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3 Things My Business Does Differently That You Should Be Doing

Over the past 5 years of being in business, I have not only learned a lot about myself but also about running a successful business. I have learned that, when I focus on my bottom line, the bottom line shrinks, but when I focus on my purpose and mission for why I became a chiropractor, then my bottom line grows. 

Since 2009, we have changed our system dozens of times, not because the old systems didn’t work but because we found better strategies. Out of all the strategies and things in the office we have implemented, there are 3 that I believe are key for any business owner to take control over. 

1) Write Handwritten Letters

Most businesses have systems set up where they e-mail clients on birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions. This is a great strategy, but it is doing the exact same thing as everyone else is doing. My goal is to separate myself from all the other chiropractors in my area and be different and go a step above. We make a goal to write at least 3 handwritten cards weekly to tell patients we are thinking about them, tell them how proud we are of their progress, thank them for referrals, and tell them how appreciative we are of them for having trust in us to care for their body. We do this because people love handwritten cards and, more importantly, because we want to show our patients that we genuinely care about them and their success in our office. Think of your clientele, and even if you wrote 1 handwritten card a week that would be 52 over a year. The cost would be roughly $25 for stamps, but the return on that small investment, from building loyalty and a relationship with your clients, would be astronomical. 

2) Implement a Suggestion Book

In 2013, we implemented a book under the front desk known as our Suggestion Book. It is a tightly bound notebook where we keep track of all the patients’ wants and recommendations for the office. We take this book very seriously, as most of our new office is designed based on suggestions from our patients and what they wanted. Anytime we hear someone make a comment such as, “I wish you had XXXX”or “You guys should…”we immediately write it down, even if 10563014_10152225300653059_9198651108114567421_nthe suggestion is unrealistic and not attainable. We do this because we eventually figure a way to adapt to their recommendation. For example, one patient said the office was too loud and echoes a lot when trying to communicate with other people. We immediately put rugs under the adjusting tables and added another piece of furniture to reduce the noise. We noticed patients would say they wish we had quick snacks after the adjustment, as they are always in a rush to work, and so we implemented a hospitality area. This area has jars of raw cashews and raw almonds as well as alkaline water. Your clients want to feel part of the organization and want to feel a sense of ownership, as they are spending their hard-earned money with your facility. Take note of their suggestions; start implementing them, and watch how your relationships with your clients change, along with their sense of appreciation for your business. 

3) Take Quarterly Retreats

For the past 12 months, we have begun implementing quarterly retreats to take time away and reflect on my practice. All the staff come on these retreats, and for 24 hours, we take the time to focus on every aspect of the practice and how to make it better and how to grow. In the 1st quarter of 2014, we went to Chattanooga and went through every process, such as new patient exams, progress exams, and workshops, to see how we could improve for efficiency and customer service. From this retreat, we began giving each new patient an ice pack when they left from their first visit, as well as taking the time on their 3rd visit to check in with them and make sure we were helping them achieve their goals or find out if we could explain something better. For the 2nd quarter of 2014, we went to Birmingham and drew out the practice and wrote down what would we want the practice to look like if there were no limitations. From this, we are implementing an herb garden for our patients to have herbs for their houses, and we have set up a Fall Family Festival, which will be a way to create more of a family atmosphere within the office. 

These 3 steps are things that any business could implement into their facility for massive growth and are a way to create camaraderie amongst the staff as well as clients. 

success-in-business

3 Strategies for Massive Business Success (especially Crossfit gyms)

 

I wanted to share something that has been on my chest for a while and this article is for the business owner that doesn’t think the market is “right” at the moment.

Every morning I make a 4 mile commute to my office and I cannot help but notice how much construction and redevelopment is happening on my way. In my neighborhood alone, there are houses being knocked down and rebuilt, expensive renovations and expansions, neighbors building pools, businesses filling up the commercial spaces down the street, and every block I drive down Peachtree Rd on the 4 mile stretch is construction and growth. When I travel, the flights are full of people and every seat is taken. When I go to the mall, especially the shoe section, there are hordes of people with not enough staff to help all the customers.

The bottom-line is the economy is back and if you are not basking in its glory then it is time to look inside. It’s time to face the man or woman in the mirror and dig deep as to why you are not expressing your potential and reaching new milestones year on year.

If your business is not at the level you would have hoped than it’s definitely not the economy, but most likely it’s you.

Was that too harsh?

Do you think I am a mean person? I am clearly stating a reality and let me use some examples. Let me preface by saying neither my wife nor I are perfect, but the difference between us and many others is we think differently. We think differently about our professional and personal lives and we find if something is not working, then we need to make a change and stop doing the same thing that may not work.

* In 2010, my wife who is a realtor started telling me how tough the year was going to be because of the economy. I asked her, “Are there people buying and selling houses right now?”. She said “yes”. I said, “Are there realtors doing well in this economy”. “She said, “yes”. I said, “There may not be as many people buying and selling, BUT there are people so you need to be creative, work harder, and find those people”. She took my advice and completely changed her mind set and 2010 was one of her strongest years to date in her real estate career.

