In a short number of years, Scott and the Myodetox team have built a leading brand that has expanded into five locations based in Toronto, with the goal to expand their brand into Vancouver and Los Angeles in 2017, ending in 10 locations in 4 different markets.
You’ll be surprised to learn that one of the main drivers of their brand is social media, where Myodetox boasts 33K+ Instagram followers – which along with their social media savvy therapist team creates over 20 million weekly impressions on Instagram!
You’ll also be surprised that this all started when the clinic was small, with just a few therapists, where they invested in branding and marketing tactics that would seem counterintuitive to most clinic owners.
Today Scott is here to share his secrets to building this leading brand.
- Where the inspiration came from
- The steps to take to develop a successful business partnership
- The importance of core values and culture
- Business mistakes and lessons learned
- Branding and marketing tips to set you apart from the crowd
- Also you can watch my youtube meeting with Scott :)
Plus, Scott will reveal how their mission to change the quality of care will affect the entire industry worldwide.
Be inspired by the Myodetox story...
1) Talk about your practice
Why did you name your business "Myodetox"
The first clinic we opened was originally called MVMT Clinic. My business partner Vinh Pham, a physiotherapist, had been offering his manual therapy system in the clinic under the name of Myodetox and had come up with the name before I officially came on board.
As the business expanded in the first year and the Myodetox model of care continued to grow, we changed the name of the clinic from MVMT Clinic to Myodetox. The name itself is a combination of myo (muscle in latin), and detox with the play on getting rid of the pain and dysfunction out of your body.
What inspired you to own your clinic
Prior to Myodetox, I was working as an executive in the telecommunications industry. A busy travel schedule and chronic back pain eventually led me to becoming a patient of Vinh in the first few weeks after he opened his first clinic.
Within a few months and as we grew our relationship, I came on board as his partner to implement more business fundamentals and process around the business, in order to set the foundation for growth.
I’ve always had a major passion (and earlier career) in the fitness industry, and the clinic business made sense as it fell at the intersection of my passion, my talent, and the circumstances that presented themselves.
What made you decide to have a business partner versus being sole owner?
Building a business is a long and often lonely, emotionally turbulent path. Having someone to help you shoulder the load and go through the inevitable ups and the downs, makes it much more of a journey to enjoy. You also need someone that can see your blind spots and call you out on them when you’re acting illogical, which is a function that’s difficult to fill by an employee.
What helpful advice would you give other clinic owners who may be considering having partners?
Don’t partner with someone like you. Find someone who can cover your weaknesses and enhance your strengths. One reason Vinh and I have worked so well as partners is that we’re on completely opposite ends of the spectrum with strengths and weaknesses, and overall that makes us very strong across the board.
If you’re considering having partners, the more detail you can create around each other’s roles and responsibilities the better. Also, spend the money up front on a great lawyer to help walk you through creation of a shareholder’s agreement. It stuns me how often I speak to clinic owners and they have literally no paperwork in place to properly protect their interests in the business.
With any luck, you’ll never have to look at your shareholder’s agreement ever again, but always go into a partnership assuming the worst will happen down the road and prepare for all possible outcomes.
Can you share the history of opening up your clinics and your future expansion plans
The first clinic in Toronto opened in summer of 2014, and I joined the business in fall of 2014. Since then, we’ve opened an additional four clinic locations in Toronto, one location in Orlando, and have additional clinics opening in Los Angeles and Vancouver throughout 2017, with the goal of ending 2017 at 10 locations in 4 different submarkets.
Future expansion plans… probably a few more clinics here and there. ;)
We’re very much focused on bringing up the quality of care across the entire industry worldwide, and we have big, audacious goals to do so over the coming years.What does your management team look like?
We’ve focused on bringing in seasoned talent to lead each division, and currently have a full time VP of Operations (Sanjeev Bhatia) and VP of Marketing, leading their respective teams to create predictable systems and processes for business growth.
While they execute on those areas, I handle the overall business strategy, finances, and leadership development within the entire company.
What makes your clinics different compared to your local competitors? Your super power?
Our superpower has become the brand we’ve built using the reach of social media. Our very first salaried employee was a full time brand manager, which is counterintuitive for a single clinic with 3 employees at the time.
To us, our logic was that, to create enough differentiation and a story around the business, creating a strong and viral brand was the number one focus that we poured a lot of time, energy, and money into achieving.
This has given us a major competitive advantage in terms of any local market we go into, as people are already aware of the brand and we can set up local partnerships with both regional and national mainstream businesses with ease to drive leads.
2) What are your core values at your clinics?
We have eight core values that the leadership team collectively came up with in 2015, that we’ve stuck to as commitable values.
To create these core values we were inspired by the book ‘Delivering Happiness’ by Tony Hsieh, and even took a team trip to the Zappos Headquarters in Las Vegas to learn from the Zappos team how they instituted core values in their business day to day.
Our eight core values are:
- Move with Purpose.
- Build Family.
- Innovate. Always.
- Create Moments.
- Know Yourself.
- Take The Reins.
- =) Fun.
3) What do you do to build culture at your multiple clinics?
