Two Successful Practice Tips by the ND Who Wrote the Book On It

Here’s a guest post by the lovely Kristen McElveen:

Have you ever wondered why there are so few business how-to’s written by a naturopathic doctor (ND) who has actually owned a successful practice? I asked myself this question a lot while starting my first private practice. All kinds of alternative practitioners have various different programs and webinars, but none of them really fit well with what I was trying to do as an ND. It was because of this struggle that I finally decided to write my own book, Tips on Creating a Successful Naturopathic Practice: Based on the Ups and Downs of a ND in Private Practice. I have been consulting for new and struggling NDs for years and had always wanted some sort of book, or guide, to help us as a profession be more successful. Then one day, I thought, “wait a second, I own a successful naturopathic practice. I will write that guide!” So I did. It’s a great compilation of what worked (and didn’t work) for me as well as answers to the most common questions I get from new NDs.

Two huge tips I’d love to share with you now are:

  1. Consistently Work on Your Online Presence – whether you’re into technology or not, your online presence will greatly affect your exposure, especially when starting off on your own or getting through down times. You need to at least have a decent website and at least one social media account (TwitterFacebookPinterestInstagram, etc) that you update regularly. This is a great way to stay in the minds of your target audience and to actually interact with them. Just the other day I was stopped in the grocery store by one of my Facebook fans whom I regularly interact with online but had never met in person, and you’d better believe that when one of her friends or family needs good medical care, I’ll be the first one she thinks of! A lot of my referrals come from people I have never met, whom follow me on social media or just thought my website was informative (and pretty). This is a great way to become a go-to for reliable health information and can help speed up word-of-mouth marketing (which is the most valuable form of marketing).
  2. Don’t Drown in Your Medicinary – your medicinary can be a huge income source, but it can also be a huge strain on your bottom line if you get too much and end up throwing out hundreds of dollars of expired product a few times a year. This is going to vary for everyone, so it’s important you keep in stock the things you can’t keep on the shelf (like B vitamins, fish oil and probiotics) and take advantage of drop-ship programs for the rest, especially when you are just starting out. I have to say, Fullscript has been a wonderful service that I take full advantage of as it helps me monitor patient compliance and not spend so much time waiting for payments and drop-shipping refills! These programs are designed to help us, so why not take advantage of them so you can focus on your practice?

Here’s a little sneak peak about what else I discuss in the book:

  1. How to Use Your Time Wisely While Waiting for Board Results
  2. Tips and Ideas About Joining a Practice Versus Starting from Scratch
  3. The Importance of Scheduling and How it Can Reflect Your Level of Professionalism
  4. The Pros and Cons of Discount Programs
  5. Useful Resources, Companies and Programs

This guide can be found on Amazon and is exclusive to Kindle (meaning it’s free to borrow for you Prime members!). Don’t have a Kindle? Don’t worry. Simply download the free Kindle App for your smartphone, tablet or Mac/Windows 8 computer and you’re all set to go! I wanted this to be affordable and available to any ND wanting more business advice and I felt this was the best platform to do just that.

About Kristen McElveen:

Dr. Kristen McElveen graduated from National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) in 2007. After two years of residency at NCNM, she moved back to the East Coast where she started her private practice, Bare Medicine, in Springvale, Maine in 2009. As well as managing her practice, Dr. McElveen also consults for NDs and other healthcare providers on marketing, social media and practice/clinical management.