Should you consider buying an acupuncture franchise?
Similar to other professions, (law, architecture, accounting, etc.) the school that taught you the basics of acupuncture and offered clinical experience to prepare you to become an excellent practitioner, may not have given you much information about running a business.
So in addition to your work treating patients, you find yourself in charge of billing, accounting, marketing, and perhaps housecleaning. Are you doing it correctly? It’s hard to say.
The first acupuncture franchise business in the United States now offers an alternative.
Practice in a box
Modern Acupuncture has awarded 140 franchises since 2014 with 29 open and 21 under construction.
“We offer the consumer an unmatched acupuncture experience and value proposition that is superior to the competition. Modern Acupuncture was designed based on consumer wants and needs, and we proudly offer acupuncture treatments to the public,” the company says on its website. “We deliver affordable acupuncture in first-class high traffic retail shopping centers with convenient hours including nights and weekends.”
The headquarters provides franchisees guidance on every aspect of running a business, including a business plan, staffing, advertising and billing software. It offers support on insurance and collection and an operations team answers franchisee questions about daily issues and long-term strategy.
What would prevent you from buying in?
Perhaps the price. Modern Acupuncture estimates costs to open a franchise office will range from an estimated $375,000 to $625,000. Some of that goes to Modern Acupuncture — the franchise fee is $29,500 – but much pays for the start-up costs of any business, including equipment, real estate and the like. The company advises franchisees to have between $18,000 to $40,000 in additional funds to smooth out the first three months.
Modern Acupuncture was founded by a group that created The Joint, a franchised operation for chiropractic, which has also been a successful franchise operation. Interestingly, many of the owners of individual franchises and regional licensing rights are not acupuncture practitioners, but business people.
Franchise Times magazine described a typical set-up for a Modern Acupuncture office as an open bay model with multiple chairs with patients. An acupuncturist can treat more than one patient at a time. Sheer partitions offer some privacy. The centers, most of which will be built in shopping centers and other high-traffic sites, are 1,000 to 1,500 square feet.
Ultimately, the decision to run your own office or join a franchise depends in great part on your tolerance for business issues and the desire to offer patients the best possible acupuncture treatment.