Building culture is nonstop and never ending, but we throw parties every month, involve therapists at all levels of the business outside of just treating so they feel involved and responsible for the growth of the business, travel together for work whenever possible, work on personal and leadership development together throughout everyone on the team, and just have a lot of fun throughout the journey.
From my experience, culture is organic and can’t be forced. It very much comes together with putting the right people together, in the right environment, with the right mission. It’s up to you as the owner to ensure that you’re selecting the right people for the team, fostering the right environment for them to grow in, and creating a mission for the business that gets them fired up.
4) What is your biggest business accomplishment in the past year?
To me, the biggest business accomplishment is the level of talent we’ve been able to bring on board, both on our management team and our advisory board.
As Jim Collins says, get the right people on the bus. Our network of mentors and advisors has been invaluable to helping us avoid major mistakes and to shape our growth strategy.
Watch my recent meeting with Scott. We spent the morning in Vancouver and talked everything about leadership, culture, and strategies in scaling a healthcare business across borders.
5) What is your biggest mistake and lessons learned in owning clinics?
I could write in this section for 4 days straight!
When you’re pursuing the speed of growth we are, mistakes are par for the course and you have to accept that you’re constantly making decisions with less than perfect information.
Two of my top lessons learned that I would share with other clinic owners are that if you can’t leave your business for a month and come back to things perfectly fine, and the revenue growing as usual, then you don’t have a business, you have a self-employed job.
Focus as much free time as possible working on the business systems rather than treating an extra patient or two.
The second lesson would be to use technology as much as possible. It shocks me how many clinics still don’t offer a customer friendly, online booking option. This makes a world of difference for rebooking and referrals.
6) What's something you've recently learned that you're really excited to implement?
Something I’ve learned recently is how important it is, as you add new staff, to constantly be looking at roles and responsibilities and ensuring they’re clearly defined and aligned with the rest of the team.
For example, it’s great to say that you do operations, but what are the specific deliverables, day-to-day actions, and reporting requirements that come along with that role?
The next few months for us is a lot of updating roles and creating new structure to support additional clinics, and is something I get a lot of intellectual satisfaction from working on.
7) What advice would you give to a clinic owner on branding?
Most clinic owners I’ve spoken to underestimate how important brand is to building a stable, long-term business. They get a logo drawn up, and that’s the extent of it.
Understand that your brand represents everything from the patient experience when someone walks in, to the voice you’re using on your marketing channels, to the culture your staff buy into.
Ultimately, people want to be the first to tell others about a cool new brand. This is 2017, and you need to respect that the marketing landscape has shifted dramatically over the past decade.
People want to do business with brands that make them feel a certain way. Understand who your customer is, what’s important to them in their heart of hearts, and position your brand to align with your target customer.
8) If you had to spend $500 marketing this month to get new patients, how would you spend it?
I would spend the money on a DJ and throw an invite-only, open bar, Saturday night party at our 4000 square foot gym space in Toronto, Myodetox Performance. I would have our marketing team contact 100-200 of the top influencers, publicists, and bloggers in the city and hype up the event to them and ensure we get a large percentage of those committed to coming.
Paid advertising is very transactional and works fine if you’re trying to fight over the patients that every other clinic is trying to go after, but it ends up being expensive to drive new business. To build a movement and a brand, you need to be able to influence culture.
Although it can be part of a great marketing ecosystem and strategy, Google Adwords or direct mail doesn’t accomplish that. The party may not deliver new patients tomorrow, but in the long term it creates a nonstop funnel of referrals.
9) What do go to learn more about business and leadership?
I try to surround myself with people that I can constantly learn from, I read 1-2 books every week, plus listen to about an hour a day of podcasts or audiobooks.
I actually learn much more from the day to day growing the business and reflecting on it, but books and podcasts can be a great source of inspiration and keeping your mind peppered with new ideas and perspectives.
10) What is currently your biggest waste of time and how will you fix it?
I’m neurotic about tracking my time usage and can honestly say I probably need to waste more time in my life.
11) What is your strategy for work life balance?
I’m the wrong person to ask this question. I love the process of building a business and throw myself in with everything I have. It’s my passion and eats up most of my waking hours, even on the weekends.
Outside of that, I try to spend as much time in nature – hiking, snowboarding, etc.
12) What is your daily morning ritual that get's you energized to go to work?
I meditate daily, and it’s the first thing I do when I wake up (currently on a 72 day streak!).
I used to start working immediately, but I’ve found improved results by holding myself back from work for a few hours so I can hit the ground running and from a good foundation.
That usually looks like a routine of meditation, workout or yoga class, journaling and planning, and a healthy breakfast every morning, then I start work around 10 AM. I also rarely check email before noon as I find it’s a huge distraction and takes me away from accomplishing my main priorities for the day.
13) What is the book you’ve most often gifted to other people?
Principles by Ray Dalio.
It’s a free ebook you can Google, and it’s an absolutely life-changing handbook on how to think logically and make objective decisions. I read it when I was 22 years old and it changed my perspective forever, and I return to it every year with fresh eyes. Highly recommended.
Myodetox is absolutely killing it in the rehab branding arena! Learn more about their branding secrets by joining Scott at ACCELERATE 2017.