From the blog 3 Tips for Acupuncturists to Improve Profits
Running a profitable business is a challenging prospect in any industry. Business owners face legal and financial roadblocks from day one, and without a well-thought-out business plan you can quickly find yourself out of cash. These challenges are even more true for acupuncturists running their own practice. Strive for more by using these 3 tips for acupuncturists to improve profits.
The good news is that the growth potential for an acupuncture practice is very strong. The industry is expected to grow by over 30% by 2022. The key to taking advantage of that potential for growth is to ensure your business can survive early struggles. If your acupuncture practice is having a hard time with profitability, consider these three easy tips to improve your margins.
Find Ways to Cut Costs In The Office
The best way to improve your business’s profit margins isn’t by increasing sales or the number of patients you see. Instead, cutting costs is a proven way for businesses make more money quickly with little extra effort. Take a deep look at the way you do business and try to find ways in which you can save money.
Too many business owners start with unnecessarily high overhead. This makes profitability a challenge from the start. Instead of opening your “ideal office,” start with a minimalist approach. If your practice only has enough patients for a single room, don’t rent an office with multiple rooms and a reception area. Consider renting space in a wellness center, where administrative costs are often included in your rent. When you downsize or start small, you can use the savings to focus on business improvement and client relations instead of scrambling to meet the high cost of rent.
A third way to cut costs and improve your profitability is consolidating or even changing vendors. Acupuncturists don’t work with a great deal of service or product vendors but making changes in who you work with can affect your profitability. For example, evaluate one of the vendors every acupuncture business needs – your payment processing provider. Even a small decrease in fees can have a major effect on profit margins when most of your business’s payments are received via credit card.
Take A Smart Approach to Advertising
When it comes to advertising and marketing your acupuncture practice, less is more. Like other businesses, advertising’s a crucial element of running a successful practice. Your potential clients need to know about your business before they can become customers. Your advertising needs to explain the services you can provide and why they should choose you business instead of the competition.
Avoid taking a broad approach to your advertising and marketing efforts. Identify the core area your business is aiming to service and start your campaign locally. Concentrating your promotions over a smaller radius ensures more eyes and ears will experience your ads. Once you’ve built strong name-recognition in your region, you can then begin to branch out into other markets.
If you’re already advertising, consider making changes to the way you approach your promotions. The first step is building a website that is eye-catching and informative. You can register a domain for new acupuncture firms with minimal online needs for as little as $15 a month. You should also consider supplementing your radio, television, or print advertisements with social media marketing. Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow you to connect directly with customers and prospective clients, which is a great way to build your business without increasing costs.
Keep Customers Coming Back for Follow-Up Treatment
Most business owners would assume the best way to improve profitability or even gross earnings is through attracting new clients. While it never hurts to grow your audience, customer retention is the key to improving the profits of your acupuncture practice in the short term. Finding ways to keep your clients coming back for regular treatments can be handled in a professional way that doesn’t feel pushy. The key is to frame it in terms of the benefits that come from regular treatment.
When each client comes in for their first treatment it’s important to lay out the importance of regular sessions. Explain to the customer that acupuncture treatments cannot be too close together but can be too far apart. If symptoms return after initial treatment, you’ll be back to square one for treatment two. You should set them up for the importance of immediate follow-up treatments as well as indefinite tune-up treatments.
When treatment best-practices are carefully explained, clients understand what they need to do to get better; they’ll gladly sign up for the treatments they need to improve their condition. If you don’t explain the optimal frequency of treatments and leave the client on their own, they may come in too infrequently, see marginal improvements, and can even hurt your business’s reputation through word of mouth.