Associate Assisted Practice for Ultimate Success – Nicole Lindsey

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Dr. Nicole Lindsey, founder of dominate Chiromarketing, where I teach chiropractors, how to build relationships with medical doctors to build their practices. Welcome to our show (and thank ChiroSecure)for once again for hosting this show for so many years now and bringing great information to you, to your staff, uh, to your offices so that you can build a very healthy practice. Today’s topic is one that I am very excited about. It’s one that I’m passionate about, and I think it’s going to help you ultimately achieve the success that you deserve as a chiropractor. The topic is the associate assisted practice, uh, for ultimate success. Now, I feel that if done properly, that this can take you to a whole other level in practice. I know it has, for me, I’ve been hiring associates, uh, for many years now, I’ve had some very successful relationships, and I know honestly that my practice would not be where it’s at would not be thriving today.

If it weren’t for the help of these amazing associates that I’ve had over the years. So let’s go to the slides here. We all know that running a practice, running a small business, um, is not for the faint of heart, is what I say. It’s, it’s basically inherently risky, right? There’s so many things, so many we’re, we’re trying to mitigate risks constantly. I know ChiroSecure is helping us do that, um, with their shows they put out with, with, uh, how they cover our needs in office. But what we’re trying to do is bring a service at a good price and meeting the demands of the market, meeting the demands of the patient in front of you, uh, and also managing your staff and marketing, right? In addition to all this. So it’s, it’s risky. It’s not easy. And it’s definitely not for the faint of heart.

20% of small businesses fail in the first year that breaks my heart. You know, I’ve seen a lot of offices in my area come and go. Um, young grads, they start up and they’re very passionate, excited, and then sure enough, um, within the first year, they’re no longer there. So a very sad, very sad statistic from the SBA 50% go belly up after five years. Again, sad, they’ve made it that far and then 33% make it to 10 years or longer. So my mind when I see these stats, I think man, it should be, it should not be this way, right? We should figure out a way to make this easier so we can all be very successful in practice. Well, one of the number one reasons that a small business fails, and this does pertain to us running a chiropractic practice is inadequate management.

This is a small part of our education at chiropractic school. I know that, um, we had some business management courses, but not a lot, right. We have to figure it out as we go, and it’s not easy. We don’t have enough time, um, to delegate workout, or we may not have enough employees when we’re starting off. We don’t know how to manage that. Um, not having enough time to manage properly is probably one of the biggest things I hear from colleagues. Um, it’s hard to oversee all parts of our practice when we are doing it all right, when you’re wearing all those hats that I mentioned, it’s really difficult to, um, to wear that managerial hat when you’re spending time clinically, when you’re marketing and doing a health fair or really trying to drum up business, right. And instead of outsourcing some of the tasks that you, you may not have time for in your office, or that maybe you’re not good at, uh, you just end up doing it all as the business owner.

So, um, what, what happens is we, we face these challenges because of this inadequate management, um, because we’re not taught how to do this, or we’ve never honed that skill. Um, and we, we face these challenges and we end up maybe giving up right, falling into one of those statistics at the SBA. Um, just that I’ve read on the previous slide there, but as a woman, I want to talk about some of the challenges that we tend to face. And I want to talk about some of the challenges that men typically face in practice. And some of these challenges for women are going to be just the physical stress, the physical demands of being a chiropractor. I know I’m a small framed female, and I like to do really aggressive, um, diversified, adjusting, and soft tissue work. I get in there and, and really move bones.

Some, I like to be adjusted that way. And that’s the type of adjustment I like to give. And I’ve been going at it for 20 years now. And let me tell you, it’s exhausting. Right? It’s tired. Um, my husband says that I come home smelling like a field hand half the time and that’s okay. Right. That’s what I signed up for being a chiropractor, but that takes us whole, that’s a challenge we get exhausted and that may stop us from growing and practice because it is a challenge to be able to keep up with the physical demands. It also puts a strain on our adrenal glands when we are nurturing and taking care of people and trying to meet all their needs and physically the physical aspect of the job. So our adrenal glands become an issue. And if you’ve never worked on your adrenal gland or know nothing about them, that is a challenge that we face and yeah.

