Winner: Joint Chiropractic
Finalists: Vital Healing and Physical Therapy and Balance Infusion Centers
Like the cliché, Teresa Digiuseppe thought she was born to be a dancer. With no interest in going to college, Digiuseppe moved from his hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona to Los Angeles at the age of 18 to pursue his dream, fueled by a dance scholarship.
“I realized very quickly that it wasn’t my strength to have this inconsistency,” said Digiuseppe, who later found a part-time job in the mortgage business, where she met her husband, Tony. Tony discovered The Joint 11 years ago while researching a chiropractic clinic and fell in love with the idea of being a franchisee, without needing to be a chiropractor himself.
“What’s crazy is that The Joint 11 years ago has nothing to do with what it is today,” Digiuseppe said. “The energy of The Joint is in the patients walking in and out, but walking into a Joint 11 years ago was like walking into a place that wasn’t even open. The exhibition was not there yet.
What was once her husband’s vision and dream quickly became his when Digiuseppe liquidated his 401(k), borrowed $150,000 from his parents and grandmother, and signed a deal to open three joint sites in Arizona.
“We opened three in one year. We really went gangbuster,” Digiuseppe said. But their clinics struggled as Digiuseppe and her husband continued to work full-time in the mortgage business as absentee landlords. Their accountant told them to find a way out, but Digiuseppe remained motivated by the $150,000 she borrowed from her family. She quit her job and threw herself headlong into clinic management and transformation.
This proved difficult when Digiuseppe realized that her staff were “nonchalant”, only coming to work for a paycheck, and saw her as an owner with no experience or influence.
After becoming a John Maxwell Certified Coach and learning how to “become a leader in order to lead these people towards the vision”, Digiuseppe flipped the culture. Now, “people work for us to change lives, people come to us to grow and to have a chance,” she said. “And I look back and I think, I don’t blame them, because they just didn’t have that motivation behind them to do more and be more.”
Now with 14 joint locations and counting in Arizona, Washington and Idaho, Digiuseppe is also secretary of the Joint’s National Franchise Association Board and has two more locations slated to open in the spring of 2022.
“What we do is something you can’t buy online. This is by far something that in today’s world – an Amazon world – is something very important, because you invest so much of yourself and financially that you have to be wary of changing times,” added Digiuseppe.
Additionally, the pandemic has prompted many people to pay more attention to their health and to seek therapeutic and preventive care. The Joint treated 1.1 million unique patients in 2020 who paid an average of $29 per visit; a monthly subscription costs $69 and includes four visits.
This recurring revenue model is what attracted Ron Bostick, who owns five clinics in West Texas that consistently rank in the system’s top 10.
Bostick debuted in the franchise 10 years ago with a single Christian Brothers Automotive site. He is now also a franchisee of Orangetheory Fitness, Urban Air Adventure Parks and HTeaO. A trainer at one of her Orangetheory locations told Bostick she was getting an adjustment at The Joint, and it piqued her interest after learning she was just enjoying the treatment and not dealing with pain.
“Growing up, you don’t go to the chiropractor unless it’s really necessary and you’re in pain,” said Bostick, who visited The Joint across from his gym in Lubbock, Texas, and then bought the clinic in 2018 with his wife, Lorie.
Bostick noted the systems and processes that The Joint has, “which by the way are perfect,” as the main reason it was able to turn an underperforming location into the No. 2 unit in the nation in terms of income in less than two years during the pandemic.
David Glover, a regional developer for The Joint in Texas, told Bostick to look for three things in a good franchise brand: something with a small footprint, something with high revenue potential, and something that can create profit margins. “The joint model touches on all three of those things,” Bostick said.
“Compared to some of the other brands I’ve been involved with, it’s so much easier to operate on a day-to-day basis than other franchise brands, that’s why we really like the model and that’s our reason for expanding. with more locations,” he said of plans to open three more clinics. The investment cost for a joint franchise ranges from $203,797 to $380,697.
- Recurring membership-based revenue model with a higher purpose: to help people relieve their neck and back pain and provide preventative care.
- The low-labor model means an average of four employees per day, including chiropractors and front desk clerks.
- With over 600 units and 200 in development, it may be more competitive for new franchisees looking to enter the system and receive support from C-suiters.
A walk-in chiropractic clinic that offers affordable care, no insurance needed. The Scottsdale, Arizona-based company was founded in 1999, grew sales 18% in 2020, and is publicly traded (Nasdaq: JYNT).