Hey Sharon how are you. I’m just looking at buying a house in Auckland with a little cottage at the back which would be perfect for my day spa. What do you think?
I got asked this question today and it got me thinking about the things you need to think about when setting up your business especially when it is a home based business.
It’s true when you sack your boss and start your own business there is a great feeling of satisfaction attached to it and maybe a little fear.
That is a natural feeling as you are taking yourself out of your comfort zone in order to do something you have not done before, or as i like to look at it, your growing.
What Are The Things You Need To Consider?
The benefits of working from home are many. You will be able to claim a portion of your rent/mortgage, electric, gas, on your tax. If it is a therapy business you can claim towels, oils, candles, creams and products, wax, tissues – I think you are getting the picture.
You will also be able to claim your car and petrol! Don’t you have to go to the shops to pick this stuff up? Do some of you see clients from their home?
I suggest before you set up your business go see a good accountant and they will tell you everything you need to keep your receipts for. Most accountants will give you an hour for free.
Where Do You Get Your Clients From?
Do you already have clients or do you need to get more? Depending on the business you have will depend where you get those clients from.
I suggest for most therapists you want to stick to your local area as people don’t like to travel too far. You need to be prepared to go out and market yourself.
If you don’t who else will? If you are a massage therapist you will market yourself in local gyms, clubs, sports areas around you. You may want to speak to some personal trainers in your area that see the benefits of massage, and get them to refer their clients to you.
Put posters in your local cafes, shops. When i first started my massage business i went into a gym and offered free 15 minute massage. That way you got people in your massage chair and you can sell your services to them while massaging.
You can tell them what you can do for them, maybe point out to them problems with their posture etc. An old tip i used to use was finnish with a assisted stretch, it will always increase the clients range of motion.
You then say if we can get these results in 15 mins imagine what can be achieved in an hour….then ask for their business……… Have your dairy there and book them in. Once you have client coming regularly offer them specials.
Tell them if they refer a friend, when that friend has come in for their treatment you will give them a 15 min massage or a manicure or a product depending on what your business is.
Are your clients local to you? If not are you near public transport? If they are is parking easy?
These are things to consider. You need to think about the journey time it takes for clients to get to you. You need to make it easy for them.
If you are working from a cottage in the middle of nowhere and it takes an hour to get there driving around bendy country roads, how many client do you think will become regulars?
Of course there are always the die hards that will travel half way round the world because you give them what no one else can but generally most people are not like that. There are plenty of great therapists out there.
What is unique about you? When marketing I think it is essential to tell client this. What do you give that no-one else does?
For me I am now a therapist working with the subconscious mind, but I was a Massage Therapist for 13 years, working with different styles, Reiki Master, Personal Trainer. Do you think i might understand a bit about how the body works?
Now I’m not claiming to know more than everyone but alot more than most hypnotherapists out there. So who do you think i would naturally go market to?
That’s right….. All those personal trainers out there who used to send me their clients for massage. I have already built up rapport with them and shown them I get results.
Do you think if I told them I could get results with their clients ‘thinking’ regarding getting the clients ready to do the exercise prescribed, they may send me some clients that need my services? Have a think about who you can market yourself to.
Marketing? Website? Newspaper? Where?
As mentioned before there are lots of areas to market. But for us a therapists our best way is word of mouth. Why not join a business networking group. I have personally found newspapers don’t work too well but I’m sure some of you would have got some results.
Websites are a great way to go as long as you have got your search engine optimisation sorted. Basically this means that you can be found on google and come up on the first or second page. Who is going to look through 100 pages to find your website.
What is going to make you more special than everyone else? That is another reason I advertise with Global Healing Exchange. It is where everyone knows to come to find a therapist.
They type in your modality and area and hey you pop up on the screen. It is a very cheap way to get search engine optimisation for your business.
It costs a fair bit to do the search engine optimisation but for less than $100 + GST a year I can have my business advertised for me via a link on an article I might write.
I think you have to think about all of this when looking to work from home and also when setting up a clinic or a room in a clinic.
There are obviously lots more things to consider when setting up a business and I hope I gave you some good things to think about. If you are setting up your business I wish you all the best for the future.
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You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how I can help you. Sharon is the founder of Global Healing Exchange. You can work with her on her Emotional Freedom Program here.