Monday, October 20, 2014

Expanding wellness

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     Therapists face special problems when it comes to the business end of their operation. Too many work alone. Individuals offer therapeutic massage, marriage counseling, reflexology, Reiki, yoga, meditation, and other therapies.

     Instead of several people coming together to create a small business, therapists are frequently one person businesses. Clients can be few--it can be a thin market.

     To combat this, therapists of diverse backgrounds frequently come together to create wellness centers. Some are today applying the department store/supermarket concept to alternative health. Come to one location and select from several possibilities.

     Example: Joyce's specialty is reflexology. Over time she developed a client base passionate about her services. She traveled to them. To get her own office, Joyce partnered with Ella, who specialized in deep tissue massage. Together, they leased a large space--they were planning ahead. They then attracted a life counselor and a nutritionist to join them. Next, they added yoga--one expert who had a following of individuals. Soon, the business had grown to the point they needed a receptionist to schedule appointments. Recently, Joyce and Ella have talked with a practitioner of Jin Shin Jyutsu about joining the wellness group. 

     Heading toward establishing a wellness center is one way therapists can tackle their business problems. By bringing together several specialists, a wellness center can attract more attention--and clients--than one therapist acting alone. There is a spillover effect. Clients talk with one another about the center, and the word spreads on Facebook. 

     Example: Stan is a chiropractor. He, too, needed to attract more clients. He did not want to expand into a wellness center. Instead, he brings in other experts to offer counseling and information sessions at his place. He regularly schedules events open to the public. A nutritionist talks about healthy eating and fields questions from the attendees. At another session, a hypnotist helps people stop smoking. Later, an expert in Chinese herbal medicine talks about treating ailments without pills. These experts do not practice at Stan's place, but the popular sessions educate attendees--and, while there, they get up close and personal with the benefits of chiropractic. Stan is always on hand to talk about and explain chiropractic.

     Therapists come in many flavors. If you are expert in one, your business might benefit from your partnering with other therapists to create a wellness center. Or, like the chiropractor, you might turn your place into a healthy living information and education center.

     Whatever you do, keep your long term goal firmly in mind. Do the numbers to support a business plan. Only then can you confidently head out into new territory. That great unknown marketplace awaits.   

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