#004 How A Hip Joint is changing the way Chiropractic is done and creating guaranteed income every month.
October 22, 2018
So tell me, how much do you hate insurance? I know when we go to chiropractic conventions, it’s the one thing we hear all the time, how much people hate dealing with insurance. They would love what they were doing, if it wasn’t for insurance. Well, on today’s episode of Chiro Business Builders we are talking to the Founders of A Hip Joint in Springfield, Missouri, and they’ve done just that. They took insurance out of their practice, and they are completely reinventing what chiropractic business looks like.
This place, they have memberships for chiropractic, acupuncture and massage. What that means, guys, is that they have guaranteed income coming in every month. How incredible is that? Not only that, but they treat their clients like family. They give them free drinks, free snacks, free WiFi, free massage chairs. It’s all incredible. Their office is decked out with art from local artists, so they’ve got a community aspect going on.
Not only that, but they also have an app that allows customers to book appointments online even in the middle of the night without having to call the office. How awesome is that? I wish you all had apps for appointments. They do all of this while wearing jeans and playing rock music in the office. They are simply just enjoying what they’re doing. From the growth of the business, it looks like people are really digging it. I cannot wait to share this one with you. Let’s take a look.
Announcer: You’re listening to the Chiro Business Builders podcast, giving you behind the scenes access to the world’s top chiropractors, and how they build and scale their business. Here’s your host, Tabitha Thomas.
Tabitha Thomas: Welcome to the Chiro Business Builders podcast, a podcast with an inside look into the most accessible chiropractic practices and how they got there. Today I have with me Dr. Eric and Dr. Tania with A Hip Joint in Springfield, Missouri. Let me tell you guys, this place is awesome. They have a totally different idea of how chiropractic should look, and I am in love with it. They have massage chairs, free food, free drinks. They have free WiFi. And, they have an app that you can schedule appointments on. And, this is the biggest one, they don’t deal with insurance. How amazing is that?
Tabitha Thomas: They not only run a successful practice, but they’re loving the life they’re building. Welcome to the Chiro Business Builders podcast. We are thrilled to talk to the both of you.
Dr. Eric Reavis: Well thank you so much for having us.
Dr.Tania Reavis: Yes, thank you for having us.
Tabitha Thomas: I’m in love with your practice. I was looking for chiropractors to talk to, and I have to tell you, I went into Facebook. This is my number one way I research people, is looking of Facebook. I typed in “Chiropractor in Missouri” and you guys were number one that showed up.
Dr. Eric Reavis: Awesome.
Tabitha Thomas: So congratulations on that.
Dr. Eric Reavis: Well, thank you. That’s pretty great.
Dr.Tania Reavis: I haven’t heard of that before. That’s awesome.
Tabitha Thomas: Good. So if just type in “Chiropractors in Missouri”, you’re number one. Fantastic. Tell me a little bit about the background for the two of you. How long have you been a chiropractor?
Dr. Eric Reavis:I’ve been in practice for almost 12 years now. My wife is almost 15.
Tabitha Thomas: Oh wow.
Dr. Eric Reavis:We’ve been at it for quite a while.
Tabitha Thomas:Yes, yes. Tell me a little bit about the background. So you got out of chiropractic school, and then what? Did you start A Hip Joint then, or did you go somewhere else? Where would you go?
Dr. Eric Reavis:A Hip Joint’s a relatively new business for us. We actually got out of school and started practice with a family business. We were part of that for 10 years. Through that 10 years, that was a lot of what turned us into A Hip Joint’s side of things and brought us to where we are.
Tabitha Thomas: Awesome. Tell us a little bit about why you wanted to start A Hip Joint, and how you come across the ideas for doing what you do because it is so different. I mean, you don’t accept insurance which I think is fantastic.
Dr. Eric Reavis: I guess 10 years of trying to run through the insurance hoops was probably the biggest thing. You run through the patients’ insurance and you try to collect on something as small as a single adjustment, and you realize that they kick it out for no reason. That just became a really old game of cat and mouse, playing with them, more or less, and led us into thinking maybe there’s a better way of practicing where we don’t have to try to chase that down and deal with those headaches of insurance.
