June 1, 2017
“Never discount your treatments”
“Give them the agenda for the treatment”
“Never say we’re going to needle you. Always use the word acupuncture”
“You want to be a fountain of free advice”
Essentials For Practice Success: What You Need to Learn Before You Leave Acupuncture School”.
Alyssa described her own rocky start as an acupuncturist but now has a successful practice in Santa Monica, charging $180 for the initial appointment and then $120 per hour. She said she wants to share what she has learned since starting her business in 2011.
About 17 AIMC Berkeley students, alumni and staff were on hand to learn from Alyssa. They peppered her with questions about insurance billing. They asked whether she publicizes her rates on her website. Another student asked what to do when a patient can’t afford your prescribed treatment plan.
“I think it was very useful,” said Suriani Abdul Rani who started at AIMC Berkeley Fall 2016. “We get very stuck in the academics, but this is really preparing us to be practitioners.”
Alyssa was able to share her top three tips but ran out of time at 1pm when many students had to leave for class.
Number one: Mindset
To that end, she sends out “Mindset Mail Mondays” to the acupuncturists who have signed up for her coaching business “Building a 6-Figure Acupuncture Practice”. She said to avoid negativity and get very clear about what kind of practice you want to set up. She asked: how much money do you want to make? How many hours do you want to work? How do you want to feel about your practice? Alyssa said she wants to feel “free”. She loves to travel and just got back from six weeks traveling including a stint in Kenya working alongside Western doctors as an acupuncturist.
Number Two: How do you want to start your practice?
Think about whether you pay a flat fee for your office rental or if you decide to do a split fee—where you pay a percentage of your business—make sure you negotiate a cap.
Number Three: Market your Business
Alyssa shared her “one-line wonder” when people ask her what she does for a living: “I’m an acupuncturist. Have you ever tried it? She said it’s important to: “Educate. Educate. Educate”. That includes sharing with your patient your agenda for the treatment. Also explain your treatment plan. She recommends to her patients that she would like them to make appointments twice during the first couple of weeks then once a week for tune-ups. She also has a treatment script that she says is so, so important.
August 2015 AIMC Berkeley graduate “Chelsea Rutherford, who runs her Elmwood, Berkeley-based Artemisia Acupuncture and Herbs, said: “I really appreciate the part about taking insurance. I know we studied this in school, but it felt far away and not real in the program. It feels more accessible and it pertains to something I might want to do”.
Kathy Woo, a third-term student, said: “I liked her overall attitude. She broke things down into easy steps and tips anyone can do. It was clear and very inspiring.”
For more information, contact: Alyssa Dazet, LAc, Dipl. O.M. “Building a 6-Figure Acupuncture Practice” firstname.lastname@example.org