Chiropractic coaching and practice management groups abound. Do you need a practice management company? How do you evaluate a chiropractic management firm to insure a good fit? What can you expect from a practice consultant, coach or mentor?
Before you sign up with any chiropractic management group, you may find the alternative I'm offering far more helpful and affordable.
My Chiropractic Management Experience
I've been a patient and advocate for over 31 years. I have paid cash for my care over those three decades, seeing nine different chiropractors in the process. I've been a guest lecturer at seminars held by 12 of the most popular chiropractic practice management programs.
Granted, that's only a fraction of the 150 or so practice consultants and coaching groups you'll find listed in the Buyer's Guide at Chiropractic Economics. And it's true that I've never been a client of a single one. However, as a guest speaker I get a behind-the-scenes look before members file into the ballroom. You can pick up a vibe about how they see themselves—and how they see you.
But that's rarely the real problem.
Do You Even Need a Chiropractic Coach?
Whether it's the demands placed on them from the CCE or merely the fear of being seen as a trade school, chiropractic colleges seem reluctant to teach the skills necessary to successfully run a practice. My own experiences teaching students about the post-board-examination realities seem to fall on deaf ears. So, if you've never run your own business or you were misled into believing the "build-it-and-they-will-come" lie, you may benefit from hiring a consultant or some consulting services.
As I've fielded phone calls from chiropractors asking about various consultants and management groups, I always ask why they think they need one. Their answers fall into one or more categories:
Install or Create Systems – If you've never worked as an associate or subcontractor in a busy practice, you may not have a grasp of the various systems that need to be in place. Among them would be a documentation system, financial system, staff training system, education system and marketing system. A consultant can help.
Buy Discipline and Accountability – If you already know what to do, but lack the courage or discipline to implement it, a consultant can be handy. Acquiring discipline by paying someone to hold your feet to the fire, or feeling obligated to implement procedures because otherwise you'd be wasting your money, can motivate some to take action. A coach could be helpful.
Reduce Isolation and Belong – I refer to this as the “country club” model. If you don't have a mastermind group (local or distributed) of like-minded chiropractors with whom you can check in with from time to time, you might be inclined to seek a consultant or management group for support and inspiration.
Headspace and Success Principles – Perhaps you're one who lacks adequate self-esteem or maybe you're a self-development or performance junkie. A chiropractic practice management group could be just the thing to raise the bar, help you keep up on the latest technology, insurance regulations and marketing ideas.
The point? If you have any hope of having a successful relationship with a consultant or coach, you'll want to be clear about what you're hoping to achieve.
But there's a far more important question you'll want to ask yourself...
Chiropractic Consulting For Grownups