The Joint Chiropractic Franchise Review: Q&A with Barrett McNabb
How a military veteran took the skills he developed in the services and put them to work in his multi-unit chiropractic franchise
When Barrett McNabb made the decision to go into business for himself after leaving the military, he knew that if he applied what he learned during his time in the service, he could be successful in a chiropractic franchise.
The only question he had to answer was what type of business he would open. During his time in the service, his wife sustained back injuries after an automobile accident. As part of the settlement, she received a few treatments at a chiropractic clinic to help her recover – and it worked. At this time, the couple was stationed in Morocco, where McNabb was a Foreign Area Officer, and on multiple occasions they flew back to the United States so that she could visit the chiropractor.
Once the couple moved back to Texas, the treatments continued. This is how they came upon The Joint Chiropractic, the business that would ultimately allow McNabb to realize his own dreams of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
“I remember it vividly – I was brushing my teeth,” McNabb says. “My wife came in and said there’s a place called The Joint that offers four visits for $49 – could she try it? With a deal like that, I said go for it! She loved the experience, and one day, I asked if I could go in with her. I was immediately struck by how simple and efficient the business model was. I asked my wife, ‘Is this something we could do?’ She was totally on board, and we went from there.”
McNabb opened his first clinic with The Joint in the Houston metropolitan area soon after. But he wasn’t alone. As a leader in the military, McNabb knew that his success was predicated on getting the support of his family behind him. His wife is a Certified Public Accountant, and her significant skills would come in handy to help manage the backend of the business. McNabb also asked his mother, a highly experienced sales rep in Big Pharma who also had a MBA to join him. He knew that her ability to speak the language of business would prove to be essential as the business grew.
“I told my mother, who was getting ready to retire – I can’t retire, neither can you,” McNabb says, laughing. “I wanted to have my family working with me, as we have unique skills in different areas, and I knew that we would share the same goals. It’s been incredible to have them with me in this business, and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Today, McNabb owns four clinics with The Joint Chiropractic, as well as two acupuncture businesses. He credits his ability to scale up to multi-unit ownership with the skills he acquired in the military. In fact, he’s currently writing a book on how the military prepares soldiers to become entrepreneurs by preparing them to be battle-ready.
For example, his approach to marketing his business is exactly the same as the way the military trains soldiers to patrol an area during wartime. As a retired military officer in the 82nd Airborne Division, who had served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, McNabb understands marketing in a way that few do – but that many can benefit from.
“As a soldier, we find the enemy on the battlefield, define the operating environment, describe the battlefield effects, analyze the threat, and identify the course of action,” McNabb says. “If you change the word enemy to customer, which is unfair to the customer (laughter), you can really come up with a winning marketing strategy in your territory. This is what we’ve done, and it’s really paid off. The book I’m writing now will explain how I’ve been effective at translating the skills I’ve learned in the military into a life in business.”
McNabb’s business savvy is paying off in a big way. Only two years after he opened his first clinic in 2015, he was named The Franchisee of The Year by The Joint. His ability to develop a strong culture in his clinics where every employee shares the same goals, as well as his ability to delegate duties amongst his wife, mother, managers, and chiropractors has allowed him to continue to scale. McNabb recently bought the rights to two additional territories in Houston, and he’s always looking for opportunities to continue to grow.
“I hope to keep expanding,” He says. “The future is just so bright. Only 10% of the population has even experienced chiropractic care.”
McNabb’s success in business is an enormous achievement from an already highly accomplished individual. By joining a brand that allows him to deepen his leadership skills and emphasize teamwork, the sky’s the limit for McNabb.
“When I left the army, I was homesick,” he says. “I didn’t know if I was going to find an organization that was going to satisfy the level of camaraderie that I had in the army but I found that in The Joint. I love being a part of this brand and I love what we’re able to do to help people.”