Dr.Tania Reavis: The second thing is, I think we took out the stigma and the commenting we heard from our clients over and over again like, “How much is this going to cost me? What is the treatment plan?” All of these questions that, “How many x-rays are we going to do?” All these things that people were known to receive at other chiropractic clinic offices, and we took out everything people hate about chiropractors and we replaced it with loving, hippie, fun things like the massage chair, some snacks, and art work that’s plastered all over our wall, and reclaimed products. If you look in our treatment rooms, we use antique furniture that has paint chipping off. It’s a pretty vibe. In fact, right away people say, “Oh, this is different. This is so cool. This is really laid back. This is funky.” And we love it. We knew we were on to something.
Tabitha Thomas: So you do something a little bit different than other places do as well. You guys have memberships, correct?
Dr. Eric Reavis: We do, yes. Yeah, we have three memberships, packages I guess you could say.
Tabitha Thomas: Tell me a little bit about those.
Dr. Eric Reavis:At our office we do not only chiropractic, we have massage therapists, we have seven at the moment. Then my wife and I also do acupuncture. We have three services that we offer at our clinic, and we try to base those three services around our membership models. We have what’s called our Bare Bones, and what this is, is an adjustment I guess you could say. You come in, you sign up for the Bare Bones, and you get an adjustment for that month for that price of the membership.
Dr. Eric Reavis:Same thing, we have a Muscle Melter, which is our acupuncture or massage therapy. Then we have what’s called The Works and you can receive all three for that membership price. You get one a month. You can pay anything more than your membership fee for that month, but the great thing is the follow up services. No matter what else you need, or treatment plan required: additional acupuncture, additional massage, additional adjustments, all of those are at a reduced rate after that monthly fee.
Tabitha Thomas: Nice. Nice, nice, nice. Do you have to have a membership to come into your practice, or can they just come in for an adjustment?
Dr.Tania Reavis: No, we do a la cart, but it saves if you’re a member. Our fees are $45.00 adjustment, $55.00 for the massage and $65.00 for acupuncture. The benefit of the membership is something that always wants to do a massage every month, so it’d be $55.00. The adjustments for any member once they’ve received their service, are only $20.00. The massages, after you use the one, if you want an additional one, it’s only $35.00 for the hour, and acupuncture is $45.00.
Dr.Tania Reavis: So the memberships sell themselves. People say, “I was looking about these memberships, and they can save me quite a bit of money. Can I sign up for that?” So we’re not high sales at all, because other chiropractors do that too where you sign up for a treatment plan and you may have 20 visits that they require, you may have to pay a few hundred that day just to get started, and then you’re on a payment plan. We eliminated all that.
Tabitha Thomas: That’s amazing. I can tell you that if you were in my town, I would be there like every other day getting a massage at those prices. Yeah, and you have eight massage therapists, so I’m assuming their pretty busy.
Dr. Eric Reavis: They’re full and most of them are booked out at least two weeks.
Tabitha Thomas: Oh wow. That’s amazing. That is incredible. Let’s talk a little bit about the one thing that I was super excited about. It was the app. Where did that start, and what made you guys want to have an app?
Dr. Eric Reavis: That was an idea we came up with in the very beginning when we were trying to get the business rolling. We wanted to be as easy and approachable as possible, and give patients the ability to take healthcare into their own hands. An app was a really good way to do that, because they could book an appointment no matter when or where they were. If they were coming in from vacation lugging their luggage around the airport, they could be on their phone booking an appointment for the day they got back. It was something we wanted from the very beginning to allow that patient’s ability-
Dr.Tania Reavis:To be in control.
Dr. Eric Reavis: Yeah.
Tabitha Thomas: I love it. I love it, yeah.
Dr.Tania Reavis: Thanks.
Tabitha Thomas: Or if somebody who hurts themselves in the middle of the night, they can go ahead and get an appointment for first thing in the morning.
Dr.Tania Reavis: That’s right. They don’t have to wait until we open, because the app pretty much makes us 24/7. Maybe we’re not there all night long adjusting people, but they don’t have to wait until 10:00 a.m. just to see what’s available. They know exactly what’s available for any practitioner, any therapist indefinitely. They can see our schedule forever.
