Posts Tagged ‘Business Struggles’

What are your plans for the holiday slump?

December 1st, 2010
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”….unless your practice/business slows down and you’re left wondering how to finance the holiday gifts. Hmmm, then it’s not so wonderful at all!

The truth is that if your practice slows this time of the year and you’re left wondering how to overcome the holiday slowdown “slump” then I’m going to share with you some wonderful opportunities to help you create consistent income during the holidays and beyond!

1. Host a holiday open house-
Invite your referral resources, your clients, your colleagues, and host a holiday celebration with delectable snacks and refreshments. Not only will you celebrate your clients, you’ll reconnect with those people who may have forgotten about your services (and it may be exactly what they need this time of the year). You can even create a themed party, such as “stress free- holidays” and include a relaxation tip on the invitation, and hand-out goodies/door prizes donated by local retailers that also focus on stress-free services.

Want to expand your connections? Collaborate with a few related local businesses to maximize your business exposure. Get really creative and playful, if you work with girls host a  mother-daughter spa night at your office. Here’s the KEY, make sure you have a plan in place to follow-up with all those new potential clients!

2. Offer a training program to other professionals-
All therapists, healers, and helpers have a wealth of modalities to share with others who want to learn from them. What is it that you do that you can share with others and help them in their own professional/personal development? Start marketing your program now and begin before the holidays, or start your marketing (and take early discounted registration) for your January training program.

If you are encountering “resistance” around this idea, stop and think, what is that about? It may mean that you are not seeing the value of your unique gifts (or you may just be taking those for granted). If you are really stuck, write a list or ask a friend, what you are really good at, and see how you can train others in this as well.

3. Share your holiday survival strategies-
There are so many people right now in need of your support. Now more than ever! Families are in crisis, people are alone and in need of healing, teens are reaching out for drugs and alcohol rather than their family, people who have lost a loved one are grieving without hope.  There is tremendous pain and suffering, and you have remarkable healing gifts that can help them through this troubled time- if you show up. You must show up, and hiding out in your office when you could be connecting with others does not serve you, and it does not help those clients that so need you right now.

I ask you to recommit to your clients and yourself, and that you step forward in a way that allows others to connect with you. Host a teleseminar, host a workshop, ask to speak at a local venue, do whatever it takes to share your message of hope this season! You will change lives by showing up, listening, and sharing your message!

4. Offer flexible support-
Face-to-face therapy is changing. Healing work is now being done at an international level, and it clearly will impact how we work with our clients. (I know of a hand analyst who has international clients -yes, hand analyst, politically correct for palm reader ☺- so if you think your modaility can’t be offered via technology, think again!!

If you do not embrace new ways of working with your clients you may be missing out on an opportunity to support your clients in a way more aligned with their needs. So how can you offer flexible support for your clients during a period when many people are traveling or are in need of a flexible schedule?

Technology is the answer! Can you offer your teen clients email or text access to you while they are away? Imagine offering a holiday support program to mom and dad and teens with email/chat access to help manage those holiday stressors. What about phone sessions or Skype for those clients who can’t directly see you in person while they are traveling?

If you want to add support to your client’s services using technology, then you’re not going to want to miss the call on Why and How To Build an Online Therapy Practice”, part of the Beyond Managed Care Tele-Forum. You’ll learn how you can add online services to your current practice (and how some insurance companies are now covering online therapy).

Now is the time to think of innovative ways to connect and serve your clients, so you can leave the holiday season humming…”it’s the most wonderful time of the year”!
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Are you facing your Jabberwocky?

October 6th, 2010
Have you watched Alice in Wonderland movie based upon the classic novel by Lewis Carroll? Although the movie takes some very creative liberties with Carroll’s poetic portrayal of the Jabberwocky, there is a point where Alice confronts the Jabberwocky.
Drawing upon her past and encouraged by the words of her father, Alice confronts and slays the beast. It’s a moment we can all resonate with, a point in time where we look bravely at what we fear and step forward into our power. This may show up as confronting an uncomfortable situation or person, taking responsibility, doing something outside of you comfort zone, or facing a fear.
As therapists owning a therapy business we are given opportunities again and again to confront our Jabberwocky’s. (Read on the blog the *** ways you can confront your Jabberwocky in business to help more clients)
Here are some ways that the Jabberwocky may be showing up in your business.
1. You are given opportunities that you don’t follow-up on.
This may happen when you are asked to do something outside of your comfort zone, such as collaborate on a project, speak at an event, or follow-up with a potential client after a meeting. There is tremendous power in reaching out and connecting, or doing something that’s uncomfortable so you can be of service to others. I had this happen the other day, where my massage therapist knew I was out of town, and I would be returning, and he called me when I was back to see when I wanted to schedule my next appointment. It was a simple caring act, and I appreciated his follow-up. So you may want to reflect on where are you missing the opportunity to follow-up in your business-and if there any fears, how can you release these so you may be of greater service to your clients?
2. You are uncomfortable by ________________ (fill in the blank), so you avoid doing it.
I know this too well from my own personal experience with public speaking. I had such a tremendous fear of speaking in front of groups, the first time I had to do so I almost got sick in the middle of my talk. That could have been it for me, instead I kept saying ‘yes’ to speaking opportunities and each time I would find a way to ease my fears (like having a powerpoint show with the lights off). Each step forward helped me to let go of my fears and truly was a powerful example of exposure theory. Now, I joyfully (and still nervously) accept new opportunities to share and present information, which has given me the opportunity to face my speaking Jabberwocky as presenter at a national conferences, as well as a keynote speaker.
3. You don’t know how to do something, so you do nothing at all.
Technology has been moving so rapidly, it often feels overwhelming at times to keep up with everything out there. I know I gotten “technology paralysis” and I’ve become totally stuck because of information overwhelm. Here’s a way I face my technology Jabberwocky, or any other Jabberwocky that involved things I didn’t know… I continually let go of the belief that I am supposed to learn and know it all (what a relief) and I reach out (again and again) and get help. It frees up so much more energy and space, knowing that I don’t need to have the answers (thank goodness), and instead can ask for assistance.
If you’d like to release the Jabberwocky of “I don’t know how to do it paralysis” then please join me on the complimentary Therapy Practice Breakthroughs training call Oct 12, where I will share 9 Powerful Strategies to Creating a Thriving Therapy Practice Helping More People and Increasing Your Income  ***link***http://www.iatpp.org/call/

