Small business owners have seen their companies change overnight due to the coronavirus. In our #openforbusiness series, we're highlighting Northwestern Mutual clients who have been forced to get creative in order to adapt to these unprecedented times and keep their businesses running. We hope you'll get inspiration from their stories and help support them whenever possible.
Business: Beyond Bones Chiropractic
Owners: Dr. Ryan and Cassidy Bones
Location: Coeur d’Alene, ID
We opened Beyond Bones Chiropractic in 2016 to provide neurologically based chiropractic care. While many people think chiropractic is about simply cracking backs, I focus more on how the spine affects the spinal cord and nerves. My job is to make sure the spine isn’t interfering with the critical communication between the brain and the body.
Although some people do come to us with back pain, neck pain or headaches, we mostly care for people who have chronic or unresolving health issues — meaning most of our patients rely on us to keep them going. This is why it was crucial that we found a way to be open for them when the coronavirus hit.
Initially, we doubled our sanitization efforts and didn’t think it would affect our business much. However, when we learned the virus could be transmitted through the air, we realized we needed to make some significant changes.
Here’s what we did to transform our procedures so we could safely continue to help people.
Ww closed to revamp our office procedures
On March 18, we made the heart-wrenching decision to voluntarily close our doors for three weeks. This allowed us to self-quarantine to make sure the team was safe and healthy, sanitize the office from top to bottom and acquire all new PPE gear. We minimized our furniture, removing anything that could not be easily sanitized. We also trained our staff on new patient safety procedures, evaluation and office protocols, phone scripts and job duties. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we dressed business casual. But now we wear scrubs, masks and gloves.
We moved what we could online
To protect one of our employees who is immunocompromised, we set up a system so that she could work remotely securely. In addition, we’re doing our initial consults virtually via Zoom.
We strengthened our online community
While we were closed, we stayed in constant communication with our patients and community so that we could come back strong. We used phone calls, mass texts, email, Facebook and Instagram. We even created a private Facebook group for our patients and local followers called the Beyond Bones Community. It has been an amazing platform for providing updates and delivering value virtually. Not only have we used it to share health-related information, but we’ve also used it to for other things such as talks with Small Business Administration (SBA) experts. This helped deepen our position as a community resource.
We turned marketing into giving
For many small businesses that are simply trying to keep their people employed, we know how hard it is to find money in the budget for marketing. We found a little can go a long way through co-promotions. The one we love most involves starting a tab for those on the front lines. Here’s the concept:
1. Go to a local small business (maybe owned by a customer or an existing connection) and buy a $100 gift card.
2. Leave it there, earmarked for a group of people (we chose first responders and health care workers).
3. Take a picture and post it on your business Facebook page with the details, such as: “If you’re a first responder or health care worker, I just went down to Joe’s Pizza and put down $100 for you to get a slice. Just tell them to put it on my tab.”
4. Share the post to your personal page, local community groups and other social media platforms, and send it around to your email list. Ask the business you bought the card from to also share with their audience.
We have done this at a local coffeeshop and a toy store that delivers — we want to do something different every week. You get to help a group of people in need of support, you drive business to your promotion partner, and you generate positive PR for your business. It’s a win-win.
We did a check-in on our financial situation
During this time, our Northwestern Mutual advisor, Joey Meehan, provided valuable information about the SBA loan opportunities available to us, and helped us be certain of our financial decisions in a very uncertain time.
We spoke to Joey about everything happening with our personal lives and business, discussed the options that existed and what would be best for us. We did apply for and received a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Our relationship with our Northwestern Mutual advisor has helped us keep the spotlight on the good and stay focused on how we can help people stay healthy and functioning at their optimal levels. We urge anyone struggling with a chronic health issue to give us a call and find out how we may be able to help.
Dr. Ryan Bones and his wife, Cassidy, are clients of Northwestern Mutual. They work with Financial Advisor Joey Meehan.
The testimonials presented may not be representative of the experience of other clients and are not a guarantee of future performance or success.