Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Creating a Successful Retail Operation (Part IV)

There are many sources a HME provider can tap into for new ideas to build and expand cash sales. There are no reasons why everyone cannot follow the leaders and become more aggressive: same as a supermarket, WalMart or Target store. What they do is feature their promotion items and pair them with related products. You receive a several page advertisement from all of these at least once a week with your newspaper delivery. Study what they do carefully because you, too, can do the same.

Like everyone else, I carefully review the specials and then look at all the other products. When I speak with other seniors, they all seem to do the same. Unfortunately, this is a far too an expensive program for the average HME provider, but there are many other approaches to build additional OTC cash sales.

In Part 1 of this series I spoke about becoming more active in your community, such as participation in the Chamber of Commerce and civic associations such as Rotary or Kiwanis. This is a is good way to keep your name recognized. Working with a church or a school PTA or offering to give lectures on care in the home, care for an invalid or an infant is another step to develop new OTC cash sales. A provider I know said he gives classes at local schools and churches. He gains several new customers each time he does it.

In Part 2 it was suggested you take advantage of your preferred vendors. They, same as you, want to increase sales and are willing to give much help. They can show you many OTC cash sale products! Whatever it takes to bring people into your showroom must be done. It is so satisfying when you hold an Open House in your showroom together with one of your preferred vendors and your customers all say thank you.

In Part 3 we touched on continuing education. This is one of the major benefits HME providers earn when attending Medtrade. The conference sessions and speakers make Medtrade as important as attending a university - the difference being that you and the members of your staff can attend them and then bring home the handouts. This will allow you to put the great ideas you heard to work.

In this Part 4, I want you to understand why it is so important to belong to your state DME association. The answer is: If you do not, you may find yourself closing the door to your company! That is a fact of life! The state associations lead the fight to allow you to maintain and keep what you have worked so hard to develop, your own company.

Without the funds you pay for dues, as well as the support you can give to their efforts on your behalf, all their work will be for naught. Your staff will lose their jobs, your family will lose the income, and your patients and family caregivers will lose your services and care. That is what is at stake!

Pick up the phone if you are not already a member and get on board.

Special Note: If your company is currently a member of your state association please solicit all your peers to also become members. If each just brings in one new member it will improve the strength of the association to represent you as onerous legislations are passed and reimbursements from Medicaid change. Do this now! There is too much at stake to sit by and wait. Double the size of your association and stay solvent.

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