Should Acupuncturists Use Groupon, Living Social & Other Online Coupons?

March 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Acupuncture Marketing

There seem to be two ‘camps’ when it comes to acupuncturists using Groupon, Living Social and other online coupon programs to promote their services. One camp says, it’s a great opportunity to gain exposure, get new patients and make some money. And another camp says that the deep discounts and high fees make it a financial bust, and worse, devalues the profession.

There’s no doubt that you can lose money using these online coupon programs (as has been well documented in the dining industry), but if you read the coupon program’s fine print, understand your goals, calculate your ‘ break even price point’ and plan accordingly, I believe you can make these programs work for your acupuncture practice.

Here are my recommendations to any practitioner who is thinking about using Groupon, Living Social, or any online coupon company.  Understand and plan on ways to optimize:

(1) Front end income
(2) Back end income ** VERY IMPORTANT!
(3) Costs (including time)

(1) Front end income
Front end income is what you get from your coupon sales. When you see service based businesses using Groupon to sell over 1000 coupons at $50 a pop (like a local glass blowing teacher did), it’s pretty easy to get caught up in the “$50,000 payday” and think you’ve found the answer to all your prayers.  But if that’s all you see, you could be one of the many business owners who lose money on these deals. So please, pay attention! If we examine an acupuncturist who courageously tried out the Groupon program to sell a $30 coupon for a 45 minute session we can see that $30 x 109 purchases (last I checked) = $3,270. Half goes to Groupon so that leaves $1,635 in front end income. That’s only about $15 per person for 45 minutes of treatment, which stinks! BUT WAIT…  here’s what you also have to factor in:

  • 15-30% of people who buy the coupon never redeem it before it expires. That free money. Don’t count on it, but just know that it’s there.
  • For an acupuncturist who does not have a full schedule and ALL s/he has is TIME, this is a great way to get exposure, create buzz, and generate profit (see back end income below) without laying out any cash.

(2) Back end income
This is the key to generating profits! You need a plan in place to upsell these coupon-purchasing customers. What I like about Mary Ann’s Groupon is she included in her sale an “Individual Wellness Plan”. This is clearly aimed at getting these initial buyers back through her doors for a series of treatments.  Even if just 10% of her initial 109 people scheduled 6 treatments as part of her “Individual Wellness Plan” (at her normal rate of $80) that’s 10 (people) x 6 (visits) x $80 = $4,800. Now we’re talkin! Acupuncturists MUST learn how to turn these qualified customers into repeat patients (who refer new patients) in order to make significant long term income. If you add in sales of herbs, oils, books etc., that backend revenue per coupon-paying customer increases. For those of us who understand (and teach) online marketing, the backend income can also significantly increase by offering products like digital products or online wellness coaching and creating automated email campaigns to keep customers interested and coming back. In other words, this is a great way to build a list of qualified customers for future service or product sales.

(3) Costs
The big thing acupuncturists need to watch here is time. (Costs for needles and other office supplies is usually minimal.)  The cash infusion from the front end income can help take care of working expenses and pay for upsell items (sold when they receive their session).  But time is something that is limited and scheduling must be planned so that full paying patient slots are not taken up by $15 slots. I would recommend dedicating 2-3 days a week just to the Groupon people and get them all scheduled and treated within 3 – 6 months. Personally I think a year is too long to ‘wrap up’ the coupon customers. This may mean working days that you don’t usually work until everyone gets their coupon redeemed.

So before we dismiss Groupons and other social online coupon programs for acupuncture practitioners, I think it’s important do some research (read other business’ deals), think things through, test it out on a small scale then take the lessons learned to larger and larger scales so you can minimize your risk and maximize your potential for generating profits. That’s why I congratulate Mary Ann for having the courage to TRY something new, generate buzz and build her business.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this (or any other acupuncture marketing) topic.  Chime in below!

Peace,

Lisa Hanfileti, LAc
Insights-For-Acupuncturists.com

 

 

For Picky Acupuncturists

February 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Acupuncture Marketing

If you had the chance to learn a marketing system to help you get and keep patients scheduling with you, wouldn’t you jump at the chance?

I wouldn’t.

I’m super picky.

I would need to do some research to make sure that the person who developed the program was:

  • An acupuncturist (okay, I’m biased too)
  • Genuine and demonstrated an authentic desire to help other acupuncturists succeed
  • A “proven commodity” – in other words, someone who already created other reputable products
  • Hardcore about testing the program and had proof that it worked
  • Accessible and not one of those ‘untouchable gurus’ who hid behind web pages
  • So confident in the product that s/he offered a no questions asked, 100% money back guarantee
  • Generous and priced the product so it was fair and affordable
  • Committed to support and personalized follow up for every customer

When I investigate (or create) a system, program or product that is designed to help acupuncture students and practitioners, I am looking to make sure it is valuable, easy to use and affordable.

Jeffrey Grossman's LIVE Course Starts Soon! Click Here to Learn More Now.I am so glad to be able to report that Jeffrey Grossman, LAc did a great job when he created his Patient Reactivation Program For Acupuncturists. Not only did he meet all of my criteria above, but he did a few other things that I’m not sure most people realize.

