Essential business tips for 2018 – your baker’s dozen!
I hope you have all have had a great year 2017 – you have enjoyed the therapies that you offer, the clients that you attract, and the life’s stability and the satisfaction that come from running a sustainable business.
So – here are my tips that, I hope, will help you make your business even more successful in 2018.
- FIRST AND FOREMOST: YOU. protect your health and wellbeing. Being a holistic therapist is not always easy. It is essential to have regular days off. You can offer your clients two or maximum three late evenings a week, two Saturdays a month and may be one Sunday, but please don’t end up working all the hours that God’s given you. If you fall ill from exhaustion and miss a few months of work, your clients will find another therapist, and you will have an uphill struggle to rebuild your business.
- YOU AGAIN. If your day, morning or afternoon aren’t booking up, block off the time and do something for yourself – update your books, analyse your business, listen to a webinar. Don’t just hang around the phone or check your mail every five minutes. Don’t Tweet out stupid offers that won’t make you money. Use the time productively.
- YOU AND YOUR CUSTOMERS. Communicate with your customers regularly through social or electronic media. You can send a short newsletter, let’s say, once a month, giving them some seasonal advice or sharing an interesting book, article or film about health that you came across. Add a special offer if you are running one.
- YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BUSINESS. Gently increase your treatment prices to reflect the increased costs of running your business. You need to do small increases every year, instead of a massive price hike every few years or refusing to increase prices out of fear of losing clients, but ending up losing money.
- YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BUSINESS – MORE. Remember that your costs don’t just include your disposables and products that you use in each treatment. They are also your overheads: rent, rates, your telephone line, your water and other utilities, the wear and tear of your equipment and so on. In the low-inflation environment your costs still go up around 3 to 5 per cent a year, at least.
- YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BUSINESS – MORE. There are several ways to increase the prices sensitively. You can increase the price of a single treatment by, let us say, 5%, but leave the pre-paid course of 3 or 6 fixed at the last year’s price till, say, April 2018. Or you can increase the evening and Saturday prices by 7.5%, and the daytime prices by 2.5%.
- YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BUSINESS – MORE. Make sure you know what products and disposables you need to buy and order them in due time. The easiest way to remember is to put a sheet of paper into your disposables box, at around 20 remaining treatments, that says REORDER in big red letters. Give yourself a week to get your order. Couriers malfunction, trucks break down, sever weather conditions slow things down considerably. Your clients don’t care about any of this, they want a good reliable service from you.
- YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BUSINESS – FINAL. Sell in your clinic only a small number of products that you know your customers will want with your treatment. Make sure you don’t clog up your inventory with the products that are slow sellers. Offer the same products that you sell in your clinic to your customers online too. If you can create a special code for your clinic customers to buy your products off your website with a small discount, use this tool.
- BE SMART ABOUT YOUR MARKETING. Introduce loyalty cards, stamp them every time your client comes to see you, give 20% off the 6th treatment. Reward your existing customers, it’s much more satisfying that paying for sending AdWords into the endless continuum of the Universe. Customers keep loyalty cards in their wallet. They open their wallet at least once a day, and at least once a day your loyalty card is imprinted into their brain. No marketing money can buy this.
- BE SMART ABOUT YOUR MARKETING - MORE. Sell gift vouchers at 5% discount to the face value (a 50 pound/dollar card sells for 45) and a strict 6 month/a year validity. It is a well known fact that around 10% of the gift cards are never used. So by giving a 5% discount you make them much more attractive to buy, and you get your cashflow and 5% interest on the cash. One is a win, both are a win-win.
- BE SMART ABOUT YOUR PURCHASING. If you have storage space, buy as much stock as you need on an “interest-free” credit card, acquired especially for this purpose, that will charge you a small facilitation payment, usually 3%, and give you a 12 month’ interest free credit. If you buy enough stock for 6 months, set up 6 monthly payments from your bank account to the card. If you use our small wholesale section on our website (https://www.colonicsupplies.online/small-wholesale), you can save up to 25% off the cost to you of each treatment. Over the year, this would pay for a week’s holiday somewhere for you and your significant other/s.
- BE SMART ABOUT YOUR PURCHASING – MORE. If you shop with us, use our Trade Accounts facility (https://www.colonicsupplies.online/trade-accounts), and get even a bigger discount on the small wholesale orders! It’s not really rocket science, you just need to plan a bit better.
- AND FINALLY, remember that your relationship with your business is exactly this – a relationship. It will have the beginning, the middle, the mature stage and, finally, the end. Also, like any relationship, it requires constant attention. Nurture it, enjoy it, and when you feel you need to move on, make a plan. And – good luck in 2018!