Podcast Episode #002: Leveraging your passions to bring in more patients by niching down with Dr. Declark

Podcast Episode #002: Leveraging your passions to bring in more patients by niching down with Dr. Declark

August 2, 2018

In this episode, we talk to Dr. Brady DeClerk from Omnis Rehab in Little Rock Arkansas about how he leveraged his interest in Cross Fit to really niche down his practice with amazing results.

 

Tabitha Thomas:

Welcome to the Chiro Business Builders podcast. The podcast where you can come and learn all about what the top chiropractors are doing and how they scaled and built their business. Today we’ve got with us Dr. DeClerk from Little Rock, Arkansas. We’re so excited to have you with us. Thank you for joining us.

Dr. Declerk:
Thank you very much for having me.

Tabitha Thomas:
So, tell me a little about why you picked your office in Little Rock, Arkansas. Are you from that area?

Dr. Declerk:
I’m from Arkansas. I’m from a little town in Northeast Arkansas called Pocahontas, not joking… but Pocahontas, Arkansas and then I went to Fayetteville, and then went to Logan Chiropractic college in St. Louis. Really, I don’t know why I picked Little Rock, I just always thought, “Hey, Little Rock would be a great place to set up shop… raise a family.” It’s kind of central to everything in Arkansas. I just kind of put feelers out after school and then found a place to work as an associate and moved down here and kind of just started from there.

Tabitha Thomas:
Awesome. Awesome. Well I happen to like Little Rock, so…

Dr. Declerk:
Yeah, it’s a great town.

Tabitha Thomas:
It is very much so a great town. So, did you always want to be a chiropractor when you were growing up?

Dr. Declerk:
Actually, no not at all. My parents were some of the ones where I went to college, and they wouldn’t let me go to college without saying I had a goal of being something. I went into kinesiology, because I always liked sports… human movement… doing that with the intention of going to dental school, or at least that’s what I told them. Anyway [inaudible 00:03:31] back a little bit. Getting into about three years down the road, it became time to take the acceptance exam, the DAT, and I knew that I did not want to be a dentist, so I had to start looking at other options.

Dr. Declerk:
Looking at my degree, I could be a personal trainer. I could coach. I could be a physical therapist, which was on top of my list, and also chiropractor. One came to talk to us and came about from all this. I’ve used chiropractors in high school to help me out with some back pain in football. I used to go to one a couple days a week in the morning one season because I was dealing with some sciatica before school, and so he helped me out a lot. And so those were my options, I had a friend in chiropractic school at the time. I called him asking what he felt about it. He said he was having a great time learning a lot. Long story short, I applied, got accepted, and left the next fall. Told my parents I wasn’t going to be a dentist I was going to be a chiropractor.

Tabitha Thomas:
I’m sure they were just as happy with that though.

Dr. Declerk:
My dad always loved going to the chiropractor and loved chiropractic care, so, he was actually ecstatic about it. [inaudible 00:04:33] have a chiropractor in the office and he would then get free chiropractic care for the rest of his life.

Tabitha Thomas:
Well yeah, there’re definite perks. So, you went to Logan College and you got out. What happened then? This is one of my favorite questions. Did you open your own practice? Did you go out and work for somebody else? What did you do?

Dr. Declerk:
I actually went out and worked for someone else. I was an associate for… I guess I was out in 2009, so that would have been almost seven years or so, I worked for someone else. It was a high volume run clinic. I loved the people there. I still owe them so many things just for helping me out. The high volume, mainly personal injury practice… great times… great way to start paying back my student loans because I had a job right out of school. It was hard because I loved the people to actually leave that place, but it wasn’t necessarily why I got into chiropractic.

Dr. Declerk:
Eventually, I had to go kind of wake up and look at things and be like, “Alright if I’m going to know what to do in chiropractic, well, I want to be with this and kinda be fulfilled… I’m gonna have to eventually make the jump and start creating my own brand and my own thing or else I’m gonna be kind of I guess prisoner to a lifestyle,” a prisoner to a job there where I’m not creating something new that I actually want to look back on and be like, “Alright, I created this and I love going to work each day and I love treating these type of patients, and just get a lot out of what I’m doing”.

Tabitha Thomas:
Love it.

Dr. Declerk:
Thank you.

Tabitha Thomas:
So, you own your own practice called Omnis Rehab and you’ve been there for what, two years?

Dr. Declerk:
Yes, a little over two years now. Two and a half almost.

Tabitha Thomas:
So tell us what makes Omnis Rehab different than any other chiropractic places in Little Rock?

