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best practices BUSINESS SIDE Advice from the Pros Leaders in the Field Share Tips for a Thriving Practice Compiled by Kristin Coverly and Les Sweeney 24 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j u l y / a u g u s t 2 0 1 7 The best thing I ever did to grow my practice is … Networking with other health professionals. This included doing presentations and creating information that was directly relevant for their patient population. I was very active in my local Chamber of Commerce. They really helped publicize my business. If I met someone who was stressed, hurting, or agitated, I'd give them some work, right then and there, or have them come in for a free session. They became my best advocates. The key thing I wish I knew when I was starting out is … How much time would be spent in running the business side of the practice. It is easy to get excited about the work we do in the treatment room, but that will never last if we don't focus on running a business. You can't pay your staff more than you pay yourself. You're the one with all the responsibility and taking all the business risks. It's noble to want to pay people well, but you deserve to make a good living. It's the pleasure of doing the work itself that's the real reward. About 15 years in, with a super "successful" practice, I realized I wasn't having much fun. Now, after 33 years of practice, I'm enjoying it more than ever. My definition of excellent customer service is … Going out of my way to treat each individual as if they are the most important person I will be seeing that day. Treating people this way really helps your treatment room success. Being client-centered, listening to their concerns, having clear and professional communication, giving them what they contracted for, and not going off on treatment tangents just because you want to. It isn't about you. It's the same in my private practice as in our trainings: it's being good at interactions that clarify and serve our clients' needs, longings, and desires, even if that means helping them find what they're looking for somewhere else. My business management advice for therapists is … Take advantage of modern marketing strategies. The changing marketing landscape can work to your advantage by introducing you to potential clients much more effectively than the old methods of advertising. Take an honest inventory of your strengths and weaknesses before starting out. If you're not good at accounting, hire someone to do it at the outset instead of waiting until it becomes a problem. "Business" doesn't have to clash with "healing." Humans are the only creatures that have transactions with each other. Transactions done well (e.g., giving, receiving, exchanging, loaning, repaying, etc.) can interconnect our interest in a web of mutual care. Whitney Lowe 29 Years in Practice Laura Allen 18 Years in Practice Til Luchau 33 Years in Practice

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