8 Mistakes to Avoid When Opening a 2nd Upper Cervical Practice

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Speaker Dr. Bill Davis

Well, hello everyone, and welcome to the webinar for today. Very excited to be with you. I'm Dr. Bill Davis with UCM Practice Growth Systems. Thank you for joining us today on the live webinar, or if you're watching this back later, I'm glad that you found the replay.

So today I'm going to help you build a plan to thrive in 2024. In the past 10 years, we've helped hundreds of upper cervical specialists build their practices. And today we're going to pull back the curtain. We're going to take a look and give you an inside look at how we do it.

Specifically today, we're going to be focusing on building a second location, opening a second location after you've had a successful original location that is thriving. And what are the steps that you need to take in order to do it well? And specifically, what are the mistakes to avoid when opening a second location?

So one of the questions to ask is, why two locations? What is the point of opening a second location? Well, one reason is if you do it right, you can duplicate your growth. You can increase your impact, your influence, and your income. And you can really scale to build your legacy in your community if you do this in the right way.

So who we're talking to today really is people who are in practice growth stage four or five. And if you're unfamiliar with our practice growth stages, I encourage you to go over to our website, UCMPracticeGrowthSystems.com to find your current practice growth stage and learn more about the steps you can take to grow to the next stage. But practice growth stage five is growing from one location to two locations. And that's really what we're going to be talking about today.

And so when we're looking at this situation and what we're going to be focusing on in this webinar today is how to effectively duplicate your practice culture in a second location. This is huge. If you don't do this right, you can have two completely different practices. You also want to know what you need to do to make sure you don't hurt your original location as you build the new one. Because that's definitely not what you... You don't want to do that. You want to be sure... We're going to talk about what you need to do to be sure to open a second location to continue to grow, where you need to be with your monthly collections and team size. This is really important to effectively pull this off.

How to build a three-year branding and marketing plan to consistently build the second location. How much of your time and your key team members time will be required to effectively launch a second location? We're going to talk about how to pick the new location so both locations continue to grow and thrive. We're going to talk about how to effectively budget and plan to open the second location without crippling yourself financially, And, you know, really, what do you need to focus on right now to grow to the next practice growth stage? So if you have a plan to open a second location this year or next year, we're going to talk about the steps you need to take to make that happen.

So let's get going. So what we're gonna be focusing on today is eight mistakes to avoid when opening a second upper cervical practice. Now, these are things that I've learned over the years with working with upper cervical practices, working with doctors who have done this well when they've opened multiple locations and doctors who haven't done it as well. And so I'm gonna give you the experience that I have and give you these mistakes to avoid.

And those eight mistakes that we're gonna be talking about is, failing to maximize the potential of your first location, thinking that the second location will be just like the first, not developing an extensive integrated marketing plan for the second location, underestimating how much work this is going to be and how much money it's going to cost, underestimating how a second location may impact your current location, not effectively spreading your locations apart geographically, not developing extensive SOPs for all aspects of the practice, not prioritizing enough time for you and your key team members to be at the new practice in order for it to grow.

So that's the overview of the eight mistakes we're going to go through today. And let's get started. So mistake number one, failing to maximize the potential of your first location. And this is a huge one. This is the one that we probably see the most is not focusing on the original location to make sure that it has reached its potential. It's always easier to add more associates, purchase a bigger space, add more support staff than it is to open a second location.

We highly recommend only opening a second location if you have done everything possible to maximize the impact of your original location. I've seen many successful three, four, five doctor single office locations. And it's much easier to control the culture, the systems, everything about it when you have one location. And so that's the first thing to always keep in mind is maximize the potential of your first location before you ever even think about adding a second location. I wouldn't recommend adding a second location unless you had at least a three to four doctor practice. That would include the clinic director and adequate support staff. So, you know, a two doctor practice doesn't need to add a second location, right? It's something that you want to focus on that main location, keep building it and building it rather than adding a second location. I also wouldn't do this unless I was collecting at least $120,000 to $140,000 per month. So this is a US-based location. You have to modify this slightly if you're outside of the US, but your original location, if it's not doing at least $120,000 to $140,000 per month, there's still potential there. There's still things that you could do to maximize that location. And it most likely would be related to your systems, your team, your marketing, and so forth. So That's the first mistake is you want to avoid failing to maximize the potential of your first location before you open a second location.

Mistake number two is thinking that the second location is going to be just like the first. And this is something that I've seen quite a bit over the years as well, is that, you know what, I've done this once, I can do it again. It's, you know, it's basically, it's just going to be just like my first location. You have to think of this new location as a new business, right? It's a duplicate. You want it to be a duplicate of your original location, but it's a new business. It's the same type of intention and focus and work that went into starting your original practice. You're going to have to put that into this new practice. Now you're coming with additional experience. You're coming with things that are going to help you accelerate the growth curve, but it still has to be thought of and respected in such a way that it's a new business.

So one of the ways that you gotta make sure that you do this is you gotta overemphasize the culture of your practice and your team, or you can end up with two completely different cultures. And that's not what you want. When you think about your original location and you think about the experience that you're providing for your patients and your team members, you want that to be the same experience that they get at the new location. And that doesn't happen by chance. That happens by design. So it has to be something that you intentionally focus on to make sure that you create a practice culture and a team that is the same as your original location.

