23 Keys to Build a Successful Chiropractic Practice in 2023 and Beyond

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Build a Successful Chiropractic Practice

If you want to be successful at anything I believe it’s important to learn from those that have gone before you. So if you want to be successful in business it’s good to learn from those that have achieved the type of success you would like to achieve in your business.

I have read hundreds of books about business, marketing, branding, team building, mindset etc. since before I even went to chiropractic school over 20 years ago. I have been a lifelong learner and have learned everything I can from podcasts, seminars, personal interactions and other means.

With this knowledge and God’s grace, I have been blessed to build 2 successful businesses. First my all-cash upper cervical practice in Southern California and now my upper cervical practice growth agency. We have become known as company to work with if you want your upper cervical specific practice to grow.

Success leaves clues.

If you consistently apply the principles of business success than you are very likely to achieve success in your business.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Practice is a unique type of business but it is still a business.

I have interacted with hundreds if not thousands of upper cervical doctors and students over the years and I consistently see the same patterns when it comes to those that are successful in upper cervical practice and those that aren’t.

We even wrote a book about our experiences called Upper Cervical Practice Mastery: Learn Success Secrets of the World’s Top Upper Cervical Doctors. We have recently completely revised, updated, expanded and released the second edition. If you don't have it yet I highly recommend you grab it by clicking the link.

I first wrote this article back in 2020 and I wanted to update it with some new information for 2023 so today I’m going to look at 23 reasons why top upper cervical doctors are thriving in 2023.

If you apply these principles in your practice it is likely you will be moving towards having a top practice as well.

Here are the keys to build a successful chiropractic practice.

#1 Pivot

As you are looking to build a successful chiropractic practice you have to be able to adapt to a variety of circumstances. In 2020 I said there were 3 courses of action that upper cervical practices could take in that environment: panic, wait or pivot. And sure enough that's what cervical practices did. Some of them didn't survive because they panicked. Others waited and went backwards. And a third group pivoted and are thriving today. Every new year their new opportunities to pivot.

In the excellent book The Lean Startup, author Eric Ries discusses the importance of validated learning in order to determine what's working and what isn't in any business.

In your practice do you consistently test different strategies to see what works and what doesn't when it comes to your communication, team training, patient retention etc.?

If you don't consistently try new things, your practice can become stagnant and not be able to adapt to changing environments. So try new things in 2023 so you can determine whether you need to pivot or persevere in the different systems of your practice.

#2 Digital Domination

The single best way to market your practice in today’s environment is online. Digital marketing has become more and more important and is now the most important way for you to market your practice to your community.

Upper Cervical Marketing has been committed to helping Upper Cervical Doctors position themselves as the expert and go to Doc in their community for chronic health conditions since 2013.

Our comprehensive digital marketing programs are focused on helping doctors be everywhere online with a great reputation.

We are not a one-size-fits-all company but instead depending on the size of your market, the size of your practice, and your goals we have systems that can help you dominate online and consistently produce new patients.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you grow in 2023 grab time to chat about your practice. Digital marketing is absolutely crucial to helping you build a successful chiropractic practice today.

#3 Capture Success Stories

One of the most important habits you can have as an upper cervical practice is to consistently capture success stories. The best way to do this is in the form of video testimonials since it can be used so effectively in digital marketing with a comprehensive strategy. But there are many other ways to capture success stories and use them both inside and outside your practice to help you consistently build your reputation in your community and ultimately to build a successful chiropractic practice. Here's an example of a success story video testimonial that we captured earlier this year regarding our digital marketing services for upper cervical chiropractors.

#4 Grow Your Google Reviews

One of the ways that you can capture success stories is in the form of online reviews. The average person is going to interact with you online seven times before coming into your practice and many times the last place they end up is on your Google local listing. You will either have an abundance of Google reviews there that will confirm their decision to come in and see you or you will have a lack of reviews which will put doubt in their mind and could lead to them not getting the help they need at all.

#5 Build Your Professional Network

Over and over on this blog and on the Upper Cervical Marketing Podcast, we have discussed the importance of building your professional network. Whether it’s through generating professional referrals individually or through building a network, one of the most effective ways to consistently generate high-quality new patients is through professional referrals. This is essential if you are looking to build a successful chiropractic practice today.

#6 Generate Engaged Leads

Every business must do five things in order to survive, scale, and thrive. This is definitely the case if you want to build a successful chiropractic practice.

