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Episode 124
What Does A Boutique Hearing Care Practice Look Like?

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Podcast Transcription - What Does A Boutique Hearing Care Practice Look Like?

We're in an interesting spot right now as an industry, you don't need me to tell you that,  but there's never been a better opportunity to be purposeful with the types of patients you want to serve, the margins you  want to obtain and the type of business that you want  to build than that is available today and I want to talk you through that as part  of this episode of the Business of Hearing podcast so strap in and let's go.   

Welcome to the Business of Hearing podcast with me, Oli Luke, the podcast for entrepreneurial private practice hearing care clinic leaders, the ones who set benchmarks of excellence, build wildly successful businesses, grow their impact and navigate the choppy waters to spearhead the future of private practice hearing care. Thank you so much for joining us. Pour yourself a cup of tea and let's get stuck into this week's episode. 

So I've mentioned a few times this boutique practice kind of terminology. I've never really gone into depth of why I believe there's such a mass opportunity right now, and not just why I believe it, but why the data is pretty much telling us a story that this is available especially if we borrow lessons from other industries. Now, here's a few key reasons why there's a mass opportunity right now that is unlike anything we've seen before and I don't want to go over old information but let's say you're new here. Let me just give you a quick 32nd summary. The market in the US is about to grow by 350%.  There has been 19 million people over the age of 70 for the past 10, 15 years known as the silent generation but between 1946 and 1964 because of the baby boom, baby boom has entered the world which means now, over the next six years, the number of 70 plus year olds in the US is going to reach 71 million people. That is significant. That is 3.5 x the market. On top of that, there's a few amplifiers.  One is Apple introducing hearing aid mode to their next AirPods and through iOS 18, what is that likely to do?  That is likely to normalize the conversation around hearing loss with the coolest and most well-known tech brand making a conversation around this, making people more aware of their hearing abilities and as a result, our industry is going to. That was a real sound effect, by the way, that wasn't put in by post production so we're in a really interesting spot and like traditionally, we've not had as much flexibility and autonomy on the type of business we want. We open a clinic, we draw a circle on a map and we say anybody that has a hearing loss within this area, we are there to serve them. Whereas right now the market is going to be far wider, far bigger of potential people that need help from practices like yours and this generation of baby boomers is unlike any other generation prior to them, they hold more wealth. They're the biggest spenders in luxury travel. They buy through, I suppose, unlike the silent generation who were far more frugal and spent through necessity. The baby boomers buy premium, they buy luxury. They want experience and it positions it very well for practices like yours to build boutique models so what does boutique model mean? And this is where I think there's a bit of a unique situation because the hearing care industry has been somewhat the same for a long period of time like typical hearing aids sell for about the same amount. There isn't big differentiators between one clinic and the next. It's slight, right? And it's opposition in marketing and some do more care, some do less care, some do an obscene amount of work behind the scenes that patients don't discover until they finally work with them. Some are very upfront saying exactly what the patient gets but there's not really the same difference as like the hotel industry where there's a budget hotel and then a Ritz Carlton hotel, right? This, the hearing care industry is somewhat similar, and I'm saying that loosely, but hopefully you understand my point with a hotel comparison but if you look at any other industry, and we'll use a few examples in a moment, they break down into kind of three categories. You have kind of mass market, you have niche market, and you have luxury market so let's take watches. If you want to wear a wristwatch mass market, you could go on Amazon and buy a $30 watch.  It will tell you the time. It will work. There'll be a strap that goes around your wrist function achieved from a niche watch. You could also go and say, well, I want a watch that will connect to my cell phone, that will tell me the time, that will read my blood oxygen levels and my heart rate variability. I want an Apple Watch or I want a fitness related watch but essentially that's the niche market. That's people that have a certain level of niche. Maybe they're interested in fitness and there's a market for that and people would spend three, four, $500. You then have the luxury market, right? You have Rolex, obscene business model, huge, huge margins, control the supply and demand really, really well. There's always more demand than there is supply but they'll sell your watch for $30,000. Now, what does that watch do differently than the person who bought the $30 mass market watch? Nothing is the answer but the luxury market are not buying it for the necessity. They're buying it because it's a status symbol. It’s I've got this. Other people can't look what I've achieved. I'm special, etcetera so that's an obvious one. You could also apply it to the car market, of course, the difference between a Hyundai and a Bentley. Obvious. You could then apply it to even something as similar to a jump rope, right? For exercise, you can go and get a $10 jump rope off Amazon mass market model. You could go and buy a specialist niche one so if you're into cross fit training, you can spend $100 on this specialist jump rope. You could also go and spend $1,000 on a jump rope which has cashmere this and blah, blah, blah. I've done the googling, I assure you that is there as an option. You could even apply this to chocolate, right?  