5 Ways To Overcome The Rising Costs of Running a TCM Clinic

October 19, 2017 Acupuncture Practice Management

Sometimes running a small business makes you feel like Sisyphus. You push the boulder up the hill only to watch it roll back down again. And again. And again. Forever. And all you have to show for your efforts are bruises.

As a small business owner, you’re always aware of rising costs that cut deeply into your profit margin. Nobody wants to put money into a business and have nothing to show for it. Nobody wants to feel like Sisyphus.

So how can you get the boulder over the top and show a profit?

Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners face the same challenges as other small business owners. In a hyper-competitive market, you need to be endlessly creative to find ways to manage costs. That’s no easy thing. Many costs are frankly out of your control.

If you run a larger TCM clinic, you have to deal with the always rising costs of overheads and maintaining a professional roster of staff — competitive wages, health insurance, training, and so on. Of course, you can avoid many of these costs if you operate your own solo practice, but let’s face it: you’re probably trading those costs for other ones, right?

Meanwhile, competition has never been fiercer. There is always downward pressure on the fees you can charge. Aggressive online voucher companies drive down the prices patients are willing to pay for acupuncture and other treatments. I can already hear you complain: How can I charge less for my services when my costs are always rising?

Nobody wants to pay out for no return. Here are some tips to manage rising costs.

Think carefully about the cost-effectiveness of each of the treatments you provide

Some treatments are not as profitable as others. That is not to say you have to be ruthlessly focused on money. You are a healer and a comprehensive range of treatments is important. But a careful scrutiny of the costs of each of your treatment plans will allow you to better assess how you should best set your fee schedule.

Encourage your customers to pay with cash

As you know, credit card transactions are a convenience for customers but attract fees. Cash purchases have not yet gone the way of the dodo and Blockbuster Video. So let your customers know that cash is a good way to pay, too.

Be resourceful

Putting money back into your business is essential, but it also pays to honestly assess the profitability of your existing assets. You may be sitting on under-utilized technology or skills.

Keep up-to-date

If you are working in a specialist field like Traditional Chinese Medicine, you have to keep tabs on developments in the field. You may be missing out on cost-saving initiatives and new methods. It’s a good idea to read the latest industry news, attend conventions, and stay abreast of new ways of managing TCM practices.

Get with the tech

Acupuncture practice management software will integrate a variety of activities and keep your operations streamlined. That’s a great way to avoid doubling up on costs.


Guest blog post by Matt Leask.