In six weeks, in six months, in six years, your practice will be somewhere. The question is will your practice be where you want it to be, where you would like it to be?
That depends if you are sitting in the front seat of the car and ‘driving' your practice to where you would like it to be or are you a ‘passenger' in the back seat just hoping for the best and leaving the ‘driving' to everyone else.
Will your practice be the type you want – the size you want? Will it be as profitable as you want it to be?
The choice is yours.
But before we can get started on the road trip to get your practice from where it is today to where you would like it to be, you need to take stock of who you are, what you have and what you want.
The more specific you can be the better. Saying you want a larger practice is nice but basically meaningless.
What does ‘larger' mean? You would get 10 different answers if we asked 10 different chiropractors.
You need to be more specific.
Today you are seeing 100 patients per week and one year from today you want to be seeing 175 patients per week.
That's a measurable goal.
Evaluate everything in your practice:
- The number of patients you see in a week
- The number of new patients you see each month
- The average number of visits a patient has with you before discontinuing your services
- The average dollar amount you bill per patient
- The percent of dollars billed that was actually collected from the patient or insurance company
- The amount of revenue you generate from ‘non-adjustment' income sources
- The work efficiency of your employees
If it's measurable write it down.
When you are finished you should have no less than 50 very measurable elements that make up your practice.
You could have well over 100 if you really think about it for a while.
Once you've got the list, prioritize it.
If you could change only one thing on the list, what would it be? That becomes number one on the list. Then keep going until you have ranked the entire list.
Now you need to assign a starting number to each of the items on the list.
Average dollars billed per patient. How much is it? If you don't know, just finding the answers to each of the items listed will go a long way to getting you to where you hope to be.
How much do you really know about your practice? Well, isn't it time you found out?
Remember, we are trying to get you from being the sight-seeing passenger in the back of the car hoping for the best, to becoming the driver of the car who decides where you are going and how and when you are going to get there.
Getting all the answers to all the questions could take a lot of time and effort but without a starting point you can't get to your destination.
Once you've made the list, prioritized the list and assigned a starting value to everything on the list, we can get started.
Start with the highest prioritized item. Let's say it's the average life value of a patient.
Well, there are three ways we can get that figure higher:
- See the patient for more visits per week/month/year
- Increase the fee per visit
- Generate added revenue from the patient by more effectively developing additional revenue streams
Now you go further and develop a measurable plan for each of the subgroups. How can you see the typical patient for more visits than he or she is now averaging?
Make a list.
First you have to make a list of the reasons why patients stop coming:
- Too long of a wait? How long do they wait?
- Hours open not convenient for patient
- Patient saw no reason to continue coming
- Billing problems
- Insurance problems
- What else?
Every patient stops coming for a reason. We can't fix it until we know what's broken.
Get the idea?
You need to make a subproject list with every item from your primary list.
If you have 50 items on your main list and 5 sub-items for each, you now have 250 measurable factors to measure and fix.
A lot of work? You bet it is. But it will go a long way to determining where you will be 6 months or 6 years from now.
Once all the lists are done and all the questions have been answered, you need to come up with a specific measurable plan to improve each one.
You need to implement the idea and measure it again several days or weeks later.
If you are moving in the right direction (your intended written goal) keep going. If progress is not being made, it's time to go off in a different direction and try again.
It may take 2 tries … it may take 10 tries, but you will hit upon the right turn in the road.
Just define where you are … where you would like to be … when you would like to get there … and how you plan on getting there.
Measure every step of the way. Your efforts, your results and how they compare to what you wanted to accomplish in writing.
This simple, time consuming, but effective road map design course will take you to wherever you want to be in life, not just with your chiropractic practice but with anything and everything in life you would like to change.
If you would like to make more money or less money … read more books or fewer books. Start an exercise program or end one … gain some weight or lose some.
It doesn't matter.
Write down what you want, where you are now, how you are going to get where you want to get. Measure the changes you make on a daily or weekly basis and enjoy the rest of your life from the driver's seat in the car, not as a back seat passenger always hoping for the best but not in control of your own future.
P.S. As always, if you decide to start this project tomorrow … well tomorrow never comes. Start it now – today!