In December 2010, I attended the opening session of the College Council of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine meeting inAsheville,NC. Many schools attending this conference voiced their need for a better "Best Practices" curriculum. The schools agreed that the "Best Practices" curriculum was generally weak and that a deeper look into this matter would be beneficial.
The 2008 Job Training Analysis by NCCAOM concluded that 91% of the practitioners surveyed were solo practitioners who received between $41,000 and $60,000 a year in revenue but had overhead costs ranging between 35 and 50%. As few as 9% reported revenues over $120,000 a year. These statistics are sad but not shocking because I know most graduatingOMpractitioners are taught to be healers not entrepreneurs. Most are introverted and studious by nature and few acupuncturists can passionately explain to their future clients what they do and how it will help them. Many struggle with finding a way to confidently convert prospects into raging fans.
In August 2011, Acupuncture Today polled their readers:
Do you think incorporating more business management classes in AOM schools is useful for the profession?
YES, was the reply of 88% (330+ acupuncturist polled)
Inspired by the meeting, aware that our profession recognizes the need and excited to finally use my 10 years of practice management and business-coaching experience in a way that would benefit my profession and the schools, I immediately began to develop a "Best Practices" curriculum that teaches future acupuncturists the skill sets they need to be excellent entrepreneurs as well as healers. Fourteen months later, I'm happy to present practicesmart and "the smartstart system."