A big mistake many holistic and spiritual business owners make is falling into the belief that they are doing what they love, living their purpose, and for them this does not equate to running a business.
No matter how much you think you are living your purpose by helping others. If you are doing it to make an income, you are a business and you need to apply business principles.
Most healers, therapists and coaches invest a lot of money and years of time, money and energy in training to get the right skills, the right knowledge and the right experience. But they forget to invest in the right business tools, business skills, business advice and so does many of the colleges and training schools.
Even worse some training schools give students the false impression that being in this industry is a very easy way to make a great income. I have seen many people in great paying jobs give up over 25-40 year careers and/or spend their retirement fund because they actually believed in-fact some training even implied that they could begin making between £40- £100 profit and hour, doing mainstream therapies or coaching. When they have no understanding of business, business costs, a business plan, business marketing….
And even worse they think they can create this income without a business plan or any investment. Sadly I have had quite a few of these typical coaches/therapists come to see me for advice, after a very bumpy financial year or so, some still with not even one paying client. To make a living as a healer, therapist you have to apply the principles of business.
No 1: You are a business and have to run your therapy service as a cost effective, profit making business.
No 2: Income is not profit, you may charge £20-£100 for a service but you have business outgoings, you have insurance costs, you have training and cpd costs, you have professional membership costs, advertising, marketing, travel, telephone, computer and many, many more business costs. So your profit in a year is what you make after all your business costs have c0me off, not what clients pay you.
No 3: If you want to be taken seriously as a professional therapist you need to show up as a professional service. You need to start earning potential clients trust. Let me give you an example. What kind of impression do you think you would be giving if you choose to opt for the free, most basic website that clearly demonstrates that it is on a free platform? For a client, this may suggest a FREE low cost budget service, that you are a newbie or someone who is doing this as a hobby. It doesn’t exactly show professionalism. I know starting out can be very costly but websites are now approx. 90% cheaper than they were 15 years ago, you can get a fresh modern website up and running very simply for less than the cost of a cappuccino out of costa every week.
No 4: If you are charging you need to be accountable not only to yourself but more importantly your clients. Insurance is a must. Your clients health and safety must be top priority, no excuses. I am always shocked to hear how many therapists don’t have insurance. Insurance policies can be bought from about £50 a year for mainstream therapies. My insurance costs was at one point £2000 a year because of the work I did and I was only able to work part time. If you care about your clients make sure you have insurance, all sorts of things can happen even with the least invasive therapies such as healing. In the early 90’s I know of one reiki healer, who was sued because of they way she helped someone off her table. I had an incident where a candle in a very solid container smashed into pieces and went on fire when a client was there…I worked in an a place where a client tried to sue this project because she tripped in the hallway…they didn’t have insurance and this nearly had cost the organisation to shut down.
No 5: When you are looking for a product or service, what do you look for ? Imagine a potential client is looking at your product or service, what do you think they want to see, do you think they are looking for professionalism, quality, your experience and your reputation?. Each client will buy from a place of trust and in the online world where there is so much information overload your message has to be clear, you have to accentuate the REAL benefits of your product. With so much competition you have to be professional. You could be the greatest healer in Scotland or the UK but still get no clients if you don’t show up effectively.
No 6: You are not an expert in it all. Imagine you were opening up a restaurant. Would you try to be the cook, the receptionist, the waitress, the printer, the accountant? NO you wouldn’t. Be good at what your good at and outsource the rest, outsourcing doesn’t have to be as costly as you think. But if you invest in the right people or the right training your business will bring in the right clients, the right income. Small investments in outsourcing can make a huge difference, exchanging services with other professional businesses is a great option for those with a very small budget.
No 7: Are you trying to charge professional high charges when you are really not that experienced and offering just an okay or even poor service? Be honest! Start off with introductory offers until you built up experience and some clientelle. I wouldn’t want to pay a newly trained therapist with only a a few years experience the same as someone with over 20 years experience, unless there work was tremendous. Would you?
No 8. Or are you highly experienced, great at what you do and under valuing yourself. I see so many highly experienced, highly qualified amazing healers with decades of experience who charge as if they have only started out. I was one of those therapists. My students were charging more than what I was. When you are too cheap, clients may get the impression that the product or service is not great quality.
No 9. Are you in the wrong location or selling to the wrong location or wrong clients?Are you trying to sell to an area where you won’t find your ideal clients. I see many new therapists trying to sell their services online in facebook groups that are full of other therapists, this maybe not be their target market. Imagine that your target market is small local business owners, But you are spending your time and effort advertising your services to online groups that are full of other therapists example a facebook group global light workers.
No 10. Do you know who your ideal clients are? I had a male therapist who believed his ideal clients were polished high end executive women. He wanted to help them with losing weight. Now, this gentleman had weight challenges himself which he hadn’t completely resolved. He didn’t pay much attention to his appearance., he had little experience working with executives. DO YOU THINK that these executive women were his IDEAL Clients. Who we want as clients and who we are a perfect fit for can be very different. If your product or service does not match the needs or expectations of your prospective clients you are unlikely to get the sale.
Do you want to Breakthrough Your Business Challenges, Stress Coach Training offers Business and Online Coaching/ Advisor Sessions and Online Business Courses for Holistic Independent Business Owners contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join our Holistic Business Advice Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/HolisticBusinessAdvice/
Eileen Burns began studying holistic wellbeing for 25 years, owner of Stress Coach Training, a therapists, healer and coach. She has been a self employed for 16 years despite having suffered many business and extreme health challenges.
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