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Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
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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