Growing a sustainable therapy business is a dream for some who would prefer going solo rather than work in a public health setting or a large team. But it can be a daunting thought to set out alone and be the only person responsible for the success or failure of your business.
Getting your entire business lined up perfectly is beyond the scope of this blog post, but one of the many important things to consider is how your clients will feel and respond to your approach to their treatment. While you can’t do anything if they don’t find you a good fit personally, you can create a welcoming environment for a good first impression. Check out the tips below for ways you can help them have a positive experience in their interactions with you.
1. Word of mouth matters
With the growth in review sites and social media, any business is exposed to public opinion whether they like it or not. This can be an excellent way of gaining new clients if your current ones are happy and recommend your business to others.
It has become essential for businesses to have some kind of social media presence as a way of interacting with potential or current clients. Engaging with people on social media is often the first step in gaining their trust or becoming their go-to source of information.
You don’t need to manage your social media yourself as this is time-consuming. Fortunately, you can outsource this task and save time while still maintaining an active social media presence.
2. Create a welcoming environment
First impressions really do count and when a client enters your premises for the first time, they will respond to the environment. Most therapy businesses have a reception or waiting area, and while clients are using it, they need to feel comfortable. Check:
- That the lighting is not harsh or distracting. Replace fluorescent globes with some other type (especially important if you are dealing with clients who might suffer from sensory issues or have autism)
- The seating – are the seats comfortable? Are they arranged in a way that offers privacy if others are in the waiting room?
- The flooring – is the flooring quiet? Is it pleasant to walk on? Noisy flooring can make clients with sensory issues uncomfortable.
- Is the waiting area space appealing in other ways? Is it visually calming and relaxing? Does it have windows that allow in outside light? Are you able to regulate the temperature to keep it comfortable?
3. Make client relationships a priority
It’s a cliché that the customer comes first, but it’s also true. This means that each person who works in your practice (even if it’s only you) needs to make your interactions with your clients a pleasant experience.
Most of the time, this only takes old-fashioned courtesy and customer service to ensure that your clients have a positive experience. There’s nothing like a happy customer for spreading the good news about how you’ve helped them, and it also goes a long way to creating loyal clients who return.
4. Buy the right equipment
A well-equipped therapy business is appealing to clients. Some will even choose businesses that offer certain types of equipment.
That said, you will still be constrained by financial necessity and storage space, so choosing the equipment that will offer the best value is a must. It might be nice to have all the latest gadgets, but it’s crucial to keep a level head and only choose what will best fit your clients’ needs, your budget, and your storage capacity.
5. Model what works
Take a look at other successful therapy practices and see if you can incorporate some of the same principles into your own business.
Many business owners are happy to give advice, and if you find someone who will, take advantage of their knowledge. Ask what works for them and what doesn’t. If you can, observe the layout and surroundings of their business and see if there are any elements you can make work for your own business. Do your best to model success.
Enjoy the freedom of having your own business!
Growing a sustainable therapy business takes hard work and discipline, but it can also offer the freedom and flexibility to manage your time and your life yourself. If you’d like to learn more about setting up your own business or making your current practice more sustainable, check out my THERAPY BUSINESS BOOTCAMP.
Do you feel pressured and overwhelmed even though you’re working evenings and weekends? Are you struggling to manage your business and finances?
This 8-week online course is suitable for paediatric occupational therapists, music therapists, speech therapists, physiotherapists as well as counselors.
The 8-week Therapy Business Bootcamp is an online course teaching you practical strategies to develop a successful therapy business and take back control of your life!