Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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An International Life: An Interview with Mary Elizabeth Wakefield
I met Mary Elizabeth Wakefield during her class last summer in Seneca Falls, New York at the Finger Lakes School of Chinese Medicine.
Treatment of PTSD: An Opportunity for the Practice of Integrated Medicine
PTSD is widespread across America today. Not only do many of our honored men and women in uniform bring it home with them from the war zones they have been active in, but it often follows any life-threatening event people go through when their lives have been in danger.
Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology: Version 2.0
The Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology consensus, published in 2001 by the collaborative efforts of the North American Spine Society, the American Society of Spine Radiology and the American Society of Neuroradiology, has guided radiologists, clinicians and the public for more than a decade.
Going On-Site With Chiropractic Care
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released a position paper highlighting the financial, clinical and patient-satisfaction benefits of providing chiropractic care at on-site corporate health clinics.
Desert: A Metaphor from the Study of Genetics
In most of the human lives I know about, there are stretches of time which feel stagnant, or worse. We can feel adrift, or wounded and sidelined, and these times don't seem to carry much usefulness while they are unfolding.
Sports Medicine 101: Surgery or No Surgery?
In the world of sports medicine, many careers are saved by surgeries that correct traumatic damage to the body. Muscle tears, ligament damage, fractures, spinal disc herniations, and joint instabilities are a few of the issues frequently addressed with surgical intervention.
Q&A With the First VA Chiropractic Residents
As you may have read previously, a major step forward for the profession occurred in July 2014 when the Department of Veterans Affairs began piloting a chiropractic residency program at five locations.
I was sitting in a Pizza Hut in Peoria, Ill., with my friend Reggie, sometime in the spring of my senior year in college, when he started doodling on his paper placemat. In those days, the company had a picture of U.S. on the mats, showing all the locations of the "Huts" in the country.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 3)
A patient with sacroiliac fixation and dysfunction ordinarily demonstrates a noticeable leg-length inequality when placed in the prone position on the adjusting table.
Integrative Medicine for the Underserved: A Seat at the Table
Numerous organizations have risen to the challenge of providing care to medically-underserved populations and here we feature one such group.
News in Brief
Investigating the Cellular Impact of Mechanical Force; National Board Seats (Not-So) New Officers at Annual Meeting.
Meet Cheyenne: Your Future Colleague
Allow me to introduce you to Cheyenne (Chey), the daughter of some of our family's closest friends. We attend and serve at the same church together, and have known each other for many years.
Key Changes and Updates to the 7th Edition CNT Manual
Acupuncture Today recently interviewed Jennifer Brett, ND, L.Ac. regarding the updates to the CNT manaul.
Should You Change an Athlete's Natural Running Form?
Once past the ankle, impact forces travel at about 200 mph into the knee. In addition to allowing the quad to absorb force, bending the knee (E) prevents the hip and pelvis from moving up and down too much (F), which is important for injury prevention and efficiency.
The Three Heater Official
This Official, belonging to the element Fire, is responsible for maintaining and regulating the heating system of the body, mind, and spirit. It is named for its function. The trunk is divided into three "burning spaces" or "jiaos."
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 2
The Da Cheng includes symptoms for the source-luo points that indicate when to use them for treatment. Yang defines the method as the guest-host (it is one of a variety of acupuncture point combinations called guest-host).
Creating Relationships at Southwest Symposium
The month of May brought many interesting activities. As I have said in many previous columns this year, this profession is moving in a very exciting direction. Make sure you are getting involved. If you're not, you just might get left behind.
Chinese Doctors Poke Holes in Australian Study
A recent Australian clinical trial, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2014 by Rana Hinman, et el., evaluating the effectiveness of both needle and laser acupuncture for chronic knee pain.
NCCAOM Video Contest
The NCCAOM is excited to announce the launch of the second annual video contest "Because it Works!" 2015.
The Risks I Took
We all take risks when we choose this profession. For some, it is not knowing if you can make a living practicing TCM. For others, it is parental or cultural disapproval.
Marketing with a Microphone
When given an option, it stands to reason that people prefer to do business with those they know, like, and trust.
December, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 12
Adding Vision, Momentum and Growth: Working Beyond the Day-to-Day Business
By Ann Brown, LMT
As a spa director, I try to do my very best to not only manage my business day-to-day, but also steer it with some vision. It's a challenging task to take care of the present and look into the future at the same time, trying to see the forest through the trees when you are taking care of all the day-to-day operations that need your attention. It's hard to be the visionary and the operations manager as well.
