Are you interested in offering ergonomic services as a side hustle but not quite sure where to start? The good news is that there are a lot more opportunities in ergonomics than you can think of. But while there’s a tremendous potential in ergonomics, taking a course on how to conduct ergonomics assessments doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to book clients with just that knowledge alone.
It’s equally essential to have a business sense to be effective at generating revenue. This includes not only the marketing side of presenting what you do and what value you offer to clients but the types of services as well. So I’ve put together a list of my favorite ergo services to start with that won't cost you a lot of money or take a lot of resources to get started.
Before we dive into the list, let’s take a step back and get clear on some things first.
1. What are your assets?
First, I want you to grab a piece of paper and a pencil. List down all your assets by making two columns. On the left-hand side, write down the assets that you have right now. This includes your background and the types of service offerings you’ve done in the past. Then on the right-hand side, list down the assets you want to have but you need to develop over time. This includes Discomfort Surveys and your slide deck for your education sessions.
2. What are your concerns?
From chatting with the members of my Accelerate program over the years, I’ve realized that their biggest concern when it comes to offering ergonomic services is the lack of confidence to really move forward. So right now, I want you to try to peel away the layers of the onion and ask yourself this: Are your concerns experience-based? Maybe you just need to get more experience in doing ergonomics assessments, or maybe practice your training presentation more. Or are your concerns more information-based? Maybe you just need to be up-to-date on the latest literature and resources.
So those are two things you need to consider first before offering ergonomic services. Make sure to clarify those two questions before you hit the ground running. Now, let’s jump into the list.
These are ranked from the simplest to the most complex:
1. Ergonomic Equipment Consultation
This is the simplest service deliverable to offer employers because you only need your knowledge and expertise to get started. This particular service is where you help workplaces with purchasing decisions. You don't necessarily need to do an ergonomics assessment or write a complex report. However, you do need to meet with clients to ensure that they’re buying the right type of equipment that fits the needs of their staff. How you would typically charge for this is likely an hourly consultation rate.
2. Office Ergonomic Risk Assessments
The second simplest service offering is Office Ergonomic Risk Assessments. If you’re looking forward to getting started in ergonomics, Office Ergonomics is the easiest route to start because you don't need to understand complex ergonomics risk assessment tools, and it doesn’t require you to use complex ergonomics equipment. The process for office ergonomic assessment usually follows this: immediate modifications are done with an office ergonomic risk assessment, then a detailed report is sent to the client and the employer after.
One way to make your assessment efficient and effective is to make your report writing process as fast as possible. What I recommend you do is to put together a database from all the previous ergonomics risk assessments that you’ve done. Make it as general as possible, and organize it in a way that's easily searchable. This is exactly what I’ve done in the past, and I was able to write simple reports in as fast as 30 minutes by simply copying and pasting from the database that I had. After years of doing ergonomic assessments, I’ve created a database that I now offer to the members of my Accelerate programs. I've had members that have zero experience in doing ergonomics assessments write their first report in an hour. This is so valuable, especially when you’re just getting started in this.
Most ergonomics consultants charge anywhere between 300 to $1,000 per ergonomics risk assessment. You can charge hourly, project-based pricing, or even go into a retainer system.
3. Education Sessions
This is a quick win because many workplaces are required to fulfill the ergonomics part of their occupational health and safety obligations. However, here's the catch: You do need to develop a slide deck based on your experience as to what really works for your client. Just make sure to highlight the quick wins that are simple enough for your client to understand.
Another thing to consider is that you only have a small amount of time to do these training sessions. Usually, you have 30-40 minutes to present, plus 20 minutes to answer the questions. Some examples of education sessions in the industry setting include back training, lifting training, and manual material handling. In the office, this would be workstation set up training.
The great thing about this particular service offering is that you're not only helping a workplace with their need to eliminate workplace injuries, but you’re also building that know, like, and trust factor. So if there's any work-related musculoskeletal issues in the future, you’ll be the first person they'll contact because you already showed your authority on the subject. For education sessions, you’re probably not going to be charged by the hour. It's more likely just a fee.
4. Creative Combinations of Services
This does require some advanced techniques to understand how the different offerings you have work with each other. You need to have some assets at your fingertips as well. But I really like this one because it's a client favorite. Many workplaces like this because they get the most bang for their buck. Some examples of this include:
You can charge more for hybrid and combination services because you’re offering more value to your clients, and it requires more time for you to do this. You also have the ability to identify the red flags in that workplace for future work. It could be that they have malfunctioning equipment that you can provide a consultation to, or a certain individual is experiencing extreme discomfort. You can address any concerns to the decision-makers so you can develop long-term plans. What that spells is a lot of opportunities to provide more value and generate more revenue.
5. Ergonomics Policy or Program Development
The last service offering on this list is the most complex. After doing a lot of work with workplaces, you might find recurring questions coming up. These are just some of the questions that you'll need to consider when looking at implementing an ergonomics policy or program development:
This is more complex because you need to have a lot of experience here. It also requires you to be in communication with one or more departments in that workplace to make sure that everything you say is clear to everyone involved. What you need to do here is to make a template first of what type of solution works best based on your research and your experience. And through conversations with the employer or with other departments within that workplace, you can tailor a solution that can really help that workplace.
And that’s it! Which ergo service on the list are you excited to offer to your clients? I hope this list inspires you to get started and explore more creative service offerings in the future.
If you like to get any support in running your own ergonomic consulting business, do check out my program, Accelerate. You can get access to all the tools and resources that’ll help you generate more revenue for your ergonomics consultancy. I can also give you marketing and ergonomics advice, including how to structure your service offering. All of these will be available for you at the end of June 2022, when I open the enrollment for Accelerate. Make sure to sign up for the waitlist so you’ll be the first one to know when enrollment starts.
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