Tabitha Thomas: How much does your front desk staff like the app? Because I’m guess it makes their life a lot easier.
Dr. Eric Reavis: It has made a huge difference. There was … How long were we in practice before the app was developed? A year?
Dr. Eric Reavis: They noticed after the app was set up and available for use, that our phone calls coming in to schedule dropped by about 40 to almost 50%.
Tabitha Thomas: But you didn’t lose any appointments? You were still getting the same number of appointments, they just weren’t taking the phone calls.
Dr. Eric Reavis: Yes. Exactly, yeah. So our front desk was not tied to the phone all day long.
Dr.Tania Reavis: Yeah, our software, Mind Body, that we use to book our appointments and also have our point of sale, it tracks all of that so we know. The last we looked, it was around 44% of all our appointments, which are about 1,200 a month right now, 40% of those are booked through the app. Our software tracks all that.
Tabitha Thomas: That’s awesome.
Dr.Tania Reavis: Yeah.
Tabitha Thomas: Absolutely fantastic. Tell me, what is your most effective technique at getting new business through the door? So you’ve got your repeat business from the membership, but how do you get new people in and sell them on those memberships?
Dr.Tania Reavis: I think we live in the coolest day and age right now. We use Facebook promotion. I will take, and it is the oddest, weirdest things are what gets the most attention. We’ll put together a special or something we want the public to know, and then we’ll boost the post on Facebook. Back 20, 30 years ago, we used to rely on Yellow Pages, billboards, radio, TV. The thing is, in Springfield there are some giants, we consider giants, that have been in business for 20, 30 years here in Springfield as chiropractors and they’re established. A brand new business like The Hip Joint back 20, 30 years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to afford Yellow Pages, and billboards, and TV, and we still don’t really want to do that because those things are really dated.
Dr.Tania Reavis: No one watches television commercials, or TV, or the radio ads we flip around or have satellite, and billboards, we’re not paying attention, we’re looking at Facebook in our cars. So all those things are just really way old and dated. Now we have Facebook and social media. We’ll take things that people remember, because we use the word “hippie” a lot. We do Volkswagen vans, and kind of play on words and stuff that make some of our sales, kind of, but in a way it’s funny and not too absurd or kind of, “What are they thinking?” So we try to always pair that and to make it seem like that, “That place is always funny. What are they doing over there?”
Tabitha Thomas: I love it. Yeah, so with Facebook, what I love about Facebook is the fact that you can see who you’ve actually reached with your ads. You know exactly who that person is. With the billboard, with radio ads, you have no idea, no clue, how many people you’ve reached, what their age is, what their demographic is. But with Facebook, you know all that.
Dr.Tania Reavis: Yeah, right now we’re running a promotion. We’re trying to get to 4,000 likes. It literally has about 30,000 on the reach. Springfield has a population of 250,000 in the metro area. So one out of eight people in Springfield have seen our ad for trying to get to 4,000 likes, we’re going to give away a free membership for massages for a year. You know what? That doesn’t cost me very much. It cost me what I pay my massage therapist, and our likes on our page has gone up about 400 in one week.
Tabitha Thomas: Wow.
Dr.Tania Reavis:We can see engagement of businesses like us on the Facebook Analytics, and our business, where a lot of other chiropractic clinics that are even kind of by us, they have engagements of 19 for the week. We have like 1,300 engagements, meaning comments, likes, shares, things like that. I mean, we’re blowing people out of the water with our social media and our marketing. And it’s not stopping. [crosstalk 00:15:25].
Tabitha Thomas: We’ll you’re doing something right.
Tabitha Thomas: Definitely doing something right. I love that you’re giving away the massage for year. I mean, heck I’d sign up for that in a heartbeat.
Dr.Tania Reavis:It keeps in-house. We’re not lining anyone else’s pockets. So the money, I’m assuming, is actually paying a massage therapist that is doing the work.
Tabitha Thomas: Yep, and then you’re getting all these likes. You’re getting an opportunity to be able to tell those people about more things that you have going on. They’re giving you permission to sell them. It’s fantastic.
