Well that should be pretty obvious really, you want to create a successful busy practice right? But what does that mean? What does it look like? How will it happen? What does it matter I hear you ask?
Why do I need a Vision?
Well not being clear about your long-term vision or goal is like an archer who has no target. Your ability to focus your attention and energy on what you want will be dispersed. The more clarity we have around what we are trying to achieve the more we are able to direct all of our efforts in the one direction as opposed to the shotgun approach of hoping you will find your mark and not having much range.
To me however having a vision is far more than just the nuts and bolts of your practice. It contains the essence of what you are trying to achieve and what you want your life to become. When you are clear about this you can ensure that every aspect of your practice is built from that essence, just like the DNA of the cell.
Here are some thoughts to help you become clearer in your vision.
- What are the core beliefs of your practice?
eg it might be something like holistic approach, client education, nurture or empowerment.
- What is your underlying aim for your practice?
eg you might want to create a sanctuary for your clients, a place where they can get away from their lives for a while and have time to discover themselves and heal.
- How can you bring these principles to your life as well as your practice?
If you believe in these principles then it makes sense for you to find ways to incorporate them into your own life to ensure your message is congruent. There is no stronger example than living by your beliefs. It helps you to guide your clients towards a better life through your own experience and prevents internal conflict.
- What do you want to feel like each day?
In many cases practitioners can become tired, overwhelmed and despondent and this is largely due to an imbalance of focus. To be an excellent practitioner over the long-term you need to learn about self-care. When you look after yourself then you create balance in all aspects of your life including your practice.
- The finer detail
How do you want your practice to work? Do you want to work for yourself or someone else? Do you want to work from home or rent premises? How many clients do think it’s reasonable to see in a week? Do you want to have staff? How much do you want to earn (I know that is a challenge for many of you but recognising you need to make a living is part of the picture)? How long do you think it will take to get there? Are these expectations reasonable? What will you do to generate clients? Have you tried in the past? What worked? What didn’t?
There is beauty in the little things
I know, now you think I’m just getting far too caught up with the detail. The growth of a clinic should be organic right? It should be able to adapt and change as the circumstances do and then it will become what it is supposed to be. You don’t want to have to worry about semantics but the clearer you are on your vision the easier it will be for you to make your way there.
A successful practice or any business for that matter will have far greater longevity with the ability to adapt to changes and the beauty of getting more into the detail helps us to be able to pre-empt any potential changes we need to negotiate along the way, such as a downturn in the economy, change in premises, needing more staff or needing more clients.
Why Should I Plan?
Quite simply a plan gives you a step-by-step pathway to you being able to achieve your ultimate vision. Taking the time to plan and think about how to get where you want to go helps you to avoid pitfalls, know when you need to do some research or get some help and use your energy more efficiently and effectively.
Break up your plan into sections to make it more manageable and make sure you keep adding to it or adjusting it as you need to. Sticking to a plan that isn’t working will not make for a happy camper.
Some areas to consider:
- Place – What do you need in regard to a workspace and how can you create it in the shortest possible way without cutting corners. Providing detailed info helps to make sure nothing gets forgotten particularly if you have to fit out commercial premises. Making mistakes about where the power points will go for instance will cost you.
- People – Who are the people you need to help you get where you want to go. For example bookkeeper, marketing consultant, coach, you and any staff you may require. How can you recruit the best possible people for these roles to make sure you practice flows seamlessly?
- Marketing – How will you get clients coming to see you? Do you have experience? If not who can you turn to or what research can you do?
- Money – Failure to consider the money side of things leads to incredible stress and potential failure. Preparing estimated budgets, income etc will help you sleep at night.
- Knowledge – What do you know and what don’t you know? Being aware of your strengths and weaknesses allows you to address them. Work to your strengths and find ways to improve your weaknesses.
Practice is not just about being good at what you do it’s about being good at the whole picture including knowing how to run your business effectively. Taking time to work on your business will help you turn your dream practice into a reality.
The missing link
Having a clear vision of what you want to achieve is the first step to creating a successful and sustainable practice. Having a plan, which is like a map that shows you how to get there, is the next important step. However both of these things will result in zip unless you consider the missing link, which is action. Without action this exercise becomes just a theory instead of the amazing tangible and fulfilling reality that you strive for.
This year can be the start of something amazing for your life and your practice. If you are not getting where you want to go then have you considered the process we have discussed. If not it’s time to start, this is your year.
And here at Ethical Practice we are here to help. Among our many other resources we will be holding an extremely affordable retreat this year in Bali for 7 days in September. This is the chance for you to make your practice rock and at the same time have some space to chill. Want to find out more? You can check out the retreat details here
Jeff Shearer has been in practice since 1995 and has created several highly successful practices. From a mobile massage business to a multi practitioner clinic he has made all the mistakes and learnt from them. Ethical Practice has been set up to help practitioners avoid the pitfalls and be able to create their own successful and sustainable practice. Find more info about Ethical Practice here