You could go to your local convenience store, grab a bar of chocolate for a dollar, two, three if you want it to be a protein filled chocolate, because you've got a fitness interest, then you could spend five, six, $7 on that. If you want to buy a chocolate that's natural cocoa and this and that, and you're spending half of the money on packaging then that's an option as well so everything breaks into mass market, niche market, luxury market. Now, what is interesting is most businesses choose what they want to sell first, choose their product offering and then choose their market. Hearing care is a prime example of that.  I want to help people to achieve better hearing. I want to sell hearing care and hearing care plans. My market is going to be people local to me. Yet the opportunity is, could you choose your market first and then build your product offering to serve it? So let's go back to the mass market, niche market, luxury market approach. This is where I think there's opportunity for boutique models because nearly everybody is mass market and I think as we go forward, the here USA's of the world, the miracle is of the world. They are the mass market offer. The cost goals of the world, that is the mass market offer but where the big margins are and where the opportunity to serve patients that you love serving are in the niche market and are in the luxury market. Now, what does that look like in the world of hearing care? Well, the niche market could be musicians like for example. Now, if you were serving musicians and that was your market and the market's big enough for you to make a great living off serving musicians. Well, what would that change? It would mean that you'd have a very sharp value proposition that would attract musicians. It means that even the music that plays in your office, the way your walls are decorated, etcetera would be musician related. It means that the hearing care plans and the packaging and how you share options with patients and even some of your price points and what's important to your patients, you know that sound quality is not just something they want to hear their husband or wife better. It is absolutely critical for their happiness, for their life, for their career, etcetera which means that your hearing care plan would look dramatically different than a mass market option and as a result, you could price for that. As a result, you could build pricing plans for patients like the ones you want to serve. That could be a niche market. Similarly, a niche market could be busy working professionals, right? It's people who are still working 50, 60, 70 but they have like a full-time situation. They have responsibilities, they're in high income roles. Better hearing is once again, something that's critical for them. Your service plan and the way that you serve them would look different because these types of patients don't want to spend more time with you. They'd rather work remotely, be able to solve problems themselves and only come to you when absolutely necessary, like that. It's a different market. Similarly, the luxury market, like, if you wanted to serve the, the most affluent people in the world, then is that an option? It depends where you are geographically, right? But if you're in Manhattan, if you're in, you know, downtown LA, and I don't know LA well enough but you get the idea. If you're in those areas where there's a huge affluent market, then could you be the super, super luxury hearing care provider that delivers concierge care and charges a huge whopping premium as a result? You definitely could but this is where I think we're in an interesting spot with this boutique model because traditionally we've all aimed for this mass market. We've kind of said, we deliver this, we're going to put our stall out and hopefully attract as many local people that have needs that we can meet as much as possible. Whereas with the market growing so significantly, 350 increase the opportunity to be more specific about who are we looking to serve? Are we going to be a niche market? Are we going to be a luxury market? Are we happy in the mass market? I believe this is just a lens that you can apply that gives you a different view and of course, this is easy for me to sit here and say, if you have a successful mass market practice right now and you want to go niche, how would you do that? What would that transition look like? And I'm not saying it's an overnight process but having clarity on the destination that you want to end up in will certainly help you get there and you know, as Phil, my business partner, often says, you're always running two businesses. The one that is paying you right now and the second one is the one you're building, right? And this may be the same. You continue to care for the patients that come to you but is there a new model? Is there a new business that your razor-sharp value proposition can lean towards? This is where I believe there's room to play but the window to do it isn't huge. This is the next several years that this needs to get into place to tap into this huge baby boomer market. Huge opportunity so plenty to think about. Markets changing, markets growing, the ability to choose your market first, then choose your product offering is significant. It's a scary step that many people won't take which doesn't mean it's right or wrong but I believe there's riches in the niches so using a niche market or a luxury market could be a very unique way to build a unique model that could be worth a lot more as a business. Give you the lifestyle that you want, allow you to work less, earn more or allow you to lean into your preferences on patience, lean into your interests. I think there's a lot of room for fun and play in that space but hopefully that's helpful. Just wanted to share some thoughts around this boutique model piece and I'll be back again next week with yet another episode. Have a wonderful week and I'll speak to you soon.

