Lack of Freedom in Practice? 3 Steps to Grab Control This Year

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Freedom in Practice

You have been in practice for a while and you have finally gotten to the point where you have a steady stream of patients coming in the door, you’re paying the bills, and making a pretty good living for your family.

But you look up one day and realize that you have no freedom when it comes to your practice. If you take a week off for vacation and close the practice, you not only pay for the vacation, but you lose $10,000 or more by not being open.

So, you don’t take vacations. You feel stressed. Sometimes you feel like you are a slave to your practice.

Freedom in practice

Does this sound familiar doc?

If you are in this place where you feel a lack of freedom in practice, we have found that it’s most likely that you are in practice growth stage 1 or 2. And you need to move into practice growth stage 3 to have more freedom in your practice.

As a reminder here are the 7 growth stages of upper cervical practice broken down by collections (and stage 0):

  1. Stage 0 = Preparing to Open a Practice
  2. Stage 1 = Opening to $15,000 – $20,000 per Month with a Full-Time CA
  3. Stage 2 = $20,000 per month to 1st associate (approximately $35,000 per month with 50% overhead)
  4. Stage 3 = 1st associate (about $35,000 per month) to 2nd associate (about $70,000 per month)
  5. Stage 4 = 2nd associate (about $70,000 per month) to 3rd associate (about $100,000 per month)
  6. Stage 5 = 3rd associate (about $100,000 per month) to 4th associate or 2nd location (about $135,000 per month at primary location)
  7. Stage 6 = Multiple Locations with Multiple Associates
  8. Stage 7 = Transition Out of Practice (this stage can happen from any of the other stages)

So, if you are struggling with a lack of freedom in practice it’s most likely that you are in stage 1 or stage 2 of your upper cervical practice growth. In the rest of this article, we’re going to look at how to move through these stages and obtain more freedom in your practice in 3 steps.

Step #1: Hire a CA or 2

If you are in stage 1 and you do not have a full-time CA working in the practice currently this has to be your highest priority.

Many doctors that we talk with who are in this stage have been convinced that not having a full-time CA is what is going to help them be successful in practice by keeping their overhead low. But this is a classic stepping over a dollar to pick up a penny strategy. You cannot help more people, have more freedom in practice, and make a bigger impact by yourself Doc.

Hire a CA if you are in stage 1. And if you are in stage 2 it’s time to hire a second CA. You must have margin to grow.

If you’re not sure how to hire and train a CA effectively, schedule a time to chat with us about our CA Hiring and Training Made Easy Program.

Step #2: Develop or Strengthen Your Systems

The next step to take if you are lacking freedom in practice is to develop or strengthen your systems. You should have a way of doing everything in the practice.

The systems should be laid out in checklists and consistently trained on to hold your team accountable to producing consistent results.

Some of the most common systems that you must develop or strengthen within your upper cervical practice are:

  • phone procedures 
  • new patient procedures 
  • consultations
  • examinations 
  • x-ray/imaging: taking and analysis
  • report of findings 
  • daily visits 
  • progress exams 
  • healthcare classes 
  • financials
  • CA training
  • associate training
  • patient education
  • retention
  • reactivations

Another system to develop is your new patient generation system. This includes lead generation and lead conversion. Our Upper Cervical Marketing System is ideal for helping you consistently generate leads and convert them into new patients. We will give you the tools and the training to help you and your CA’s to do this like clockwork. If you want to talk about developing a new patient generating machine schedule a call with us.

The more effectively you develop, document, train, refine and strengthen your systems the more freedom you will have both in practice and to move into the third step.

Step #3: Hire an Associate

Once you focus on the first two steps of hiring a CA and developing your systems the third step should happen near the end of practice growth stage 2, which is to hire an associate.

Hiring, onboarding, developing, and the ongoing training of an associate upper cervical chiropractor can be overwhelming. If you have never done it before we highly recommend scheduling a time with us to help you lay out a plan to do this effectively through our practice growth coaching.

Doc, I understand what it’s like to be in these practice growth stages and feel a lack of freedom in your practice. That’s where I was in November 2011. The other thing that happens when you’re in this stage is not only do you have a lack of freedom, but you also have a lack of security. On November 26, 2011, I broke my neck mountain biking and was paralyzed and have been unable to practice ever since.

If I had moved my practice into stage 3 and had an associate in place, I may have been able to save my practice but because I was still in stage 2 my practice eventually closed. I don’t want that for you Doc.

Continue to focus on growing through these stages.

Don’t submit to complacency.

You never know what’s going to happen in life.

About the Author: Dr. Bill Davis
Dr. Bill Davis is the Founder and CEO of His goal is to spread the word about the best-kept secret in health through Upper Cervical Specific Business and Marketing Solutions.
UCM Practice Growth Systems (Upper Cervical Marketing) we specialize exclusively in helping Upper Cervical Practices grow through marketing strategies and practice growth coaching.
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