It’s that time of year again (2011 went by lightening fast) to get your chiropractic office decorated for the December holiday season. Having been practicing at the same location in Los Angeles for nearly 10 years now, we’ve accumulated quite a bunch of Christmas decorations (more get added each year). Each year it is tradition in our office to put up Christmas decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Christmas Cards from Chiropractic Patients
An easy way to fill the office with joy is by saving the Christmas cards patients send to your office each year. For the past few years, we have put holiday cards up behind the front desk, which adds a decorative touch to the file cabinets and walls. We read through all of the cards while putting them up, stimulating memories of all the people we’ve served, and joyful anticipation that we’ll get to see many of them again this holiday season.
Chiropractic Front Office Decorations
Red and green stockings get hung along the front counter with care, and our clients know, that gifts will soon be there. We’ve filled stockings with ice packs, chocolate and other candy (not all chiropractors like that idea), gift cards, hand massagers, and various items that are typically under $10 each.
Chiropractic Posters in Christmas Lights
Last year we decorated the office with white lights on the tree and pretty much throughout the entire office. This year we decided to go with colors, and we strung up about 300 feet of lights, not including the tree which is all decorated in white light. Lights can get hot so expect that the temperature in the office may be warmer than normal, but most chiropractors are working in colder climates during the month of December anyway. The additional warmth shouldn’t be too bothersome.
Santa Claus Stocking Chiropractic Poster
Last year one smart kid that came in the office asked how it was possible that Santa Claus had filled the stockings at ADIO Chiropractic when he’s supposed to be delivering gifts on Christmas Eve. I had to explain to the lad that Santa gets adjusted so that he can travel around the world subluxation free, and that it was more convenient for him to fill stockings when coming in for his chiropractic adjustments.
Sometimes the most basic things are overlooked when we are developing any kind of business space. I’ve taken photographs in various chiropractic offices for about the past 15 years, and there are significant differences as well a similarities, when it comes to chiropractic office design.
This week Planet Chiropractic is working on some of the fundamentals to be discussed with each chiropractic office presentation. For example, with each chiropractic office we do a piece on, we’d like to include data such as square footage, whether the structure is freestanding or part of an office building, leased property or owned property, located at street level or some other floor beside the first floor, geo data, address information (so you can visit the office if in the area), type of practice (multi-doctor, multi-discipline, combines other services, etc.), and the list goes on.
A single photograph can say a lot about a chiropractic office. To get us started on this topic, let’s take a look at this one…
This photo is of the front desk in my Los Angeles chiropractic office. I purposely did not include the front desk manager in the photograph so we could focus on particular aspect of the front desk design. One of the first things people see when they enter the office is the poster that reads “subluxations get on your nerves.” That helps this chiropractic office educate right from the start. There are always pens available (inside the plastic vertebrae on the left) and there is a big pen located on top of the sign in forms. Office hours and healthy affirmations are featured on the laminated page to the right of the sign-in sheet. There is also an ample amount of business cards available at the front desk (more is better).
You’ll notice there are some papers stacked between the business cards and the sheet used for signing in. Those are quarter cut pieces of paper with information about the office. The content of those sheets changes, sometimes being office hours for holidays, reminders of having active e-mail addresses on file, or information about upcoming events.
On the wall to the left is a positive affirmation statement that sits within a plastic tray. This statement gets rotated on a regular basis. below that is a more permanent laminated sign basically saying thank you for making your payments in advance. Further back on the left wall is a large calendar that can be the viewed by everyone at the front desk. It works great for scheduling. Below that are five clipboards with blue sheets of paper on them. I believe there are now eight clipboards in that location but you can only see five in this image. Those are “new patient” clipboards and they are rotated throughout the day, as new people enter the office. The clipboards are based on a “build it and they will come” concept. The office has had times when all five clipboards were in use with new people filling out paperwork (why the others were added).
The front desk is a critical part of any chiropractic business that functions in this sort of model. If you’ve got a particular story about your chiropractic office design, send it our way and we will get it posted to this web site.
