Chiropractors can focus on delivering quality care versus day-to-day business operations in a chiropractic franchise
CONSIDERING THE FAVORABLE ECONOMIC STATE OF THE INDUSTRY, CHIROPRACTIC CARE IS RIPE FOR MONUMENTAL GROWTH. Think about this: American consumers are increasingly turning to chiropractic to relieve pain — 35.5 million adults annually, according to the well-documented Gallup study commissioned by Palmer College of Chiropractic, which was recently referenced in an American Chiropractic Association industry outlook article. An entire generation of Americans is utilizing chiropractic care for regular health and wellness benefits. According to the same Gallup/Palmer College of Chiropractic study, “roughly one-fourth of U.S. adults say they have seen a chiropractor in the past five years.”
To further this point, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that we are in a remarkable period in the chiropractic profession, with 12% annual growth in the number of chiropractors entering the workforce. Subsequently, the industry offers a unique value proposition for inspired chiropractors seeking to leverage this wave of demand.
The franchise consideration
While these conditions have created significant opportunity, it’s understandable that increased competition underscores a new reality. Proven business models, effective operational processes and systems, innovative marketing programs and pathways to navigating regulatory issues all become required to survive and thrive amid this new landscape.
By joining a chiropractic franchise, practice owners and chiropractors can focus on delivering quality care versus the day-to-day operations of a business. A franchise model provides a well-established path for solidifying new business launches and reinforcing sustainable growth. Additionally, the scalable nature and reliable support it offers are the most attractive aspects of franchising.
For franchises, developing a winning recipe centers on empowering chiropractors, as well as others who are entrepreneurially-minded and passionate about business, to bring exceptional and affordable chiropractic care to their communities.
Many franchises are offering a compelling, distinctive model, introducing chiropractic services to people who have never tried them. What does it take to boost your business to a franchise? What elements need to be in place? What qualifications should you consider of the franchisor? Here are three points for you to examine, beyond the business opportunity itself.
Regulations and compliance
Chiropractic care is licensed and regulated in all 50 U.S. states. As a result, it’s imperative that practice owners and chiropractors adhere to local and federal regulations. Often a moving target from state to state, the regulations and ensuing compliance can present barriers to launching a chiropractic business and sustaining it. These complexities impact ownership, employment and practice services.
With the backing of a franchise system, practice owners and chiropractors have a support mechanism to maneuver through initial and ongoing regulations, and the associated compliance. It is critical for franchises to have a systematic approach to address, assess and support implementation of these operations and modifications. Through regular assessments, franchisors support practice owners, and their chiropractors understand what is required of them. By doing so, chiropractic franchisors instill a sense of confidence in the business model and help create a scalable enterprise for franchisees to develop.
In the end, consistent and conscientious programs that offer compliance support provide the groundwork practice owners and chiropractors seek in order to focus on serving their patients, maximizing profitability and preserving resources.
Franchisors put time, money and energy into research and development to create the processes that make their brands successful. When a prospect signs on to join a franchise system, they believe these systems and procedures can guide them to success, as well. As a franchisor, your franchisees depend on you to provide them with the training and ongoing support necessary to properly execute their entrepreneurial endeavor.
One of these foundational processes is a robust training program. In general, this includes a multi-day instructional event at the franchisor’s home office, subsequent on-site training ahead of the official opening, as well as ongoing support post-opening. The educational component provides the framework for franchisees to learn how to operate effectively and increase the chances of reaching profitability in a reasonable timeframe.
Additionally, field operations representatives offer valuable supervision of a franchise system. The field support team, including regional developers, generally help franchisees run and improve their business. This not only ensures a franchisee is receiving the benefit of the franchise system infrastructure, but it also protects and maintains a franchisor’s commitment to its proven methods and the brand equity it has established.
As franchisees launch and grow their practices, a benefit of franchising is seeking out and finding operational support within the franchise system from other franchisees. This knowledge sharing and collaboration on best practices allow franchisees to create a network of support within the organization.
Strategic marketing efforts
The advantages of providing effective marketing programs are an often-overlooked part of a franchise system. Frequently, the marketing expertise contained within franchise systems is exactly why franchising becomes a viable option.
When franchisees pay into an advertising fund and commit to their local advertising marketing spend, they in return expect strong marketing support to drive business. It’s important to note that franchise systems have a distinct appeal when it comes to leveraging marketing buying power versus independents and small chains. Accordingly, franchisors typically go deep into the marketing funnel. As a result, franchisees are provided with multiple facets of the marketing mix — from print and broadcast options to digital solutions — meaning franchisees do not have to create their own strategic marketing efforts.
As such, franchisors can play an important role in creating local marketing approaches for franchisees to drive trial, patient acquisition and awareness-building. Beyond traditional marketing channels, franchisors arm franchisees with tactics to embed local practices and chiropractors into the communities they serve. From event-based activities such as booths to open house programs that invite the neighboring population into the practice, sharing franchisor-designed grassroots programs that have been effective strategies often helps solidify the local presence.
To franchise, or not to franchise?
There are endless opportunities to replicate successes from within a franchise system, especially through the implementation of process and procedure programs, ongoing training and knowledge sharing, and providing cost-effective marketing strategies. Together, these points set the stage for chiropractors to grow their practice through franchising.
With operational and ongoing franchisor-initiated marketing support, a franchisee is provided with well-established systems, along with branding and messaging to effectively communicate their service offerings. As a result of these undeniably attractive elements, individuals, chiropractors, investment teams, private equity companies and others have opened and operate several chiropractic franchise locations, and increasingly, have ambitions to add more locations — thus fostering the growth of chiropractic.
PETER HOLT has served as the president and CEO of The Joint Chiropractic since 2016. He has more than 30 years of experience in the franchise community, including managing franchise systems in domestic and international markets and serving on the board of directors for the International Franchise Association (IFA), where he worked earlier in his career. To learn more about The Joint Chiropractic’s franchise opportunities, visit thejointfranchise.com, and for more info or to contact the author go to thejoint.com.