Bridging the Gap between Practitioner and Practice

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Why have I trained for so many years and not got any clients yet?

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Why did no-one teach me how to build a successful Practice?

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I came into this field to help people, not to run a business!

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I don’t think I can do this - I don’t know where to start.

Is this you? This was me.

 

After training for 6 years as a Naturopath, Herbalist, Iridologist and Holistic Practitioner I felt cheated. I can only describe it as a teapot that was so full it needed to pour. I had so much knowledge that I wasn’t able to use as I didn’t have clients or a Practice. Why wasn’t I taught what to do next?!

Can you relate?

Going from the safety of the classroom environment into the big wide world is an eye-opener. Where are these people that you know you could help? How are you supposed to let potential clients know what you do?
Even if you gave talks and handed out your cards (agh, what do you write on your business card?), where would you see the clients- their house? Your house? Rent a room somewhere? Meet online?

Whether you are starting from scratch or have been in Practice for a few years, it can be helpful to know that there is someone there to guide you; to take you through the minefield of setting up a Clinic and running it successfully. To discover more, click here:

Let’s look at some of the main things you need to consider:

What type of client do you love working with?

 Understanding what gets you excited is the key to your passion shining through as a Practitioner. Do you love talking about bowels? Are you intrigued by anxiety and depression? Do hormonal issues float your boat? Do you

Do you find you work much better within an educational setting, teaching larger groups of people within a workshop?

to help you discover your ‘Ideal Client’.

Consider your current skill set

 Can anything that you’ve learnt so far be re-purposed? You may have already had an amazing career, but felt the need for a change. Working within a corporate setting may be something you’re trying to get out of, or maybe you’d like to stay in this field but within a different capacity. If you have a flair with words, perhaps your skill set lies more within health education writing articles, or perhaps you’ve been within the structure of nursing and have seen the process that our clients can get stuck in, and you’re able to provide them with knowledge for self-empowerment.

Hear our Bridging the Gap Podcast to see how other Practitioners have started their business.

Where does your potential client typically hang-out?

If you love working with parents and children, there are multiple ways you can access them, by knowing where they ‘hang-out’. Consider schools, MumsNet, Positive Parenting magazines, Arnica Natural health, Summer camps, library, local leisure centre. This can help when knowing where to advertise yourself.
If your passion is in weight loss by keeping fit, consider where these people hang out: yoga classes, pilates, local gym, weekly meet-ups by the big brands, Fitness magazines, boot camp etc

In what capacity do you feel comfortable working?

 The classroom environment is obviously a teaching environment, but necessary to learn how to take a client through a consultation to achieve an outcome. Do you like working 1-1 and face-to-face? How do you feel about running a workshop or ‘Lunch and Learn’? Do you feel more comfortable behind a screen – you could access clients worldwide! Are you a solitary person or do you thrive in the company of others? There’s something powerful about working as a team. Do you work better under the guidance of a Boss?

Listen to Katy and Laura talk about how their friendship became a successful business.

How much should you charge?

This one is such an emotive subject- read our blog to discover what others have said!

What is your structure?

Hours- initial appointment length, follow up
Time
Next appointment- via phone, in person

This is what I do in my clinic, but consider what your client journey may look like.

What financial outlays will you need to consider.

 This is something that I hadn’t considered too much when I set up my clinic. How difficult could it be? Surely I’d need some printing and a couple of chairs- how hard could it be? How naive!
To know your set-up costs and outlays, you’ll need to know all the above- the type of client you’d like to work with, where you’re working from and the structure of your Clinic. To see my full list of set up costs and On-going costs, click here.
Don’t let it put you off- setting up your own Clinic is the most rewarding and satisfying experience.

Consider your clinic flow and client journey

How does your client find out about you- website? Facebook? Talks? Colleague?
What happens next? How do they get in contact with you? Will you take a deposit and how? What information do you need from them at the time of the booking? Are you sending out paperwork in advance and how do they send it back to you? Is their information secure? How will you store their medical history?

Hear our Bridging the Gap Podcast to see how other Practitioners have started their business.

Communication

Will you send out a reminder? How will your client travel to you and where can they park if they have a car?

Setting expectations

Will you describe what to expect during the appointment together? How will you do this – welcome letter, website, video? Will you choose to display your pricing upfront? I personally don’t put prices on my website and what I’ve found over the years is that people telephone to find out more or they email- in which case we can start a conversation.

Legalities (link to legalities page)

 Have you thought about the contract between you and your client? No-one likes the hard-nosed approach of the law, but another way of looking at this is that it helps in you both knowing where you stand. Being clear of policies and expectations is important and the right client agreement helps to protect you legally in cases of dispute.
Interested in our legal templates?

Client agreements:

 Be clear about payments
Spell out your programme description
Include disclaimer and limit patient liability language
Ensure you have a way out – termination of contract for you and client
Confidentiality and privacy. What is HIPPA and GDPR

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