Tips for developing a chiropractors adjusting space.
How should I design my chiropractic office? That is a question that nearly every chiropractor will ask themselves at least one time in their chiropractic careers. There are more ways to answer this question then there are chiropractors. Rather than creating a single article on the topic, we’ve developed a section dedicated to the discussion of chiropractic office design.
Many of the design ideas and fundamentals going into the creation of a chiropractic office will be similar to many other service industry types of office design. There are basic things to consider such as parking, proper ergonomics for staff, ease of flow for consumer traffic (patients), electrical design, efficient and appropriate lighting, use and positioning of computers, and a considerable number of other design variables.
One thing that would be unique to chiropractic office design as opposed to design for a medical clinic, would be something such as open adjusting areas versus private adjusting rooms. For nearly everything else, you can get great ideas on chiropractic office design by studying what’s effective and other businesses. Those businesses include any service industry that has consumers enter the place of business for services. I’m sure I’m not the only chiropractor that has studied methods and designs used by companies like In and Out Burger, Southwest Airlines, and Costco, just to name three.
I’d recommend for anyone developing any sort of service based business location to visit businesses in your geographical area that are outside of your professional niche. For example, visit your local Starbucks. Bring along a notepad and take some notes paying particular attention to the things that would cross over to your industry such as parking, ease of access from the front door to the point of payment, entrances and exits, efficient use of space, etc.
Chiropractors may want to consider how many square feet their office should be. When I was in chiropractic school, I remember an instructor saying an office had to be a minimum of 1600 square feet in order to offer any potential as a successful space. I was confused by that since I knew several chiropractors in the Southern California area that practiced in spaces half that size. The instructor’s argument was that 50% of the square footage would be used for therapies. None of the successful chiropractors I knew offered any therapies, which would’ve resulted in wasted space and increased overhead for those practicing in that model.
What kind of chiropractic office?
I won’t get into that topic all at once, it will be discussed in further detail in the office design section and we’ll include photographs from chiropractic offices throughout the world. As an example though, when I was seeking space for my chiropractic office in Los Angeles, I desired something no smaller than 800 square feet and no larger than 1200 square feet. In my case that ruled out many freestanding properties. What was finally decided on was a 900 square-foot space inside a traditional L-shaped strip mall shopping center. Some chiropractors would not even consider building in a strip mall, preferring to either be on a freestanding property, or inside of a medical complex. We’ll be presenting photographs and designs from offices in all those categories.
How many chiropractors and staff?
Will the office be designed for just one individual or will will there be an entire team working at the one location? Take my 900 square-foot office example. It is a comfortable space for two full-time staff and one chiropractor. I’ve seen the same space work with three chiropractors. In contrast, I’ll be sharing some photos of a chiropractic office, that has a space dedicated to insurance billing, which is larger than my entire office.
How many patients?
This may really seem like an idiotic question but it’s one you’d best figure out early in the game. If you’ve never been to a chiropractic office that serves 1000 adjustment visits per week or more, it would be behoove you to check one out before building your space (if that’s where you want to go). I have loads of photographs from high-volume chiropractic offices (thank you doctors) and we’ll be displaying those some organized fashion for you to view.
If your office design plans will be geared towards a space serving 100 visits or less per week, your designs may be radically different than a location doing 10 times those numbers. This same principle applies to other businesses. Again, study businesses in your area that serve about the amount of people that you’d like to see in your business and make notes as to what works in their office design.
It’s your space!
This is just my personal opinion, but ultimately this is your space, and you may potentially spend much of your life there. May as well make it as exciting as possible for you, and let all other things follow from that perspective.
I’ve taken nearly a thousand photographs in my chiropractic office, from the day we laid the first foundations to what it looks like today. We also receive photographs regularly from chiropractic offices throughout the world, which will be discussed and made available for you to view and get ideas from.
As this topic is developing, the best way you could participate is by e-mailing me with your questions, suggestions, success stories, photographs, and anything else related to chiropractic office design. Please note that all information sent is subject to becoming content on this site (minus personal data such as your name and e-mail address).