To make sure I don't lose sight of the goals and mission, I try to spend a portion of my day thinking about the big picture. For me, reading articles about leadership, management and entrepreneurism really help me get excited and ready for the future. I don't want to stand still. I realize that no one really stands still in the spa/massage business because it is very physical work and sometimes very emotional as well. But we can end up standing still in where we are going personally and professionally when we just do the work and don't think about why and where we want it to take us.
Trying to just handle daily operational tasks can take up a lot of time, especially if you are a hands-on performer in your business. Oftentimes, the financial, management and leadership things are left until the end of each business day. I know many of you reading this article are hands-on and it may be very challenging for you to find the time to do the daily, weekly or monthly financials or set out a marketing plan for your business's future – the end-of-the-day tasks that can often get lost to dinner, family, kids or other obligations or to some simply much needed downtime.
I recently read a really good article, "Is your company willing to be challenged?" by Baron Christopher Hansen. I happened upon the editorial on Twitter and don't know Hansen besides reading his brief biography, but I really enjoyed what he had to say. I recommend you read it. It does have a big company/corporation feel, but I often look to the bigger fish for ways to grow and develop. Even if you are a small business – a one-man shop or managing only a few employees, you can incorporate big ideas into your personal and professional world.
In Baron's article, he said, "Some owners and CEOs are unwilling to be challenged or to implement improvements ‘under the hood.'" Some are fearful or insecure, in a complex conundrum or just plain stubborn. However, if your company plans to face today's economy and the future, being open to challenges as a leader and as a business may be the difference between your organization prospering or fading away. He goes on to talk about a competitor either "nearby or upstream."
I know that when the economy took a nose dive, it hit us hard in the third quarter of 2007. I decided to ask our entire team (40 at the time) to come to a strategic planning session to do a SWOT analysis to look at our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This was not a mandatory meeting, but we had more than 20 staff members show up to help in this process and I thought 50% was a pretty good number. I know I was "fearful and insecure" because up to this point, it had been mostly smooth sailing for our spa. Since we had opened in 2000, our revenues had climbed each year. More and more LMT's were looking at our company to be a part of our team and we were seeing more and more referrals from clients that had already been with us.
I went into that SWOT analysis feeling really paralyzed. I wanted to keep growing our revenues and keep our staff making good money, but there seemed to be less and less appointments, less groups in our resort and less leisure guests taking vacations. Together, the 20 staff members and I spent four to five hours with a facilitator going through the SWOT process and it was one of the best things ever for our company. I think one of the largest outcomes was we made a decision as a team, not just a CEO or spa director or GM or manager making it – it was all of us together looking out for each other.
We were straightforward and honest with each other without hurting feelings and we tried to keep it at a level that affected our guest expectations and our bottom line, beginning by adding some new referral programs to ask guests back. It was so interesting to me to hear other perspectives and to hear some thoughts and concerns I had never thought about. The dialogue was very relative to the health and future of our business. It really brought the team together, and I think, even at this very moment, I still have 80 percent of the 20 staff members that came to that meeting because the task really bonded us to the big picture, helped us to focus on some new things and gave everyone a sense of ownership.
I realize many of you don't have 39 other team members and are running your own small business with just yourself or two to five others involved, but I would hope you would entertain the idea of doing some type of strategic planning session even if it is with you and a mentor, friend, business colleague or a coworker. Baron writes about a "turnaround-management team" coming in to examine your business piece-by-piece for potential leaks, operating flaws or critical areas of improvement. Many of us are not in the position to find that type of "spa/massage detective," but what can you do to help your business still grow revenue, thrive, grow your customer base and sustain?
Challenge yourself and set aside some time to look at all the pieces of your business and see what is working and what is not. I think it could be as simplistic as a list and maybe even a running list (something that you keep in your pocket while you are working) because sometimes thoughts are in and out, and it is best to capture them when they appear. A simple SWOT analysis can bring to mind some visionary goals you want to achieve and reveal some dynamics of your business that may need immediate tweaking to benefit your client or your bottom line. I also believe surveys (anonymous or not) that have a special something tied to them work very well. Plainly ask the guests in your business what they think – Who better to ask? This survey can be done by typing up three to 10 simple questions to hand them before they leave, or ask for an email address (also great to use in future marketing efforts) and send them an online survey. Easy to do! Give them $10 off if they fill out the online survey or the hard-copy one, and hopefully you get two things: (1) needed information about your current business and (2) a repeat client that wants to use their incentive.
There are so many ways to engage and grow your business. Don't get paralyzed thinking it will get better by doing nothing because that usually doesn't happen!
Ann Brown, a licensed massage therapist, is a member of the International Spa Association's board of directors and serves as spa director at Spa Shiki at The Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark, Mo. She also provides management consulting services through Spa Insight Consulting.
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