One only has to pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV to know the economic state of this country is in tough peril. Many of you reading this may not even have to do that. One look at your recent bottom line may tell you more than you wanted to know about current economics.
I understand that many chiropractic practices will suffer devastating losses from which they may never recover during this difficult time; however, I am also optimistic that there will be some in the chiropractic profession who will prosper more than ever, and the impact upon the profession will be a positive one. History shows that chiropractic does very well during tough times. Why? Because chiropractic is the best value for the patient’s dollar. During a recession, people don’t necessarily stop spending their money, they just become more discerning about where and how they spend their money. They are looking for the most value.
If we want to survive during these tough economic times and if we want chiropractic to survive, we must do two things. First, we need to unite with other chiropractors across all techniques. Secondly, we need to align our philosophy and practice back to the basics of chiropractic.
Harry S. Truman said, “It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.” We need to start caring about others in our profession. Chiropractic is a very divisive profession. A new graduate once told me that he was shocked at the lack of support and encouragement he received from others in the profession when he first opened his practice. He lamented that chiropractors “eat their young.” A sad statement, yet many can relate to its truthfulness.
This has to stop. Studies have shown that 80% of chiropractors either struggle to pay their bills or don’t pay them at all, yet we continue to demoralize and beat down those whose techniques or opinions differ from our own. It’s time for the chiropractors that are doing well to put differences aside and do what is necessary to help fellow chiropractors in need.
Back to the Basics
A google search for the words “recession back to the basics” yielded 796,000 results. That's enough to know that beating the recession is certainly a hot button, regardless of your profession. Throughout history, economic downturns have been notorious for taking people back to their roots. Winston Churchill said, "We have no money. We shall have to think.” Exactly.
This can be a positive time of refinement in chiropractic if we start thinking and remembering why we got into the profession in the first place. Remember the passion you had for the art and philosophy of chiropractic? Remember how it felt the first time you adjusted someone and relieved their symptoms? It’s about helping the body heal itself, just as it was designed to do, and bringing a quality of life to someone who thought they’d never live without pain.
In addition, as a business owner, it’s not about fancy marketing, big waiting rooms, the latest gadget, or the perfect location. It’s about delivering quality chiropractic care through an efficient system that is built upon rock-solid business principles. In today’s environment, this is the only way to recession-proof your practice. I’ve witnessed this through several decades of experience, utilizing the same formula of success for thousands of chiropractors across the United States.
Chiropractic can, and will, do well in these hard economic times because of the value it offers. However, in order for us to continue to spread the message about the value and effectiveness of chiropractic, we are not only going to have to unite as a profession, but we must also unite on sound business principles. Once embraced, then action needs to follow. This is not just my opinion. Overwhelming evidence from our profession's history shows that, when proper business principles are applied, predictable and favorable results will follow.
Tom Owen, III, President of AMC, lectures extensively from coast-to-coast to thousands of chiropractors and students annually. He is the author of Chiropractic from a Business Man’s Perspective, and has spent the last 25 years in the day-to-day trenches of the chiropractic profession. He lives by his quote that “in the end all that is left are the lives we’ve touched and to what extent they were changed.”
Dr. Osborne a 1989 graduate of Palmer College, ran a successful high volume multiple doctor practice, and is currently Vice President of AMC, Inc., as well as an author and lecturer. Please visit www.amcfamily.com or call 1-423-826-0044 for more information.