You’ve asked about program development as a way to create special services for clients wanting to make a positive difference in their lives and as a way to off-set poor reimbursements and earn more income. I spoke to this a bit in the Upselling. Let’s spend more time talking about how to package your practice’s offerings to maximize practice profitability.
First, take an inventory of what services, assessments, specialty treatment offerings, and products you have for sale in your practice. List everything, no matter how inexpensive or how costly. If you are only offering services and have no products for sale, why have you made that choice? Is that decision working for your practice?
Second, inventory the skills and clinical interests of the clinicians in your practice. Each of us have treatment areas we enjoy more than others. Many of us have developed skill specialties for treating clients. All of us have areas of interest in which we’d like to specialize our clinical practices. Once each person on your team has identified their clinical skills and interests, you can identify whether program offerings might make sense. Consider for example a team that identified the following skills and interests.
- Athletic performance recovery
- Athletic performance assessment and enhancement
- Running Performance
- Dance movement assessment and enhancement
- Golf Injury Prevention and Enhancement
- Walking mobility
Or a team that identified the following interests and skills.
- Senior and geriatric mobility: walking, driving, standing up, getting out of bed.
- Teaching seniors how to organize their homes to reduce falls and injuries.
- Injury recovery to return to full mobility.
What kinds of programs or packages could each team build?
Third, build a package or program. Working with your team, ask a series of questions to develop a program based on the skills and interests you’ve inventoried. Ask such questions as:
- What could a program or service offering look like?
- What would it include – products and services?
- What’s our reason for offering this?
- What would be a client’s reason for “buying” this?
- How many of these packages can we realistically offer?
- Which ones should we test out with clients and offer first?
Fourth, price the program offering. Consider how many clinical hours are involved. List the retail prices of any products that will be included in the package. Add together the clinician hours, overhead, and retails costs to arrive at a grand total, full-price dollar amount. Then, consider what discount you can offer clients because they are committing to a package. Will your pricing differ if they have insurance? If they are self-paying? If they are paying up front with cash? Or if they are paying over time with a credit card? Consider all of the payment possibilities as a part of figuring out your final-price for the program or package.
Fifth, market and sell the packages and program offerings. Spas and restaurants have a menu. Our practices can also have a menu of services available and program packages that are clearly described and priced. Someone on your team may have a talent for designing this menu, or you may contract with someone to design it for you. Include these details in your program descriptions and marketing materials.
- Description of what is included.
- List who the target audience or likely users of the package are.
- Objectives and Benefits for using the package or program.
- A detailed list of what is included in the program (for example: hours with a clinician working on what things, products, access to a help line, and what else is included)
- The pricing. Be straightforward. Show what all of the services and products would cost if purchased one at a time AND what people save by purchasing the package. This approach works in spas, in veterinarian offices, and in many service-oriented practices. Remember that many people are afraid to ask about pricing, yet when they see what a program includes and how they can save money by purchasing a package, they are more inclined to commit to working with you.
The key is that you need an in-office and online tool set for sharing the new programs you have developed. People will want to know all of what you can offer them!
If you don’t have anyone on your team who can design the menu, there are several great, inexpensive resources that you can use to find quality design inexpensively.
www.99designs.com – This is a design site where you choose a package and designers submit designs in competition for what you’ve agreed to pay. You can get very high quality designs here that are reasonably priced.
www.uowork.com – This is an outsourcing website with workers from around the work and can be quite cost effective.
www.fivrr.com – You can literally get designs done here for as little as five dollars. Be sure you look at the quality of the work and turn around times before you buy.
Sixth, assess the success of each program offered. Has it met your objectives? Is it financially reasonable? Is it achieving client goals? Which offerings will you continue to offer – with or without refinements? Which programs will you discontinue? Taking time to assess what we’ve achieved is a part of an ongoing review of whether we, and our team members, are achieving what we want to achieve personally, professionally, and as a practice.
Finding the time to build
Many of you express frustration about finding the time to build new things – programs, service offerings, marketing efforts – into your day. Consider using time during a weekly staff meeting to explore new ideas and opportunities. Determine whether a staff planning retreat makes sense as a practice investment toward developing new offerings. Some practices close the office one day a quarter for training and development, maybe such an approach would work for your practice team to invest in the development of programs.
When building programs is a part of your vision and a part of achieving practice freedoms, finding the time is necessary to your success.
Committing Time for program delivery to clients
Recall that one of your roles as practice owner is to mentor your team members. Finding time to deliver new and ongoing services and programs will be a part of your mentoring duties until the practice has fully integrated the new offerings into daily operations. You may discover that your administrative team needs new scheduling skills, to schedule a sequence of appointments rather than scheduling one appointment at a time. The team may discover that more frequent product inventorying and ordering is needed to fill the product portions of program packages.
You might find that clinicians underestimated how long a new service would take. Working together you’ll want to assess and adjust so that the margins on each program/package remain profitable and to insure employee morale remains high.
A happy challenge might be that you discover some program offerings are so popular that new clinicians are needed to continue treating general client needs. Sometimes adding staff is the only way to create more time during each day.
Whatever you and your team create and offer as a program package, use your financial dashboard to measure success. Protect development and delivery time so that you can offer top-notch programs. Review what your team feels is working, not working, or is in need of refinement so that working together, you can deliver creative programs that meet real-world client needs and desires.
Are you ready to explore participation in the TAPP program? Let’s get into a discussion. I’d like to hear what you have to say. If you’d like to have a conversation, please fill out the Owner’s Profile.