Dr. Declerk:
I’ll kind of start this off by not bashing any types of ways that people work or people practice, because everything’s different. I tell patients all the time it’s chiropractors that hurts them and helps them too… that you go to one office and they practice this way you go to one across the street… they may say a completely different thing. What sets me apart is I try to be that almost hybrid a little bit, where I do chiropractic care that every patient that walks in the door… but we’re also going to make sure that we treat muscular problems with soft tissue work… rehabilitative exercises. We’re gonna go through things that… and movement analysis.

Dr. Declerk:
I own a gym next door to my office… it’s crossfit as well… but I see a lot of the cross fitters and other active members of the community that if it hurts when you deadlift, squat, do whatever, we’re going to go over there and if the pain comes back after we get you better then we better look at that movement and fix if from that angle and so we can help this not occur again. I see a lot of patients because I try to get them quickly to wellness plans which I don’t feel like chiropractors do sometimes. I feel like the person walks in the door and they feel like they’re going to have to be there on a 20 to 30 visit treatment plan over the next however many weeks. I like to teach patients what they can do at home and that’s one of the benefits of seeing the active community is I can rely on many of these patients to actually follow through with exercises, stretches, whatever… so we can get them coming to once a month or once every three months on that wellness plan and they know that I’m not going to keep on saying, “Hey, keep on coming back again…keep on coming back again.” That next week… next week… next week I tell them, “Hey, give me this many visits and I’ll put a number on it and I’ll say, “If you’re not feeling better or we’re not getting you close to better, I’m not going to ask you to come back. We’re going to refer you out or we’re going to change up what we’re doing, at least, but you should by this time be feeling better and if not then hey, you can go your way… I’ll go mine, but at least you know that I’m going to put some emphasis behind what I’m doing. If we’re not getting you better I’m not going to keep on hounding you to come back in.”

Tabitha Thomas:
I love it. I love that you target the crossfit industry and just wellness in general. I love that. I feel like that really does set you apart. What would you say the one thing that you’re really good at marketing for your practice? What are you differently from everyone else?

Dr. Declerk:
I guess the way I’m marketing through my practice is… I do a lot of word of mouth. I do social media, getting out there doing that, but I’m trying to be real kind of sincere with what I’m doing so that I’m going after not necessarily, patient A that walks through my door and going, “Hey, that’s a patient, so I have one patient.” No, I’m thinking of it as, “Hey, I don’t know this person. This person may have 1000 friends on Facebook and however many friends in real life, so I better make this person happy and treat them well and make them like me that way they may refer people. That’s something that stuck with me in school and just kind of burned an image into my brain is you know you make one person happy they might tell three people. You make one person mad, they tell the whole world about it.

Dr. Declerk:
Where we’re building on is trying to go, “Hey, every single person that comes in the door, their going to get a good examination. They’re going to get a time with me each day and their going to get a good treatment each day.” We’re going to kind of assess them on the way through and make sure that their getting better and if they’re not, we’re going to kind of veer off and change what we’re doing and make sure they leave out of here and go, “Wow, I’ve never been treated that way in a health care facility before. I didn’t feel like I was getting taken advantage of through just anything financially. I felt like my wellbeing was number one priority to get that issue better.” and then can maintain that through an actual wellness plan that people can stick to. I feel like just by going after that person that walks in my door and then them sending in one or two people down the road… you never know that kind of slow consistent growth… that’s kind of helped build the practice that way. We haven’t had to go out and do much radio advertising or advertising and whatever. It’s just, get out there, get people in the door, and then if you’re only seeing on patient today, treat that one patient good because they could be sending you five tomorrow.

Tabitha Thomas:
So, do you actively ask for referrals from your customers that are coming in?

Dr. Declerk:
Not really referral, I ask them about their family and just kind of make conversation. We have a great office manager who works up front too that is very personable. There are just conversations being made and family members get brought up and there will be little things that pop up in conversation and then that’s where you go like, “Well you know, I treat that, why don’t you give them the number or why don’t you leave their contact info up there and we’ll give them a shout and see if they want to come in.” We’ll promise we won’t hound them. We’ll give them a call, one or two and then if they want to answer the phone they can, if not, [inaudible 00:11:32] more just no really technical referral base but just by making conversation and going through it we know that hey, someone said this so we’re going to kind of follow up on that a little bit more and then go, “Hey well, if you want, we’ll reach out to them.”

Tabitha Thomas:
Got you. Love it. Love it. So, you’re going to love this one. Is there a marketing or business trick that you can teach some of our listeners?

Dr. Declerk:
Yeah, I would say you-

Tabitha Thomas:
Don’t you love it when people put you on the spot?

