Advice. There is SO MUCH out there and so many well meaning people with loads of it to offer you, but is it really helpful and will it really help you build a successful, client filled business.
Let’s take a look at some of the myths people will tell you that might be getting in the way of your full diary.
They mean well but some people’s advice is out dated, ill-offered or simply wrong. Let’s take a look at some of the myths and how they could be impacting on your business.
1. You need a business plan
This is an easy one. No you don’t! You can spend days and weeks planning projections and calculating profits and expenses but we really don’t need to write a business plan to have a therapy business. We are the lucky ones; we don’t need to buy stock or rent premises to get going in our business. We just need us and our skills and some insurance.
You can write a business plan but it’s not essential to have a therapy business. You need clients, you need clients who pay, you need to not spend a fortune on business stuff (more about that later) and you don’t need to put your business on hold while you write your business plan.
Now, that’s not to say that you can’t have a business plan or that you shouldn’t have monthly goals and keep a check on how your business is growing because you should but you don’t need those things BEFORE you start seeing clients. Don’t use them as a reason not to start.
2. You need to launch your business
Launching is the idea that you have this announcement to the world that your business is up and running. You tell the press, friends and family, Joe Public and then someone important comes and cuts a ribbon and you are good to go. I get why big businesses do this, I even get why businesses that work from a shop do this but as therapists we just need to start seeing clients.
Launching can be such a barrier to starting. You want things to be perfect. You want the logo and the website and the business cards and the shiny office but in real life nothing is ever perfect enough or ready to go when you want it to be so you put off your launch and you put off starting your business.
Nothing is ever perfect. You will find that elements of your business will change the longer you’re in it. You will update things and fall out of love with bits and want to rewrite stuff. Nothing is ever perfect so don’t get hung up on a ‘launch’. Just start. No excuses.
3. You need to spend money to make money
Websites, logos, your training, CPD, insurance, a room to work in, leaflets, branding, registration….it all costs money and some more than others. You can spend a fortune on this stuff before you’ve even seen a client, but you don’t have to. Spend money on what’s important; your training, your insurance. Then look at what’s essential and what you can do for free. A business name and a Facebook page is enough to get your business up and running and then once the clients start coming into your diary you can look to spend money on the other stuff.
But also, you don’t have to spend a fortune – you can do create your website yourself, use selfies until you can afford professional head shots, you can look at where you’re spending money on marketing and whether it’s working. You can absolutely build a successful therapy business on a shoe string budget.
4. Do what you’re good at and clients will come
I HATE this and I see people saying it a lot.
How do I get more clients?
Do what you’re good at and people will come.
I was a fabulous therapist who had massive successes with her clients, I just couldn’t find enough clients to pay me for what I was good at. Honestly, it’s RUBBISH business advice!
You can be the best therapist in the world but unless you know how to attract clients, you will struggle to fill your diary.
It’s all about your message. Knowing WHO you are talking to, WHAT they are struggling with and HOW you can make them feel once they’ve worked with you. It’s about putting that message in lots of different ways, in lots of different places and saying it again and again. It’s about showing up, standing out from all those other therapists out there and showing people why you’re worth investing in.
Don’t ever believe that you’re not a great therapist, because you are. It’s just no one has ever shown you how to attract clients to work your magic on.
5. Get in touch with your local doctors and advertise there
Doctors appointment cards, adverts in the local press, leaflets left in gyms and nail bars….these are all expensive places to market that won’t really bring you any clients. Deciding the get therapy and choosing a therapist is not the same as picking a pizza or somewhere to take your dry cleaning.It’s a considered decision that takes time. Clients need to feel like they know you, like what you have to say and trust that you’re the right person to help them. They don’t do that because they see your name on the back of an appointment card or found a leaflet on their doorstep.
You need to take them on a market journey and at each stage show off your amazing skills and talents and then they will want to work with you. Think about your social media, your website, your freebie and emails you send you. These are all opportunities for you to market to your who about their what and show them that you can make it better….and these are all FREE!
In a saturated market where there are new therapists popping up every day you need to do things differently. Don’t expect to start a therapy business and clients just appear because you have some business cards and a logo. You need to make time to market, you need to have a conversation, you need to show up and be you, you need to make them feel that you are the person to help them out. Don’t listen to the myths, don’t spend a fortune on stuff that doesn’t work, don’t wait for the perfect moment. Just start. I promise, that’s how you build your successful, client filled business you dream about.