Four Cash Based Trends Chiropractors Should Consider (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this article, we discussed the fact that most chiropractor are looking (or should be) to increase their cash-based, non-insurance dependent portion of their practice.  We looked at two rapidly growing cash-based trends that may definitely apply well in the chiropractic setting: (1) the mindfulness massage and (2) the various “spin-offs” of the mindfulness concept (in terms of rehab, nutrition, weight loss, etc).

In today’s article, we will discuss two more concepts that you can use to bolster the cash-based portion of your practice, to build your business and/or at the least, expand your mind in that direction. Here they are:

3)Label It!

Look around at the fitness, wellness and spa trends and see what you can apply to your business.  At present time, there’s literally an explosion of “labels” for things we used to call working out, diet or exercise.  In the workout sector, there’s Zumba®, Yogalates™, Piloxing®, CrossFit™, TRX®, The Skinny Jeans Workout™ and P90X™ just to name a few.  Dieting and weight loss – there’s the latest trends of Paleo©, SlowCarb, Sensa®, Thin Shots™ alongside long time labels such as Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem®, Atkins™,  and Weight Watchers™.

What’s in a name? For one, instant recognition in an oversaturated market full of similar choices. Consumers shop for the latest fitness craze just as they search for the newest designer purse or hi-tech gadget.

Chiropractic Application

  • Chiropractic is no stranger to labels either in terms of techniques.  So what about you?  Can you “package” your approach and put a label on it?  Perhaps you won’t ever get to the point that you take your show on the road ala Activator®, ART®, CBP® or Brimhall©.  (But then again, maybe you will.)  The good news is that the process of systematizing, labeling and promoting what you do as a brand can go a long way into building name recognition within your community.
  • Want to take it even further? Put your label on your website, start a blog, a podcast or write a book.  (With today’s technology, it’s easier and cheaper than you think!)

4) Don’t Forget the Men…

While the above may sound a bit more feminine to some, don’t make the mistake of thinking these trends are for women only.  The numbers of men who are electing (i.e. paying cash) to have more serious work done at MedSpas is increasingly rapidly.  “Bro-tox” (which includes fake 6 pack abs, calf implants, nose jobs and wrinkle reduction, amongst others) is making huge gains (256% growth in the last decade) as men are lining up to have plastic surgery injectable procedures performed, love handles lasered off and more.  I’m not sure how far you may want to go into the outer realms of chiropractic (obviously a sticky issue in our profession right now, with all the talk of prescription rights, etc) but it is food for thought for some of you.   One concept I’ve seen work very well is what I call (for lack of a better term) “manly massages.” Think legalized abuse, whereby the massage therapist goes full-tilt boogie with the  elbows to achieve a “super-deep” massage that will leave even the alpha male with memorable muscle soreness that is somehow pleasurably painful and/or therapeutic.

Chiropractic Application

  • Take a look at your demographics.  If 80% of your patients who get massage are female, you are missing a huge opportunity to appeal to the other gender.  Consider the fact that maybe your massage advertisements or branding are too fluffy for the average blue-collar fella who doesn’t want to admit to his beer drinking buddies that he’s got a massage appointment.  On the other hand, perhaps navigating the challenge of a 60 minute “manly massage” torture session with Helga would appeal to the burly types.
  • And yes, think of the “manly massage” as a premium priced service – an upgrade from your standard massage package, if you will. And another chance to increase your profit margins.  I’ve seen this concept work well (in my own clinic and many others) with our own Helga who is constantly booked and charges a higher rate than our other therapists.  This is a non-insurance massage for which we’ve even combined concept #3 and given it a new name – i.e. not plain old massage.  Here some creativity, branding and exclusivity all adds up to bigger profits and, interestingly enough, rabidly loyal clientele.  (Not yet started on massage?  What are you waiting for? Consider the revised and updated edition of our best seller — Build a $300,000 Massage Practice in Your Chiropractic Clinic)
  • Or perhaps you take the other route and appeal to the men who love to be pampered.  Perhaps your “manly massage” is too brutal and not capturing the men who are more interested in lasering off their lovehandles or having a head rub session. I’ve seen this concept work too.  Case in point, a buddy of mine goes to a regularly and enthusiastically patronizes a lousy hairstylist (take a look at my pic – I’m as bald as an egg, so if I say the haircut is bad, it must be awful).  The reason he tolerates the stylist’s poor craftsmanship? He gets a 5 minute headrub with it!  The price? $35.  The way I calculate it, he could go to a barber for the same (or better) quality haircut for $15-20 and in reality, he has spent the other $15-20 for a headrub.  When I confronted him with this – he readily admitted that he’d easily pay for the headrub without the haircut but didn’t know how to approach the stylist.  My guess – he is not the only one!  I’ve seen this concept work elsewhere and, truth be told, I might just line up for the headrub massage feature itself, if it were offered – and obviously, I don’t need the haircut!

Conclusion

I think one of the primary reasons why more chiropractors don’t do more cash business is a lack of creativity, a lack of business savvy and a lack of understanding what else is going on outside our little chiropractic bubble.

Pick up a spa magazine – you’ll find several of these concepts in every issue.  Look at the dentists – they are getting into “sleep medicine” and fitting their patients with anti-snoring devices, not that it has anything much to do with your teeth but because they have ready access to your mouth and jaw, so voila! Now, you need a device they can sell you. Look at pretty much every industry out there – upgrades abound.

Truth be told, you may find some of this offensive or out of your comfort zone.  Rather than throw out the whole concept, think.  How can you increase cash based business with ancillary products or services that are within your realm of expertise or inside your niche?

In most offices I visit, I can spot opportunities right under the chiropractors nose.  Some of these opportunities and income streams wind up producing an extra $50K per year for my client.  Some wind up being instrumental in doubling their revenue (or beyond).  And still others lead to the formation of another business or two that produce their own independent income streams.

The creation of these opportunities is not solely because of my brilliance and therefore, in accessible to all of you who are not my clients.  (But it may be a good reason for considering becoming one!)  Rather, spotting opportunities has a lot do to with objectively stepping outside your own business and observing what needs improving, what are your core strengths and identifying the potential goldmines you are sitting on.  Certainly, you can apply the concepts of this article and Part 1 and spend some thought on the same.

And, to avoid selling myself too short, you can also take a moment, complete a FREE Practice Analysis and see what I think as well …  

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