Your practice must:

  1. Generate Leads
  2. Nurture Leads
  3. Convert Leads
  4. Deliver the Service
  5. Retain/Resell/Upsell

What is your practice doing to consistently generate engaged leads?

An engaged lead is a person who has engaged with your practice to see if you can help them. They may have done this by downloading an e-book or other resource that you have available, coming to an event either in person or online, talking to you at church or a grocery store about an issue they have been having, one of your patients or another health professional has told them about you or another way.

Practices that consistently grow have systems in place to consistently generate engaged leads.

Without leads, there are no new patients.

Many practices do not have lead generation systems and instead have a constant feast or famine situation in their practice when it comes to new patients.

If you need more leads we can help you.

Every month we generate thousands of leads for our clients who are in their local area, have a condition that you can help them with, and have expressed interest in getting help with their condition.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you generate consistent leads just give us a call at 877-252-1230 or email tony@uppercervicalmarketing.com.

Lead generation

#7 Nurture Leads

Once you have a lead you need systems in place in order to nurture that lead. Not every lead is ready to come into your practice immediately. When you capture email addresses or phone numbers from engaged leads do you have systems in place to follow up with those leads in order to get them into your practice? This is key if you want to build a successful chiropractic practice. Our system clients have a dashboard where they can follow up with leads and track all the results of those conversations in one place automatically. They also have a pipeline that they can move people through to determine where every lead is in the process.

 #8 Convert Leads

Once you have a lead that has been nurtured and is in your practice next you have to be able to take them through a process to convert that lead to an active patient in your practice. Great practices are constantly looking to improve their phone procedures, consultation, examination, and report of findings communication to convert the maximum number of new patients into active practice members. If your practice is not consistently converting 80% or more new patients then you have work to do in order to build a successful chiropractic practice.

 #9 Deliver the Goods

An absolute essential if you want to build a successful chiropractic practice is to be able to deliver a high quality adjustment. You also need to be able to evaluate if someone needs to be adjusted and have post check procedures in place to verify that the adjustment was successful.

Many doctors rely on results alone to build their practices but in my experience, this is successful in very small percentages of practices. Patients expect you to do a good job with their adjustment. But if you want to have an extraordinary practice and not just an ordinary practice you have to focus on more than just delivering a great adjustment. You have to give patients a wow experience they will want to tell others.

#10 Retain Your Current Patients

Once you get patients into the practice you’ve got to be able to retain them. Leaky bucket practices constantly need new patients to survive. Patient education, progress exams, a well-trained staff, solid systems etc. all will have a dramatic impact on your patient retention and is a key if you want to build a successful chiropractic practice.

#11 Resell Your Current Patients

If a patient is in your practice beyond their initial care plan it’s important to be able to resell them the additional services they require so they do not lose their results and benefits. Every patient that comes through your practice will require some sort of wellness or maintenance care so your practice should have protocols in place to recommend that care when appropriate and have affordable options in place to purchase wellness or maintenance care to keep practice members healthy.

#12 Upsell Your Current Patients

If your practice offers additional services such as supplements, massage, functional medicine, therapies or other services or products than it’s important that you have protocols in place to upsell your current patients when appropriate. Your patients are going to buy these types of services and products from somewhere why not buy it from a practice like yours that they already trust.

#13 Keep Your Website up to Date

An upper cervical chiropractic website is not a set it and forget it type of situation. Your website should be redesigned every 3 to 5 years to keep up with current functionality, security, and aesthetic trends. For instance, if your website is not mobile-friendly at this point it’s a dinosaur. At this point, about 80% of the people who first visit your website will do so from a mobile device so it’s crucial if you want to build a successful chiropractic practice today that you keep your website up-to-date.

Build a successful chiropractic practice

#14 Invest in Your Team

Your team is one of the most important parts of your business and it’s an absolute necessity if you want to build a successful chiropractic practice. Make sure you are investing in your team with solid hiring procedures, consistent training, appropriate pay and performance bonuses, performance reviews, and hiring enough staff so you have the margin to grow. If you are not consistently investing in your team you are leaving a ton of money on the table when it comes to your practice.

#15 Do, Delegate, or Outsource

Many times what you don’t do is as important as what you do if you want to build a successful chiropractic practice. An extremely useful tool that we have created to help you with this process is our stop doing list exercise. This exercise will help you figure out what you need to do, delegate, and outsource to help your practice continue to grow.

Remember if it's not growing it's dying.

There is no status quo in upper cervical chiropractic practice.

