How to Run a Profitable Chiropractic Business (And Still Have a Life)
In a recent episode of the Grow Your Practice Podcast, Breakthrough co-founder Chad Madden sat down with Dr. Stephen Franson, a chiropractic business coach, author of “The Remarkable Practice: The Definitive Guide to Building a Thriving Chiropractic Business,” and host of The Remarkable CEO for Chiropractors podcast.
They discussed how to run a successful practice and live a great life.
Most chiropractors who launch their own practice do so to have more control, autonomy, and flexibility. But between caring for patients and ensuring a consistent flow of patients in the door, it’s not uncommon, several years in, to find yourself overwhelmed. There may be little time or energy left over to spend with your family, friends, or yourself.
Franson says having a remarkable practice and a remarkable life are possible. But you must get clear on what you do and why you do it. He also explores marketing and staffing strategies to grow your practice. The final nuggets of wisdom he shares are 5 counterintuitive opportunities you can take advantage of during economic uncertainty.
The Remarkable Practice Encourages You to Strive for Alignment Instead of Work-Life Balance
As a chiropractor practice owner, undoubtedly one of your most significant challenges is having enough time. Your days are devoted to caring for your patients, but you must also find the time to market and grow your business. And without much time left over, you end up sacrificing quality time with your family or your physical, mental, and emotional health.
“You should be building the business that will support your remarkable life and not compete with it,” Franson said.
Although most business owners are constantly looking to strike a work-life balance, there will be seasons when that’s simply not possible, so a better goal is to achieve alignment between your:
- Core values: what’s most important to you
- Vision story: what success looks like to you
- Behaviors: how you choose to invest your limited resources which include time, energy, focus, and money.
Take the time to consider your personal core values, vision story, and the behaviors you aim for. Once you’ve assessed these, you can ask these two questions of yourself and/or your family: do you think it’s worth it? And are you with me?
“When you can do that as a human, as a couple, or as a family, that’s where success lives,” Franson said.
These Alignment exercises will help you develop a Mindset that allows you to recommit yourself to what’s most important to you, and cut activities or behaviors that may be limiting you or taking up too much time.
The Remarkable Practice: Build the Right Team
One of the key aspects Franson touches on in his book, The Remarkable Practice, is about how to reclaim your time by building the right team. Likely, there are activities you’re doing today that could be delegated to someone else. This would allow you to focus your time on treating patients and growing your practice.
Instead of striving to know and do everything in your business, you should focus on building a team that can do it for you.
The best team-building formula is about getting the right people. In the right seats. Doing the right work. In the right way:
Right people: Those who share your core values and buy into your vision story about what success looks like
Right seats: An understanding of the roles, as well as the experience, expertise, and talent each requires
Right work: Using tools that measure your team’s success such as a scorecard method with key performance indicators (KPIs)
Right way: An investment in staff training and development
“This formula will give you the highest ROI of your limited resources,” Franson said.
The Remarkable Practice: Get Clear on Your Messaging
There’s no shortage of people who are sick or injured and will need your services. “In fact, at any given time, approximately 20% of people in your community will be actively looking for a solution to their problem,” Franson said.
The question is, are you cutting through the noise and reaching your ideal client?
Before starting any lead generation program, it’s important to understand that the purpose of your business is to solve problems for patients. Then, you must get clear on your brand messaging so that all of your marketing has the right message and the right offer at the right time.
It’s critical to understand:
- The problems you solve
- What problems you LOVE to solve
- The type of people you want to attract to your business
- Those people who aren’t the right fit
“You can’t be everything to everyone,” Franson said. You actually want to repel those who aren’t your ideal patient, so that you can serve more of those who are.
The Remarkable Practice: Center Your Marketing Around Your Unique Success Proposition
Once you’re clear on your messaging and your market promise, part of the promise should be focused on a unique success proposition. A unique success proposition paints a picture for your target prospect of the life they could have should they choose to work with you.
Additionally, you need to have a way to set SMART goals for what you’re trying to accomplish through marketing. SMART goals require you to be able to track, measure, and objectively quantify your outcomes.
You can segment your marketing initiatives, budgets, and metrics into internal, external, and digital. Internal marketing is leveraging existing patients to get referrals. External marketing is made up of marketing activities that are outside of your practice that are not web-based, such as partner workshops, networking, signage, and direct mail. Digital marketing is made up of your web-based marketing activities, such as your website, email marketing, online advertising, and social media.
As part of your hiring strategy, you can determine if you need a marketing manager, or a marketing partner, or can delegate marketing responsibilities to your front desk.
Employ these 5 Counterintuitive Opportunities to Combat Economic Uncertainty
With a 40-year high in inflation rates and fears of a looming recession, comes increased staff and supply costs along with uncertainty around patient demand.
Yet fortunes can be made in an economic downturn and Dr. Franson presents several counterintuitive opportunities:
- Audit your brand positioning in the marketplace: Does your community know you exist, who you are, what you do, and why you do it?
- Ramp up your marketing: Many practices will reduce their marketing spend during challenging economic times. This is the exact OPPOSITE of what you should be doing. When visits slow, you need to ramp marketing up, not down. The fact that competitors are making this mistake presents a great opportunity for your practice to stand out, particularly with digital marketing. With fewer competitors, you can spend less than normal and achieve greater results.
- Hire the right team: Rather than laying off staff in an attempt to control payroll, work “above” your business. Take a three-year view and let all decisions be driven by it, which includes building a great team.
- Increase your prices: Instead of reducing the cost of services, focus on value. Identify what the market will pay, and increase your prices. Most practice owners undervalue their services and don’t realize how much patients are willing to pay. Don’t make this mistake — especially during inflationary times.
- Build an enterprise: For owners that are highly entrepreneurial and have a high risk tolerance, uncertain economic climates may be the perfect time to consider acquisition.
Having a remarkable practice and life at the same time is possible, but it requires a mindset shift, planning, and some key strategies.