A good place to start is to write down your concept of the ideal practice. Write down all the little details that come to mind. You’re painting a picture of the future you want to create, so don’t scrimp on the particulars! If you can make a good living doing things exactly the way you’d like to do them, it will make you a happier therapist and you’ll be more motivated to take the necessary steps to become successful.
- Think big-picture and long-term. A goal is something like: “To find personal fulfillment helping hundreds of people improve their overall well-being through regular massage” or “Build a career delivering excellent massage in my community and make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.” Evaluate how each goal contributes to your concept of your ideal practice. If it doesn’t fit with your big picture, it doesn’t belong on your list.
- Clearly define why you’ve chosen this path. This is your purpose in pursuing your massage career. Why did you choose to become a therapist? Is it the personal reward you get when a client tells you what great massages you give? Do you have a spiritual calling to help others? Identifying your purpose gives you the emotional and mental fuel to persist with your plans.
- Decide on the steps you’ll take to reach your goals. Did your notes help you decide on some of the details, like where your ideal office would be located? What sort of atmosphere do you want for your space — soothing and spa-like or maybe more clinically oriented? How many massages will you deliver each week? How many clients do you need to develop in order to maintain a full schedule?
- Organize your notes into step-by-step projects. Then, decide the logical order for your to-do list (like get your business phone number before you order business cards) and assign a timeline for each step.
Keep in mind that in business, everything is in a constant state of change. As you accomplish some of the steps, you’ll undoubtedly need to revise your plans to accommodate surprises that pop up along the way. Basically, you want to put a promotional plan into action, then keep doing the things that are bringing in business and drop the things that aren’t. If you’re lucky, the things that are working for you will remain effective for quite a while, but always monitor your results and be prepared to adjust your efforts when necessary.
Take that bright marketing idea for a test drive. Whenever possible, try out your marketing ideas on a small scale before you sink too much time, effort, and money into them. For instance, before you sign a contract for a year’s worth of ads in the local weekly paper, you’d be wise to run a shorter series of ads to test the waters. To get a good sense of the potential of a project, you do need to try it long enough to see how things develop. (Once is not a fair test.) You can also make slight changes to the content of your promo piece to see if a certain key phrase or idea gets a better response.
You may also like: