Starting a chiropractic business can be a difficult task. Just like starting any other business, it’s important to carefully prepare and plan out your business and finances. Here are a few reasons why chiropractic businesses fail and tips on how to avoid them.
Why Chiropractic Businesses Fail
Like other medical providers, chiropractors are professionals, but they are also entrepreneurs and small business people. As with any business, chiropractors are vulnerable to failure. Numbers show that more small businesses fail than thrive. In fact, only 80 percent of small businesses survive year one, and 50 percent of small businesses survive past five years – and chiropractors are no exception. In fact, it may prove more difficult for chiropractors, since it is likely they went into the field to help people rather than because they wanted to become small business owners. Successful chiropractors aren’t just good at what they do – they are also good at how they run their business. The best chiropractor in the world may fail if he or she doesn’t have a head for business. Fortunately, there are steps you can take if your business isn’t doing as well as it should in order to turn it around before it’s too late. Here are 5 common reasons why chiropractic businesses fail, and what you can do to turn failure into success.
1. Lack of Patient Awareness
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” You’ve heard that philosophical question before. Let’s make it chiropractic specific: What happens if a chiropractic practice fails because no one knew it was there? The lack of patient awareness is a major cause of chiropractic business failure. Chiropractic is not a “if you build it, they will come” sort of venture. It’s not enough to simply open an office and expect patients to flock to it. Chiropractors know this, but they often are not using the right type of marketing to let people know they exist and can serve their needs. It’s crucial to advertise and market correctly, including using social media.
2. Lack of Delegation
Everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day, and there is only so much any one person can do in that time. Too many chiropractors try to carry the majority of the workload themselves, without delegating appropriate tasks to employees. The bottom line is that you cannot do it all yourself; trying to do so may mean crucial elements of your business are falling between the cracks. While you may have to take on more tasks than you like in the very beginning, it’s important to hire good staff as soon as possible and delegate the work accordingly.
3. Not Maintaining a Business Plan
A good chiropractic business plan in and of itself won’t make a practice successful. However, that’s generally because once the chiropractic business plan is completed and the lender has agreed to finance the practice, the plan goes back on the shelf and is never referred to again. That’s a mistake. Your chiropractic business plan should include and allow you to track your metrics for success, determine priorities, and help you build toward the future. An annual review lets you know if your business is on track at a macro level. If your business isn’t on track, making changes to your chiropractic business plan forces you to address and confront the issues your business faces and devise ways to overcome them before things get out of control.
Knowing the numbers on at least a weekly basis is vital for a successful practice. If there are significant revenue drops over short periods of time, find out the cause and rectify problems before they get out of hand.
4. Lack of Organization
Patients will cancel appointments. That’s human nature. However, a practice that fails to contact these patients and reschedule them shows serious structural problems. The right software for your chiropractic assistants ensures that patients are not left behind, missed appointments are rescheduled and your office runs smoothly. A well-run office impresses patients. An office that makes a lot of errors or appears disorganized turns them off.
5. Not Billing Correctly
What if you’re doing everything right, as far as you know, and have a healthy patient base, but your profits just aren’t adding up as they should? The culprit is likely your software and billing system. The right chiropractic practice management and billing software can make the difference between chiropractic success and failure. You should not have employees entering data manually, increasing the odds of mistakes. Payments and claims should be posted and submitted automatically. If a patient’s insurance has expired or they have reached their visit maximum, you need software that tells you that beforehand.
It’s easy to see that if your management and billing software aren’t integrated, it’s your practice and revenue that suffers. User-friendly ChiroTouch offers an intuitive system with a smooth learning curve and unlimited live support. Call us today and schedule a demo.