This month we spoke to one of our Inner Circle members and Done For You agency clients, Brian Bamberger.
Brian set up his clinic in 2000 in on Upper Street, London and in the beginning he was the only Chiropractor there but grew the practice by bringing on a couple of physios, osteopaths, psychotherapists, massage therapists and acupuncturists. And it was all going quite nicely to the point where he formed the clinic into more of a wellbeing business to fit everyone under the umbrella of being more than just chiropractic. “We had a really good deal where if I generated their patients, I’d get 50% of the treatment cost or if they generated them I’d get paid a room rate per hour. So, it was kind of win-win for me. There was lots of politics in keeping it all together, which was fun but frustrating at times as well.”
Then something happened to Brian that changed not only his ability to run a business but also in how he was going to live his life. “I’ve always been into sport, I used to play a lot of tennis, I used to ski every year and I’m a member of the cycling club. But in February 2017 I was on my bicycle, and a car hit me, and boom that was it. It turns out I had four fractured vertebrae, a fractured hip, a dislocated shoulder, a concussion and PTSD. I tried to keep the clinic going but I never really anticipated me not being there to keep an eye on there. And sadly, it slowly unravelled.”
From that April, Brian had to make the decision that the practice was more stress than it was worth. “When I used to go in three or four days a week, I kept it all ticking over and working and we had a nice system in place, but then when I was gone I think lots of things just fell apart. The head receptionist was perhaps a bit too matey with everyone meaning she was a bit too soft with people than she should have been. I’d also get calls and texts from one therapist or another asking me to sort problems or even though I really wasn’t in a fit state to work. So, in that April I decided to close it all down.”
What also didn’t help Brian was that as time went on the damage of the accident on his body became more problematic. “I ended up having five shoulder operations and a spine operation all before the vertebrae healed and then one of the vertebrae became a benign tumour and that took the doctors a year and a half to figure what was going on. I was on lots of medicine and was in a lot of pain, all of the time. I had hip injections, spine injections, shoulder injections, rehab. But then I’d have the operation and do the rehab and then four months down the line things would go wrong again and I’d end up back on square one. And that’s how I spend three years of my life.”
“At the end of 2020 I had my final shoulder operation and it went fine and I realised I could have a real push to get fit again and get back to work. I got on my bike again to cycle around Regents Park, I go swimming. March 2021, I decided I wanted to find a clinic and then I found this place and then within four or five weeks we had got everything sorted; we got the decorators in and was able to get going finally. And we’ve been open since September.”
Brian has gone from a multi-discipline practice to a sole doc clinic where he’s the Chiropractor, the CA, and every other job that needs doing. A reset, as he described it. But this reset led him to want to get some help on the marketing side of things, which led him to the Done For You agency. “I was sold on the whole thing by the clarity of what the agency provides, they spell it out for you, what they can do and it was exactly what I was looking for. My first screening was a real success, my second the next month too, but then we had that spike in Covid cases around Christmas, so we definitely saw a little bump in results around then.”
At Brian’s latest spinal screening at the time of writing saw him sell 34 tickets, book in 29 of those, of which 19 turned up and 13 converted. And all that for spending around 1/3 of the normal cost of running those ads. “I’ve learnt a lot about the cadence of communicating with clients and that one of the easiest way of generating new patients is through advertising. My lead conversion is a little rubbish, but that’s because I’m doing everything on my own. That’s something I want to work on this year, bringing a few people on board to help ease the workload on me so I can focus on running the business and seeing the patients.
On how he’s found being part of the Inner Circle so far, Brian highlights that it really makes you feel like you’re a part of a community. “You know, being a Chiropractor and a business owner is kind of a lonely job unless you know other people you do struggle to get advice on things. But here it’s not like that at all. I’m not really a big one for posting all the time on the Facebook group but it’s amazing to go on there and see people have similar insecurities, problems and frustrations as you. I’ve seen people on there deal with problems with big teams and I know there’s lots of personalities to deal with on that size and I can definitely relate with my experience at my old clinic. I kind of like the fact that what I have right now is small and hopefully it will grow and I know the Inner Circle will help me with that. It’s kind of like therapy for Chiropractors, it helps you see discussions, issues in the industry and prompts you to have a plan for your business and its future.”
On what perhaps sets the Inner Circle apart, Brian is quick to highlight the ethos of the team Ryan has put together. “There’s a feeling of giving and serving in everything the team does. You can see that from Ryan and its certainly top down to everyone that works in the team. You get the feeling from the start that you’re going to get good service and it doesn’t change when you get in deeper with them, they don’t prioritise new members and ignore some older ones. Everyone is treated the same, they truly care.”
And finally, on what’s surprised him the most since joining the Inner Circle, Brian pauses and chuckles before revealing it’s the Talks Bootcamp that Ryan ran in October. “I turned up expecting a weekend of PowerPoints, very boring stuff. Then I arrive to this high-energy public speaking course and was like ‘what I have got myself into’ but it was fantastic. It’s a confidence booster. I’m doing my own talks in the clinic every other week and even though the numbers are still a bit down from the spike in covid I’m hoping they’ll pick up again now.”