Can lead to burnout. Um, um, we also, you know, we have cycles as women and, uh, reading a really good book right now called in the flow by Alyssa VD. And it’s all about the physiological aspect of our body and what we’re going through throughout the cycle and how we, I tend to put ourselves as females into a 24 hour cycle. Men are in this 24 hour cycle, physiologically, their hormones are doing a certain thing every day, they spike and then they drop and then they get replenished over the night. And this happens every 24 hours. It doesn’t work that way for women. There are certain times of the month that our energy spikes because of what our hormones are doing throughout the month, and then that drops. And so we may have a week of high energy where we get stuff done productive, and we’re creative, we’re social.

And then we may have a week where we’re not, and we’re not wired to fight that, right. We’re wired to, uh, be less social, to not be as outgoing to, to not have the clarity that we did a week ago. So this can be a challenge because we’re forcing ourselves to do the same thing every 24 hours versus creating a life around this cycle. Another challenge we face let’s let’s face it, right? We carry babies. We get, we have a pregnancy, we have to deal with this in practice, whether you’re running your business by yourself or, um, as an associate. And it is a challenge, um, that we, we have to figure out when you’re running your practice. So, so these are some of the challenges that we face as a woman. Um, now as a man, some of the challenges that we face are going to be definitely the physical stress as well.

Um, you know, you’re, most men are, are, have more muscle. They have more strength, but overall, yeah, it takes a toll as well. And they go home tired, just like we do, especially when they’ve seen 50 to a hundred patients a day. Um, it’s very exhausting. Um, men tend not to have, um, the organizational skills as women do, um, that has a lot to do with the size of our prefrontal cortex. Um, not just something that they’re not good at, it’s just, they’re not wired that way. Like we, our prefrontal cortex, which, um, is part of that organizational process where that is where that happens. Um, ours is larger and that affects them in practice, right? And they it’s a challenge they have to overcome. Um, so that is, that is definitely part of the, the piece of the pie for them not getting enough time off because they are working so much and maybe they’re building their practice and they don’t want to take the time off they need.

So this, this can be exhausting play into that physical exhaustion, emotional exhaustion, and on top of taking care of patients as well. So these are some of the challenges that men and women face and what happens for a lot of people. A lot of chiropractors is they women that face these challenges, they end up staying out of work and maybe they put their career on hold because they decided to have a baby. And they just can’t figure out how to make the practice work while a pregnancy in the last trimester. So they step out of the office, maybe they sell their practice and they stop working. And then they have to deal with regret and not getting the opportunity to use their degree, uh, not getting the opportunity to grow professionally. And this is real. This happens a lot. You know, I see this in some of the Facebook groups that chiropractic women are in, and this is happening all the time for women, they have to give up what they’ve worked so hard for because they just can’t figure out how to do it, right?

So they lose their practice. They close, or maybe they go part-time or worst case scenario. They leave chiropractic. They choose another career because they just don’t want to have to open up another practice and go through all that. Very sad, very sad, but it is what women, a lot of women have to do. Um, and ultimately, because of these challenges, what happens is, um, for men, because of these challenges, they jump from coach to coach, right? They spend thousands and thousands of dollars, um, trying to chase that next shiny object, looking for something that’s going to help them get out of that burnout phase, right? Finding something that’s going to help them get to the next level because they just can’t figure it out. Right. They’re buying new equipment constantly. Does it sound like any of your friends or colleagues right. Happens? And they, they, they keep chasing the next thing in hopes that that will solve their problems.

