In a previous post we showed you how to create a business model for your CPR business. There, we touched briefly on the types of classes that you should consider offering to your customers.
With this post, we’ll go deeper into the options and will help you to figure out which are the best classes to offer in your CPR business, and what’s going to give you the best return on investment (ROI). In other words, we’ll evaluate which classes would make good financial sense to offer in your business.
Heartsaver CPR and First Aid
The CPR and First Aid course is the first course you are probably considering offering. Depending on your area, this could also be the most popular course you offer.
Anyone can take CPR & First Aid and there is a substantial demand for this training. Certain individuals are required to have this training for their job. Regulated industries like childcare, retirement homes, manufacturing, electrical repair, and more have state requirements to maintain CPR an First Aid certification.
Because so many people need First Aid and CPR training, you’ll likely do a lot of these classes. Although these classes are priced lower than more advanced classes, they have a good return on investment because you will teach them more often and to larger class sizes. This course has less equipment requirements than more advanced courses so it has less expensive upfront costs.
After being in business for a couple of years and demonstrating reliability in training, you may find that there are a lot of government contracts for this type of course. Many businesses find that maintaining contracts with other large business keeps their calendar full and provides financial stability.
Basic Life Support
The next most popular CPR course is the AHA Basic Life Support (BLS). This is the version of CPR for health care providers and it teaches them how to perform CPR on adults, children, and infant patients. As such, the course is primarily aimed at anyone with a medical license or for those in school for a healthcare profession.
BLS classes tend to fill up quickly with travel nurses, doctors, and other people in the healthcare field that don’t have training from a hospital they work in. However, you can teach this course to non-healthcare providers if needed. The AHA BLS certification is the highest level of CPR training and will satisfy both healthcare and non healthcare employee requirements.
Depending on your location and the demand for training, some instructors opt to combine all CPR students into BLS classes. If the demand for non health care provider courses is not high enough, you can still serve the community by putting these people in your BLS classes. However, keep in mind that the BLS course moves more quickly and may use some terminology lay people are not familiar with. We recommend keeping these students in the ideal class for them, but simply offer this solution for areas that otherwise would not offer Heartsaver CPR/AED.
Advanced Cardiac Life Support
The AHA Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support or ACLS is an advanced course you may consider offering. This course builds upon BLS skills and introduces advanced airway management, ECG rhythm interpretation, and the use of cardiac drugs. This certification is generally required for paramedics, nurses, and physicians depending on their work setting.
The material covered in ACLS courses requires the instructor to have great familiarity and usually years of experience in the field to teach these classes well. We usually recommend only healthcare professionals pursue offering this course. However, the AHA does not have requirements restricting non healthcare professionals from teaching this course. As long as a person meets the AHA prerequisites and takes an AHA ACLS Instructor Class, you can offer this training.
We would suggest any CPR business owner that does not have experience using ACLS skills to look in the community for a paramedic, firefighter, or critical care nurse that would like to partner with you and offer this training. You could offer to pay for their AHA ACLS instructor training and make an agreement for them to teach these classes at your Training Site.
Alongside evaluation your ability to teach ACLS, you should consider the cost of equipment. There’s already a substantial cost to getting CPR and First Aid equipment. To teach ACLS courses you will also need advanced equipment like airway heads, ECG monitors, and the drugs used in the course.
ACLS may be a course you wait to offer as you evaluate your financial ability to invest in buying this equipment. We advise Training Site’s to start off by offering CPR courses, and once you’ve established some savings, you should consider investing in equipment for this training.
Because ACLS is a specialized course, has a limited customer base, and a high cost of equipment, this course may not generate as high of a return on investment in the short-term. However, in our experience, long-term it’s a very strategic course to offer.
Pediatric Advanced Life Support
The American Heart Association Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course is primarily aimed at advanced health care providers who need the certification for their job. This would include paramedics, nurses, and doctors. The requirements for this certification are often driven by licensing boards and local employers, but this course can also be taken by medical professionals or students in a medical program who are not required to have the certification but are interested in expanding their knowledge.
Like ACLS, the same considerations will come into play. You need more advanced equipment which requires a larger capital investment, and the market of potential customers is a lot smaller, meaning that it typically has a lower return on investment in the short-term. PALS courses are generally some of the lowest attended classes.
Synergy Between Courses
Initially many training centers only offer the basic CPR and First Aid course alongside BLS. Overtime, we always advise that you offer as many courses as possible to help become known as a full service Training Site where you can meet all of your clients needs.
We find that some individuals already have CPR training offered by their workplace. However, after taking an engaging ACLS or PALS course with an instructor they may pursue taking BLS with you in the future. We actually see this happen in many doctor offices where the doctor enjoys a course and invites the instructor to come teach all their staff as well. Over time as you build your client base, expanding your course offerings to meet their needs is a great way to retain and earn new clients.
Complimentary courses you should consider offering are courses like bloodborne pathogens (BBP) or oxygen administration courses. While these classes are less commonly requested, they are not difficult to teach and will add a great value to your training at a low cost. There are many industrial facilities that do these courses alongside their routine CPR and AED training. You may want to explore these as they are requested. Watch this video to learn more about teaching BBP.
Additionally, there are also other niche courses like babysitting, pet CPR, lifeguarding, and wilderness medicine. These classes are requested more in some areas than others. You will want to know your communities needs well and see if there is interest in these courses before undergoing training and purchasing supplies.
Understanding the training demand alongside crunching the numbers of hosting the courses is vital. Many people see the price tag of a lifeguarding course, usually around $500, and think they could make a lot of money teaching this. However, the course takes 26 hours to teach and you will also need to pay for supplies, pool rental, and classroom space. When doing the math, you see that BLS courses have a better return on your hourly time.
Hopefully, this guide was helpful in giving you some guidance on which courses you should offer in your CPR training business. Remember, you don’t have to start with all the courses at once, and you can add them to your repertoire as you go.
If you’re already an instructor and want to partner with an AHA Training Center that can help you run your training program more efficiently, you can learn more about alignment with us.
Watch this video as we discuss how to set your prices: