Dangerous Numbers

Speaking as I do to a large number of chiropractors every single week I get to hear a lot about their marketing efforts… or lack of it.

Of all the different ways that chiropractors use to build their practice these are the most common (in no particular order):

1. Referrals

2. Brochure Website

3. Out Talks

4. In Talks

5. Patient Appreciation Days

6. Screenings

7. Newspaper

8. Sales Websites

9. Newsletter

10. Direct Mail

11. Lots More… brochures, posters, pens etc etc- some useful some wasteful

But despite there being many different ways to market to get more new patients, in most cases chiropractors tend to have one single system that they prefer to use to get new patients. Think about it, lots of different ways work, yet most chiropractors will only use one…


I feel like this is the most dangerous mindset that any small business owner could have. It’s a coasting mindset not one of growth. In the growth mindset we get as many new patients in as many different ways as we can and then we grow our business to handle the numbers.

In 2007 I thought 38 new patients in a month was an enormous number, it was my record until 2011 where for a couple of months I got in excess of 100.

This year our average has been 114.8 new patients and I have managed to grow my staff so that we can handle much more. August was our slowest month so far. It felt like we hadn’t seen any new patients but as it turned out when we did the stats that we had seen 86 new patients. Not bad really, but it feels so slow because we have grown our efficiency to handle so much more.

Anyway, back to the topic of conversation. Having just one method of getting new patients into your practice is dangerous. It’s dangerous because if your system collapses for some reason you end up with nothing. If you’ve got 10, 20, 30 or more different systems getting you your new patients and one of them implodes you’ll hardly notice it and you’ll have plenty of time to replace it without any significant loss in your income.

I’m always building out new systems and then handing them over to my staff to run, as my mentor says “the ocean doesn’t mind if you go down to it with a teaspoon or a bucket”, he’s dead right.

Of all the methods I can use my favourite is Newspaper advertising. Why? It’s not because you get the best quality clients this way (although they are very good), you get great quality clients through out talks and referrals.

No, it’s because it takes up the least amount of my time and still gets me high quality clients. I’ve got dozens of ads that get me great clients and all I have to do is drag and drop them into my email app and then press send. Out talks are great, screenings are great, patient appreciation days are great, but they take up the one thing I’ll never get back – time.

With newspaper ads I’ve just got to spend 30 minutes a week to put myself in front of hundreds of thousands of people, you can’t argue with the maths.


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