whether that culture is positive or negative depends on you.
But the important thing is you find people who resonate well with you, your culture, your vision and your mission for your practice.
When you find these people make sure you pay them well and treat them even better.
And make sure that they are in the right positions within your company. That they are doing things that make them excited and want to come to work every day.
“Lack of personnel is one of the biggest reasons that businesses fail to grow”
Recently I read this quote in some material from Garret Gunderson and it really struck a chord with me. I think all of us as business owners have an internal resistance to growth. When we first start our business we are frequently the ones that are doing everything and over time we have to release control in order to grow.
Once you have the right people and they are in the right seats the next step is to make sure that you have enough of them.
Your practice will not grow if everyone is overwhelmed all the time.
Your people must have margin in order to not resist growth.
Dr. Tom Owen used to call it the uncle principle. When you have so many new patients or so many patient visits that your team is subconsciously saying:
“If we get one more new patient I don’t know what I’m going to do”
“It’s crazy in here today”
If you hear people saying these types of things or you just feel it then it’s time to increase your team.
Usually by the time you hire someone it is 6 months too late and you have lost the momentum.
Delegate and Elevate
“You can either have control or you can have growth but you can’t have both”
This is another one of my favorite quotes from the pastor of the largest church in America, Craig Groeschel.
Delegation is one of the most effective ways to gain freedom in your practice while empowering your team members to grow.
Ask yourself these questions:
What are my top five value-producing activities in my practice?
How do you bring the most value to your practice?
What can you do that no one else can do?
Some answers might include:
- Vision Casting
- Team Member Development
- Team Training
- Adjusting Patients (if solo practitioner)
Once you figure out your top 5 value producing activities next you want to establish a stop doing list.
A stop doing list is a list of things that you want to either immediately or with time stop doing.
Here are some possible activities you may want to include on your stop doing list:
- Monthly Bookkeeping
- Online Marketing
- New Patient Exams
- Taking X-Rays
- Analyzing X-Rays
Systems, Systems, Systems
Once you have the right people and they are in the right positions and you have begun delegating tasks to them that you need to stop doing the next step is to make sure that your systems are solid.
If every system and process in your practice requires you being there, you are in trouble.
You will never have the freedom that you desire in your practice if your practice is all about you.
The more effectively you can systematize the things that you say and do in every aspect of your practice the better it will be for you and your future associates and the rest of your team.
Checklists are a good place to start including:
What needs to be accomplished in a consultation?
What needs to be accomplished an exam?
What needs to be accomplished during your x-ray procedure?
What needs to be accomplished during your x-ray analysis?
What needs to be accomplished in your report of findings?
What needs be accomplished in a regular follow-up visit?
What needs be accomplished in a progress exam visit?
What needs be accomplished in a free report for the transition to wellness/maintenance care?
And there’s much more checklist and systems that will need to be developed including front desk processes such as phone answering and scheduling and reading of patients and so on and so on and so on.
The more that you can define what needs to happen each aspect of your practice the more freedom you will be able to have.
Once you have these checklists and systems in place next I would suggest creating videos demonstrating how to do each one of these systems effectively.
This will make training of new team members and associates much easier.
When you have documented systems and videos of each part of the practice you will be on your way to gaining more freedom.
Solve the New Patient Problem
Lastly once you have the right people who have been delegated and trained in your systems the next step is making sure that they have enough people to serve.
The number one answer to the question “what is your most challenging part of practice?” for 2 consecutive years in our upper cervical practice survey has been “obtaining new patients”.
So for the large majority of you that are reading this you have a new patient problem that is keeping you from going to the next level in your practice.
New patients are the lifeblood of the practice.
Patients from referrals and results will likely sustain an existing and established practice.
But to grow you must have a budget for external marketing. If you are not sure how much you should be spending, grab our chiropractic marketing calculator and budget which will help you break down specifically how much to be spending based on your monthly revenues.
You have to reach people who wouldn’t know about you in any other way than through an external outreach.
Obviously this is an area where we have helped a lot of doctors.
Internet marketing is the number one way that Upper Cervical Doctors are reaching new patients today based on our 2016 survey through external marketing.
One of the reasons why I love online marketing is that the patients are pre-educated and excited about what you do.
Unlike someone who comes from a spinal screening or even a talk, when you do Internet marketing right and you have an upper cervical specific program in place the people who come from the marketing are excited about the unique solution that upper cervical is for their chronic health condition.
We have seen online marketing solve the new patient problem for doctors in small, medium and large competitive markets.
The most important aspect of online marketing is matching the budget to the market.
If you are in New York City or Los Angeles you need a larger budget in order to make an impact online in your city.
But small to medium-sized markets provide a tremendous opportunity for upper cervical doctors to solve the new patient problem and take their practice to the next level so they can attain a level of freedom that they didn’t think possible previously.
To learn more schedule a market analysis and blueprint with our team to evaluate the market potential for your Upper Cervical Practice.