Therapy Business Or Hobby? How To Make A Living was originally published in May 2015, updated on 1st Sept 2020
Healers, Therapists, and Coaches are you running a therapy business or hobby?
This is such a big problem for so many spiritual, healing, and coaching businesses.
No matter how much you think you are living your purpose by helping others. If you are running your therapy or holistic business to make an income. You are a business and you still need to apply the basic principles of running and building a business.
Most therapists and coaches invest a lot of time, in-fact years, money, and energy in the right training. Then years of mastering those skills and investing in their own spiritual and self-growth. But why is your therapy business struggling to make a provide you with a healthy living?
Why Is Your Therapy Business Struggling To Thrive?
- Ineffective Marketing Strategies : Is your therapy business failing to invest enough time in effective marketing strategies.
- Not Investing Enough In Advertising: Many holistic businesses don’t invest enough money in advertising to reach and convert enough paying clients and customers.
- Not Marketing On Their Ideal Audience: Many small businesses don’t niche down enough in their marketing, which leads to them not really speaking to or connecting to their ideal clients in their marketing.
Common Issues For The Therapy Business Today
Sadly many coaching and therapy training schools don’t teach enough about business and marketing. Some give false impressions that it is super easy to make a healthy living as a therapist or coach. That all you need to do to run a healthy therapy business is set up, promote on social media and your ideal clients will come flooding in.
I have met many therapists who gave up great paying jobs even 25- 40-year careers believing a lie. Somehow believing that their training automatically equated to that dream business with that dream income. Some spent all of their retirement funds investing in their therapy training and business mindset. That they had no money left to invest in the actual building or marketing of their business.
Facing The Reality Of Building A Therapy Business
Many end up feeling very frustrated when they realise what it actually takes to run a successful business and how busy the coaching and therapy market is. Why you need to learn how to market your business effectively. Why it can take passion, purpose, and determination to grow.
The Sad Reality Of Fast-Track Therapy Training
Some therapy schools imply that students can charge crazy prices no matter where they live in the world or how skilled or experienced they are. I have met so many therapists who have struggled to get even a handful of clients.
The reality is the consumer has more choices than ever in the holistic and therapy sector. You can only charge what your ideal clients are willing to pay. And will only get repeat clients if you are giving the client what they expect.
But a big problem is more and more fast-track training schools are giving out certificates, and diplomas in a few days or a few weeks. In subjects that previous would have been taught over at least 12 months. So there has been a huge increase in poorly qualified therapists.
The issue is that many students new to the holistic, healing, and coaching industry don’t know the difference between professional quality training and poor possibly harmful training. Sadly in the long run, this can cost the therapist or coach, a lot more money as they need to retrain to be taken seriously.
The Therapist Business That Undercharges For Their Services
Most of us enter the healing and or therapy business to help others, it is never about the money. And there lies the fundamental issue because to survive as a business you need to charge for your services. You need to charge enough to cover your business set-up costs and overheads; insurance, equipment, premises, website, marketing, promotional costs, telephone, CPD, professional memberships, and oh yes your wages.
The reality is most of us spend years in training to get the right skills but many therapists never consider if there is enough market for their planned therapy business. Are there enough potential customers in the area you are setting up that clinic? Have you done any market research to see how many other therapists offer the same mobile service that you intend to offer? Are there enough clients in your area who will actually pay what you need to or want to charge?
A Healthy Therapy Business Sells Products And Services Clients Want
A healthy successful business provides a product or service there is a demand for and that is why a successful business tends to niche. Either focus on a specific pain point or become an expert in a typical pain point.
Don’t be like some of the typical therapist businesses I see, often seeking advice too late. The therapist or coach who comes to me for advice, after a very bumpy financial year or so, some still with not even one paying client. To make a living as a healer or therapist you have to apply the principles of business to not only survive but to thrive.
So Let’s See Are You Running A Therapy Business Or Hobby?
Are you treating your therapy business as a business?
to start building a profit-making therapy business.
You know Income is not profit.
You may charge £30 – £100 an hour for a product or service in your therapy business. But remember that is not what you earn, that is what you charge. Your charges are there to include all your business outgoings, including what you need to invest and grow your business. What you earn is the profit you make in a year, after all your investments and therapy business costs have come off.
