Small Business Strategy: 4 Vital Tips for Success
Practice Management
Written by Tom Owen III   
Monday, 24 December 2012 04:59 Read : 1629 times

M
uch hard work goes into beginning a new business, and we all know that blood, sweat, and tears are the primary ingredients for success.  However, it takes much more than that to establish a thriving business. In building your chiropractic business, many other factors also come into play. After many years of running a chiropractic business, my partners and I have come to understand that there are a few elements that are absolutely critical to becoming successful. The following four tips should help you fine-tune your chiropractic business and have your message reaching the masses in no time.
  
Choose your Name Carefully
chessboardFirst of all, your business will need a name.  And not just any name, but something people will remember.  A clever, descriptive name is actually a smart business strategy.  The name of your business is key.  Although it is difficult to come up with a name that is descriptive, yet one of kind, many people have had success with this.  For example, Coca-Cola's name comes from the coca leaves and kola nuts used as flavorings in the original drink.  And Google derived its name from the fact that you can find a "Googol" of information from an Internet search engine (a “Googol” is the number “1” followed by 100 zeros.)  Put much thought into your name—it is imperative that people can remember it and recommend it to others via the best kind of free marketing: word-of-mouth. 
 
Promote your Practice
Once you have a name, you will need to advertise and market your business.  Marketing is of utmost importance. Without it, there will be limited or no growth. Marketing your chiropractic business is necessary from the very beginning, and needs to be a continuing part of your overall business strategy. 
 
Direct mail is one of the oldest and most effective ways to reach your market. You can rent or purchase a mailing list and then mail postcards to announce or promote your practice.  Your mailings will go out to areas in the vicinity of your practice.  Your postcard can educate the public on various treatments and services while also advertising your name and location. 
 
In addition to postcards and mailings, the Internet is another great way to draw attention to your business.  These days, people are constantly online, so having a website for your chiropractic business is essential. The website can be simple and does not need to be fancy or expensive. But even a basic website should look professional, should contain a short bio for each doctor or provider, and should list your services, address, and contact information, including email.
 
It’s important to remember that marketing does not stop once you have a steady flow of patients.  To maintain your clients and continue to grow, you must continue to market your business from within your business.  You may consider setting up a monthly theme in your office or a birthday board with patient’s birthdays posted. Periodically emailing your clients with newsletters, updates, and special discounts is another good idea.  Offering occasional promotions, discounts or free screenings is a great way to attract new business and show existing patients that you care. The business strategy here is to encourage patients to strike up conversations about your business.  Again, the best marketing is word-of-mouth, and it’s free!
 
Manage your Business
Regardless of how well you advertise your business, you will only be as successful as your management practices allow.  Before you ever delve into a new business, consider the cost.  Literally sit down and make a basic spreadsheet to consider the upfront cost of beginning your business.  Consider your operational costs, marketing costs, and the costs of your supplies.  Make certain that you have enough capital before you start.
 
Next, consider your cash flow. You need a steady cash flow to continue to thrive each month until your business is steady.  If you need more capital or cash, consider these options: 1) Partnership. A partner can share the cost, but will also share the potential profits. Your partner also needs to be someone with whom you share mutual trust and with whom you get along well. Weigh this option if necessary.  2) Cost cutting. To cut back on initial costs, find employees--perhaps friends or family--who are willing to work for deferred salaries in the beginning.  And postpone any and all purchases as long as possible. 
 
Pamper your Patients
Most importantly, your customers, your patients, are your most valuable assets. Without them, your business is nothing. Once you have a client, you must work hard to keep him by exceeding his expectations. It's much cheaper to keep a client than to attract a new one, so keep clients happy and keep them coming back. Your customers are also your greatest and least expensive mode of marketing. Call them on occasion, just to check on their wellbeing. Get to know them and develop a relationship with them through dialogue in the office. Treat them well and they will spread the word for you.
Tom Owen III -

Tom Owen III, President of Affordable Managing Consulting, 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.”

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