And then they fail in practice because now they’re overextended, they’ve spent too much money on all this stuff. They have coaching fees that, um, and that is not helping them and they to get burnout, they give up and sadly, choose another profession, right? This, these are some of the challenges. This is what happens a lot of times to men and women in practice and what ends up happening. Ultimately, when we are so exhausted and burned out is we start self-sabotaging everything that we’ve created, because we are so exhausted taking care of everybody else’s needs, but our own hyper focused on our patients, maybe our family, our practice, our staff, and we’re not focusing on our own needs. So we self-sabotage and we have failure. So I want to offer you a solution if you’ve never had an associate, if you’ve never thought about getting one and you’re listening to this and you’re thinking that’s me, I am exhausted.

I am, I’m this close to burnout. Then I want to encourage you to listen to the rest of this. I want to encourage you to hire an associate to assist you in practice. Notice I named this, the associate assisted practice, right? Not hiring an associate to step in and take over for you. Sometimes that’s needed if you’re that burnout and I’ve been there. Um, but I wanna encourage you to do it before you get to that point, because it does take energy. It takes energy to train an associate. It takes energy to make it work. And for women, if this is done properly, if you can hire and successfully train an associate before you get burnout, it can assist you during pregnancy. This process, you can take time off, have this dot cover your practice during maternity leave. So you don’t lose your practice. Having an associate can help you grow your practice and team beyond pregnancy coverage.

You can find that, you know what? I like this. I can take care of my newborn. I can step out of practice as my baby grows when they’re sick, or if I don’t want to miss something that’s really important in those infant years. So having an associate can really help you ease back into work throughout this process of, of having a baby and allow you to not lose everything you’ve worked for. Hiring associate can help cut your work in half. Okay? Adjusting patients, as we talked about is physically and emotionally demanding. So when you are running a practice as the owner, you need to have, there are certain divisions of the practice, right? You need to do everything as the business owner, and you’re wearing a lot of hats. So when you hire an associate, this can allow you to take some things off your plate to give them part of your load so that you can have a moment to breathe.

Have a moment to tap back into your creativity, have a moment so you can not feel so beat up and run down. When you get home at the end of the day, having an associate can help you save some for your family so that when you get home, you’re not as tired hiring an associate can free you up so that you can work on your business. Not just in it, help you work on it, not just in it. I mean, how many of you feel like that? That you just, you, you spend all of your time between your tables throughout the day, going back and forth and back and forth, and you feel really good. You’ve given great adjustments. All day. Patients are doing well, miracles are happening. You’re very proud of the work that you’re doing. You’re getting referrals that part’s going great. But you finish, you walk into your, your desk, your, your office space, and there’s just mounds and mounds of work that needs to be done.

The paperwork, the managerial stuff, the stuff that you don’t have to work on because you’re face-to-face with patients all the time. I know, I know I’ve been there. I know exactly what that’s like, right? And now you have to get through this and you’re exhausted. Hiring an associate can help you work on this stuff throughout your day so that you don’t have it building up and piling up throughout, throughout your shift. There are basically four divisions of a business and hiring an associate can help you move. Some of this work around those divisions are your operational, your scheduling, um, the software, the paperwork that you use. Um, another division is marketing. How will you bring new patients? And how will you retain those new patients? What is, what type of marketing are you doing? Ongoing? What is your marketing plan look like? Right? That’s another division, the financial disease division of your practices, insurance.

Um, do you take it, are you collecting payments? What’s your accounts receivable look like, are you staying on top of that? Are you overseeing all of this? Right? This is all stuff we have to do. And then of course, number four, the most important division is product is your adjustments is the care that you give the quality care that you give. Now, most chiropractors only focus on number four, all right. They just, they don’t have time to do all the others, or they don’t know how. And this is why a lot of chiropractors fail. So having an associate can allow you to perhaps give them part of four, maybe all four, so they can work on some of the adjustments and help free you up the adjustments. And the clinical side is only one part of running the business. All four areas need to need to be addressed.

