E-Class 36 – Module 3 Steps to Building Your Business
As you know, learning new modalities are great, and they can really add to your practice. However, your therapy needs to be able to add value to your business as well. As practitioners we often think we need to know the next thing, the next treatment, in order to create a successful business. What is also important is how the therapy adds to your business. Of course it must add value to your clients, improving patient or client outcomes. It must also help your business to grow, succeed and support your financially. So read on to find out more…
This week we look at:
Steps to Building your business
- Steps to Building your business
- Problems facing practitioners
- Lesson 1 – The key steps that most Practitioners miss when creating a business
- Lesson 2 – You are not your client
Start Practicing with Tissue Salts.
Last week I said there were two key factors in your business.
- Building your practice
- Building your business.
Whilst you may think these are one and the same thing, they are actually 2 completely different aspects of your business.
In my way of thinking, building your practice is developing your skills in your therapy that you practice. As you become more experienced, you get better at your chosen practice, and more experienced in working with different ways with a variety of clients. Many people consider this to be their business.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but no, I don’t think that. While you are only working on your practice, you are not running a business, you have a job, often masquerading as a business.
Building your business addressees the structures around your business, the systems in your business and gets your business working for you. You learn how to work on your business, and to be able to remove yourself from the business if you wish. Your practice is one part of that business. It is the role where you are the Practitioner. There are many other roles in your business, as Accountant, Business Manager, Office Manager, Marketer, and so forth. In some businesses, those roles are played by different people. If you are your business, they are played by you. To run your business effectively, you need to know who is in which role when, and be able to choose that part of your personality to make those decisions.
So let’s look at how you can grow your business with Tissue Salts (or your chosen therapy or therapies.)
Steps to Building your business
In order to build your business, you need a couple things
- A way to get your clients
- Modalities that get results with clients and build trust, and a client relationship, which then helps you
- Get new clients
So, the question is, How are you going to differentiate yourself from every other practitioner? This is where the steps to building your business become important.
- Who is your customer?
- What does your customer want?
- What can you do that meets the wants, (and needs) of your Client?
- What do you want your business to provide for you?
Problems facing Natural Therapists, and Health Practitioners
1. Being everything to everyone
- As you have seen as we have gone through the eclasses, there are many ways that Tissue Salts can help your clients. And you can help LOTS of people with LOTS of different ailments using tissue salts. So how do you share this information with them?
- If you are trained in another therapy, it may be great for LOTS of different ailments too, but the question is: How are you going to get the message out to the people that need what you do?
- Let me give you a real-life example of this problem. When I started my business, I was focusing on letting people know that I was an Herbalist, and a body worker (but I wasn’t a massage therapist). I faced a problem. I needed to educate people about the type of body work I did (or at least that is what I thought I needed to do.) My early promotion told people about my therapy, partly because I was sooo excited about what it had done for me and my friends, that I wanted everyone to have the same results. Realistically though, is this what clients wanted?
- Most people who I learnt my therapies from were following a model that doesn’t really work for building a successful business. And what do you do when you learn a new therapy, or business, follow the model of people around you. Because I was so excited about my therapy, it’s like I forgot what I learnt about marketing – who is your client?
- Being everything to everyone makes it very difficult to market your business.
- Being everything to everyone means that there is very little to differentiate you from the next practitioner. Consequently you start competing on price, regardless of the quality of your work.
2. Giving and receiving – Trading time for money
- The beauty of the health professions is that by spending time with your clients you give them what they need (health strategies and time). However, it provides a limit on how much you can receive (earn), because there are only so many hours in a day.
- The medical fraternity has got around this by providing short consults, or by specializing. The Natural health industry is still catching up and a few businesses are starting to work out how they can provide greater value to their clients and run successful and sustainable businesses.
- Trading time for money – There is a limit to how many clients you can physically see per day, per week and hence a limit to how much money you can make. Now I know that many health practitioners say they are in this business because they want to help people. But It is also important that there is a fair exchange, and you helping people doesn’t leave you out of pocket. You also want your clients to see the value of your work, they are getting results, and they can see the value of what you do.
- If you see more clients and work more hours, it can lead to “burnout”. Burnout in my book can be a couple things, working too much or in our industry “giving” too much. It is really important in our business to get the balance of giving and receiving right. Too much “giving” (seeing clients) and too little “receiving” (Money coming in, time to spend doing the things you love to do) means that you aren’t available for your clients, and are providing less value rather than more value to them.
- If you see too many clients “for you” the quality of your consultations decreases and you start providing less value to your clients rather than more value.
So, what do you do to provide good value to your clients, good service AND run a successful practice.
Lesson 1 – Key steps that most practitioners miss completely when starting business
Step 1 Planning The First Key step that most practitioners miss when starting business…
Most natural therapies or health practitioner businesses start by default. You find your teacher of your therapy who you want to learn from. You get your qualification and start practicing. Then you model your business on their business model. While most practitioners are great at the therapy they do, but don’t actually plan what they want from their business, what they want it to look like, how much they want to work in it, and how much they want to work on their business, etc. Mostly, you open for business, and hope people come. A few practitioners are good at advertising, but most don’t want to advertise or market themselves even though they know they should. Some are great at providing awesome service that lead to referrals, but many businesses fail in the first 5 years, often in the first 2 years. And good practitioners go and do something else.
What is different about the ones who are successful? Most successful businesses, at some point in their evolution, realize they need to plan. If they don’t plan they don’t have direction, they don’t know if each move and change they make is taking them more towards the bigger goals of their business, or more away from their goals. Consequently, they don’t know when they need to change strategy.
