Why? It seems that chiropractors are very good at practicing chiropractic care but subpar at running their business like a business.
There’s more bad news. Currently, about 77,000 chiropractors in the U.S. Add to that the 10,000 chiropractic students who are still in school but soon to be in the workforce, and you have some seriously stiff competition.
But there is a ray of light, as the opportunity to grow and expand is almost limitless. Consider that only 6% of the American population is currently actively seeking chiropractic care and you’ll see that you have a grand opportunity, not only to outshine your competition but to ride the wave as chiropractic care becomes a household phenomenon, reaching a significant portion of the other 94%
However, before you can worry about surfing that wave of growth, you have to ensure that your practice survives and thrives. If you are like the majority of chiropractors who stumble forward through the business side of their practice, be sure to avoid these top 10 ways chiropractors fail at business.
1. Try to attract and serve the wrong demographic.
Our American consumer marketplace is split up into roughly 43 socioeconomic classes. In fact, research shows that 9 of those 43 classes account for 80% of all chiropractic visits. Interestingly enough, it’s blue-collar workers who come in for chiropractic treatment at the highest rate, not white-collar workers or management. There are several theories why this is so, including that blue-collar workers have more physically demanding jobs hence the increased prevalence of pain and injuries, middle class people generally don't commit to staying healthy as much as white-collar or upper class folks so need chiropractic more, they have worse diets, are more stressed, etc. No matter what the reason, blue-collar workers should be your #1 target demographic.
So if you want your practice to fail, keep focusing your marketing (but of course you can still serve everyone) away from the people who are proven to use your services the most.
2. Not focus marketing on this ONE thing.
One thing I can say with confidence is that most chiropractors have good intentions. They want to heal, serve, and improve the quality of life of so many people in so many ways – and chiropractic care can definitely do that. But when it comes to marketing, the scattered and do-everything approach can actually be your worst enemy. Why? Studies show that consumers associate a business or service with ONE and only one thing. Depth, not breadth, or marketing is where you’ll reap the most rewards.
What’s your ONE thing? With chiropractic care, that means focusing the vast majority of your marketing and advertising messages on pain relief. It’s proven that our consumers buy based on pain motivation, as 84% of chiropractic patients seek care for neck pain, headaches and lower back pain. Sure, there is a huge list of other benefits to chiropractic care – and no one is telling you not to pursue those – but do so after you have attracted the patient, have them in your audience, and alleviated their most pressing issue. Point blank, market around pain relief, and you’ll knock it out of the park.
3. Have a bad website.
Did you know that 95% of U.S. consumers search online for information before making a buying decision? Most people even jump on Google, Yelp, or even poll our Facebook friends when it comes to finding a good chiropractor. The best way to make yourself available when people get online and search is to have a GREAT website.
Your website is your way to make a strong first impression these days, long before you’ll talk to a patient on the phone or they walk into your office. A good website accomplishes a lot for you, really pre-selling the consumer on who you are, what you do, and how you can positively affect their lives.
However, far too many chiropractors have awful websites. They’re typically too crowded, confusing, amateurish, and often lack the simple essentials, like clear contact information and one big noticeable button for new patients to get started.
Display a small, 90-second professionally produced video that introduces the doctor, the staff, your nice office, and walks them through their first visit. Don’t forget about social media badges so they can connect with you and easily spread the word, and a blog that grants you the forum to have an ongoing conversation with your potential audience (and is the #1 way to increase your search engine rankings!).
We still have to cover six more ways for chiropractors to fail miserably at business, so subscribe to our RSS feed (to the right), like our social media pages (top right of this page), or email if to catch the second part of this article!