We talked to: Winter Wolf Spine & Sport
We talked to Winter Wolf Spine & Sport
We recently spoke with Dr. Jacob Henricksen, of Winter Wolf Spine & Sport. Learn more about his business, how he's weathered Pandemic Times, and what lies ahead! Thanks for chatting with us, Jacob!
So you opened very recently. How was it to have to shut down during the height of the virus? How are things going overall for you in these uncertain times?
I opened on February 1st, then in the second or third week of March (when the governor shut down the state), I closed down. Though I was declared essential, I didn’t have to close, but I did so anyway to be extra cautious. It was unfortunate, and certainly not ideal--and, like most business owners, I was worried. It was a disheartening feeling, though ultimately, I knew it would be okay because I had set the business up being able to survive not having patients for a time. I actually did not expect to have many patients as soon as I opened, but I was actually doing better than I had initially anticipated before the shutdown happened. So going from more patients than I had expected to none was definitely strange. I reopened in June, and while I'm still not back to the level I was at, I am maintaining a positive outlook and looking toward the future. Initially, I was very motivated to interact and go out and talk with people, and being located inside the CrossFit building was also great in that respect. I was able to connect with a diverse group of people, and many of the gym members started coming to see me. It’s currently rather limited what I can do to generate more business, as I really can’t be out and about, physically meeting and greeting or shaking hands. So, for the time being, I’m relying on word of mouth and referrals from clients, as well as digital marketing and sending out emails. It might not be perfect, but it is also a learning experience.
Do you think people generally feel safe coming into the office?
I definitely think people feel safe, as I'm leaving approximately half an hour to an hour between each visit unless someone has to come in at a certain time. In between clients, I am thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting. I offer ample hand sanitizer, as does CrossFit, and I’ve also purchased a couple boxes of masks so that I can offer back-up to clients. I've even invested in hospital-grade disinfectant, which might be overkill, but I feel it’s worth it for peace of mind. As far as being sanitary, I’ve got it covered. In terms of the public feeling safe in general? I can’t speak for them, but I can tell you that my clients definitely feel safe and comfortable coming in for their appointments. I also try to make it as hassle and stress-free as possible, by offering tons of different ways to pay--contactless, card reader, cash, check, and online payments. Folks can even schedule online, call me, or text my business line to make appointments.
Are people adhering to mask-wearing rules regularly, or have you encountered some challenges?
I haven’t had a single person be resistant. Everyone has been respectful and compliant, and if for some reason they forgot a mask, I can supply them with one!
What positive things have you learned during this crazy time?
I feel we can always turn negatives into positives and learn from our experiences. I truly think that our current situation has made many business owners pivot and think about how we can help others. I started my profession learning to teach people how to do exercises to decrease their reliance upon me, through virtual support and assistance. That’s one component that is definitely a positive, particularly in the current climate. I believe that hard times like this teach people the benefits of simplicity and minimalism. I try to take everything well, so for me personally, I can put a positive spin on most experiences. I feel that the pandemic has brought people together more in a different way, though obviously not physically right now. People have realized that everyone is in this together and you have to work together to be safe, otherwise you are compromising each other. This type of behavior and attitude really helps to create a sense of unity and solidarity.
Any other information you’d like to share about your business?
I’m in a great location, as it’s easy to find and there’s plenty of free parking! I’m attached to CrossFit as well as the Stayin’ Aligned hot yoga studio. Massage therapy and PT services are also offered within the CrossFit building. Some positive, and perhaps unique things, about what I do include spending a lot more time with clients--the initial visit is an hour, so we can really set up a program and I can get to know my client and their unique needs/requirements. And then after the first visit, I generally spend around 30 minutes with a client. I do also offer “in and out” adjustments, once I’ve worked with someone for a bit and we’ve determined whether or not that makes sense for them. I also offer Graston Technique (I am a certified Graston provider), as well as dry needling (with or without electrical stimulation), and mechanical diagnosis therapy.
I also offer active stretch therapy and exercise rehab. Perhaps what makes me a little different is that I spend a good amount of time with people--I’m not just your run-of-the-mill, in and out chiropractic office. I like to think of it as more of a “concierge chiropractic clinic,” as clients have a great deal of access to me, and I can truly tailor appointments to suit individual needs. I can spend as much or as little time with a client as works for them. For me, it’s not about high volume, but about helping people feel better, get stronger, and feel good about themselves. I might not make as much money, but that’s okay because I ultimately won’t resent what I do. I can find a balance between my business and the empathy and care I have for people I treat.