Re-think and re-invent your success strategy
In June of 1984, I entered the field ready to set the world on fire. At that time, there was no internet, paperless software, social media, iPod, iPad or iPhone. The world has changed and many practices today are trapped between the old and the new. I’d like to share with you how to move forward successfully, with the best of both.
There are four areas of practice that require critical re-thinking to position yourself for greater success through the next decade. Each improvement strategy should create more simplicity and productivity, while at the same time producing more energy, passion and intensity.
Question #1 -- Who do you want to be? If you don’t brand yourself, others will. You want people talking about your practice, and saying exactly what you would want them saying about you. The more specific you answer this question, the more successful your future. For example: “We are the headquarters of the Lifetime Family Wellness Movement in our community.” If you don’t tell people who you are, you’re allowing them to make a wrong conclusion. Be sure not to allow science to overshadow your philosophy in practice. Science can support a strong brand in chiropractic, but it can’t create one. If you have an “event-based” practice, (pain relief, auto accident, etc.) you’ll have difficulty retaining patients for your entire career. A “process-based” practice is rich with belief in a lifestyle paradigm, which always maximizes patient retention.
Question #2 -- How does the world find its way to your practice? The old days of putting up a shingle and growing a practice have long since passed. The average practice now has no scheduled marketing beyond eight weeks from the present! In 2011, marketing has become a complete mission in itself. Promotion must result in a potent, unyielding campaign that continues to attract new patients to your practice. Using social media properly today is like having a well-placed yellow page ad in the ‘80s. An active blog linked to social media is the new business card for continuous referrals. Without these tools, not only is your practice at a disadvantage, but it’s quickly becoming obsolete. Mastering the ability to give effective presentations has always been an advantage in practice. Today, lunch and learns in corporate, school, church, and small business settings is how members of your community find their way to your front door. Now’s the time to get the coaching you need to bring your message and your delivery to the place you envision for yourself and your future. There are endless opportunities!
Question #3 -- What will simplify your practice and still maximize profits? Today’s practices have become ridiculously complicated. It shouldn’t be hard to get sick people well through turning people’s “power on” -- and be paid well for it! Rent and payroll are still the two biggest expenses in practice. If you’re using more then 1,200-1,500 square feet of space, reduce your rent in a smaller, more efficient layout when your lease comes up for renewal. If you really like your space but are paying more than you wish to, renegotiate a five-year term with your landlord and lower your rent today! You can even ask for several months of free rent as you “upgrade” the facility, perhaps with new paint and carpet. Have a “Re-Grand Opening!” Two very strong suggestions for reducing payroll cost and increasing your profit: paperless automated software and outsourced billing services. These two technologies combined have made hundreds of practices more efficient, effective, and profitable than ever before. Paperless software (like Atlas) does the work of two CAs for half the price. Outsourced billing (like UpNow) means you’ll never have to hire or train another insurance CA again. You only pay for what’s collected, which makes outsourced billing companies highly motivated to collect your money. It will absolutely simplify your life! (By the way, going more cash is also a great move.)
Question #4 -- How will you develop and sustain a world class team? Great success comes from great teams. Employees are a dime-a-dozen, but fully committed teammates are worth their weight in gold. There are three keys moving forward to building (or rebuilding) your team. First, you have to have a vision they can “buy-into.” Otherwise, you’re stuck forever with administratively focused people with little self-motivation. Next, you must have a precise system of actions, procedures, and cycles they can master over time. A loose or undefined system leads to a lackluster attitude and mediocre results. Lastly, (and most important of all), you need the right people! Great teams begin with “chemistry.” Do your people “fit” the makeup of the kind of emotion, love, service, and performance you need in your practice? You “hire” passion and “teach” systems.
If any of these four questions have roused your curiosity, then you’re ready to re-invent your future success. There’s no need to try and make-it-up-as-you-go. More and more teams are enjoying greater success (even in this economy) because they’ve had the faith, confidence, and belief to retool their practices, and witness the significant increase in results (call me today, and I’ll take the time to show you a plan to get you from where you are, to where you want to be.)
(Dr. CJ Mertz is the founder and head coach of Full Potential Leadership, the leading chiropractic training organization. See current FPL opportunities on the back page of this issue. For more of Dr. Mertz’s training material visit his blog at http://truenorth.fpl4life.com. To transform your life and your practice using your Full Potential, visit our website at www.fpl4life.com or call the FPL team today at 512-474-1895.)
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