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31 January 2023

PAYG vs. Packages & Programmes of Treatment

Female Chiropractor speaking with client

I’m going to start by asking you a question…

Do you think you can solve someone’s problem in one session? 

If the answer is yes, then I hope that you’re charging a lot for that! 

But if you can’t, which most of us can’t – not because we’re not talented enough, but because of how the body works – then why do we so often base our businesses on a PAYG (Pay As You Go) model?

Don’t get me wrong, if programmes and packages of treatment aren’t the best solution, then don’t offer them – we should always lead with professionalism first and foremost. 

More often than not, though, programmes and packages of treatment are absolutely the best solution – both for our clients and for our business, which is what this article goes some way to explaining.

Let’s look firstly at why they’re often the best solution for our clients.

What do your clients want?

Your clients want a solution to their problem. It’s as simple as that (but you already know this if you’ve read our most recent blog article).

They want a State A to State B transformation but instead we sell them an hour’s sports massage, or a classical mat pilates class, knowing full well that a single session isn’t going to get them to where they want to be. 

Now I know what you’re thinking – that you will complete the initial consultation and then provide them with a treatment plan, explaining that they will probably require X number of sessions and to complete a set of prescribed exercises at home.

But think about the roadblocks that so often hinder client recovery…

Lack of time and forgetting to stay on top of their prescribed exercises or having to cancel their next appointment? That’s a common one.

Starting to feel a bit better so stops taking rehab seriously, stops attending sessions and returns too soon to the activity that caused the injury in the first place? That’s another common one.

Or how about the opposite of that where the client hasn’t miraculously undone years of poor posture and movement in just two sessions so stops booking in for any more appointments?

Let’s be honest here, our clients often need protecting from themselves a lot of the time, whether they realise it or not.

But this is why we need to creatively create ways of working with them that remove the sorts of roadblocks I’ve just mentioned.

Let me give you an example from Pilates…

We both know that anyone wanting to do Pilates will not achieve the results that they’re looking for in anything less than 12 weeks.

This is what I know to be true and this is why within my Pilates studio, which forms an important part of my Physiotherapy & Wellness Clinic, we offer a Kickstart Pilates programme that lasts for 12 weeks.

This provides just the right amount of time for clients to get to know us better, to trust us and also trust that Pilates is going to make the difference so long as they’re consistent. 

And once people have worked with us for 12 weeks, sold on Pilates, and sold on our fantastic group of instructors, we can then bring them into our monthly Pilates membership, which is a year-long commitment but paid over a monthly basis.

By saying this is what we believe to be true about Pilates and standing by our convictions, we have created a solution that best facilitates recovery and optimum wellbeing, whilst also helping our business become more resilient and better performing.

But it doesn’t always need to be based on number of sessions or an agreed period of time. It could, for example, be based on deliverables, such as a package including a bespoke exercise plan, access to your on-demand library, plus bi-weekly accountability check-ins with the treatment team. It’s all about being creative and matching things to what will actually get results.

Anyway, let’s now look at why moving to programmes and packages of treatment is so often transformative for a business.

What happens if it snows?

When we were all a lot younger and life a lot more straightforward, there was a time when we’d see snow and think simply of throwing snow and getting the day off school. 

Nowadays, for many of us working in health and wellness, and especially those working on a PAYG model, snow comes with cancellations and the potential loss of a whole day’s income. 

I’ve used snow as an example, but there are plenty of other variables that can’t be controlled that I could have mentioned – a global pandemic, for example.

By relying on PAYG, we fail to create a business that can stand the test of time, that can weather (quite literally) the storm and prove resilient to the challenges we’ll all inevitably face as business owners. 

Not only this, a PAYG model makes it so much harder to predict how many slots you need to fill each week, making it much more difficult to decide what to spend on marketing, which then results in you never knowing how much income you expect to make from one month to the next. There is, of course, always going to be a degree variability, especially due to the churn rate associated with our line of work, but PAYG magnifies this considerably.

Programmes and packages of treatment, on the other hand, when matched properly to the problems your clients are looking to fix, help make forecasting much more straightforward, whilst also optimising the conditions for treatment delivery. 

So how are you going to work with your clients?

Having done PAYG when I first opened my clinic but later transitioned to payment models based on long term commitment and recurring revenue, I can honestly say that it has the potential to not only transform your income, but also client results, your time management, your cash flow, and the resilience of your business.

For help transitioning towards this and thinking creatively about the programmes and packages of treatment you’d like to offer, why not schedule a call with me to discuss the best way forward?

Simply follow this link to book your call where we will spend an hour together, digging deeper into your pricing, treatment packages and much more, and finish by putting together a clear 30-day plan of action that you can use to transform your business.

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