Dr.Tania Reavis:Yeah. Yes.
Tabitha Thomas: It’s fantastic. What is your most effective technique for getting people to refer business to you? I know that’s probably a big part of it. Once you get somebody in, they love you. How do you get them to refer you?
Dr. Eric Reavis: Honestly, word of mouth. I think that’s actually been our biggest advertisement for us, is just word of mouth. The way we tried to set up our office to treat the patients, basically like they’re just our family. I think that has set us up to be just a word of mouth clinic. That’s how we’ve gotten to where we are so quickly.
Tabitha Thomas: Wonderful. This is the one I love asking everyone because it kind of puts them on the spot, so forgive me. Is there a business trick, or a technique, or a method that you could possibly teach our listeners? See, I told you I’d throw you on the spot.
Dr.Tania Reavis: I think it’s just honestly is being true to yourself. The way we practice, we’ve had interviews because we desperately needed help for over a year and we couldn’t find a chiropractor that would work with us, that seemed like the right fit. We had a couple that we liked, but what they were requiring for payment fresh out of school wasn’t quite matching up where we were like, “Really? Out of school and you want what?” But I think our thing is being true to yourself. We’ve had interviews where people come in, they’re like looking around like, “Oh my God, this is not a clinic. This is kind of like a museum or something. It’s weird.”
Dr.Tania Reavis: It’s funky, we play rock music, we wear jeans, I wear a hat if I want to. It drove some off. Coming in with a suit and tie, and you see that, it’s not the right fit. But as far as how you practice, you have to be true to yourself and what feels good to you. I think that’s the trick, is just being true to yourself because we aren’t going to be a fit for everybody. We have do adjustments out in the open and we have a database of a few thousand people at this point. I had an older gentleman say, “I don’t like how you adjust people out here in the open,” I’m like, “Oh, okay. That’s fine.” You just have to do things how you want to do it. That would be my advice. Eric, what is yours for the trick?
Dr. Eric Reavis: I don’t know if there really is a trick. I think if you treat people the way you want to be treated, act like you’re in there with your mother, or brother, or sister, somebody that you’re going to treat the best, and just work hard. I mean, I think that’s where a lot of people go wrong. They think there’s all these tricks, but if you just come in and work as hard as you can every day, it’s going to pay off. That’s just going to be how fast you succeed, is how much effort you put into it.
Tabitha Thomas: I bet that you guys actually enjoy working every single day.
Tabitha Thomas: Love it. Love it.
Tabitha Thomas: It’s kind of what I thought. You’ve kind of put a clinic together of where you want to hang out, so it makes work a lot more fun.
Dr. Eric Reavis:Absolutely. And [inaudible 00:19:39]. If people come in, they’re just like, “I love how it feels in here. The vibe is great. It feels homey. I like-” We have patients that come in, they say, “I just like being here.” And I think that’s a big part of it because if you like going to work, you’re going to project that energy out to your patients and they’re going to pick up on it.
Tabitha Thomas: Yeah, we’ll I’ve said that for years. I feel every chiropractic clinic should be a relaxation area. It just should be about relaxation and the feeling, and a healthy spot. I love what you guys are doing.
Dr. Eric Reavis:Well thank you.
Tabitha Thomas: I’m excited to come visit. My brother lives in Springfield, so I’m going to have to take a trip over. I’m definitely going to come check you guys out.
Dr.Tania Reavis:Yeah, we’d love to see you.
Dr. Eric Reavis:Yes, please do.
Tabitha Thomas: Tell me, who’s the person that’s taught you the most about how to be a successful chiropractor? I’m full of hard ones, aren’t I?
Dr.Tania Reavis: business people that are trying to sell you these sales programs, these masterminding groups that come in and it’s $40,000.00, and you need to bill this much to the insurance. I mean, we were put through a lot in chiropractic school. And our business classes, they sucked. I think a lot of it was trial and error. Even our business, it’s been open two years now, it was a whole lot different from when we started, and certain things have just evolved, and you just gotta go with the flow.
