I know here we go again on this ‘making a plan’ thing. Yep that’s right. I am going to dedicate this article entirely to planning. Why? Because having a plan is in my experience one of the best ways to get you where you want to go. Without one you are likely to end up in a completely different place to what you had hoped.
Why should I plan?
Here’s 9 very good reasons:
- To have a plan means you need to know what you want. Knowing what you want means you are more likely to get there.
- A plan helps you to navigate the chaos that we are surrounded by and to actually get things done.
- Procrastination is the friend of getting nothing done and a plan helps you to stay on track ensuring you do the opposite.
- Being overwhelmed can be a part of running a business but planning helps you to focus on the next thing on the list keeping that swamped feeling in check.
- There are always speed bumps on any path we take and a plan helps us to pre-empt these and come up with strategies to avoid them or minimise their impact.
- Sometimes it’s easy to feel we are getting nowhere. A quick visit to your plan helps show you all the achievements you have made to date.
- Showing you what you have achieved will spur you on in times where your motivation wanes.
- Your plan guides you to your right path when distractions come knocking.
- Quite simply your plan is the pathway to your dreams.
How do I plan?
Excellent question. First of all you need to recognise that planning is something that is best done over a period of time, start off with a general plan, keep it simple. Just write down the main areas of your practice you need to work on.
Here’s some suggestions but feel free to add your own.
- Financial – What are your projected costs and income?
- Marketing – How do you propose to get people to visit your practice?
- People – What people do you need to consider? Staff, receptionists etc
- Equipment – What things do you need to have for your practice to work?
- Place – Where do you want to practice or if you are already there how can you make it better?
- Knowledge – What is missing and what needs to be improved
Now these are the areas that I look at in my practice but if you have other ideas this is your plan so go for it.
One last thing, planning can seem overwhelming at times because you are looking at the big picture of all of the things that need to be done. Remember to keep it in perspective. You have all the time in the world and once you have your plan laid out then you can list things in chronological order of importance. Try to set a timeframe for each task and stick to it. Review your plan once a month. What’s working? What isn’t? Perhaps you need to make some adjustments on your expectations of timeframe or add some things. Remember your plan is a living, breathing thing. Keep attending to it and it will become your dream.
I’m looking forward to 2016 national and the swathe of presentations we have in store for you to help build your practice into its true potential. Your success as a practitioner goes beyond your chosen modality and skill. Many practitioners struggle with financial success. This is an industry problem – worldwide. A 2014 survey in the United States showed the average income of the massage therapist was one third of the rest of the country. It also showed that 50% of therapists have a second job to ensure they can cover their bills. This statistic is relevant to more than just massage therapists.
The cause isn’t poor skills. It’s about not understanding how to run a practice effectively. The key is to approach this holistically. Taking your time, your money, your marketing and your client care all into account. It’s easier than you think. And it’s not just about making money. It’s about helping more people – all while maintaining your integrity.
Find out more about our upcoming events here:
Yours in Practice
Conscious that practitioners in the ‘alternative’ spectrum of health care are more at risk of failure in business than other healthcare modalities, Jeff was inspired to create Ethical Practice – an information-based business assisting the healthcare industry to develop with integrity.
Jeff has been in private health practice since 1995, running a successful remedial massage, and then acupuncture clinic – from mobile, to renting a room from a multi-modality clinic, to running his own multi-practitioner natural therapy clinic (in New Farm, Brisbane, Australia). Jeff is a national and international presenter. To find out more check out www.ethicalpractice.net