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Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
August, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 08
Step Eight: Initial Marketing
By John Fanuzzi
As your staff trains and prepares for your spa opening (to be discussed next month), a parallel process must take place: the initial marketing that announces the event, clears the way for the opening, and builds a foundation for future promotions.When I think of marketing, I think of what it takes to make the phone ring to book an appointment or make a sale. Although sales and marketing go hand in hand and are often misunderstood, there is still a distinct difference.
When considering marketing, think of eight "P" words -- Prospecting; Positioning; Packaging; Presentation; Pricing; Promotion; Public Relations; and Profitability. Assuming we have a marketing budget for initial startup and the first year, let's get started and look at these "P" words.
Prospecting: When I hear the word prospecting, I think of looking for the gold. In terms of your spa, the search is no different. Gold is what we need to find. We need to find out who our potential customers are. It is a searching and seeking process. It is a time to be a detective and figure out how to get the best return on the time and money you've invested. Times have recently changed, and I think the best buy for your money is using e-mail in your local area to announce your opening and your services. It is probably more important today to get an e-mail address than a phone number. By using e-mail and building that list, you can send out current information about pricing, specials, new services, new employees, and last-minute openings. You should always include a link to your website in the e-mail. Learn from the beginning how to capitalize on this most effective marketing tool. Of course, there is also good old word of mouth and advertising, which certainly have their place and should be used.
Positioning: This is how you place your services in comparison with the competition. How are you going to win customers? Unique services, better prices, an immaculate atmosphere, the best customer service, a free food and juice bar, limousine service, valet parking, or the most caring employees?
Packaging: Everything in retailing depends on it. The beautiful label can often sell a lousy product. The same applies to the services you sell - the written description that makes the customer want to have the experience, the photographs of the treatment that enhance the description, and the beautiful presentation of the products on the shelf.
Presentation: Think of the first impression you get when you meet someone who's well-dressed, visit a beautifully landscaped home, or dine at a restaurant where the meal looks like a piece of artwork. Your spa should make that same impression every time, with every customer. The way you welcome each customer and lead him/her to each station, the cleanliness of the juice bar, the neatness of the front desk, the graphics of the spa menus, and the logos on the employee's shirts - it all makes a difference. Be creative, but keep in mind which details will bring each customers back with all their friends.
Pricing: I like fair pricing. Check out your local competition to make sure you are in the range of your local economy. Your published prices should not be too high, because you could price yourself out of the market, especially in the beginning. They should not be too low, because you could give the impression that it is an inferior service. You also could be working for minimal margins and could create price wars with the competition, in which case everyone loses. You can have specials, but don't devalue your services. If you list a higher price with the right packaging, you have added perceived value, and if it is performed elegantly you will easily get your price and have repeat business.
Promotion: In the initial marketing stage, and until you have full capacity, you will need to offer specials of all sorts. I would start by having an invitation with a RSVP to all of the businesses and influential people you know. Host a "spa party" at which you could offer a free chair massage, for example. Maybe you could sponsor a fundraiser for some community cause, with half of your sales going to a charity. You could develop an incentive program, such that, for each new treatment a customer tries, a friend receives a free treatment . You could cross-promote with other businesses, especially wedding, restaurant and hospitality. You could offer a free service after three referrals. Be creative.
Public Relations: Send press releases to all the local media for everything you do, and invite the press in for complimentary treatments. If you can afford it, hire a PR person. Write articles or a column for the local newspaper - make yourself an authority for your profession. Attend local chamber of commerce meetings and network with everyone, so you keep a hand on the pulse of the community. It's all about public image. What do your customers really think about you and your spa, and what are their perceptions? Long-term business success boils down to building and nurturing relationships.
Profitability: Don't be discouraged if you are not profitable the first year or two. You are in business to make a profit. It is important to squeeze every bit out of your marketing effort. Take advantage of free publicity. If you do advertise, make sure you get some articles written about your business. Ideally, you want happy customers to do the promotion for you. Successful spas do not need to advertise. When this happens, you can take that marketing money you don't have to spend and turn it into pure profit.
Until next time, keep an eye out for the most giving and loving employees -- next month, we'll discuss initial training.
Click here for previous articles by John Fanuzzi.
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