Does your practice have the summertime blues?

August 25th, 2010

ist2_492773-woman-stressed-I truly delight in summertime, all the play and frivolity of a slower pace that often comes with this time of year. However, I remember when I first began my art therapy business with children, it would be a wildly crazy spring, filled with back to back clients, then summer would hit, and my practice stalled.

At first I tried to reframe the experience as an opportunity to have time off and relax, since the school year was so faced paced. However, this reframe wasn’t going to help me pay my bills, and around mid August I’d become fearful.
I tracked the cycles of the number of clients I saw, and what months peaked, and what months were slow. In my second year in business I noticed the trends and I was able to put aside some extra savings for the slower summer months, with the hopes that during the fall things would pick back up.
I watched this cycle play out for several years and became so uncomfortable with the “feast and famine” cycles in my business. I began exploring other options to help me no longer ride the rollercoaster of fluctuating client appointments.
I knew in my heart there must be a better way, and that’s when I learned the most amazing and magical thing! I learned that clients were willing to invest (a substantial amount of time and money) and commit to a several month program. Here’s how I did it.
So if you are ready to move from a practice that has ebbs and flows, to one that is consistent and supports you, then you’ll want to rethink how you currently offer your sessions.
If you see clients on weekly basis, what happens to their therapeutic goals during holidays, summertime, or busy weeks, when they may cancel at the last minute? If your client is not fully committed you may suddenly hear that they need to take time off  (especially during a difficult time during treatment).
However, you can develop programs to support your clients and help them to commit to sustainable changes, AND you can create ways to support your business (and yourself) all in alignment of being in service.
The gifts of creating programs for your clients are truly magical. You provide a greater level of support and commitment, and together you set clear goals you are working towards, and with that alchemy you’ll be amazed at how your clients will transform.
I remember the first time I offered a program, it was actually with a family that I adored working with, and they had been achieving some remarkable results in helping their children manage their meltdowns. However, I knew there was a missing piece. So I created a 3-month comprehensive program.  I actually saw the family less, but provided more structure and tools, and as a result this family changed their whole system and both the parents and the children dramatically made changes in a VERY short period of time. Why? Because they had committed at a level financially, physically, and emotionally, more than they had done so in the past!
Here are the steps you can take to introduce a program into your practice as well:
Identify the core problems your clients are encountering
Be clear on the benefits they will get working with you
Create a unique “signature system” that you can take your clients through during the program to help them move towards their desired outcomes
Set the program timeframe (3 months, 6 months)
Let all your current clients know this is a new program you are sharing and be clear how it’s different from current therapy (more support/ specific strategies) and why it would benefit them.
When you create programs you focus on the outcomes you and your clients are working towards, AND you will create consistency in your practice. Not only will you empower your clients and offer new opportunities to support them, you’ll create a business that supports you year round!
If you are in need on more specific ways you can create a business that honors you, as well as your clients you’ll want to join me for the upcoming Create A Business I Love Blueprint Secrets link ** where I’ll share with you the steps you can take to create thriving therapy business that supports you, as well as your clients!  Click here to learn more- link platinum preview**

I truly delight in summertime, all the play and frivolity of a slower pace that often comes with this time of year. However, I remember when I first began my art therapy business with children, it would be a wildly crazy spring, filled with back to back clients, then summer would hit, and my practice stalled.

At first I tried to reframe the experience as an opportunity to have time off and relax, since the school year was so faced paced. However, this reframe wasn’t going to help me pay my bills, and around mid August I’d become fearful.

I tracked the cycles of the number of clients I saw, and what months peaked, and what months were slow. In my second year in business I noticed the trends and I was able to put aside some extra savings for the slower summer months, with the hopes that during the fall things would pick back up.

I watched this cycle play out for several years and became so uncomfortable with the “feast and famine” cycles in my business. I began exploring other options to help me no longer ride the rollercoaster of fluctuating client appointments.

I knew in my heart there must be a better way, and that’s when I learned the most amazing and magical thing! I learned that clients were willing to invest (a substantial amount of time and money) and commit to a several month program. Here’s how I did it.

investingSo if you are ready to move from a practice that has ebbs and flows to one that is consistent and supports you, then you’ll want to rethink how you currently offer your sessions.

If you see clients on a weekly basis, what happens to their therapeutic goals during holidays, summertime, or busy weeks, when they may cancel at the last minute? If your client is not fully committed you may suddenly hear that they need to take time off (especially during a difficult time during treatment).

However, you can develop programs to support your clients and help them to commit to sustainable changes, AND you can create ways to support your business (and yourself) all in alignment of being in service.

The gifts of creating programs for your clients are truly magical. You provide a greater level of support and commitment, and together you set clear goals you are working towards, and with that alchemy you’ll be amazed at how your clients will transform.

I remember the first time I offered a program, it was actually with a family that I adored working with, and they had been achieving some remarkable results in helping their children manage their meltdowns. However, I knew there was a missing piece. So I created a 3-month comprehensive program.  I actually saw the family less but provided more structure and tools, and as a result this family changed their whole system and both the parents and the children dramatically made changes in a VERY short period of time. Why? Because they had committed at a level financially, physically, and emotionally, more than they had done so in the past!

Here are the steps you can take to introduce a program into your practice as well:

  1. Identify the core problems your clients are encountering
  2. Be clear on the benefits they will get in working with you
  3. Create a unique “signature system” that you can take your clients through during the program to help them move towards their desired outcomes
  4. Set the program timeframe (3 months, 6 months)
  5. Let all your current clients know this is a new program you are sharing and be clear on how it differs from current therapy (more support/specific strategies) and why it would benefit them

When you create programs you focus on the outcomes you and your clients are working towards, AND you will create consistency in your practice. Not only will you empower your clients and offer new opportunities to support them, you’ll create a business that supports you year round!

If you are in need of more specific ways you can create a business that honors you, as well as your clients you’ll want to join me for the upcoming Create A Business I Love Blueprint Secrets where I’ll share with you the steps you can take to create a thriving therapy business that supports you, as well as your clients!

Click here to learn more

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