Dr. Declerk:
…kind of just jumping off of that one, I guess, is… like I said, I don’t have much… I guess the skill in doing the whole Facebook and social media. I know how to put ourselves out there a little bit, but getting out there and actually marketing is I think what it is. You have to get out there and so whether it be going with me, I mean, I owned a crossfit gym before I opened up Omnis Rehab, so I knew some people in crossfit so there’s crossfit competitions going on here every couple months or so, so I just called them up and said, “Hey, can I set up a booth there?”, and people coming by were like, “You actually are a cross fitter yourself and then you actually treat crossfit injuries and you’re not going to tell me to stop, you’re going to try to fix, whatever movement… deadlift, power clean, pull ups, whatever that I’m doing so it doesn’t happen again.” And so just slowly after going to those things people kind of in the back of their head… they know Omnis Rehab. They knew when these things started popping up because with any activity whether it be running or whatever, you’re going to get tweaked and soreness and whatever, so all of a sudden they know, “Oh, I remember that guy who was there in the corner who worked on my shoulder and it felt good and made it feel better that day, and so just getting out there. Find your niche of people, whether it be, I don’t know, nursing homes, whether it be runners, anything, find the events that they go to. If you want to work on runners you’re probably a runner so go join a running club. If you…whatever else with crossfit… go work at a gym, people love to have people drop in the gym. One thing you could tell a crossfit gym owner is they don’t… crossfit gyms are high, membership costs are high so they need every single member that they have because if they lose one they lose maybe a $100 to $200 a month, so they’re going to love you if you say, “Hey, I want to come to your gym and meet your members and also I want to talk to you about keeping your members healthy so that the first time they tweak their shoulder they don’t do anything about it, all of a sudden they have an injury and you don’t have a member anymore.” The worst thing in anything is a hurt member because they drop the membership, so just getting out there, really, and just making sure-

Tabitha Thomas:
I love it.

Dr. Declerk:
…you’re in the back of peoples heads.

Tabitha Thomas:
You know, we had Dr. Ben Adkins on this last time and that was one of the things he talked about doing is going out into the community and joining organizations. He was a member of Lions club and Rotary, and Kiwanis, like all three which is unheard of. You usually pick one and that’s it but he was very adamant about being out in the community. I think that helps them grow his business as well, so, great advice.

Dr. Declerk:
You’re not going to see patients necessarily right then. You’re not going to go to these things or go to Kiwanis or whatever and join it and go, “Alright, patients are rolling in.” but that next year, someone’s going to go, “Hey, I remember you were in there and I hurt my neck and you seem like a nice guy so I thought I’d give you a shot.”

Tabitha Thomas:
It’s a long game for sure, but it’s a good one. So, the next thing I’m going to ask is… If you could give one piece of advice to a chiropractor that’s just getting out of college, what would that advice be?

Dr. Declerk:
One piece of advice to a chiropractor just getting out of college… I guess think about what you want to do in the long run… how you want to practice. I had a way that I wanted to practice. Learn some back business side of things that they don’t teach you that much in college about how to run a business, how to communicate with people, how to develop treatment plans and do that by teaching how to treat people but not necessarily how to run things. You see a bunch of people out of school, maybe who start out their own business and they might keep seeing patients but they don’t know, what’s going on on any other thing. I would say find some place that practices maybe similar you know with me, the way I practice wasn’t similar at all but at least I learned every in and out about how to run an office as you could. Find a place that maybe does things similar and just learn, as much as you can about running the business side of things. People get out of schooling know how to treat people. They’re probably, the people graduating today probably treat people better than I do and I’ve been doing this for nine years. Get out and learn some business side of things and then start paying your student loans back. That’s the number one thing and then you can branch out and go into doing what you want to do and so make sure that you get into that eventually and don’t get stuck where you are doing stuff and look back and go, “Okay, I’m not doing what I want to.” Find what you want to do… find your niche and start building that but make sure you have those tools first that you can actually make it successful.

Tabitha Thomas:
I love it. I love that you said, “find your niche”, because it’s not just there… you got to niche down… you got to niche down. That’s what sets you apart and really makes you stand out from every other practice out there so…

Dr. Declerk:
I found out when I first opened this rehab. I did a lot of different stuff. Even if you think about it, treatments too, there are so many treatment modalities, ways to treat people that work but if you don’t pick two or three and stick with it then you’re going to water yourself down and it’s not going to work.

Tabitha Thomas:
That’s the thing. You can stick with one thing and you’ll still get the other people for the other things, but if you niche down it really does make a difference. Thank you so much for being on the show. I really appreciate it. It’s a really great one. I just really appreciate it, thank you.

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Ben Adkins
Ben Adkins