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So far Extend Credit has created 38 blog entries.

Chiropractors: Time to Adjust your Membership Options

This week we’ll be looking at the advantages of in-house financing and membership solutions in the Chiropractic field. Much like the Plastic Surgery industry — as we discussed last week — Chiropractors are well suited for these solutions. Membership plans allow patients to stop in regularly for small adjustments, and an in-house financing program insures they’ll be taken care of when the time comes for larger procedures. Chiropractors as a whole recommend a preventative approach to health, suggesting patients stop in for regular adjustments instead of waiting for one big strain or injury. This approach is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, and helps keep people more active and less injury-prone throughout their lives. To maintain patient loyalty, many Chiropractors already offer one, simple annual membership plan. While this is easy for the practice to track and bill, it tends to force the patient to make one big spending decision annually. If they didn't use the benefits much in the past year, they may be much less likely to renew their membership. Monthly plans — made easy by using Wellness Plan software modules — break the commitment up into much more manageable monthly payments. Patients are more likely to stay on this plan, and the technology afforded by the Wellness module suddenly makes the tracking and billing trivial. In addition, Wellness modules make it easy to customize membership plans based on the needs of the patient. The difference is “commodity” plans, vs. “custom” plans. Many Chiropractors may offer a “Bad Back Plan,” so it’s easy for patients to find a similar deal with a competitor. However, if your practice can create a custom plan for each patient, they’ll have a strong reason to patronize you over the guy down the street. Sound [...]

2017-01-18T17:36:35+00:008:33 am|

Nip/Tuck your Financing Plan

Last week, we discussed the myriad benefits of employing a membership model in the Plastic Surgery industry. The main purpose of this model is generating loyalty to the practice whether it be for practice based non-surgical procedures or from affiliated med spas.  This loyalty can also result in a great deal more referrals for surgery patients. While many practices offer discounts on surgical procedures to patients in membership programs, financing these procedures can still be an enormous hurdle. Third party financing companies have significantly reduced approval rates, cover fewer procedures and take from 4-10% of the procedure value, oftentimes, the entire procedure, including fees paid to the surgery center and anesthesiologist. It’s no wonder many practices are adopting in-house financing programs as a complement to third party options, thus accepting more business and side-stepping many of the pitfalls of third party financiers. In some cases, practices are reducing their spend with the 3rd party financiers in favor of their own financing. Many Plastic Surgeons focus on outbound marketing to drive business to their practice. Print ads, commercial spots, social media, etc. all serve to drive potential surgery leads to the operating table. However, financing complications can nullify the effectiveness of outbound marketing by impeding the number of leads resulting in surgeries. In our current credit crisis, it is entirely possible that out of 100 potential leads that walk into the office, only 15-20 will be approved for financing. Unless they can pay for the entire procedure out of pocket, the rest are likely to just walk out the door to a competitor. In-house financing puts the power to accept patients into the hands of the practice, and advanced financing software makes it easy to approve, track, and bill these [...]

2017-01-18T17:38:36+00:008:34 am|

Giving your Membership Plan a Facelift

It’s no secret that the current economic climate is tough for many medical professionals, and plastic surgeons are among the hardest hit. Cosmetic surgery is a luxury for many consumers, and many plastic surgeons we've talked to have seen a 30-40% hit in the number of procedures they perform each year. This is exacerbated by the decline in approvals from 3rd party financing options.  In order to capture the business of the consumer, plastic surgeons need a way to stand out from their competitors and ensure customer loyalty. Luckily, this industry is uniquely suited for two of the business solutions we've discussed in this blog, namely in-house financing and membership programs. Let’s first explore membership programs. While many associate plastic surgery with larger procedures such as rhinoplasty and augmentation surgeries, many practices also offer non-surgical procedures such as Botox/XEOMIN, collagen, various peels and laser treatments. Some of the practices also operate med-spas to expand their offering including anti-aging treatments, dermabrasion, massage therapy and more. While these procedures can be a great source of supplemental income, it can be difficult to ensure patient loyalty. There’s nothing keeping patients from hopping from practice to practice for these procedures, going to whichever practice offers the best deal for that week. By offering a membership plan, doctors can ensure practices retain patient loyalty, and create a steady stream of business. As we’ve discussed previously, the membership model’s success is built on the strength of loyalty programs, a concept tried and true in multiple industries. If patients have committed to a membership at one practice, they will not only return there for all their non-surgical services, they’re also much more likely to refer other patients to that practice. While some practices offer a single, annual membership plan, [...]

