Most people who study our Anatomy and Physiology Course are doing it for a career change, usually in the world of complementary therapies or the exercise instructor arena. Our Anatomy and Physiology Course was originally created for massage students when I owned a school of massage and it became clear to me that with business planning, skills and support people were able to get their therapy clinic established much quicker. My next series of blogs are on business skills.
A crucial part of any business plan and something that the bank manager will expect to see is a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). There’s nothing like a SWOT analysis to keep you grounded and provide you with a bit of a reality check. It does help to take a look every 6 months or so at your Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats perhaps with a friend or a business mentor who will help you to be honest.
Here is an example of the sort of things you might consider, to help get you thinking
and developing your own SWOT analysis.
Number of years of experience
Good communication skills
Can work flexible hours
Strong market niche
Trained in more than 1 therapy
Good network of other therapists to cross refer
Good returns and profits from selling product
Central location on the High Street with good footfall
Good transport links and parking
Trained to the highest qualification,
Member of professional Association
High level of customer service
Reputation established through working with Top Clinic and Spa
Requires low levels of investment to start up
Previous work experience as manager will aid business growth
Reliant on just me
Competing with established salons and spas
Working from home so no footfall
Location in high Street is noisy
Lack of finance to fund start up
Area resistant to complementary therapies
I have to do everything and am pulled in many directions
Poor skills in finance, marketing, sales, presentations….
Can add to treatments provided as I train in more therapies
Option to do therapy parties, via Essentials for Health party plan
Been invited to do a demo at exclusive gym
Cross referrals, offers and deals with nearby shops and services
Proximity to hospitals, doctors, and
other referring centres
Local therapy fairs advertising opportunity
Opportunity to teach workshops in therapy leads to referrals
Local competitor is relocating and offers client base
Local paper is researching an educational piece on therapies and invites you to write in it
Staff member leaves with database
Increase in clinic room rent makes prices very high
A new therapy centre opens just down the road and has an aggressive marketing team
A negative article appears in the press about the inefficacy of therapies
Changing rules for therapy regulation of therapies means I need to upgrade my skills
Now it’s over to you to focus on yours. Once you have written you SWOT you should take a look at your:
Weaknesses- I am an advocate of playing to your strengths and getting other people to do the things we are not good at. Make sure that all aspects of running a business are being covered. You might need to rope in friends and family initially to help for free.
Strengths- turn them into USP’s (Unique Selling Points) and make sure everyone knows about them. They should feature in your website, your brochure, your blog, facebook page etc.
Opportunities- grab them with both hands if they fit your vision for your company and do not mean you will become overstretched. Make sure they are genuine opportunities that are going to be of definite benefit. A phone call telling you about a great reduced price advertising opportunity may just be money you don’t have, ill spent.
Threats- as far as possible do what you can to mitigate these. For example a staff member leaves with the database – make sure you have backups and clauses in your contract that ensure you can take action if this happens. Remember prevention is better than cure.
Just by thinking about your SWOT your business will develop. You don’t need to do anything major immediately about your findings, just start mulling them over. I am a big advocate of the subconscious mind being able to work away on ideas and solutions whilst we sleep, dream and daydream. You need however to give it some material to work on!
"May I also commend your instructor, Jane. She was so articulate and concise in her delivery of her material. The planning of her course and the methodologies she employed greatly facilitated learning, and her passion and depth of knowledge were both impressive and inspiring. I've been teaching 22 years and have a PhD in language pedagogy, and she made this cautious digression in my career a very enjoyable experience for me"
- Rose Ní Dhubhda -
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