Dr. Eric Reavis:I don’t think … Luckily, we’ve had some family experiences. I’ve been around chiropractic and acupuncture since I was probably eight when my mother was a massage therapist and then studied and became an acupuncturist. She’s worked for quite a few chiropractors. So I’ve always been around it. Luckily, I’ve been able to see the insides of how chiropractic offices run and operate for quite a bit of my life. That’s played a big role in it.
Tabitha Thomas: And so that probably is the reason you are a chiropractor.
Dr. Eric Reavis: Has a lot to do with it, absolutely.
Tabitha Thomas: All right, so I’ve got one last hard question. Actually, it’s not hard. I don’t feel like it’s hard. But if you could talk to one person coming out of chiropractic school and they’re about to go into business for themselves, or about to out into the world, what one piece of advice would you give them? Yeah, it’s tough.
Dr. Eric Reavis: That actually is kind of tough. I would have to say keep an open mind. You’re going to come out of school with a thought of how you think things should run, how a clinic should run. You’re going to have this idea of what the perfect set up is going to be. I will guarantee that in a year, maybe two at the most, that idea is going to change. If they could just come out with an open mind and come out with an idea of what they want to do, but keep their mind open for change that’s going to happen and look for that, they’ll be a lot better off than just trying to run an idea that they came out fresh with.
Tabitha Thomas: I like it. Tania, you got anything to add to it?
Dr.Tania Reavis: Well, that’s a second part that I’d like to talk about is our mission statement. We’ve already conquered that, to offer a fun, affordable, quality healthcare for the masses here in Springfield. But our second part to that is we want to find new doctors that want to be part of our franchise and open clinics that will change and revolutionize chiropractic as we know it. We’ve already taken out the hard work, and we have operations, mail, and training manuals that our franchise lawyer made us put together. But we want to chiropractors not feel so intimidated, overwhelmed.
Dr.Tania Reavis: We have a lot of colleagues from our classes that are working in gas stations and not even working anymore. It’s sad. We paid a lot of money, and we have a lot of passion, or we wouldn’t go to school, and to come out and then feel like we’re ran over by a truck. That’s where our mission statement and that we’re headed next. We’ve conquered and we’re successful. Our Hip Joint’s grown 450% each year we’ve been open. Our next thing is to grow as many franchises across the United States as we possibly can so we can offer our type of care to other people, but also to help new doctors out, discover.
Dr.Tania Reavis: You can do things different. You don’t have to be in a white jacket and tie, you don’t have to make yourself feel like a sales person, you don’t have to be a health food store with a sign standing there trying to get people come over and feel their back. I mean, those things are okay for some people, but for us, we don’t like doing that. We’ve been able to unmask quite a few appointments and revenue. We’re going to be over half a million dollars this year, and it’s been two years. That’s what we’ve accomplished, and that’s pretty fantastic.
Tabitha Thomas: For the second year in, yeah. That’s incredible. Yeah. And the other practice that you’re in, I’m not sure if it’s established, but do they have years as good as that?
Dr. Eric Reavis: I think probably around year 10, maybe.
Tabitha Thomas: So what they did in 10 years, you did in two.
Dr. Eric Reavis: Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Tabitha Thomas: And you did it your way, and you’re happy.
Dr. Eric Reavis: Yes, yes.
Tabitha Thomas: There’s a lot to be said for that.
Dr. Eric Reavis: Money is great, don’t get me wrong, but being happy and enjoying what you do is so much better. If you’re happy, the other comes with it.
Tabitha Thomas: Yes. Guys, I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. Like I said, I love what you’re doing. I love that you’re revolutionizing what chiropractic is. I cannot wait to see where you guys are in another two years from now, and I hope I can interview you again and see how much it’s changed in two years and grown since then. Thank you so much.
Dr. Eric Reavis: Well thank you, we appreciate it. Yeah, we’d love to talk to you anytime.
Dr.Tania Reavis: Yes. Please stop by, and we’d love to chat with you and show you how we’ve grown. We try to keep track of all that, so we can mark our progress and keep going in the fuller direction.
Tabitha Thomas: Love it. Love it. Well, if you liked this podcast, make sure you subscribe below. We’ll see you next time.
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