Want to start improving your chances for a better bottom line in THIS YEAR…as in now…and set yourself up for increased income next year (and beyond) as well?
There’s a simple way to get things moving in the right direction.
Likely, it won’t increase your income by $100k or more, but it could easily increase your income by thousands.
And it takes only minutes to prepare.
Worse, if you don’t take this action, you are literally throwing money away in 2017.
Now are you interested?
Raise Your Fees!
It’s not some magical marketing idea or new piece of equipment or super-salesly mind bending psychology you need to do start things off on the right foot in 2017, it’s much more basic than that (and less cheesy).
Simply, raise your fees.
3 Reasons Your Fee Objections Are WRONG!
I know there are some of you who will immediately object to the idea of raising your fees. Here are the three basic objections and why they all represent bad thinking.
1) Patients will complain – First of all, they probably won’t. No one will encourage you to raise your fees (if they do, your fees are WAY too low) but everyone expects it. Patients understand that fees go up in every area of life. Why shouldn’t yours? If this is your primary objection, get over it. Patients may complain, but realistically, some patients will complain about everything and anything. They groan that the price of cars have increased but they buy them. Groceries increase, they buy them. Even the price of non-essentials increase, they buy them anyway. This is a sorry excuse to not raise your fees, because you anticipate complaints.
2) Fee Raises Don’t Do Any Good – for practices that are heavily insurance based, many times chiropractors will argue that the fee raise doesn’t do ANY good. That’s completely false. Provider write-offs certainly reduce the ability of a fee increase to increase your income across the board. However, what about personal injury work (that typically pays near 100%) or plans that you do not participate with or self-pay patients with no insurance? Fee raises have the ability to affect those. The easiest math to do is to look at just one category: Personal Injury work.
Let’s say you are the average practice in the USA right now, which means you collect approximately $384,000 per year and you have approximately 15% of your income from PI work (figures from the 2016 salary survey from Chiropractic Economics)
That means approximately $57,000 of your income is derived from your chiropractic personal injury work.
If you raise your fees just 5% across the board (the equivalent of taking a $60 adjustment and making it $63), that fee raise would equate to $2850 in your pocket at the end of the year for doing…absolutely nothing!
Certainly an extra $3k a year isn’t going to help you shatter records. But it’s just a start. It’s likely that some of your fees can be raised more than 5% and that you have other areas in practice that would also be boosted by the fee raise.
3) Patients will leave – Again, your fears are not likely to happen over a few dollars of a few raise. Patients are not likely to go walking out the door to choose a cheaper chiropractor the minute you raise your fees. But let’s take a moment to discuss why this fear is actually the absolute WORST reason not to raise your fees!
Take your fee raise completely the other direction to the logical extreme. If your fees were all free, no one would have a complaint and no one would leave the practice –except maybe you! Obviously, you have to make a living and part of the reason you opened your own business was to have the ability to have some control over the kind of lifestyle and living you make. Not raising your fees out of a fear that your patients will leave gives away any sense of control you have to the patients and to the insurance. Might as well go work for someone else and skip the headaches and hassles of ownership.
If you think you have to be competitive with your fees, you are also going the wrong direction. As a business owner, one of your primary jobs is to separate yourself from the pack. Surely you would not tell your patients that you are just an average chiropractor or that they could pick any DC in your town to get the job done just as well as you would. This is complete nonsense. So, why do your fees have to be exactly the same. Do you really want your patients to compare apples to apples and think of you as a commodity that they can judge by price only? Yet, if you fail to differentiate yourself from other chiropractors, that is what you are allowing patients to do. Raise your fees.
Raise the Fees and Let Them Leave
When you fail to raise your fees, it hurts you.
Unfortunately, there are chiropractors in every state that fail to understand the above arguments and decide that they will compete on price. There’s even a national franchise that has promoted the nonsense to a new level.
And yes, there is a very small subset of patients who will decide that your services are no different than any other chiropractor and that they will choose their DC by the discount they can get.
If you do not believe that your services are equivalent. If you do not believe you are a commodity. And if you do not wish to stoop to competing on price, you only have one choice:
Let. Them. Leave.
You don’t want these patients anyway. If they can’t value their health to the degree that they are willing to pay $1, $3 or even $10 more for your skills or expertise that will help them get over their problem, then they don’t value their health or think their problem is worth much in the first place.
And eventually, even the cheap chiropractor will lose because pills are cheaper, because sometimes surgery may appear cheaper (when the coverage is good). And, for some, because ignoring their problem the cheapest “solution” of all. When they reach that point, you cannot help those who do not wish to be helped.
Let. Them. Leave.
Positive Side Effects
Two last thoughts.
On the oddball chance that a small handful of patients leave your practice because you raised your fees, you have actually positioned your practice for something good. You have made room for patients who will appreciate you more.
Finally, when most of your patients stay even after your fee raise, you will also have done something else positive for your practice (in addition to the income boost), you have identified a large group of patients who value, respect and some who even LOVE what you do. By not walking out, they are affirming your awesomeness as “their” chiropractor.
Give yourself a head start to making 2017 your best year ever by raising your fees –you deserve it!
Need help setting your chiropractic fees? All of our chiropractic coaching clients receive a Fee Optimization as part of their overall strategy to help them increase profits and work smarter — and much, much more! For more information on our coaching services, click the links above and to see how we’ve helped other clients like you improve their practice, be sure to check out our testimonials!