So some of the ways that you can do this is through team meetings. It's through training and development of your team. It's through creating a purpose and a vision and a mission for your practice. It's through making sure that you're keeping an eye on the hiring process and who you're bringing into the new practice. You want them to be a cultural fit. You want them to be a good fit for your team. So that's something that you're going to have to work on and intentionally design. And so, it's not just going to happen by chance. It's something that you have to focus on.

And so that's mistake number two is thinking that the second location is going to be just like the first. It's a new business and you need to treat it as such.

Mistake number three is not developing an extensive integrated marketing plan for the second location. And this is a huge one as well. If you build it, they will not necessarily come. And so just because you open the doors of your new practice, doesn't mean that the patients are going to show up. You have to have a marketing plan in place to attract those patients to the new location.

And so one of the things that you have to do with this is you have to make sure that you have a separate marketing plan for the new location. You can't just, you know, well, we're just going to take what's working at the original location and we're just going to, you know, apply it to the new location. There's a certain amount of that that you can do, but you also have to have a new marketing plan for the new location. And so one of the things that you want to do with that is you want to make sure that you're being intentional about where you're going to be marketing and how you're going to be marketing and what you're going to be saying and who you're going to be saying it to.

And so you want to make sure that you're taking advantage of all the different types of marketing that are out there. So you want to make sure that you're, you know, you're doing online marketing, you're doing offline marketing, you're doing internal marketing, you're doing external marketing. You want to make sure that you're covering all of your bases. You're also going to have to think about, you know, who is your ideal patient at this new location and what's going to attract them to your practice. And so this is something that you're going to have to sit down and you're going to have to think about and you're going to have to put together a plan for how you're going to attract those patients to your practice.

So that's mistake number three, is not developing an extensive integrated marketing plan for the second location.

Mistake number four is underestimating how much work this is going to be and how much money it's going to cost. And this is a huge one as well. You know, it's, I've seen so many doctors who are just, you know, they're... They think they're ready for this and they jump into it and they don't realize how much work it's going to be. They don't realize how much money it's going to cost. You know, they think, you know, well, I've got this much saved up and I can open a second location and it's just going to, you know, be a duplicate of my first location and it's going to be... You know, it's not going to be that much work. And it's not going to be that much money.

And they're in for a rude awakening when they realize, you know, how much work it actually is and how much money it actually costs. You know, it's, I've seen so many doctors who have, you know, they've put everything that they have into opening this second location and then they're, you know, they're struggling because they don't realize, you know, how much money it's going to take to get it off the ground and they don't realize how much work it's going to be.

So you have to really sit down and you have to think about, you know, how much work is this going to be? How much money is this going to cost? And you have to be realistic about it. You know, you can't just, you know, you can't just think, you know, well, it's going to be easy. It's not going to be easy. It's going to be hard work and it's going to cost money. And so you have to be prepared for that.

So that's mistake number four, is underestimating how much work this is going to be and how much money it's going to cost.

Mistake number five is underestimating how a second location may impact your current location. And this is a huge one as well. You know, it's, I've seen so many doctors who have, you know, they've opened a second location and they haven't really thought about how it's going to impact their first location. You know, they just think, you know, well, you know, it's just going to be, you know, it's going to be, you know, it's going to be fine. It's not going to be that big of a deal.

And then they realize, you know, that it's, you know, it's impacting their first location in ways that they didn't anticipate. You know, maybe their team members are feeling, you know, like they're not, you know, they're not getting as much attention as they were before. Or maybe their patients are feeling like, you know, they're not getting as much attention as they were before. Or maybe their systems are breaking down because they're, you know, they're spread too thin between the two locations. And so, you know, it's something that you really have to think about.

You know, how is this going to impact my first location? And how can I minimize that impact? You know, maybe it's, you know, maybe it's bringing on additional team members at the first location to help, you know, to help fill in the gaps while you're focused on the second location. Maybe it's, you know, maybe it's, you know, setting up systems and processes at the second location so that it's, you know, it's easier to manage from a distance. You know, maybe it's, you know, maybe it's, you know, being more intentional about your time and how you're spending your time between the two locations. You know, maybe it's, you know, maybe it's, you know, being more intentional about, you know, how you're communicating with your team members at both locations. You know, whatever it is, you know, you have to really sit down and think about, you know, how is this going to impact my first location? And how can I minimize that impact?

So that's mistake number five, is underestimating how a second location may impact your current location.

And so those are the five mistakes that I see doctors make when opening a second location. And so, you know, I hope that you found this information helpful. And, you know, if you're thinking about opening a second location, you know, I would encourage you to, you know, to really sit down and think about, you know, what are the potential pitfalls? And how can you avoid them? And, you know, what are the potential benefits? And how can you maximize them? And so, you know, I hope that you found this helpful. And, you know, if you have any questions, you know, feel free to reach out to me. I'm always here to help. And, you know, I wish you the best of luck with your second location.

And so that's it for today. And I will talk to you soon. Take care.

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