Therapy Business Or Hobby? How To Make A Living originally published May 2015, updated 1st Sept 2020
Healers, Therapists, Coaches, are you running a therapy business or hobby?
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 mastering those skills and investing in their own spiritual and self-growth. But why do so many fail to make a profit never mind a healthy living?
Why Is Your Therapy Business Struggling To Thrive?
- Because the average therapy business fails to invest enough time or money in business and marketing strategies. They often don’t recognise that running and building a successful therapy business involves as much about business and marketing as the therapies you trained in.
- They don’t invest enough money in advertising to reach and convert enough paying clients and customers.
- They are not speaking to or really connecting to their ideal clients in their marketing.
Common Issues For The Therapy Business Today
Sadly many coaching and therapy training schools give students a false impression that it is super easy to make a healthy living as a therapist or coach. That all you need to do is set up and 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 there 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 how much skills or expertise they have. And because of this, some students end up with absolutely no clients.
The reality is the consumer has more choice 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, diplomas in a few days or a few weeks. In subjects that would only ever be taught over 12 months. So more and more therapists are out in the marketplace with inadequate training and very poor skills. Just think how much of a difference of a course that takes someone 200-300 hours in which someone else with the same title has only done a 10 or 12-hour course. Who would you want to spend your money with?
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 we never consider if there is enough market for our services. Are there enough potential customers in that 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 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?
No 1: You need to recognise you are a BUSINESS to start building a profit-making therapy business.
No 2: 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, to include 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.
No 3: You Know You Need To Show Up Like A Professional Therapist Business. If you want to be taken seriously as a professional therapist you need to show up as a professional therapist business. You need to start earning that know, like, 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? 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 very simply for less than the cost of a cappuccino out of costa every week.
No 4: You Have Full Contents & Indemnity Insurance: If you are charging for your services it is important to amke 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 from as little as £60 a year for mainstream therapies. My insurance costs was at one point £2000 a year because of the work I did. I had to have two different types of costly insurances 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 shut down.
No 5: You Recognise Clients Buy Solutions Not Techniques: 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, 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, California but if you don’t show up effectively no one will know.
No 6: You Know You Are Not An Expert In Every Area Of Your Business. 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 your 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, 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 learn new skills in the areas that will help your business the most, my suggestion is marketing.
No 7: 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.
No 8. Your Holistic Business Or Clinic Is In The Perfect Location To Attract Enough Clients. If your holistic business is in the wrong location? Or you are trying to sell to the wrong location or 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 usually 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.
No 10. You Know Who Your Ideal Clients Are. 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. He didn’t spend much attention on his appearance and had no 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 a perfect fit for 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.