For instance, Jeffrey is including in this program:

  • Weekly live calls so you can interact directly with Jeffrey to ask questions and get help
  • A members-only forum where you can network and interact with other acupuncturists from all over the planet
  • Templates for letters and emails that you can customize so you don’t have to waste time and energy re-inventing the wheel
  • A payment plan to make it easier for every acupuncturist (regardless of income bracket) to participate

You do not have any patients (or even be in practice yet for that matter) to benefit from this program!

Even students who are just thinking about their practice can learn from Jeffrey how to put a system in place that ‘automatically’ educates (current or potential) patients so that the reactivation process is rarely necessary.

And when it is necessary, you get even better results.

So if you haven’t investigated Jeffrey’s Patient Reactivation Program yet, please go ahead and take this important step. He has done all the work for you, laid out the plan, handed you the templates so that all you have to do is say YES!

The 4-week live course starts in 1 week, so don’t wait.

Here’s the link to Jeffery’s video about the course and everything included in it:

http://www.mcssl.com/app/?af=1301880

If you have any questions, go ahead and let me know. I’m here for you because I know The World Needs More Acupuncturists!

Peace,

Lisa Hanfileti, LAc

Here’s My Free Acupuncture Business Plan!

Acupuncture Business Plan: How We Secured Funds to Build the Acupuncture Practice of Our Dreams

My Free Acupuncture Business Plan Details How We Secured Funds to Build the Acupuncture Practice of Our Dreams

When I wrote my Acupuncture Business Plan there were not any “templates” out there for me to follow, so it was a ton of work.  I would love to save you some of the struggle I went through by giving you my actual Acupuncture Business Plan that I used to secure a business loan in 2005.

But there’s a catch.

This business plan has some of my actual financial data and market research. And I do not want it floating around the Internet willy nilly.

I only want those acupuncturists who are serious about their business to get a hold of it. That is why I decided to make my Acupuncture Business Plan free, but only to those who purchase my ebook, “Complementary and Alternative Marketing”.

Go to www.ComplementaryAndAlternativeMarketing.com to learn more.

Ever since I posted on my Insights-For-Acupuncturists Blog that I wrote a real business plan in 2005 to secure a bank loan, I have been inundated with requests asking where to go to get ahold of my plan.

The truth is, I have already made my acupuncture business plan available to a select few, simply because I needed to see if it was going to be helpful to students, graduates, and other acupuncturists.  Well… I got my answer!

So in response to your requests and feedback, let me explain where I am coming from and what I am willing to do…

You probably already noticed that about HALF of the “10 Big Mistakes I Made Opening My Acupuncture Practice” could have been avoided if I had written a business plan.  It has been frustrating to have had to learn how to run a business the hard way.  I would love to save you the frustration, not to mention wasted money and time, that I experienced.

Also, it concerns me that I have heard from experienced acupuncturists that they too have made these exact same mistakes!  It is time to put an end to these common errors and change the way we go about setting up our acupuncture practices.

So I have decided to do something that no one has ever done before…

I am releasing my actual acupuncture business plan that my husband and I wrote to secure funds from our bank and through the Small Business Administration (SBA) to purchase, what has become, the acupuncture clinic of our dreams.  What’s more is…

I want to give you my acupuncture business plan absolutely free!  But hold on… there IS a catch.  (Read on.)

This is a 35-page document that includes our:

  • Executive Summary
  • Acupuncture Industry Analysis
  • Acupuncture Market Research
  • Acupuncture Market Statistics
  • Financial Projections
  • Risk Analysis
  • And all the other key components of a properly written acupuncture business plan.

Plus I added a detailed Introduction and Epilogue to give you an insider’s view of how we actually wrote the plan.

This is really a very valuable document and I think I am going to sell it at some point. But right now, for a limited time, I have decided to include it as a Special Unadvertised Bonus with every purchase of my ebook, “Complementary and Alternative Marketing: How to Attract New Patients, Build Your Practice, and Earn Passive Income With Your Acupuncture Website”.

Learn more about “Complementary and Alternative Marketing: How to Attract New Patients, Build Your Practice, and Earn Passive Income With Your Acupuncture Website” here:

http://www.insights-for-acupuncturists.com/cam-ebook-halfspecial

Offering you my free acupuncture business plan is definitely a way togive you incentive to invest in my Complementary and Alternative Marketing ebook, because I KNOW that this ebook can save you time and money and give you incredible insight into how you can build and grow your acupuncture practice better, faster, and stronger than 90% of the current practicing profession!  So it’s my way of giving you an irresistible deal so that you take advantage of information that can save your acupuncture practice.

Lisa, How Do I get Your Acupuncture Business Plan?

It’s simple.  All you have to do is purchase my ebook and my Acupuncture Business Plan is yours for FREE. It is delivered right along with the other 6  free bonus videos and ebooks.  To learn more, click on the link below:

Get my free acupuncture business plan when you purchase,
“Complementary and Alternative Marketing”

Your success matters to me!

Lisa Hanfileti, LAc