If your candidate won, I’m sure that life is about to get better. If your candidate didn’t win, I’m sure life is about to get better, too. Yes, the sky will be bluer, the sun brighter and the TV news more upbeat. With the election behind us, there’s one less variable hanging in the balance. It was a convenient excuse for inaction, but it’s time to get your head back in the game.
What’s your plan?
Although you may have used the subprime meltdown, election hoopla and the recent fear-based media coverage as excuses to put off facing the reality of a declining practice, it’s time to implement your plan to return it to its former altitude.
Oops! I forgot. With the holidays around the corner, you can’t be expected to pull your practice out of the ditch until after the first of the year. Oh, but then there will be the annual first-of-the-year deductible resets that will further delay any expectations of getting the needed traction. And let’s not forget the weather! So, by the looks of things, you may have until spring to take action. Can you coast that long?
The longer you wait the more momentum you’ll lose and the more difficult your course correction will be. If you don’t regularly focus on physical, chemical and emotional stress (the cause of subluxations) with patients, then yes, patients are likely to ignore your practice during the next 60 days in favor of the stress-producing parties, food, alcohol and emotional pressures that often accompany the holidays. While it’s probably too late to correct for this oversight this year, you might reinvent the chiropractic story you tell patients so come December 2009 it will be among your busiest months of the year.
Have you gone through the five stages of the grieving process (shock, anger, despair, resignation and acceptance), so you accept that the former level of reimbursement is not returning (and expanding Medicare to “solve” our “health” care system won’t be enough)? Great, then let’s get started for your turn around!
Forgive uncollectable debts. This is a great time to get real and clear the decks of accounts receivable that you’re never going to receive. This creates a clean slate for new growth. Send a letter forgiving the past due accounts.
Prepare your New Year’s resolution letter. It’s one of two times a year your inactive patients are likely to think about their health. Make sure your New Year’s advice shows up in their mailbox the first week of 2009. Here’s a sample.
Clean out the clutter. Use the next 60 days to clean, organize, recycle, discard, rearrange, paint and replace. To get ready for a busy 2009, this is the time to replenish your inventory of patient education tools and solidify their implementation with your team.
Line up your speaking gigs. Identify the civic groups, service clubs, support groups and businesses that you want to present to in your community next year. Prepare your talks and invitation letters now. Send in mid-January.
Create your 2009 marketing calendar. Identify the events you’ll be conducting and start the planning now. Fall coat drive? Patient appreciation day(s)? Food drive? Chiropractic birthday party? Posture month? Backpack safety event?
Update your website. Post new content, update your pictures and give your Internet presence a facelift. Think of your website as a “digital reception room.” Make sure you present the information that supports your patient’s referral efforts and addresses the questions of new patient prospects. Don’t have a website yet? Check out our sister company, Perfect Patients.
Train your staff. Use the next 60 days to train your support team about chiropractic principles and reacquaint them with your purpose. If you’ve neglected this important leadership duty, make the investment now. Consider using our Chiropractic For Assistants CD and free, 20-question online quiz as the centerpiece of your training curriculum.
Assemble your referral network. This is the time to extend your influence by expanding your referral base of professionals. Introduce yourself to pediatricians, health food storeowners and allied health care providers. The way you get more referrals, is to give more referrals. Need some more ideas? Review our Abundant Referrals program.
Pick one or two and get going! The bottom line is you’re going to have to do something different. Worse, you already know what to do! That thing. Whether it’s listed here or not, that thing. Do that. That’s where your breakthrough lies. You’ll get there. But you have to start. Why not start today?