#16 Make Sure You’re Charging Enough

According to our most recent survey, the average upper cervical practice is collecting $75 per visit. If you are not charging at least $70 per visit then it's time for you to take a look at your prices and begin to increase them so that your prices are consistent with the value you are bringing to the lives of your patients through your upper cervical specialty. To build a successful chiropractic practice you have to charge enough for your market and the service that you are providing.

#17 Give Patients a Plan of Care

Patients want to know what they can expect from their care with you. A plan of care is essential if you want to build a successful chiropractic practice today. When you look at the top 20% of upper cervical practices 93% of doctors use care plans. It's time to stop going visit by visit Doc. It's not good for your patients and it's not good for your business. The average care plan is right around $2000 to provide someone with high quality care for a chronic health condition.

#18 Develop Systems (It Can’t Be All about You)

12 years ago when I broke my neck I had a successful chiropractic practice but I did not have the systems in place in order to bring in an associate yet. So my practice was all about me. And after three months in the hospital 80% my practice was gone. I don’t want this for you Doc. Begin to develop the systems now so you can bring additional doctors into your practice. This is the only way that you can develop true security, flexibility and freedom in your practice. Not to mention being able to take a vacation whenever you want which is nice as well :-). Aspire to develop systems and an associate program so you can build a successful chiropractic practice.


#19 Constantly Work on Your Communication

Your communication is as important as your adjusting if you want to build a successful chiropractic practice. Constantly looking for ways to improve your communication for you and your team in all aspects of practice from the phone to the office. This will make a tremendous difference in your practice success.

#20 Have Internal Events

When developing a chiropractic marketing plan it's important that you schedule a number of internal events throughout the year to keep your practice fun for you, your team, and your patients. Food drives, toy drives, patient appreciation days, quarterly contests, and other fun events that give your patients an opportunity to refer others are important to build a successful chiropractic practice.

#21 Record Your New Patient Phone Calls

All of our system clients have a dashboard that records all new patient phone calls automatically. If you are not recording your new patient phone calls you really have no idea how those calls are going. We all want to believe the best about our team members but the only way to hold them accountable to your standards is to actually have a recording of each new patient phone call.

#22 Listen to Your New Patient Phone Calls

Along with recording your new patient phone calls it is crucial that you listen to your new patient phone calls with your team in order to consistently improve. We recommend that all of our system clients spend time listening to new patient phone calls every month. When you develop a culture of consistent improvement you will be amazed at how much better your team can get at handling new patient phone calls and booking appointments. Especially if you make a simple change like making sure that your CA is asking these 3 crucial questions in the first 30 seconds of every new patient phone call and then confirming that there actually doing it by recording and listening to your phone calls.

#23 Never Stop Learning

Doctors that never feel like they have arrived are the ones that are most likely to build a successful chiropractic practice. Learn something new every week. Listen to the Upper Cervical Marketing Podcast which comes out on the first and third Mondays of every month. Read Upper Cervical Practice Mastery and other great business books. Go to seminars. Talk to friends and colleagues. Never stop learning.

7 Categories of Upper Cervical Practices

You have read this blog post because you want to build a successful chiropractic practice and sometimes it's important to understand where you are compared to others in your industry. For the past 8 years, we have performed our annual upper cervical practice survey and have determined that there are 7 categories of Upper Cervical Practices.

As we have gathered more data we have been able to determine that there is an 80/20 in upper cervical chiropractic practice and the dividing line is $50,000 per month in collections. The top 20% of upper cervical practices are bolded below. They are listed below with the approximate percentage of upper cervical practices in the different categories:

  1. Million-Dollar Practices $83,333 per month or more (5%)
  2. Ultra-High-Performing $60,000-$82,000 per month (7%)
  3. High-Performing $50,000-$60,000 (8%)
  4. Above Average Performing $36,000-$49,000 (20%)
  5. Average Performing $21,000-$35,000 (30%)
  6. Below Average Performing $10,000-$20,000 (20%)
  7. Low Performing Less than $10,000 (10%)

Where is your practice in this list?

Remember every dollar collected means more people are being helped with upper cervical chiropractic.

You owe it to your community to learn these 23 keys to build a successful chiropractic practice and apply them so that you can begin to move up the ladder to the next practice category in 2023 and beyond.

About the Author: Dr. Bill Davis
Dr. Bill Davis is the Founder and CEO of uppercervicalmarketing.com. His goal is to spread the word about the best-kept secret in health through Upper Cervical Specific Business and Marketing Solutions.
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