Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

Keys to Your Practice: October 2012

Angelo Santin   

Features Business Management

When it comes to increasing income, how many of us focus on getting more?

When it comes to increasing income, how many of us focus on getting more? What if we are looking at things from the wrong direction? Instead of looking at adding more, could we not look at removing things that may not be needed, in order to make things simpler and more cost effective? I want to explore some ideas that may help increase your bottom line, hopefully allowing you to keep your focus on your current patients.

When you keep things simple in your office, you can relax and focus on the true needs of your patients.



Track your stats
First of all, if you are not tracking your statistics, this is your first oversight and doing so should be your first key action step.

Not only should you be tracking your patient statistics, but you should also be carefully following your expenses. It is not sufficient to know how much your expenses are – you should have several itemized categories so you know where most of the expenses are coming from. For example, breaking down and grouping things like supplies, meals, travel, wages and equipment will allow you to keep track of your specific spending and allow you to look back and compare how you are managing your expenses. Furthermore, if you do not have average or target numbers to compare to, then you will never know if you are overspending in a certain area!

Keep it simple
The second key to increasing your bottom line is to keep things simple. After consulting many financially successful chiropractors, I have found that there are fundamental needs that all of these offices have in common. These are the following: an on-purpose and inspired chiropractor; an energetic and focused front desk assistant; and a humble office space. There is no greater return on investment than investing time and resources on you and your staff. Specific things such as seminars, continuing education courses and technique classes are all low-cost components that will produce a high return on your investment (ROI). Things that tend to negatively affect your ROI, and that are not in line with the principle of “keeping things basic,” might be some new technologies/gadgets, expensive modalities, or anything else that requires a long-term financial commitment/lease. With your next few new patients, I challenge you to try doing nothing but adjusting them, and taking care of their needs. See what happens.

The next basic expense is a really great, all-around, chiropractic assistant (CA). If this person has your system and procedures in place, you should be able to see up to 300 patients a week with just one CA. In order to have your CA operating at a high level, you must invest your time and resources in them to ensure they are inspired and confident.

I guarantee that, over time, this will be an excellent ROI.

Finally, the maximum space needed for a solo practitioner is around 700 square feet. This will give you two treatment rooms, a small reception area and a small office area. Trust me – not much more is needed and this can really cut down your rent obligations.

These little suggestions may seem trivial but could make the difference between you netting 40 per cent of your gross income versus 60. How many more patients would you have to treat to replace that saved income? When you keep things simple in your office, and don’t have to hit goals based on finances for things you don’t really need, you can relax and focus on the true needs of your patient. This type of responsibility gives you freedom to practise simply and happily, and when this happens I assure you that you will, in turn, end up seeing more people!

Remember, the little expenses tend to add up, so be careful and be thrifty! In fact, challenge yourself and your office staff to keep to a budget and reward yourselves when you beat your targets.

Tracking your activity and simplifying your practice needs will help you increase your bottom line while minimizing stressors and helping you focus on your patients’ needs.

ACTION STEP 1: Track your statistics, including office expenses.

ACTION STEP 2: Set a budget for specific areas and reward the office when you meet your targets.

ACTION STEP 3: Challenge yourself to trim expenses not essential to the practice.

Dr. Angelo Santin is a 2006 graduate of the CMCC. He operates a busy subluxation-based family practice in Thunder Bay, Ont., and is currently serving his second year as president of the Thunder Bay Chiropractic Society. Dr. Santin is one of a small number of international Carter Universal proficiency-rated chiropractic coaches, and draws on his success, along with the experience of the most renowned experts in this field, to provide time-tested, effective and patient-centred ideas for every chiropractor. He can be reached at or 807-344-4606.

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