2017-01-18T17:40:53+00:008:37 am|

Financing Training Schools: Creating Promising Futures for Providers and Consumers

Today we’ll take a look at a Medical Assistant training school that uses in-house financing to fill their classrooms and increase revenue. The success of this business model depends solely upon how many seats can be filled in each classroom. In the case of this particular school, once the classroom is 55% full, all expenses are paid for; after that, any further sign-ups are strictly profit. Financing options are key for students who are financially on the fence about getting their certification, but could potentially fill the classroom and increase revenue. With a few rare exceptions, payment is almost guaranteed once students complete the certification and gain employment. But while placement rates for medical assistants are high, student loan approval rates are low, and 3rd party financing sources for trade schools aren't much better. Rather than sit around and wait for potential students to be financed, this particular school decided to offer their own in-house financing plans to maximize enrollment and assure a steady cash flow. While filling the first 55% of the classroom, the school offered more conservative financing options, but once that point was reached and all costs were taken care off, they became more aggressive with their lending practices. The school kept lists of potential students who had expressed interest but never followed through, and was then able to contact them and offer to finance their education at a more attractive rate. The benefits of in-house financing lend themselves particularly well to this kind of scenario, in which students are working toward a certification over a six-month period. The school structured plans with a down payment, followed by 12 monthly payments. If a student defaulted at any point during their training, the school could simply withhold their certification. [...]

2017-01-18T17:43:24+00:008:39 am|

Creating a Steady Cash Flow in a World of Hard Costs

As we discussed last week, in-house financing can be a powerful tool to help dentists and various other medical practices generate wealth and grow their business at a dramatic rate. The same tools have also been utilized to great effect in a variety of industries, and while the needs of the business may change, the benefit of extending your credit to customers through in-house financing remains constant. Robert, a mattress retailer, enjoyed steady sales numbers during much of the calendar year, especially in the holiday months and home and garden trade-show season. However, business slowed down outside of those months, in some cases making it hard to cover his overhead costs. Furthermore, Robert found himself having to turn away business from customers who weren’t approved by his 3rd party financier, or would walk down the street to a competitor rather than wait a week for a financing decision. To address these problems, Robert decided to drop his 3rd party financier, and instead started a conservative in-house financing program. He required at least half the sticker price of each mattress as a down payment, ensuring that all hard costs were covered right out of the gate and minimizing loss in the case of a default. After six months, Robert had 80 loans on the books, with monthly payments coming in to the tune of $15,000 - $20,000. With that consistent cash flow coming in each month, Robert could breathe a little easier during the leaner season. On top of that, he kept the 8-15% he would have otherwise paid to a 3rd party. After his first six months, Robert began to get more aggressive with his business model, modifying his approach so that he could approve more loans. With a comfortable cash flow [...]

2017-01-18T17:45:09+00:008:40 am|

Dental Patient Financing: Making the Numbers Work in Your Favor

This week, we continue to examine how businesses can realistically implement and benefit from in-house financing — extending their own credit to help their customers afford their services. As we’ve pointed out in previous posts, the dental industry is leading the charge in this arena. In-house methods of dental patient financing have proven to be a highly effective source of both customer base expansion and wealth generation, and the metrics carry over to various other medical specialties. Today, we’ll show how in-house financing makes the numbers work in your favor. In previous posts, we’ve thoroughly examined the benefit of expanding your customer base through in-house financing. When a dental practice chooses customized patient financing as a compliment to third party options, they are able to provide care to patients that would otherwise be turned away. These patients get the dental treatment they need, improving their health and lessening the risk of more costly procedures down the line. However, the benefit to the practice should not be understated. Let’s look at numbers around a practice that opens their doors to 20 new patients in the first 6 months of offering their own patient financing.   Based on averages we see, lets assume that the average procedure price for these patients is $4,300., which results in $80,600 in new revenue that would have otherwise walked out the door, and this is just the first 6 months. Assuming that 30% of the procedure is taken as a down payment, the dentist is left with about $60,000 in payment plans. According to data compiled by Quality Dental Plan (an Extend Credit partner), a new patient is, over the course of the first year, worth $1,502 to a dental practice.  Doing simple math on 20 [...]

2017-01-18T17:47:01+00:008:23 am|

Dental Patient Financing: Making the Numbers Work in Your Favor

This week, we continue to examine how businesses can realistically implement and benefit from in-house financing — extending their own credit to help their customers afford their services. As we’ve pointed out in previous posts, the dental industry is leading the charge in this arena. In-house methods of dental patient financing have proven to be a highly effective source of both customer base expansion and wealth generation, and the metrics carry over to various other medical specialties. Today, we’ll show how in-house financing makes the numbers work in your favor. In previous posts, we’ve thoroughly examined the benefit of expanding your customer base through in-house financing. When a dental practice chooses customized patient financing as a compliment to third party options, they are able to provide care to patients that would otherwise be turned away. These patients get the dental treatment they need, improving their health and lessening the risk of more costly procedures down the line. However, the benefit to the practice should not be understated. Let’s look at numbers around a practice that opens their doors to 20 new patients in the first 6 months of offering their own patient financing.   Based on averages we see, lets assume that the average procedure price for these patients is $4,300., which results in $80,600 in new revenue that would have otherwise walked out the door, and this is just the first 6 months. Assuming that 30% of the procedure is taken as a down payment, the dentist is left with about $60,000 in payment plans. According to data compiled by Quality Dental Plan (an Extend Credit partner), a new patient is, over the course of the first year, worth $1,502 to a dental practice.  Doing simple math on 20 [...]

