People are often nervous about starting their own business because the reliability and regularity of the monthly pay cheque disappears. It is true that in the beginning the income will be slower than you would like to come in, but you will reach a tipping point when suddenly you have more clients than you know how to handle! There will always be seasonal fluctuations and periods when all goes strangely quiet, but you get used to riding the waves. To prepare yourself at the beginning for a low income (after all let’s face it your appointment book is unlikely to be full in the first week or even the first month) I suggest you draw up a survival budget. What is the absolute minimum you can live on?
A survival budget would mean:
No bought coffees! No bought sandwiches! No ready meals! Supermarket own brand baked beans! No holidays! No new clothes! Inviting people round instead of going out for dinner or a drink.
It could even mean asking for a mortgage or pension holiday for 6 months.
R U serious?!
Yes! Completely and utterly!
Are you serious about really making a go of your business and setting yourself up for a quality of life that can rarely be achieved through having a job; freedom to work the hours you want, no boss, no office politics, working in an industry you love, taking long holidays??
So now we have established you are serious about this, how long are you going to give it for things to take off? How long are you willing to live on your survival budget for?
We think it can take anything from 6 months to 2 years for a business to take off.
It really depends on how much work you are doing on your business in terms of marketing, market research, promotions, sales, networking and PR.
All these subjects are covered in the monthly guiding principles of this plan and the Therapist's Business E-Course:
You can, however, learn a lot about marketing from me on a free webinar
These monthly webinars are part of the Therapist's Business Guide package.
If you have got a large mortgage or rent to pay, it may be worth looking for a part-time job to act as a buffer whilst your business takes off. You may even find that your employer is willing to let you go part-time with your job. It happened for me and for lots of our students and graduates.
Come out of the sea of sameness
You may have noticed that there are a lot of people also doing what you do. Suddenly as you look around there seems to be massage therapists/ reflexologists/ homoeopaths everywhere!
Believe me that’s a good sign! It shows there is a market for what you offer. All you need to do is be a little bit different and a little bit better! (Not I hasten to add a little bit cheaper however!)
Do go and trial the treatments of your competitors and look to see how you can differentiate yourself. It can be as simple as having a heated couch with an electric blanket or beautiful herb teas and fresh fruits as you conduct your consultation?.
Still under-confident or need a boost of positivity and confidence?
Act as if??. I remember learning to scuba dive and was terrified of taking my mask off at the bottom of the ocean- one of the required elements of the assessment.
So I acted as if? I was Jacque Cousteau (I am showing my age here, but he had a wonderful TV series in the 70?s- The Undersea World of Jacque Cousteau).
Suddenly I was calm and composed and confident. In my imagination I could see the cameras were rolling and I performed to the audience and passed my assessment with effortless ease!
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