Dynamic Chiropractic – July 15, 2010, Vol. 28, Issue 15

Six Ways to Reach the Next Level

By Perry Nickelston, DC, FMS, SFMA

There comes a time in practice when you may feel stagnant and hit the ever-so-common plateau. It could be that your numbers are down, energy in the office is low, there is a lack of new patients, the inner fire and passion have begun to dwindle, or any number of other reason.

Sometimes this situation is unavoidable; regardless, the trick is to find strategies to rescue you from spiraling deeper into negativity. Take heart, because there are many ways to snap back into that wonderful world of abundance and positive action. Here are six ways to drive revenue and improve your business in a time that requires restored faith and hope in your patients, your business and yourself.

1. Find a Mentor

Everyone needs some outside motivation and inspiration. Even the best in their respective field needs a coach to teach and guide them. A mentor gives you a sense of purpose and goals to strive for. The key to finding a mentor is searching for someone who is where you want to be and is willing to share their secrets of success. Successful people with the right intention are more than willing to help you improve by imparting their knowledge. They win when you win. You will be surprised at how receptive people will be to help you become better in your profession. Think of someone you admire - inside or outside of the chiropractic profession - and reach out to them. Taking a little initiative can go a long way.

2. Deliver the Customer Experience

Reach the next level - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Want to feel better? Make everyone else feel special. When you can deliver a wonderful patient experience, you set a great tone. You must set the tone, the energy, and the vibe for your business. Ghandi told us: "Be the change you wish to see in the world." To that end, create and lead a culture that makes everyone feel special and welcome in your office. Your compassion, energy, and genuine interest in their improvement will leave a lasting impression. Take the focus off of yourself and direct it toward serving others. All of a sudden your problems won't seem so big anymore.

3. Improve Your Business Systems

Challenging times force us to examine and improve our business systems to make them more clear and efficient for staff and clients. Every successful business has a reproducible system. Walk into a Starbucks anywhere in the U.S. and you will find the same system. Why? Because it works. Critical systems include customer service policies; operational procedures; marketing practices; staff education; training and motivation; and data tracking for patient sessions, revenue, and profitability. Systems take time to develop, but they are essential to maximize operational effectiveness. Focus time and energy on your business, not just in your business.

4. Stay Fueled and Passionate

There is nothing like staying fired-up and keeping your energy sky-high. You can do this by attending workshops and conferences, joining a chiropractic mastermind group and attending mentorships. Put your energy out there and watch it multiply and then come back to you. Weekly or monthly meetings with your staff for education, motivation and empowerment will keep them swept up in your excitement (and you in theirs). Feed your brain with journals and books on professional and personal development. A great goal to strive for is to read one book per month. Together, these efforts will allow you to keep your mind sharp, your energy flowing, and results happening.

5. Give More

It is said that if you want more, you must give more. If you want more out of your business right now, it's time to give more. It might mean more effort, more service, more marketing and more positive energy from you, but it will translate into more results. Make it about others and you will receive more than you ever give away, so give freely and continue serving your patients in a compassionate, caring and generous way. One of my favorite ways to give more is of my time. Spend a little extra time with your patients before and after treating them. Don't be in such a hurry to leave the room and move onto your next patient. To accomplish this, be careful not to overbook your schedule so you take away from the experience your patients deserve. Remember, it's not about you; it's about them.

6. Do Something Crazy

Yes, I said it! Crazy. Who says you have to play it safe in practice and be conservative? Sometimes a nice dose of craziness does the trick. What do I mean by crazy? Make your clinic a more fun and inviting place to be. Where is it written that a doctor's office has to be boring? There are no rules on the type of music you play; the dress code; the hours you keep or the procedures you employ. You will be surprised at how receptive people are to "out of the ordinary." People are so droned into a regular routine that they hardly respond to anything. Take this opportunity to be a little creative and add a little shock value. If you have weighed your options and it makes sense, believe in yourself and follow your gut. Your gut doesn't lead you wrong. It often is scary, but it puts you on the right path.

Everything in life that you desire lies just outside your comfort zone. In order for you to reach a new level, be it personal or professional, you must push yourself into areas that make you feel uncomfortable. Playing it safe never leads to development. No risk, no nothing should be your mantra. Let a newly ignited passion be your guide to bigger and better things in your life.

The first step is always the hardest, yet it reaps the most reward. The ladder of success is rarely crowded at the top, but to reach that level you must step up one level at a time. Start climbing; I hope to see you at the top.

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