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February, 2017

Get in on the Fitness Craze

By DCPI Staff

What's on your practice New Year's resolution list for 2017? If you didn't list "Give patients more exercise / fitness options," you're missing out on a major growth opportunity. With obesity rates climbing and demand for weight-loss and anti-aging services trending along a similar curve, why not reinforce your role as a whole-body wellness expert by getting in on the fitness craze?

Who Wants It?

One of the biggest mistakes many business owners make is offering something no one wants. Yes, you can make a general assumption that fitness matters to a large percentage of people these days, but you need to get specific. That starts with analyzing your current and potential patient demographics:

  • Survey current patients on what products / services they would consider utilizing if you offered them.
  • Assess your community's "fitness factor" to determine whether you'll be a) saturating the market or b) providing a much-needed service. Also consider how close you are to a gym / fitness center, a health-food store and/or other locations that could support your programs or inhibit participation.

What Will You Offer?

fitness plan - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark You want to add the exercise elements and you've determined patients will be receptive to it. But what specific services / products will you provide? Here are a few initial thoughts:

  • Rehab / stretching
  • Personal training
  • Cardio classes
  • Yoga / Pilates / etc.
  • At-home exercise plans with compliance mechanism (app, etc.)

If practice space is limited, you might need to start with one-on-one training and, depending on response, expand, reorganize or rent additional space off-site if needed. You also need to answer the question of who will provide it. Two options: Get appropriate credentialing as a fitness trainer, rehab specialist, etc., or contract with a qualified professional.

What about fitness products? Foam rollers, elastic bands / tubing exercise mats, protein bars, supplements and more can potentially generate more income. In most cases, you're not talking high overhead, either: the retail price of the products and an attractive display case are generally all you need, and the high shelf life of most products allows for gradual patient buy-in without worrying about spoilage.

How Will You Let People Know About It?

Don't forget to promote your new fitness offerings with a bang. Your promotion efforts should be comprehensive – on your website, social media channels, email blasts to current patients, ads in online and print vehicles, and even older-school tactics such as flyers posted at local establishments and elsewhere.

Also remember to promote in-house with prominent messaging in the reception area, conversations with patients, and special offers that encourage them to try your new exercise / fitness services.

Connecting With Chiropractic

Adding exercise options will expand your practice focus, but that doesn't mean you'll lose your inherent value as a DC. In fact, you'll be reinforcing your role as a whole-body wellness provider who uses a variety of tools, starting with chiropractic, to help patients fulfill their health goals.

You also have the option of promoting your fitness offerings to new patients as a stand-alone product and then connecting it to chiropractic. This can be a great way to attract people interested in fitness, but not yet sold on the value of chiropractic care. Dr. Perry Bard discussed how to do this when adding massage services to chiropractic practice in a recent DC Practice Insights article (October 2015).

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