Be A Profitable, High Touch Point Business Rather Than Race To The Bottom



For years, I’ve been telling my therapists, investors and management that we are a high touch point, profitable boutique therapy business with high levels of outcome, clinical quality and therapy specialists.

My therapists get it, because, after all, that’s why they come and stay with me, right?

It’s weird, annoying and frustrating at the same time, when we see business partners opting to:

  • win by giving the cheapest price
  • win by giving the most discount
  • win by giving the bundle
  • win by over-servicing

…and expect us to do the same.

Words that I hate:

  • “What’s your cheapest price for this valued customer?”
  • “Can you cut your price by 50%? The customer is price sensitive.”
  • “Your competitors are charging 25-40% lower: can’t you beat their prices?”

One Word: No Fucking Way (And Know Your Business)

OK sorry, that’s seven words.

Yes, that business model can be done if I hire low-level/low-quality therapists, do not care about the clinical outcomes or brand experience, and charge minimally like how some of our competitors do it (or how some senior therapists cannot bring themselves to charge what they’re worth).

And I know my business well: we offer high value-for-money, high touch point, high clinical outcome and high brand experience for orthopedic patients who appreciate our level of deliverability. In fact, I don’t just speak like that to boast, but we have a survey that showed more than 92.67% of our patients experiencing good, great and awesome outcomes with us.

Some of the testimonials from the awesome level includes:

  • Hey man. Long time. I’ve been 100% since June. Yes, i’ve started trying to get myself killed again (with ice hockey) – Samuel C.
  • Hi there. All good now. Completed Ironman event last weekend! Thanks for asking – Stark N.J.
  • Hi Nigel, am fine, thanks! Just touched down yesterday night. No problem trekking Mt Kenya – Choa F.F.
  • Hi! I’m great! Haven’t had any issues with my ankle since. I switched from running to doing more HIIT from end of last year. I’ve also been pregnant since Feb so HIIT has been off limits but I’ve managed moderate paced 3-5k runs to keep active. Thanks for the physio. Definitely helped a lot! – Nur Filza M.A. (HIIT = high intensity interval training)

I know my business very well. Its capabilities, deliverables, and we’ve pre-qualified the patients who love our types of setup, outcomes and experience.

And we charge good price for the high value we deliver.

The number of complaints on our price?

Less than 5.

The number of patients

Why Deep Discounting And Cheap Pricing Is A Race To The Bottom

There’s a reason why I structured my business as high touch/clinical/experience, boutique one. It’s so that we can deliver, and for a qualified type of patients who love us and how/what we do. Period.

It’s been a strategic business move from the very beginning, and though sometimes we make concessions for certain patients who need some help, we usually adhere very strictly to our pricing and no-show policies (we bill full amount to patients who do not show up at the last minute)

Say we decided to “play business and follow what some of our business partners do” ie race to the bottom by offering deep discounts. Instead of charging a fair price for high value and outcome therapy services at $130, we decide to “gain market share by going cheap” at $80 a session.

  • Our high calibre therapists would then be entitled to only take home $30+ to at most $40 a session (instead of $40+ to $60), thus dropping their income up to 50%
  • Balance of $30 to pay rent, utilities, front counter, technologies (appointment/billing, email etc), printer, maintaining and buying therapy equipment, consumables and inventory
  • And then whatever balance (if there’s anything) to pay out as salaries and dividends to shareholders

You can tell that the numbers aren’t very favorable, and not good for setups with medium to high level operational expenses set up in central/town areas. Maybe mobile freelancers or businesses with zero or very low fixed costs can consider giving cheap/steep discounts, but that isn’t the business model that I like or enjoy.

It’s like comparing frozen pizza to going to a artisanial, hand-made and wood fired pizza places.

Or comparing the cheapest product to a high quality one.

Thing is, it’s not an either-or.

Some people DO LIKE CHEAPEST, and some providers love to be the CHEAPEST PROVIDERS. In my opinion, giving the biggest discount is like racing to the bottom, such that “who can give the most discounts and live on the least profits”…and then you realize that you start subsidizing and cheapening the sessions, and focus less and less on patients and outcomes, and worry more about things like paying the rent etc.

Some people, like myself, prefer to provide much higher level services, outcomes and experiences, at a higher price point. And have surplus to take care of the business such that we don’t have to cut corners, skimp on good things for patients and therapists, and research to continually improve.

It’s your call.

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