2017-01-18T17:48:35+00:008:04 am|

In House Financing: Right for Your Business?

Despite the plethora of potential benefits, many businesses are cautious of in-house financing, where they extend their own credit terms to customers. As we’ve mentioned before, the concept of store credit is nothing new, but while the small-town convenience store clerk knew his customers personally, and could track a few payments on a handy note-pad, the model can seem unsustainable in a modern business environment. Running and servicing multiple loans based solely on goodwill toward the consumer can turn out to be risky and time consuming. The hard truth is that in many cases, without an airtight, automated system, doing your own in-house financing is simply a bad idea. Take, for example, a business that launches their own in-house financing plan, and organizes all their loans on a spreadsheet. Seems like a good step in the right direction. They allocate time from one employee as a billing manager, spending a few hours each week tracking and collecting the payments. Within the first month, they have 50 payment plans on the books. However, out of those 50, about 5-10 default each month. Suddenly our billing manager’s workload has doubled, as she must spend hours making calls and attempting to collect the payments.  Given that she still has her day job, this extra task has now become a headache, and falls by the wayside as her daily work needs to get completed. The result is that more payments slip through the cracks. All in all, this results in a loss for the business. It’s no wonder many small businesses have come to the conclusion that in-house financing is a bad idea, or at least out of their reach. However, if the business utilizes an automated system to track and [...]

2017-01-18T17:49:52+00:008:12 am|

Managing Hard Costs and Mitigating Risks in Small Business In-House Financing

As we made clear in our earlier posts on dental patient financing and veterinary wellness plans, the most apparent advantage of in-house financing is the ability to expand your business by reaching out to consumers who may have trouble affording your services. This system has helped thousands of dentists, cosmetic surgeons, and vets provide needed care to patients when they normally would have turned that patient away. However, the advantages of an in-house financing system work just as well outside of the medical space, even in industries that revolve around hard-costs. In one example, Bill, a general contractor, was looking to expand his business, but found it difficult to differentiate himself from his competitors. At the same time, he also noticed that nearly every contractor in his market was turning down business from clients with credit scores in the neighborhood of 650. If Bill could find a way to finance these clients — with minimal risk to his own business — he could fill a niche left open by his competitors and nearly double his client base. The key to successful in-house financing is developing a plan that is accessible to the consumer, while minimizing risk for the provider. A contractor’s foremost concern is always hard costs, so Bill set up his payment plans so that these were completely covered in the down payment, with the rest his fees covered in installments. Thus, even if a client defaulted on a payment, Bill knew his hard costs were already covered, and his loss was minimal. Advanced servicing software made it easy for Bill to track and collect on his payment plans, and — as an added benefit — saved him the cost of outsourcing his receivables management services to a third-party [...]

2017-01-18T17:51:03+00:008:41 am|

In-House Financing: Building a Bridge Between You and the Consumer

Our nation’s current financial climate presents a challenge for small businesses in any field. The credit crisis has affected a substantial portion of the country’s consumer base; 37% of the country has a credit score of 650 or lower, and approval rates on loans are frequently tightening. A lack of access to financing options can often act as a barrier between consumer and provider. Turning down these customers outright ultimately means turning down business from a high percentage of the population. What if there was a practical way to meet the consumer halfway, and take care of the lending yourself? It’s no surprise that many businesses are taking matters into their own hands, and using innovative financing models to make their services more available to the consumer. While we have made the case for membership plans and their success in providing access to medical procedures, this model may not be right for every business. In other cases, in-house financing is the key to putting your services and products in the hands of your client. At its core, modern in-house financing is an updated version of the small town shop-owner keeping a “tab” for his customers. When the shop-owner knew the customer and saw him on a daily basis, this model made sense. All he needed was a small notepad and a #2 pencil to keep track of the various purchases made, trusting that he would be repaid in a reasonable amount of time. While the simplicity of this system is charming, it’s largely been abandoned in the modern age. Keeping track of multiple loans is demanding, and the #2 pencil and notepad aren’t enough. Without a comprehensive system to track lending, providing “tabs” can be costly and [...]

2017-01-18T17:52:51+00:008:42 am|