June 1, 2017
As part of the workshops and events offered at Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College (AIMC), Alyssa Dazet, author of “Building a 6-Figure Acupuncture Practice” came in to talk with our students and give them advice before graduation. Here are some of our takeaways and highlights.
“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”.
Starting off, Alyssa described her own rocky start as an acupuncturist. She 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 and 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 shared with us her top three tips.
Number One: Mindset
Alyssa sends out “Mindset Mail Mondays” to the acupuncturists who have signed up for her coaching business “Building a 6-Figure Acupuncture Practice”. Mindset is everything, and being mindful about how you start your week, your day, and your month is important to achieving your goals. She advised avoiding negativity and setting up a very clear picture about the kind of practice you want. 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, such as her six-week stint in Kenya working alongside Western doctors as an acupuncturist.
Number Two: How Do You Want to Start Your Practice?
She recommends to 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.”
This includes sharing with your patient the agenda for any treatment and also explaining 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 very important in retaining customers.
Chelsea Rutherford, AIMC Berkeley graduate now practicing at Artemisia Acupuncture and Herbs said, “I really appreciate the part about taking insurance… 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.”
Interested in more events like this?
At AIMC we have a number of events and workshops for our students as well as hosting continuing education classes for alumni and the community. Check out our calendar for more information and upcoming classes and events.