By Linda Bishopp
Once people start coming to you for therapy you’ll be on the map and have clients coming out of your ears………true?!?
You’re going to run your own business and you’re good at what you do – so it’ll be a snip once you get going, right?! You’re super excited about not having a boss any more and now you will be able to do things exactly as and when you want to. I don’t wish to be a spoil sport, and you will be making a lot of decisions for yourself and that is great, but Bear in mind that to make this work you will work harder than you’ve ever worked before – you will love most of it, after all you love what you do i.e. the therapy, but you will also have to do many things you may not have done before, or are not very good at, or knowledgeable about, to run your business. You’ll need to think about all the different jobs that will need to be done to keep things ticking over.
.Before you do anything –PLAN – draw up a business plan including a budget (and stick to it!), do your research, ask questions, speak to any business owners you know – it doesn’t have to be a posh plan, but it should include all the things you need to think about and do to make your business workable. It could be just a ‘to-do’ list – that at least will get you thinking about all the things you know about that you need to plan for. Then you will need to add into it all the things that you don’t yet know about – how am I going to do that that then, you may ask? Well, read on…….
Here are some things to think about:
- How are you going to get clients to come to you? How will they know you exist? You’ll need to think about marketing channels. How will you get your message out there – social media, advertising, word of mouth, something else? And what are your marketing messages going to be for your audience(s).
- Do you have a website?
- Have you a Facebook business page?
- Where will you work from?
- set up your work room
- entrance way
- waiting room
- are family around and might they get in the way?
- disabled access?
or rent a room
- include rental into your costs,
- travel takes extra time and costs you, to so need to include this in your plan and budget
- do the premises do any marketing for you?
- are they easy to find?
- any parking?
- What are your skills? What are your weaknesses? Know what you can do for yourself, and what you want to pay others to do for you and budget for it.
- Networking – do you know how to network effectively, which groups should you go to?
- Going Self-employed – do you know how to do this?
- Accounts and bookkeeping – who will do this for you, or can you do it for yourself?
- Compliance – professional indemnity and public liability insurance, are you a member of a professional association, do you know about data protection?
- Administration – filing, time management – you just love admin don’t you? If not – do you know how to set up simple systems that keeps everything organised for you?
- What happens if you are ill or die – do you have a professional will?
- There is a difference between working on the business and working in the business – do you know what this is?
- And really important, allow time to think, meditate, take time for self-care
I have just listed here a few things to think about; it’s quite a long list and I am sure that I have missed a few things off! It really pays to think things through before you launch into offering therapies, otherwise things could go terribly wrong. I hope this list helps you get started!
I shall be running a ‘Business Planning for Therapists’ workshop on the 23rd April 2018 in Sittingbourne. If you are interested in this do get in touch: Linda Bishopp, 07905 038378, firstname.lastname@example.org.