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How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
August, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 08
Perception Is Reality
By Angie Patrick
Perception is reality. We have all heard that saying and have seen firsthand instances where it held true. We are taught our whole lives "not to judge a book by its cover," yet the basic human reaction is to do just that.We live in a society that values fashion, the latest trends, the coolest cell phones, the hottest technologies and the most popular celebrities. It's a culture built on perception. The perceived value of a commodity often is leveled by the presentation it provides rather than the quality within.
The same philosophy is true in business. Often, a consumer will decide to bestow their business to the one with the slickest advertising, catchier name or the better customer comps. They turn to the Yellow Pages, to the community mailers or individualized direct mail pieces to make their decisions. The better-known name often gets the first shot at a customer's initial business. If this were not true, then advertising would not be the multibillion dollar industry it is.
In this sea of competition, how do you make your business shine above the others? How do you make your business name the one in your community synonymous with massage, alternative medicine or general wellness? It's not as difficult or as costly as you might think. It simply requires a bit of time and a commitment to succeed. Here are a few business image-building tips that can assist you in your quest for greater exposure and higher customer perception.
1. Be a part of your community. Join the Chamber of Commerce for your city or county. By taking this initial step, you instantly will be a part of a rewarding networking opportunity with other businesses in your area. Everyone you meet is a potential client, and they all are attending the event for the same reasons you are; they want to contribute to the community while building their potential customer base. This provides you with a wealth of opportunity to make your practice known to businesses and individuals alike who can and will spread the news about your practice.
2. Many communities have promotional mailers that enable you to send your message to hundreds, if not thousands, of households in your community. This type of exposure has a cost associated with it, but is often nominal compared to the exposure it provides.
3. Volunteer for community or charity events and provide free services. Often, you will learn of these events as a natural progression of your relationship with the Chamber of Commerce. By offering your time and services, you will allow a firsthand opportunity for people to try your services before making a commitment to buy. If ever it were possible to pass out samples of massage, this would be the trick. Virtually no one will want to pass up an opportunity for a moment's relaxation, and in the time you hold them in your capable hands, you have the opportunity to share with them your talent, as well as information about your business. They leave feeling refreshed and now they also are a bit more educated in how they can obtain further services from you and your practice.
4. Have quality marketing material. It honestly does pay to take the time to settle on a branding for your company. Be it a logo, a phrase, a cute cartoon character or a slick cutting-edge philosophy, make sure it's properly represented in the materials you share with others. There are so many places available now that can provide you assistance with the design of your marketing materials. Additionally, templates can be found online and free of charge for things such as business cards, informational brochures and flyers. Any office supply store can provide you with inexpensive software that can assist you in choosing the look that is right for you. The bottom line: The material you provide is the reference piece on which potential customers will base their buying decision. Be sure yours is professional, clear and concise, and relays the positive image you wish the customer to have of you and your practice.
5. Have professional-looking invoices and receipts. Your company name should appear clearly on the documents, and contact information should be found easily. Often people retain these receipts and invoices for various reasons, and to have them appear as professional documentation leaves the client with the same impression of your practice.
6. Always answer your telephone in a professional manner. This often is the first personal impression a potential client may have of your company. And a phone answered "Hello," just doesn't cut it. Be clear about your business name and your role in it. A professional way to answer your phones may be, "Thank you for calling Massages by Sue. This is Sue Smith, how may I assist you?" This speaks volumes to the potential client about your professionalism. It is a much better representation than your basic greeting. Be sure your answering service message is equally clear and concise. Provide a call to action asking the client to leave their name and number for you to contact as soon as you are free.
7. Maintain a professional appearance when you are involved in anything where you will be representing your business. From the meetings you attend to the clients you see, be sure you are dressed professionally. Your individual concept of professional attire may vary, but rarely is it appropriate to wear the same type of clothing you might wear to a club or social gathering. Conservative, professional attire can convey the message that you can be relied upon and are trustworthy. An example may be a pair of khaki slacks and a polo shirt. Perhaps you prefer medical scrubs. As long as you are neat, clean and well-organized in your appearance, you can speak volumes about your capability without saying a word.
Your business is your vehicle for income, professional growth and your future. Be sure you give it the best possible opportunity to grow and prosper by adopting a few of these tips as your own. You undoubtedly will see the rewards in an increase in first-time customers. Once you have the opportunity to show what you know, you have the opportunity to make them a recurring customer. Getting them in your door first is the key. Giving them the proper perception about you and your business is the way to insure you capitalize on all potential client opportunity.
Click here for more information about Angie Patrick.
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