My husband is the cook in my family. Truthfully, the only thing I really enjoy cooking is business.
I’m not opposed to cooking food in our kitchen, but I’d rather someone else tell me exactly how to do it. Or better yet, just do it for me!
Sometimes I follow recipes. I’ll use the exact directions a couple of times until I have “practiced” the recipe enough that I’m confident in making it on my own without looking at how much of this and what temperature for that.
This is where I equate cooking to growing a business.
You practice over and over again the tactics that will get you the result you want (be it tasty food or more new patients). Eventually, you become confident enough in some of the steps that you no longer need a “recipe” or step-by-step instructions.
And that’s exactly what I would love for you to have—the CONFIDENCE that you can, are and will grow you practice.
There’s certainly a lot of noise via email, postal mail and social media telling you you’ve gotta have this new email autoresponder program or that new patient appreciation program.
I’m here to tell you, those things may work… but without these 4 secret ingredients for momentum in your practice, you can continue to stay stuck no matter what systems you try to implement.
Ready to find out what the 4 Secret Ingredients are? Yes? Well then, here we go!
1. Solid treatment plans.
I have never sold extensive treatment plans (the kind that are 30-80 visits over the course of the year and that ask the patient to pay thousands of dollars up front). However, I am 1000% certain that letting your patients create their own treatment schedule can actually backfire. Big time.
Yes, they may have work obligations or financial limitations. However, your patients will become fierce allies when they get measurable results from care in your office. And a big part of the outcomes of their care is their treatment plan.
Unfortunately, when a new patient visits your office with the expectation that their problem will be “fixed” by “getting things put back in place,” and then their symptoms aren’t changed on that first visit, they may make the assumption that chiropractic doesn’t work. They may never come back to your office for care, and they’re really really unlikely to refer anyone to you.
It’s an art to learn to balance a patient’s expectations with a realistic course of care. So if your treatment plan recommendations are currently something like “come back when you want to be adjusted again,” please don’t beat yourself up. Becoming aware that your treatment plans (or lack thereof) is an opportunity for growth!
2. Efficient Documentation Systems.
This is a problem that’s rarely discussed within chiropractic (and it doesn’t just affect us; it affects healthcare providers of all specialties): being behind on office notes. Having a virtual mountain of unfinished SOAP notes and new patient intake information creates an unconscious barrier to allowing new patients into your practice.
Think of it this way, if you have a goal of seeing 120 patient visits per week but you’re months behind on documentation right now when you’re seeing 60 visits per week…. How comfortable are you that you’ll really be able to handle the workload associated with doubling your office visits?
While it’s not exciting or fun, I almost always recommend getting caught up to current day and learning a system for efficient notetaking before you put any serious effort into growing your practice. If documentation doesn’t get easier for you, then you might grow your patient volume… temporarily. But the overwhelm associated with documentation can and most likely will come back to haunt you again and again until you slay this ugly monster in your practice.
Recently a healthcare-provider-turned-online-business-developer colleague Dr. Ashley Abbs in Edmonton Ontario shared in her Embodied Alchemy challenge that we can only really focus on four roles in life at any given time. For most of us it looks like this: self, wife, mom, chiropractor
Notice that doesn’t leave you much room for being someone’s best friend, closest cousin, or event organizer. Just as Dr. Ashley shared with me, I’m not telling you you can’t partake in things that are outside your roles as YOU, wife, mom, and chiropractor. Simply know that your focus while growing the practice you want may sometimes feel very narrow and give yourself permission for that to be ok.
Taking care of yourself, your spouse, your kids and your patients requires a great deal of your energy. Choose very carefully what you expend your energy on outside of these four roles. That might mean that you don’t get another new pet right now, decrease your television watching time, or cut back on some of your volunteer roles.
Wearing your blinders will help you to see only what truly needs to be completed, say yes to things that are really in alignment with your highest priorities and say no to most everything else. If your practice goals are really important to you, put your blinders on!
4. Clear boundaries.
Speaking of self-care…. Growing a practice that’s right for you and your family will require that you are clear and firm (as often as possible) about your boundaries.
Let me share an example with you.
When I started into my second practice in November, I offered treatment time on Mondays and Thursdays from 10am to 2pm only. This worked really well with my daughter’s school schedule and left me with ample time for my coaching clients.
However, as my practice started growing and I started seeing more school-aged kids, I began to feel the pressure of making myself more available. So, I started offering after-school hours.
Two weeks ago, I shared with my husband that I was feeling really quite exhausted. I took a look at my schedule for the two weeks prior and realized that not only had I been skipping a lot of workouts, but I’d also allowed my Monday/Thursday morning/early afternoon treatment times to morph into being in the office 5 days a week. This is especially significant for me because the office that I practice in is an hour away from home!
I appreciated the awareness I had just gained of why I was feeling so tired I was falling asleep with my daughters’ when I laid down with them to get them to bed in the evening (yes, they sleep in the same bed and require Mommy to lay between them every night until they‘re soundly asleep).
I know it can feel like you are being of service to your patients when you say yes to everything they ask of you. But in the long run you, your family and even your patients, too, will be happier and healthier when you set and stick to clear boundaries.
This may mean not letting your office hours bleed into your workout time, cutting out your Saturday morning hours so that you can go to your kiddo’s soccer practices, or instating that missed appointment policy you’ve been thinking about.
Adding these 4 secret ingredients to your life and practice will be a recipe for more momentum in your practice. I’m certain of it!
Was this post helpful for you? Then share it on your timeline so that you mama chiropractor friends can read this, too!
Have a big insight while reading through these 4 secret ingredients? Share it in the comments of this post! I can’t wait to hear from you!!
Want more help with creating boundaries so you can truly grow a practice that’s right for you and your family? Be sure to access our free audio training on Lifestyle Design For An Aligned Practice.
If you happen to be ready for some guidance in creating a practice-growth recipe--one that won't require you to take more time away from your family--check out Aligned Marketing Plan today!