So very important that you understand that, that, um, that is why a lot of businesses fail. So we looked at those statistics from the SBA. This is why, right? Hiring an associate can help you transition into retirement. Something you want to think about, you know, your exit strategy. Doesn’t have to be abrupt. It can be over the course of 10 years. You know, I love the thought of grooming an associate or two or three to buy into my practice over the course of years. You know, that’s what I’m doing now. And hopefully they will take over one day and they will continue the legacy. What of what I built. They too will achieve this level of success and carry that out and share that with younger DCS one day, right? I mean, how cool is that gives me chills to think about that, that one day something that I started, I was able to give a piece of that and share that with another DC, show them how to be successful, maybe two or three of them, and then they can pass that forward. Right? So hiring an associate can help you slow down and practice, find a younger D D C to mentor, and then ultimately you can perhaps sell the practice to them, right?

So let’s talk about how you find your perfect associate. Now that I’ve convinced you to do it. Let’s talk about what you have to do. Step one is to figure out what role you want to play and what role you want your associate to play in your office. It’s not always going to be the same, depending on where you are in your life and where you are in practice. This is going to, this is going to change and evolve. And I can tell you, I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve been hiring associates for 16 years now. And when I hired an associate for the first time, over 16 years ago, it was for a very different reason than it is today. And the roles that I wanted, the associate to play were different. Then I was pregnant with my daughter. Um, she is 16 now.

So this was a while ago. And I got put on bed rest just unexpectedly. And I was told on a Wednesday, uh, during an ultrasound, uh, yeah, you’re having a baby girl, my husband and I were excited. And then a minute later it was, oh, no, are you feeling, are you not feeling contractions? And I was barely showing at that point, and I didn’t know what a contraction was. And the OB GYN said, you are in labor right now. You need to go to labor and delivery. And I did. And, uh, that’s when I was told, uh, you know, you’re on bed rest. Fortunately, they were able to stop the labor and the doctor came in and she said, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is we stopped the labor. So you’re okay. And your baby’s okay. Um, the bad news is you’re on bed rest.

Now until the time you have your baby. And I looked at her and said, are you crazy? I’ve, I’ve gotta be at work tomorrow. I have you 80 adjustments on the schedule. And she said, not if you want to have this baby. And so I went on bed rest, and I had been interviewing associates, but I wasn’t, I didn’t, um, hire one yet. So I finished interviewing from my couch for the next two days and hired an associate over the weekend. And they started on Monday. So my needs for an associate were different than I needed somebody to cover my practice. My needs for an associate today are different. I’m here. I don’t need an associate to cover my practice. So this is really important. I’m sharing this with you because when you place your ad, when you bring them in, in order for them to work in your practice successfully, you have to have these roles clearly defined.

You can’t hire an associate because you need them to grow your practice and not tell them that. And then they come in and then they find out, you need to see so many new patients and bring them in yourself where you’re out of here. So I encourage you to sit down and figure this out. So some tips are to write down your strengths in business, write down your passions, what you want to do, because you can create, you can create this any way you want. What do you want to focus on? I want you to think about what you don’t want to do, what doesn’t interest you, what is not your passion and what would benefit you more in practice and do the same for an associate? What role do you want them to play? What do you want them to take over in your practice?

Maybe it’s the adjustments because you’ve been doing it for 20 years and you’re tired and you need help. Clinically. Maybe you don’t mind doing the marketing, um, but you would like more clinical help. So that is a very important step in the process is figuring out the roles. Step two, once you figure out the roles, now you can craft your ad based on what you’re looking for. I know myself, I’ve done this. I called in as a, a chiropractor, a colleague, when I was hiring my first associate and said, Hey, where’s that ad that you, that you had, that you got off of. So-and-so when you needed an associate, can you send that to me? And we’re all placing the same ads, right? Even if it doesn’t even pertain or showcase your office and your needs, we’re using it, right. I encourage you not to do that.

Write down based on your roles and what you’re looking for. Um, craft your own ad, um, based on what you need. So that is that as the next step, write it down exactly what you need and put that in the ad. Step three is to place your ad. And this is a question all the time on some of the Facebook groups, where do you find associates? I’ve always had success here in these steps. I placed that ad, that I’ve crafted on my state associations class classified sites. I’ve gone to neighboring states and posted them, posted the odds on their classified ads as well. Sometimes there’s a cost there, sometimes there isn’t, but it’s nominal, um, all the chiropractic school, uh, job boards and classified sections. I put them, I put the ads there as well. So life and Palmer and, um, all of them, all of them just put them there.

