Doing More With Less
As a penny-wise entrepreneur in Riverview, N.B., population 19,128, Joanna Gould knows all about doing more with less.
Gould is a professional massage therapist who initially kept costs low by seeing clients at her home. Her skills eventually attracted more clients than she could handle in the space available in her home. Her solution was to open a storefront clinic, Advantage Massage Therapy, and hire three therapists to serve her growing clientele. Moving to a commercial location meant a steep rise in operating costs, including rent, utilities, insurance and technology like computers, Internet and a website. Gould chose to save money on support staff without compromising customer service by having her clients book their own appointments on the Internet.
To arrange a therapy session, clients simply surf to www.advantagenb.com’s Book An Appointment page. They select the treatments they want from an online menu, and use the site’s calendar function to choose the date, time and preferred therapist.
“We also have a mobile website, so clients can book an appointment on their smart-phones,” says Gould. “They can change appointments using their smartphone or PC, send us questions that we can answer quickly, and find out whatever else they want to know.”
Using client-controlled web forms, Gould’s clinic can take in new bookings 24/7, holidays included, with no employee intervention required. The web also assures Advantage Massage Therapy gets paid faster. Rather than submitting insurance claims by mail, the clinic sends them via email. Faster filing means faster payment and a healthier cash flow, an important goal for any small business.
Being grounded on the web allows Advantage Massage Therapy to do more with less; less staff, that is. Lower employee costs mean it’s easier for Gould to break even sooner each month due to lower overhead. This gives her flexibility to keep prices down, since she is in a position to pass on savings. None of these savings would be possible without access to robust, always-on Internet and mobile service. This is why Advantage Massage Therapy has been a Rogers customer since it opened three years ago.
“Our business relies on a fast and reliable Internet connection,” says Gould. “Working with Rogers small business team, we trust that we will be connected to our clients, and allow them to reach us whenever they choose.” She relies on Rogers’ mobile services for the same reason. “I can count on being able to stay in touch with my customers and staff whenever I need to,” Gould says. “It’s as good as using a computer.” For small businesses in general, reliable PC and mobile access is the great equalizer when it comes to competing with larger, more-established rivals. It isn’t just Joanna Gould and her staff who benefit; so does the community of Riverview. Thanks to the cost savings made possible by Rogers, Advanced Massage Therapy can offer the wide range of massage therapies her neighbours need.
The demand is certainly there. Although there are other massage therapists in Riverview, Advantage Massage Therapy was soon operating at full capacity after opening three years ago.
“The demand was so great, that we had to hire another full-time massage therapist six to eight months earlier than I had planned,” Gould says. “There was just that much pent-up demand for our services.”
Today, the power of Rogers’ services provide a steady and affordable link between Riverview residents and Joanna Gould’s clinic.
“We couldn’t do what we are doing, to the level we are doing it, without Rogers’ services and support,” says Gould. “Reliable web and mobile service lets us truly do more with less, while maintaining the high level of personal care that our clients expect from us in Riverview.”
Determining what customers want and delivering it cost-effectively is one of the great challenges facing small businesses today.
Joanna Gould, owner/operator of Advantage Massage Therapy has met the challenge handily, says Tess Van Thielen, director of small business strategy for Rogers Communications.
“Providing online appointment bookings is a convenient time-saver for customers,” Van Thielen says. “Leveraging technology to do jobs that were previously done by already busy employees is good for Gould’s bottom line and staff morale.”
By using web and mobile services in this way, Advantage Massage Therapy staff can focus on what they do best — providing personalized massage therapy to clients — rather than pushing paper. “Personal service is what makes small business stand out from big business,” Van Thielen says. “Add using the web and mobile to match the operational efficiencies of big business, and small business comes out ahead in the fight for satisfied repeat clients.” Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the Canadian economy, including the country’s health care system. These include doctors’ and dentists’ offices, medical testing labs, walk-in and specialty clinics, and researchers developing new medicine and equipment for Canadians. Rogers provides and enables a wide range of services that give health care SMEs a competitive edge. For instance, Rogers’ mobile technology allows clients and patients to share real-time information securely from virtually anywhere. Encouraging them to fill out automated forms online reduces errors, speeds up processing and saves on staff time and salaries. Web and mobile technology can even help doctors monitor patients remotely. This means patients can return home sooner, confident their vital signs are being closely monitored by their physicians.
“Our communications technology can make life easier for medical professionals, allowing them to provide better service,” Van Thielen says. “An orthodontist I know now gets all of his referrals and patient records electronically, ending the chase for documents that used to consume his employees’ valuable time.” Rogers’ services can make life easier for people in the waiting room as well. Providing access to free Wi-Fi allows patients and their companions to pass the time painlessly rather than picking through out–of-date magazines.
“My dentist has a television tuned to Treehouse TV, which helps parents keep their kids entertained while they wait,” says Van Thielen. “This relieves stress for the entire family, and ensures that the children are in a better space when it’s their turn to sit in the chair.”
The advantages that Rogers’ services provide to medical SMES can be enjoyed by all kinds of businesses.
“Imagine a clothing store where the kids can watch Treehouse TV while the parent gets to shop uninterrupted for half an hour,” Van Thielen says. “That’s going to be great for the store’s business — and the parent, too!”