21 Keys to Build a Successful Chiropractic Practice in 2021 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 digital marketing agency for health and wellness businesses.

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.

I even wrote a book about my experiences called Upper Cervical Practice Mastery: Learn Success Secrets of the World’s Top Upper Cervical Doctors.

2020 has been a tumultuous year for all of us. Yet there are still upper cervical practices that are thriving. Today I’m going to look at 21 reasons why top upper cervical doctors are thriving in 2020.

If you apply these principles in your practice in 2021 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. As a result of this pandemic and associated panic, the world has been forced into a recession. The great thing is when you examine previous recessions there's a tremendous opportunity for upper cervical practices to thrive. If you look at the graphic below you will see that there are 3 courses of action that upper cervical practices can take in this environment.

Build a successful chiropractic practice
  1. Panic and close your doors now or in the next 18 to 24 months (statistically this is what about 30% of businesses will do)
  2. Wait and see and try to ride it through. These practices will be up and down over the next 18 to 24 months in order to get back to where they were before this all started. (Statistically, about 40% of businesses will do this)
  3. Pivot. These are the practices that will WIN in a recession by planning, pivoting, marketing, innovating, and acquiring new patients and possibly even additional practice locations during this time. (about 30% of businesses will do this)

The most important thing you can do right now is to begin to do things differently.

You can’t be successful in today’s environment by looking in the rearview mirror.

It’s time to pivot in a new direction in order to build a successful chiropractic practice that will stand the test of time.

#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.

Many of the marketing initiatives that doctors have used in the past to reach new patients are unavailable including:

  • spinal screenings
  • massage events
  • lunch and learns
  • dinner with the Doc
  • health fairs

It’s time to turn your attention away from these marketing initiatives completely focus on dominating digitally in your community.

Upper Cervical Marketing has been committed to helping Upper Cervical Doctors position themselves as the expert and go to Doc in the community for chronic health conditions for nearly 8 years.

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 2021 give us a call at 877-252-1230 or email tony@uppercervicalmarketing.com. 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.

Video testimonial

#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 cell 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.

 #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.

#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.

#12 Upsell Your Current Patients

If your practice offers additional services such as supplements, massage, functional medicine or other services or products that 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. 10 years ago that was not nearly the issue it is today. But at this point, about 75% 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.

#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 Sixth Annual Upper Cervical Practice Survey, the average upper cervical practice is collecting $65 per visit. But the top upper cervical practices are collecting $75 per visit. If you are not charging between 65 and $75 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.

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

Nine 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 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 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 six 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 (3%)
  2. Ultra-High-Performing $60,000-$82,000 per month (7%)
  3. High-Performing $50,000-$60,000 (10%)
  4. Above Average Performing $36,000-$49,000 (15%)
  5. Average Performing $21,000-$35,000 (35%)
  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 21 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 2021 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.
We understand the pain of losing valuable time and money… and what it can be like to hate your marketing. That’s why we specialize exclusively in upper cervical care and chiropractic online marketing.
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