And there we have it but before you head off to skip to the next episode or eagerly await for next week's, I have three things for you. First of all, if you've enjoyed what you've heard today and want to learn more about our exclusive inner circle to discover how 60 plus clinics are setting benchmarks of excellence in private practice, benefitting from a mastermind of North America's most successful practice owners and having an industry leading marketing team driving gold standard implementation, then go to That's orange-gray. There's not only a video there detailing how you can win in the next two decades in private practice but it also shares a downloadable PDF with no ask for email address or anything like that, that will explain exactly what becoming a member looks like. Second of all, I strongly feel that private practice is in a very challenging spot right now, where we're the David fighting against Goliaths, made up of large groups, manufacturer owned chains, Costco's and whatever the next heavily funded Whizbang online direct response consumer model will be. I'm a strong believer in a rising tide lifts all boats and the more private practice can fight back at scale, the bigger impact will make so please consider a friend, a colleague, or even a Facebook group, a LinkedIn group, etc. where you can spread the word about this podcast and third and finally, it may be a little thing but a five-star review hitting subscribe will ensure you automatically download all future episodes and help the algorithm to grow the impact of this podcast and at the very least, it will certainly put a smile on my face when I go and look at the numbers so I look forward to talking to you again next week. Thank you for your ears and I'll speak to you soon. 

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Every Industry in the world can be broken into three segments. 

  • The Mass Market – The option for most people.
  • The Niche Market – The option for people with special interests.
  • The Luxury Market – The option for status focused individuals.

As clinic owners, your main focus is nearly always to cater to the mass market.

Given that the vast majority of practice owners are in the same boat, and that the market is set to grow by 3.5x in the near future, it opens up the potential for “Boutique Practices” to make a name for themselves, serving the niche and luxury segments that are largely untapped. 

In this week’s episode, Oli explains how to carve out a unique space in either the niche or luxury market, tailor your services to meet the specific needs of your dream patients, and strategically market your practice to stand out.  

Whether you’re aiming to cater to enthusiasts with special interests or those seeking premium services, this episode provides you with essential steps to define and attract your dream patients.

Have a question you would like to discuss on the podcast?

Shoot me an email to [email protected].

I look forward to hearing from you.

Are you eager to learn more?

You can find some amazing tips and tricks of our members in 2023, head over to 👈🏼 to find out more.

Want to learn more? 👀 ⬇️

If you want to learn more about the Inner Circle to discover how 60+ clinics are setting benchmarks of excellence in private practice, benefiting from a mastermind of North America’s most successful practice owners, and having an industry-leading marketing team driving gold-standard implementation, then visit

Listen To More:

Free (No Opt-In) PDF Download:
23 of The Best (and Most Original) Ideas Implemented by Private Practice Hearing Care Clinics in 2023


📈 A clinic that has launched a premium monthly subscription program that includes community perks, benefits and annual upgrades (yes, ANNUAL upgrades) ... yet earns them industry-high margins!

📹 How one clinic has bought themselves 6+ hours back on the schedule each week by implementing a series of helpful patient videos (that is also winning them patients from competitors

🔎 How two clinics have built industry-first programs to attract existing hearing aid wearers that are either unsatisfied with their existing provider, or new to the area (and turn this into a profit-center for their business)

Leading the Change Training Guide Cover

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