Um, indeed you can place the ad in on indeed and Facebook groups. Just put it out there, put it everywhere. Step four, business, step four, step four is to just get it done, right? Just do it, just do it. Once you hire your perfect ex associate, then the real work begins. Okay. So here are some, some tips I want to give you to make your associate relationship. The rive number one is to get organized. So before you bring that associate on create a list of roles, going back to what you brainstormed on, right? What roles are they going to play in the office? And that’s going to be, um, help you create your training schedule. You’re going to then create the training schedule based on these roles. What will you teach the associate? Um, and when is it gonna take you a week to do certain things?

Is it, is it going to take you just to shift? It’s just show them, are they going to cross train with other positions? What scripts do they need? Um, how are you going to do patient introductions and exam paperwork protocols, and then marketing expectations, make sure they know what they need to do in order to help you market market the practice, but get organized. The associate deserves that. Um, I can also give you this tip. I’ve found that making announcements and proper introductions is really an important part of bringing an associate in and getting all the staff on board with the energy and the excitement. So create an announcement for your practice members. You can do this, um, email post in the office, uh, like a flyer. You can post it on social media. I encourage you to do all of that and get it out there.

Get, uh, get the, uh, bio from your associate and a picture. And every patient that comes in, get your team on board with this, introduce every patient to the associate. And this has to be a team effort. The more energy and excitement that you put into this, uh, the, the better it’s going to go. And the more connected that your patients are going to feel to this new doc coming in, have your associates slowly put their hands on the patient. So for example, maybe have them side by side with you have the associate, just adjust one segment, maybe just have the associate, do some trigger point work and on the, on the patient or some soft tissue work, have them assist the texts with, with therapies, have them perform the exams on the patients as well. Um, all of those will really help make the introduction go smoother.

The next tip. And I think the most important part is to treat your associate with respect. Um, don’t hold back with the associate, show them how you achieved the level of success that you did. I know that I’ve heard this in certain circles and coaches and encourage you, uh, you know, hold the keys to the Ferrari back. You know, don’t show them everything cause they’ll do it for themselves. That’s, that’s not the advice that I would advise you to take. Uh, I have had a lot of success in showing associates how to do it for themselves, everything. And you know, most of them went off and started their own practice. And I’m proud of that. I have seen them do really well and thrive and they should. And when it’s their time to leave you and do that, it is time it’s okay, you’ll take another one and you’ll show them the same thing.

And then sometimes you’ll have ones that are perfectly content working for you for years. And the relationship just continues to grow and thrive. So don’t hold back, play on their strengths. Um, they will not be as good as you at certain things and you won’t be as good as they are at certain things. Trust me. So figure out what, what they do best, how they can serve you, how they can fit into your business and play on those strengths. Let them be who they are, right. Don’t try and make them someone they’re not. Uh, especially if you have an associate that’s failed in practice, help them, help them find out what makes them successful as a person and how you can, uh, bring that to life in your practice. Um, continue to train. It never ends. It’s never ending. Uh, three years. I have my current associate who is the bomb and we’re training all the time, um, and continue to mentor and coach them.

Um, they need that and that never ends either. So treat your associate with respect. Most important tip there, listen, hiring an associate. It’s a big decision. I understand. And it takes a lot of work to find, train and mentor, um, these, these people. But if you do it and you do it right, this relationship can be the key to your continued practice success. And I leave you with this quote, growth is painful. Change is painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck, where you do not belong. So I hope you enjoyed this presentation. And if you have any questions about hiring an associate or building relationships with medical doctors to grow your practice, uh, I’m here for you. Um, get in touch with me. Thank you, ChiroSecure. Thank you all for joining in and stay tuned for our next show. Next week. Have a good day. Everybody


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