In part one of this blog, we covered the first seven ways for chiropractors to lower their expenses. Here are eight more!
8. Purchase used office equipment and furniture
Before you start blowing you funds on brand new office equipment and furniture, browse your local Craigslist, overstock websites, or supply warehouses to see if anyone's selling what you need. Often, companies that go out of business and liquidate their assets will look for a quick sell on online classifieds. You can get great office equipment and furniture in fantastic condition at bargain prices.
9. Hold off on the X-ray machine
If you are just starting your own practice you will discover that x-ray machines are rather expensive. For the first few months, it may be a good idea to find a nearby health office that could provide the x-ray service for you (the nearer the better). You can negotiate a discount price and still make a little profit to compensate your time. This is a win-win situation for you and the x-ray provider. When you build up your client base, and you bring in more finances, you can buy your own x-ray machine.
10. Have a strong marketing plan and a great office location
Again, this is very useful if you are just starting your practice. Marketing and office location should be analyzed together. You can start by renting an office space on a very busy street or within a commercial building. It is obviously more expensive to rent in a prime location, but the traffic generated there can provide you with big savings on marketing. If your new office is hidden of the beaten track, your marketing expenses will be exponentially higher, if you wish to attract a good client base. Of course just renting an office in a prime location doesn’t guarantee that people will stop in to for your services. You must also have a fantastic marketing campaign, whatever that may be.
11. Address your taxes
Take your CPA or tax professional out to lunch – or at least make an appointment with him or her – and go over your tax situation. Document all of your expenses and ask them to sharpen the pencil on your tax strategy to make sure you aren’t over paying on a quarterly or yearly basis, and therefore decreasing your total tax liability.
12. Rent Extra Space.
Is your office space used to 100% capacity? Most chiropractic offices are not, either because there’s extra, unused room or too few patients to fill all time slots. What about making your office available for personal trainers, yoga classes, or personal massage? They can chip in for rent or expenses and if done correctly, they will probably bring you new patients!
13. Go Online with Marketing.
Are you still stuck in the Stone Ages of marketing with newspaper ads, billboards, and Yellow Page listings? While those might still work for some people in some markets, taking your marketing online can bring in more patients AND lower your marketing bill. Blogging, social media, eBooks, webinars, email marketing, Yelp and other review sites, and educational videos are all ways to market online that bring you more bang for the buck.
14. Reconsider Your Employees
Paying employees is usually the most costly part of running a chiropractic practice, so carefully evaluate the effectiveness, necessity, and ROI of every employee. Consider eliminating an unproductive or unnecessary employee, especially with the advent of electronic health record (EHR) systems and technology these days. But by no means are we saying that cutting employees is the only way to decrease office expenses. You may be able to streamline the process and maximize the role of employees, or even train them better to take on new tasks that you were once outsourcing, and therefore lower expenses.
In business, it’s crucial that you negotiate (and then renegotiate) all of your expenses, including the terms of leases, rent, and all contracts with vendors and service providers. It doesn’t hurt to ask for an adjustment based on fair market value, the value you’re receiving, or conditions of the economy or your state of business. The worst they can say is ‘no’, but you may be surprised how often they are open to creating a win-win, opening conversations and opportunities that lead to reduced expenses.