Posted by Matthew Loop | 12 Comments
(Today’s blog post is by Chris Burfield, the founder of Chiropractic Secret Society. Chris owns and operates a mega-successful chiropractic office in Texas, which grosses over 500K annually and has been regarded as a leading practice building expert.)
You know, over the years I’ve learned a lot from observing the way Big Practices are structured. For many, many years I thought that in order to see a lot of people you needed to have your office doors open 5-6 days a week and work 40-50 hours.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Think about this for a minute. Let’s say your open 35 hours a week and you’re seeing 150 patient visits a week…a moderately sized practice.
Now, let’s say it takes you 5 minutes to adjust each person (it should take you less than 5 minutes and if you’re really efficient, less than 3 minutes) but let’s say it takes you 5 minutes just for argument sake.
If you multiply the number of minutes (5) times the number of patient visits (150) your total comes to 750 minutes…or 12.5 hours.
Okay, now here comes the Eye Opener…what the heck are you doing the other 22.5 hours of the week?!!
You see, I used to keep my office doors open 35 hours a week and what I found was that I was wasting so much precious time.
Time is the one thing you cannot negotiate. It is, in my opinion, our most precious commodity.
So, I cut back on my hours. I went from being open 35 hours a week to being open 25 hours a week…and I found myself still sitting around, twiddling my thumbs…so I reset my hours again 4 months later to 20 hours a week…and then finally to 19 hours a week!
We spend 14 hours a week adjusting patients and 5 hours a week doing Report of Findings.
Now, just because I’m only working 19 hours a week doesn’t mean I’m not working on my business…but that’s just it…instead of working “IN” my business, the minimum hours that I’m open allows me to work “ON” my business.
Plus, as an added bonus, I get to spend more time with my family and loved ones.
Most Chiropractors and business owners in general, spend more time than necessary working “IN” their business rather than “ON” it.
This is the number one reason why my chiropractic practice continues to grow year after year!
So, if you’re still caught in the time trap of working 35-40 hours per week, then you need to cut yourself loose and cut your hours back.
I know, I know, “Your patients won’t accept the change. Your patients already think you’re not open enough. Your patients will drop out of care….blah, blah, blah…
Listen, I had the exact same fears….but I had to grow some big, brass balls and decided to cut the hours back…and you know what, my patients didn’t say a word. Of the 300 “active patients” we have, only 1 patient even said anything…this is how the conversation went…
Eileen comes in for her visit a week after we reduced the hours. She sits down in our open adjusting area and in front of everyone (approximately 15 patients) says…
“I don’t like your new hours.”
I ignored her at first…I didn’t say anything.
Eileen then chirps up again a minute later and says, “I called around to other Chiropractors in town and they’re all open longer than you. They’re even open through lunch, which you’re not”.
I turned to Eileen and in front of everyone I said, “Eileen, if you’d like to be a patient of one of those other Chiropractors…you’re more than welcome to…as a matter of fact, I can refer you directly to Dr. Hawkins just down the street and make an appointment for you today, how does that sound?”
Eileen just looked at me bewildered…she couldn’t even speak…some of my patients started to snicker.
The next words out of Eileen’s mouth were, “I guess I’ll just have to get use to your new hours”.
You see, that was the worst possible situation anyone could face…A room full of patients…one disgruntled patient ready to speak her mind in front of everyone, what could be more horrifying!? …and it ended up being nothing…because I wasn’t afraid to lose her…or anyone else for that matter.
The Truth is, you can’t be afraid to lose patients.
Remember, What you Fear comes Near.
Do you really want to Grow your Practice…then reduce the amount of downtime in your office by reducing your hours and start working “ON” your business rather than “IN” your business.
– Chris Burfield
Founder of Chiropractic Secret Society