Winner: The Joint Chiropractic
Finalists: Vital Care Infusion and Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers
Like the cliché, Teresa Digiuseppe thought she was born to be a dancer. With no interest in going to college, Digiuseppe moved from her hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona, to Los Angeles at the age of 18 to pursue her dream, fueled by a dance scholarship.
“I realized very quickly it was not my strength to have that inconsistency,” said Digiuseppe, who then found a part-time gig in the mortgage industry, where she met her husband, Tony. Tony discovered The Joint 11 years ago while searching for a chiropractic clinic and fell in love with the idea of being a franchisee, without the need to be a chiropractor himself.
“What’s crazy is, The Joint 11 years ago is nothing like it is today,” Digiuseppe said. “The energy of The Joint is in patients coming in and out, but going into a Joint 11 years ago was like walking into a place that wasn’t even open. Exposure was not there yet.”
What was once her husband’s vision and dream quickly became her own when Digiuseppe liquidated her 401(k), borrowed $150,000 from her parents and grandma, and signed a deal to open three Joint locations in Arizona.
“We opened three in one year. We really went gangbuster,” Digiuseppe said. But their clinics struggled as Digiuseppe and her husband continued working full time in the mortgage industry as absentee owners. 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 dove head first into running the clinics and turning them around.
That proved challenging when Digiuseppe realized her staff was “lackadaisical,” only coming to work for a paycheck, and looked at 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 to the vision,” Digiuseppe flipped the culture on its head. Now, “people work for us to change lives, people come to us to be developed and for a chance of opportunity,” she said. “And I look back and 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 also serves as secretary on The Joint’s National Franchise Association Board and has two more locations scheduled to open in spring 2022.
“What we do is something you cannot buy online. That, by far, is something that in today’s world—an Amazon world—is something very important, because you’re investing so much of yourself and financially that you have to be wary of changing times,” Digiuseppe added.
Plus, the pandemic prompted many people to pay more attention to their health and seek therapeutic and preventative care. The Joint treated 1.1 million unique patients in 2020 who paid an average of $29 per visit; a monthly membership costs $69 and includes four visits.
That recurring revenue model is what attracted Ron Bostick, who owns five clinics in West Texas that are consistently among the top 10 in the system.
Bostick got his start in franchising 10 years ago with a single Christian Brothers Automotive location. He’s now also a franchisee of Orangetheory Fitness, Urban Air Adventure Parks and HTeaO. A coach at one of his Orangetheory locations told Bostick she was getting an adjustment at The Joint, and it piqued his interest after he learned she simply enjoyed the treatment and wasn’t addressing pain.
“Growing up, you didn’t go to the chiropractor unless it was really needed and you were hurting,” said Bostick, who visited The Joint across the street from his gym in Lubbock, Texas, and later bought the clinic in 2018 with his wife, Lori.
Bostick noted the systems and processes The Joint has, “which by the way are spot on,” as the main reason why he was able to turn an underperforming location into the No. 2 unit in the country in revenue 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 that has high revenue potential and something that can create profit margins. “The Joint model hits all three of those things,” Bostick said.
“In comparison to some of the other brands I’m involved with, it is so much easier to operate on a day-to-day basis than other franchise brands out there, which is why we really like the model and is our reason for scaling up 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.
The Joint Chiropractic
- Membership-based, recurring revenue model with a higher purpose: helping people get relief from neck and back pain and providing preventative care.
- The low labor model means an average of four employees per day including chiropractors and front desk associates.
- With more than 600 units and 200 in development, it may be more competitive for first-time franchisees looking to get into the system and receive a hand-holding level of support from the 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 by 18 percent in 2020 and is publicly traded (Nasdaq: JYNT).
Full Speed Ahead
On the Move