If you have a plan, you have a way of measuring your success, and a way to get back on track.
So what does planning look like?
Business planning creates a picture of what you want your business to look like. I also like to include what if feels like, the emotions it creates, and how it supports you financially, your Lifestyle and mentally and emotionally. Are you a slave to your business or does your business support you?
Step 2 Niching – the second Key step that most practitioners miss when starting business…
There was a very good reason why I was asking you to start thinking about niching early in the course. What do you remember about niching?
- A niche is a group of people with similar interests needs and wants regarding a subject
- The subject is something that is meaningful to them, so you don’t need to educate them about that subject
- They represent distinct sections of the market
Many practitioners are everything to everyone. This makes it incredibly difficult to target your message, to market to your clients or to fulful a need or want for your clients
Niching makes it much easier to get your message across clearly to people who want to hear it. Wouldn’t you rather provide your service to people who have Pre-qualified for your treatment, or who you know are really going to benefit, or who really want to take action?
Top Tips for a great niche
- Narrower niches work better. Imagine creating a niche a mile deep, narrow niche (a niche that a small amount of people of a certain category fit into, but there are a lot of people in that category who are very interested in having their particular problem solved.)
- A tangible outcome sells better than intangibles. (a result that clients can feel, sense, touch, experience, rather than something intangible or conceptual, that they don’t know what it is)
- Don’t choose a topic that you need to educate people in. For example, when I started practicing Body Harmony, it was an unknown modality. Initially I tried to educate people about what it was. Really, they didn’t care what it was, they just liked that it got results. Now I am known for Body Harmony, but each person’s experience of it is so different that most people still don’t know what it does. I don’t even try to educate them these days, instead I focus on the benefits to my clients. When I talked about helping Pain for example, I got a rush of clients for pain issues, and filled a workshop at short notice. I also get far better quality referrals when I target people’s problems.
- People buy wants, not needs, so sell them what they want and deliver what they want and need.
- Choose a niche that you are interested in or are experienced in. This will keep you motivated when the times are tough, and it will keep you interested and confident.
Lesson 2 – You are not your Client
Before I go on to the next 3 steps, YOU ARE NOT YOUR CLIENT. So many times, you still do things because that is what you think your client wants, but if you really listen to your clients, you will often find that they think differently to you. Get to know who your client is, and don’t assume that you know what they want. The best way to find out is ask, and you might be surprised that some of the things you think they will love, they will hate, and vice versa.
Step 3 – Who is your client?
Knowing who your client is makes it much easier to find where they hang out, get your message across to them, and to meet their needs and wants. It makes your job a lot easier (not harder) because you know what they want AND what they need. You can provide your treatment to give what they want, and then what they need. With Facial diagnosis and Tissue Salts, you can provide the facial diagnosis to help them discover why they feel the way they do, then offer and sell a Treatment that will address those needs and wants.
Step 4 – What does your customer want?
Knowing what your client wants, makes it much easier to adapt your treatment to them and create what they want. How do you find out? Always ask what they want from your treatment? I do this regardless of what treatment I am providing. That way I know what they want, what they expect, and I can work out what I can offer to meet those needs and wants.
It is easy to know this for individual clients, but a bit harder for lots of clients. Remind me to show you a trick later. For when you want to advertise to a group of people, think of one person and write your advertising to that person. Notice what happens to your marketing results.
Step 5 – What can you do that meets the wants, (and needs) of your Client?
When you know what your client wants, it makes it much easier to work out what you can do to deliver what the clients wants or something similar. You can also work out what you are and are not prepared to deliver. You may get ideas for what you need to provide as a basis and what your budget is, and how much you would need to charge your client to cover the cost of that idea.
Step 6 – What do you want your business to provide for you
This is the fun part, this is where you get to run free with your imagination and design the business you want. If you know what you want your business to provide for you it is much easier to accept or reject an idea based on whether it takes your closer to or further away from your goals for your business.
Setting up your business.
Once you have answered these questions, you can start to design your business. You will know what you need to do to meet your criteria, what to offer your clients, what programs to design that fit with your income goals, and how you can add value to what your clients receive from you.
There are many roles you play in your business, Practitioner, Accountant, Business Manager, Office Manager, Marketer, Entrepreneur and so forth. You are very familiar with how your inner Practitioner thinks. Imagine your inner Business Owner, how does it need to think that is different from your Inner Practitioner. To run your business effectively, you need to know yourself well and know which inner personality is in which role when, and which inner personality is making the decisions at any one time. When you are familiar with these inner personalities, yor will be able to choose that part of your personality to make the best decisions at the appropriate times.
- Take some time to list out the different roles in your business
- Make a list of the different qualities that each role needs in order to do its job well. For example,
- Practitioner – empathetic, caring, supportive, analysing, strategising
- Business owner – Big Picture, co-ordinating, strategising, delegating
- Marketer – …
I will be interested to hear what you come up with.
Exercise 2 – Planning
Now choose the appropriate different inner personalities to Create an overall Plan for your Business.
- Take an overall picture first.
- What do you want your business to look like, feel like?
- What do you want to be able to do with the income from your business? What are the things that you love to do?
- What level of Income do you want to generate? This is important as it will affect the types of services, programs, and products to create that income. It will also determine whether you are a slave to your business, or if your business supports you.
- How many hours do you want to work in your business as the Practitioner, and on your business as the business owner?
Coming soon – we look at the sulphates in biochemistry, and their roles. We will also look at the first of our niches as examples of how to niche your business and meet the needs and wants of your clients.
See you soon