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Posted April 25, 2005

"Independent Small Programs Alliance"
Small Programs . Big Results

Contact: Andy Anderson
Andy Anderson Consulting
1537 Lakeview Road
Clearwater, FL 33756

Purpose of the Alliance

The Independent Small Programs Alliance (ISPA), a strategic alliance, has been formed to provide a venue for independent small programs to evaluate and take assertive action regarding the trends, issues, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats impacting their provision of service to private pay children, youth and young adults. More than a venue, it is a partnership between members who jointly work to increase market presence, market opportunities and market share while providing quality and client friendly service.

What are Alliances?

Alliances are strategic partnerships and are the new wave in national and global business. They have proven to be more successful and less risky than acquisitions. It is an alliance of like-minded programs/partners sharing strong ethical principles and business goals. Members will work to enhance the industry and provide better and more effective services to young people and their families, while growing the overall market. Alliances provide a means of competing in the market place with much larger and better-funded programs.

The strengths and weaknesses of the membership are assessed, and from that data business and marketing plans are developed utilizing the varying strengths of each member in the most strategic manner. Weaknesses are noted and are supported by partner's strengths or kept out of the mix. Strategic Alliances do what others write about in books regarding marketing, they work to build a bigger "pie" (market and or market segment) from which each member can partake, and avoid the traditional scramble to take a piece of the current pie, or remove from their grasp the piece of another.

Alliances pool resources, co-op advertising and marketing and leverage opportunities previously unavailable to individual small programs.

Alliances Compared to Associations

Associations are similar in some ways to Strategic Alliances in that interests are generally common among members. Associations are fraternal and are important in our industry. NATSAP and the SBSA are top examples. They provide information, opportunities to network and address industry wide issues. They usually focus on one or a few major events as vehicles for association business/elections training etc. They are fraternal, but are not Strategic Partnerships in a business and marketing sense.

SBSA's mission is as follows: "The Small Boarding School Association (SBSA) promotes personal and professional dialogue among small boarding school educators and educational consultants."

NATSAP's mission states:" The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs serves as an advocate and resource for innovative organizations which devote themselves to society's need for the effective care and education of struggling young people and their families." Noble, important, needed, yet not set up to be a Strategic Business Alliance. ISPA moves far beyond this scope of business association.

Alliances, such as ISPA, are dynamic in nature. Communication, strategy, marketing and relationship building moves quickly and is constant. Information is shared with partners immediately and there is no "Board of Directors" or committee representing the interests of members. Members represent themselves whether there are (four) 4 members or 40. Work teams of partners replace committees made up of cross-section representation.

Members talk daily, weekly, monthly as needed to take advantage of business opportunities. Decisions do not wait. Hesitation is removed and opportunities do not float by in communication lags. One member is as much the decision maker as any other.

ISPA was founded in March of 2005 and is currently made up of the following members; New Lifestyles of Virginia, a Transitional Program serving males and females ages 18-26; Building Bridges of Montana, a Home-Based Residential Program serving males ages 14-18; The Oliverian School of New Hampshire, a coeducational Boarding and Day School serving ages 13-17; the F.L. Chamberlain School of Massachusetts, a coeducational Therapeutic Boarding School and Residential Treatment Center serving ages 11-18.

The ISPA website is currently under development. ISPA members are in partnership with Andy Anderson Consulting (AAC). AAC developed and manages the ISPA.

For information on membership in ISPA contact:

Andy Anderson, Andy Anderson Consulting
1537 Lakeview Road
Clearwater, FL 33756


Copyright © 2004, Woodbury Reports, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
(This article may not be reproduced without written approval of the publisher.)

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