jabberwockyHave you watched Alice in Wonderland movie based upon the classic novel by Lewis Carroll? Although the movie takes some very creative liberties with Carroll’s poetic portrayal of the Jabberwocky, there is a point where Alice confronts the Jabberwocky.

Drawing upon her past and encouraged by the words of her father, Alice confronts and slays the beast. It’s a moment we can all resonate with, a point in time where we look bravely at what we fear and step forward into our power. This may show up as confronting an uncomfortable situation or person, taking responsibility, doing something outside of you comfort zone, or facing a fear.

As therapists owning a therapy business we are given opportunities again and again to confront our Jabberwocky’s.

Here are some ways that the Jabberwocky may be showing up in your business.

1. You are given opportunities that you don’t follow-up on.

This may happen when you are asked to do something outside of your comfort zone, such as collaborate on a project, speak at an event, or follow-up with a potential client after a meeting. There is tremendous power in reaching out and connecting, or doing something that’s uncomfortable so you can be of service to others. I had this happen the other day, where my massage therapist knew I was out of town, and I would be returning, and he called me when I was back to see when I wanted to schedule my next appointment. It was a simple caring act, and I appreciated his follow-up. So you may want to reflect on where are you missing the opportunity to follow-up in your business-and if there are any fears, how can you release these so you may be of greater service to your clients?

2. You are uncomfortable by ________________ (fill in the blank), so you avoid doing it.

I know this too well from my own personal experience with public speaking. I had such a tremendous fear of speaking in front of groups, the first time I had to do so I almost got sick in the middle of my talk. That could have been it for me but instead I kept saying ‘yes’ to speaking opportunities and each time I would find a way to ease my fears (like having a powerpoint show with the lights off). Each step forward helped me to let go of my fears and truly was a powerful example of exposure theory. Now, I joyfully (and still nervously) accept new opportunities to share and present information, which has given me the opportunity to face my speaking Jabberwocky as presenter at a national conferences, as well as a keynote speaker.

3. You don’t know how to do something, so you do nothing at all.

Technology has been moving so rapidly, it often feels overwhelming at times to keep up with everything out there. I know I have gotten “technology paralysis” and I’ve become totally stuck because of information overwhelm. Here’s a way I face my technology Jabberwocky, or any other Jabberwocky that involves things I didn’t know… I continually let go of the belief that I am supposed to learn and know it all (what a relief) and I reach out (again and again) and get help. It frees up so much more energy and space, knowing that I don’t need to have the answers (thank goodness), and instead can ask for assistance.

If you’d like to release the Jabberwocky of “I don’t know how to do it paralysis” then please join me on the complimentary Therapy Practice Breakthroughs training call Oct 12, where I will share 9 Powerful Strategies to Creating a Thriving Therapy Practice Helping More People and Increasing Your Income

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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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Where do you invest in marketing for your business?

April 5th, 2010

If you are looking to market your therapy practice you have to make some choices about where you spend your time, and essentially your money too. When faced with limitless options of advertising via print and web, it makes sense to get very clear on what activities will create the “biggest return on your investment”.

Too often I hear therapists spending countless hours and dollars on creating fancy brochures or taking out an ad in local magazines, then seeing very few clients walk into their doors from their investments.

So ask yourself before you get busy with your facebook fan page or invest in glossy brochures, who are the people you are looking to connect with, what do they need help with, how can you serve them, and will this activity help to connect you with those who are looking for your services?

With these simple questions you’ll know exactly where to invest your time to be of greater service to those in need.

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Change is Inevitable; Struggle is Optional

March 22nd, 2010

If you are in private practice, this is a good motto to adopt. You see the belief that as a therapist you need to struggle and get paid minimally for your services, is truly optional. There is a beautiful liberation when you discover that you have these transformative and empowering gifts you share with our clients, which can dramatically change their lives. When you value your time, freedom, and the work you do, you create a space to consider how you can easily and gracefully bring these gift to others.

So I ask you to take a look at any of the areas you are struggling in your business (from getting more clients, to connecting more with colleagues, being paid well and consistently, to creating your niche). Here’s where you get to work your magic. Look at these areas with gentleness and curiosity, as you would another. What is the struggle telling you? Are there areas you need to let go of, things you need to do less of, more support needed, clear direction, less confusion? What does the struggle what you to know?

I like to use my art and ask the question and see what is revealed. Often using the art allows me to get in touch with thoughts and feelings I was even unaware of.

When you become aware of the struggle, you can make changes.

So ask yourself after doing this exercise, “What’s next”?

Then allow yourself to truly listen.

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