You Show Up Like A Professional Therapist Business.
If you want to be taken seriously as a professional therapist you need to show up professionally in your therapy business. You need to start earning that know, like, and trust with potential clients. Let me give you an example, what kind of impression do you think you are giving if you choose a free website that says free on the platform but want to convince your audience you are fully invested in running a professional holistic business.
For a potential client, this may suggest that you are not highly invested in your business or that you are offering a low-cost budget service. I know starting out in business can be a big investment for some.
But today you can create your own website very cheaply so there is no excuse. In-fact many types of websites are 90% cheaper to create than they were 20 years ago. You can get a modern website up and running for less than the cost of a cappuccino out of costa every week.
You Have Full Contents & Indemnity Insurance:
In a holistic therapy business it is important to make your client’s health and safety a top priority. So make sure you take out Public Indemnity Insurance alongside contents insurance for your business. I am always shocked to hear how many therapists don’t have insurance. Insurance policies can be bought for as little as £60 a year for mainstream therapies.
My insurance costs were at one point £2000 a year because of the work I did. I had to have two different types of costly insurance and I was only able to work part-time. If you care about your clients make sure you have insurance, all sorts of things can happen that you would never consider.
In the early 90’s I know of one reiki healer, who was sued because of an injury caused to a client because of the way she helped someone off her plinth. I had an incident where a candle in a very solid container smashed into pieces and went on fire behind a client. I worked in a charity where a client tried to sue the charity because she tripped and fell on a carpet in the hallway. They didn’t have insurance and this nearly cost the organisation to shut down.
When you are looking for a product or service, what do you look for? Imagine a potential client is looking at your product or service, what do you think they want to see ?When someone wants to trust someone with their health or well-being. what do you think they are looking for? Each client wants to buy from a place of trust and confidence in your offerings.
But in the online world where there is so much noise, and so much information overload, your message has to be crystal clear. Help by showing proven evidence of what your product and services have done for other clients. You could be the most gifted healer in Ireland, Toronto, or California but if you don’t show up effectively no one will know.
You Know Your Area Of Expertise
Imagine you were opening up a restaurant. Would you try to be the cook, the receptionist, the waitress, the logo designer, and the accountant? Would you try to offer Chinese, Italian and Thai dishes?
NO, I guess not. Promote what you’re great at and outsource the things that you are not. Outsourcing doesn’t have to be as costly as you think. But if you invest in the right people or the right training your holistic business will bring in the right clients, and the right income. Small investments in outsourcing can make a huge difference.
Exchanging services with other professional businesses can be a great option if you both do some sort of equal exchange. It can be great for anyone on a very small budget. If you still think you can’t afford to outsource, get a friend, or relative to help with a few things. Or if you need to focus on learning new skills in the areas that will help your business the most, my suggestion is marketing.
You Have Worked Out Your Perfect Price Point.
Choose a price point that suits your ideal clients and represents your level of expertise. Remember pricing has to match what your ideal clients and soul clients will pay. Every single type of business, product, or service is totally different. If you are just starting out I think introductory offers are a great way to build up your experience, get testimonials, and get people talking about what you’re offering.
Your Holistic Therapy Business Needs Is In The Right Location
Is your therapy business in the right or wrong location? Or you are trying to sell to the wrong location or the wrong clients? You will constantly struggle to survive. This is not just about a physical location but an online location. I see many new therapists spending most of their time trying to sell their therapy services in Facebook groups that are full of other therapists.
Holistic or spiritual groups are not always where your ideal audience hangs out. Unless of course, you are a highly experienced teacher whose audience is less experienced healers. Know your ideal client and hang out in the groups or places they hang out.
I had a male hypnotherapist who believed his ideal clients were polished high-end executive women who wanted to lose weight. Now, this lovely gentleman had weight challenges himself which he hadn’t completely resolved.
On further enquiry he didn’t invest much on his personal appearance, in many ways had very little resonance, connection or experience of working with high-end female executives. Do you think that these executive women were his Ideal Clients?
Who we want as clients and who we are an aligned fit can be very different. If your product or service does not match the needs or expectations of your prospective clients you are unlikely to get the sale. Your Ideal Client should be someone you understand, know and be sure you can help. Ready To Attract The Best Ideal Clients?