* In 2009, I opened my chiropractic practice when the stock market was almost half of what it is today, people were hoarding money, and all construction had stopped because of fear and lack of funds. I could’ve easily said, like many of my chiropractic friends, “the economy is so bad, it’s impossible to be a chiropractor at the moment.” Instead my mindset was, “people are stressed out more than ever now and in fear mode, they need me more than ever to reduce their stress and have them healthy.” We opened in October 2009 and 5 years into business, we have had 1 negative month of $20 and have grown exponentially year after year. We provide an unbelievable product, have fair prices, and if you ask any of my clients, they will tell you that we deliver the best customer service out of almost any business they have encountered.

If you are looking for strategies to implement because you are someone not seeing success in your professional world, then there are 3 keys I notice amongst all successful business owners. It’s essential to be abundant at all 3, as the 3 of them combined will set you free and create a more abundant business.

Here are my top 3 strategies for creating a successful business:

1) Become 100% Certain in Your Product

– Ask yourself, are you certain that your product is exceptional and the best? If the answer is no, then people can read past the B.S. and this may be a reason why you’re not enjoying success. I consult many crossfit gyms and when I ask the gyms, “is your gym the best gym in town?”, only 10% answer yes. This means they are not 100% certain and confident that they provide the best product, and through this, they are not attracting an overflow of members and huge referrals. As the competition increases, then they will be challenged to keep developing as a business. My follow-up question is, “why are you not the best crossfit gym in town?” They always respond with a laundry list of problems and complaints about why other gyms are coming along and stealing their members. My response to them is to spend 3 hours “beginning with the end in mind”. I tell them to gather all their owners and employees and draw out what an ideal gym would look like and how to create certainty. I then have them write out a “to achieve” list and begin implementing those strategies and begin working backwards. Too many businesses try to just keep their head above water and fix problems when they arise. The people with certainty in their product began with an ultimate vision of what they want their model to look like and they started creating it. I do this exercise once a year with my staff and it not only helps us keep creating the best chiropractic practice in Atlanta, but it also helps to create ownership for my employees as I want them part of the vision. Look at what Uber is doing with the Taxi company, and how they are taking over the market. The taxi business has not grown in its technology and service for many years and a few years ago, Uber joined the market. They came in with an amazing product with exceptional technology and superior customer service as the client rates each driver they have. Now the taxi company is struggling and fighting against Uber, but if the taxi business would have kept developing and evolving as a business, then Uber’s presence would have not made an impact on their business. Personally, I love it when more chiropractic clinics open in the area I practice in. This challenges me to evaluate my service and product to make sure my business is the best and no matter whom opens up; my patients will never leave.

 

2) Get Extremely Passionate About Your Business

– If you don’t love what you do, then people will once again read through you and not want to do business with you. When I am doing business consulting for crossfit gyms, I always find out the passion level of the owners and then the trainers. I ask them “Why did you start this business?” Usually the first answer out of their mouth is the truth and others may have secondary reasons for creating the business. Unfortunately, a lot of times I hear “I had nothing better to do and saw a business opportunity”. This usually comes from the ones who start with this do not have their ideal gym and are struggling to keep members and get new members. The people who answer “because I wanted to find a place where I could help people get in ridiculous shape and be healthy”, then usually those gyms are experiencing higher levels of retention and increased membership. There is a job or company for every single person in the world that satisfies their passion and gets them excited about life. I agree that sometimes it is difficult to find a profession to be passionate about, but if it was an easy thing, then everyone would be doing what they love and loving what they do. Take a reality check and check in with your passion. If the passion level is low, then find a way to drive it up and if the passion is not there anymore, then find something else to do and enjoy the rest of your life.

 

3) Give People the Best Customer Service

– In today’s world, not to many people are buying their product because of price. People are over with the fad of saving a penny or two and buying products because of the experience and end product. Just for an idea of crossfit gyms, there are literally dozens in Atlanta and it feels there is one on every block. Some charge $100/month while others charge $150 and some over $200. What I have noticed is that the difference in price is not the reason most people switch from one gym to another, but a huge factor is the level of service. People are OK spending $200/month on the gym as long as they feel they are getting the value and their money’s worth. The gyms I have seen throughout the US that are charging higher fees are not only passionate with a great product, but genuinely deliver the best customer service. They greet their clients by name, take extreme care of their facility and making sure it is cleaned regularly, constantly putting money back into their business, and have added value times that most gyms do not have. For example, what if a gym bought a refrigerator to store small towels in for their members after class. The cost would be $1/towel and they would have to wash the towels, but this would be added value and a differentiating factor from all other crossfit gyms. Another example is people love recognition and to feel special. A gym could give a Member of the Week award to someone who exemplifies who they want as their ideal client. The gym could partner with 5 businesses and each week give the member a gift such as certificates or prizes to those businesses that donated their product. Once again, this creates added value for the client

 

I would love to hear from all of you about customer service strategies you provide and ways you have helped elevate your passion and deliver a superior product