Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
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.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
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.
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 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
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.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
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.
November, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 11
10 Event Planning Tips for Your Practice
By Stephanie Beck
Have you always thought about planning a holiday event for your clients, but you just have no idea where to start? With the holidays approaching quickly, I think I can help you still make this dream a reality.
Have you ever heard of Small Business Saturday? First, there is Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving), then Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) and a fairly new day to celebrate and support small businesses known as Small Business Saturday – is the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Although your event doesn't have to be during the holiday season, with that time of year quickly approaching, I thought it might be a good time to share the top 10 tips for throwing a successful event.
You can also reference these at other times during the year; for example, if you are planning a grand opening or customer appreciation day. For several of us, October through January is that time of year when most people are making their plans. If your practice normally takes a little dip in appointments, you might want to consider planning an event during that time.
Whether it is an online or live event, sometimes the thought of hosting can be intimidating for small-business owners; and it can be even more overwhelming if you are a solo practitioner. Granted, there are lots of details to manage when you are planning an event, so I have compiled these 10 tips to help you plan and execute your next event with ease.
Start with an end in mind – what is the ultimate purpose of the event? (Besides the obvious, which might be to sell services and products.) What are other possible outcomes you would like to achieve? Is it to attract local radio, TV or newspaper attention? Is it to create local awareness of your practice? Increase your mailing list of potential new clients or patients? Get rid of some slow-moving products? Whatever the objective is, always start by setting achievable goals. Once you have that completed, you can start building on your foundation.
Determine what kind of event it will be – will there be any food and beverages? What is going to be the main draw? Will you invite a guest speaker or provide educational training? If you are just getting started, I recommend trying to keep it small and manageable your first time out.
Consider how many people your facility is capable of handling, and you may even want to limit the hours, rather than have a full-day event. Sometimes manufacturers are willing to send in samples or a sales rep to answer questions or demo products to help with launches. Perhaps you are adding some new treatments, so is there a way for people to experience a small sample of the new treatment?
Determine what kind of help you may need to hire or ask friends to help. If you are going to be the one performing treatments, you need someone you trust who can be a good host/hostess to mingle, ask questions and entertain your guests while you are performing treatments.
Select the right date – because "timing is everything." When you are selecting the best date for your event, be sure to coordinate with your community calendar so you have the least amount of conflicts; or plan your event as part of your community event. Also consider how much advance notification people need to plan to attend. Will it be kid friendly or do people need to get a sitter? Are most of your clients working during the day, so an evening or weekend would work better? You may want to ask some of your best clients for their feedback so you can figure out the best time.
Create and set a budget for the event; things start adding up when you have an event. You need to set a limit ahead of time to determine what you can afford and have an estimated return on investment (ROI) planned. Perhaps you hadn't planned on actually making money the day of the event because your ultimate goal is to build your mailing list or acquire some new potential patients. As long as you can afford to invest the amount of money and never expect a return, because nothing in life is guaranteed. Don't spend more than you can afford.
Ultimately, no one ever plans on losing money. I just don't want you to overspend or create undo stress in your life because the results didn't happen as planned. Unforeseen circumstances can happen in any community. Sometimes it makes sense to partner with another local business to share some of the costs; or getting a sponsorship or selling tickets in advance might be an option to help defer some of the costs.
Craft a marketing plan – no surprise on this on,e right? Determine how you are going to best promote the event. Email, direct mail, social media, print media (such as radio or newspaper), flyers, postcards, signs at your facility, local TV spots, online community calendars, Craigslist, social media or other online ads, telephone calls ... the list goes on. There are many different ways to get the word out. Be aware that some advertising spots have to be planned 60 days in advance, and always allow a minimum of three weeks for any print materials to be ordered. (If you wait too late, you may incur rush fees for getting a job completed quickly.)
Contact your local media – they can be your best friend when it comes to building awareness of your event in your community. Most magazines, newspapers and radio stations have a submission section on their websites; this is the perfect place to submit a press release to the local reporters and bloggers about your event, and invite them to attend. Also send them a follow-up press release after the event so those who couldn't or didn't attend will see a value and make more effort to attend your next one.
Hint: consider adding a charity drive, as this helps encourage local media to participate. Toys for Tots, Make a Wish or a local food drive for your community's food pantry is a great way to encourage participation and build local goodwill.
Start the social buzz – obviously as the author of Social Trigger Points, I would be remiss if I didn't advise using social media to get your ideal target audience excited about your event. Post photos or get your fans to participate in your prep work by asking for their advice. Maybe even create a social contest around the event. Remember, social buzz isn't just prior to the event; enlist the help of a friend, co-worker or staff member to post and tweet photos and updates during the event. This will encourage participation and drive up your social engagement.
Lead capture promotions: In order to make the most of the event, you'll want to develop a way to capture all your attendees' contact information. Whether your goal is to build your lead list or make sales, you will want to continue to connect with your guests for future events, offers and services.
There are multiple ways to capture their information; the most common is to have a prize or drawing where you get their name, email and mobile number to enter on a form. You can make it really simple and have a guestbook for people to sign when they enter. If you are looking for a new-tech way that is lots of fun, set up a mobile contest campaign. People opt-in using the mobile text feature on their phones and there are random text messages sent out during the event notifying people that they have won. There are specific rules and spam laws you need to follow to perform this type of drawing, so consult an expert before you try it. The important thing is to capture as many of your guests' information as possible so you can continue to connect with them after the event.
Make it a FUN experience – if it doesn't go according to plan, almost nobody will know, unless you make it known. We all know nothing ever goes off without a hitch. There is no such thing as a disaster the day of an event, so keep a cool head and look for ways to make it work with a smile on your face. Make plenty of mental notes and give yourself permission to decompress afterwards so you can make corrections for next time.
The money is in the follow-up – one of the most overlooked parts of planning an event is in the follow-up afterwards. In the rush of planning for the event, remember to make plans for the follow-up email, social media posts, press releases and other direct-mailing pieces.
Have a way to evaluate the response from the event. How many new clients did you get? How many of them were already your clients? Did you get to spend time with your ideal customers? Did you book any treatments? How many attendees booked massages following the event? Did your current patients increase their frequency of treatments after the event?
It's a good idea to create and schedule three to four follow-up emails to send out after the event. This is a good way to automatically cultivate all your leads and encourage any potential new customers to make an appointment. More than likely, you are going to be excited, happy and exhausted for several days after the event, so the more pre-planning you do and the more elements you can automate, the easier it will be for you.
Whether you are planning for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small-Business Saturday, a grand opening, customer appreciation day or any other event, with a little bit of planning, you can make it a great success; one that will leave all your friends and customers talking for days and asking when your next one will be! Follow these tips and you should be less stressed and have more success.
Click here for more information about Stephanie Beck.
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