July 30, 2020 By Andrew Randazzo So, you want to start a CPR training business. Well, then you’ve come to the right place. The thing is, there’s so much information out there that it’s often difficult to know what to do and when to do it. We’ll let you in on a little secret. It all comes down to planning. Like the old saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So, in other words, you have to develop a business plan for your business which lays the foundation of your future success. But where do you start? What are some things you should look at? This post will look at these questions in more detail and give you the answers you need to start and grow your business. What are your goals? A lifestyle business is set up and run by its founders primarily with the aim of sustaining a particular level of income and no more; or to provide a foundation from which to enjoy a particular lifestyle. On the other hand, maybe you want to be a growth business (also referred to as high-growth, equity or scalable businesses) which are focused on growth —the faster, the better. Depending on your goals, this will determine what kind of metrics to set for yourself, the sacrifices you’ll need to be prepared to make, and the expenses that you will have to incur. Three Types of CPR Training Models. The next thing to think about is what you want your CPR training business to look like. You have to choose what business model you are going to use. There are generally three categories you can choose from. Public Classes First up are public classes where you advertise your classes to everybody in the community. Individuals will then sign up and the day of the class, you’ll have a mixed group of individuals who will show up to take your class. With this model, you’ll typically have a place that you rent for the classes to be held. It could be a library or a church to start with, but I’d recommend within a year moving into a more permanent space if you’re serious about starting this business.So, if anyone signs up for your classes, they’ll come to you to take the classes. On-Site Classe Next up are on-site classes. Like with public classes, you advertise your business to the community and other individuals like doctors, corporations, legal offices, etc. However, unlike public classes, you travel “on-site” to the client’s location to teach the class. So, for example, you may teach your classes at a local church for all their daycare workers, or a dentist office for all their staff. A big benefit with on-site classes is that you open yourself up to larger classes and potentially recurring revenue. Some training companies only do On-Site (or also called mobile) training. However, our recommendation is, if it fits with your goals, that you do both because there’s a lot of great overlap between the two. You may, for instance, give a public class to an employee of a doctor’s office who then goes on to recommend you to management that gives you an opportunity to teach a on-site class for the entire doctor’s office. Like I said, some people don’t want to deal with finding a location so would they rather only do on-site classes. Ultimately, you have to decide what’s going to work best for you, but if you want the best growth for your business, a mixture of both is the way to go. National Contracts The final option are national CPR contracts. I’m surprised how many instructors don’t know about this opportunity. There are CPR training companies that get contracts with big corporations like Lowe’s or Walgreens where they train the employees all over the country. The CPR company that has the contract doesn’t have their own instructors all over the country to teach these classes. So, they subcontract the work to local instructors in the area where their classes are being held. We work with instructors who are aligned with us to help them find these national contracts. Depending on where you live, this can generate you $1,000-2,000 a month. Choosing a Name For Your Company. Once you’ve decided what model you’re going to use, your next step is to come up with a name for your business. Now, this might sound simple but there is a lot that goes into choosing the right name. Here are some tips for choosing a name for your CPR company: Don’t get too caught up on picking a name that people are going to remember or that makes sense. Remember, your name and reputation are built up over time. Think about all the big brands who have names that have no association to what product or service they offer. Examples are Amazon, Coca-Cola, Cisco, Apple, and the list goes on. It’s also important to not pick a name that ties you down too much to a location, service, or demographic. For example, let’s say your business is based in Detroit so you call yourself Detroit CPR Training. Now, what happens when you decide to expand to other locations? You can already see where this is going. Pick a name that won’t be affected by any changes in your business’ plans and development. By putting “CPR Training” in your name you’re limiting yourself if you want to present other health and safety classes in the future. Don’t pick a name that’s tied to your perceived value proposition. So, for example, don’t call yourself “Affordable CPR Training” because you never know if you’ll still be the most affordable training provider in five years’ time. Ultimately, you must pick a name that’s broad enough to cover everything you’ll do in the future and that will stand the test of time. That way you don’t have to go back and change your name later on to adapt to your business which can be very costly to rebrand. What Will You Teach? Your final step is to decide what kind of classes you’re going to offer. Will you, for instance, just do CPR classes or are you going to do blood borne pathogens, oxygen administration or teach advanced classes like ACLS and PALS? We recommend that you start with a small offering and add more services over time. I also recommend that you become an instructor through other certification organizations like the American Red Cross and the American Safety and Health Institute. However, if you haven’t already, you need to first become an American Heart Association instructor. These will all help make you a more well-rounded business that allows you to offer more to your customers, and that’s what you want. You can also think of tailoring your classes a little bit more to the specific needs of your clients. By giving them a well-rounded and comprehensive service, you’ll be able to stand out in the market. Hopefully you understand how important it is when structuring your company, to decide exactly what you’re going to offer. Other Things To Think About Now that you’ve got your business model, name, and what you will teach, there are a lot of other things to think about in structuring your business. Some of the things you should consider are: How you’re going to fund the business. Will you use savings, look for investors, or apply for a loan? You have to consider the pros and cons of each and what will be best for your business. Your legal structure. Will you be a Sole Proprietor, an LLC, or S Corp? Like funding, these all have their pros and cons and can have implications for the future running of your business. How you’re going to market your business. Should you take a more traditional approach like flyers, radio, or print ads; or should you use new technologies like social media and digital marketing? What software systems you are going to use? You’ll definitely need to keep track of and manage everything, so you’ll have to decide whether you’ll use spreadsheets or some other software to make things more efficient. Although it may be just you in the beginning, as your business expands you may have to hire more people to help you teach, so you have to think about your hiring processes. Keep in mind, though, that these things are not one-time decisions you take when starting your business, but things you constantly have to think about and reevaluate as your business grows. Remember, things will look very different in five years’ time compared to when you’re just starting out. This means that things like marketing strategies, payment structures, and hiring processes, will change as you go along and that you’ll have to pivot and adapt. Final Thoughts There you go, now you have a simple guide to follow when starting your CPR training business. By following these steps, you’ll ensure that you stay on track and that you get the success you want. We hope this guide was helpful but if you need more information on starting your own CPR training business, feel free to contact us or check out our YouTube channel for more resources. If you’re already an instructor and want to partner with an AHA Training Center that can help you grow your business, you can learn more about alignment with us.