Running a Successful Business
Del Hunter Morrill, M.S., N.B.C.C.H.
I feel that one can be the greatest hypnotist in the world, and the greatest therapist, but, for most, if you don't tend to the job of managing your business and marketing it, you will likely dry up. From the very beginning of my business, before my first client, I operated out of the image that my office was open from 9 to 6 daily (I had decided to become fulltime right away), and that ANY time I wasn't with a client, I would be MARKETING! I wasn’t a “born” marketer. I decided it was necessary to become a good marketer, through testing and trying and evaluating.
I've seen hypnotherapists come and go, and most of them quiet because of business reasons. I believe that the high attrition rate among therapists is due, at least, to some of the following reasons, more than for lack of adequate therapy skills.
1) They thought it would be easy, and didn't bother to WORK at it. (You have to be a self-starter in any self-owned business). Some even thought it would be an easy way to make money due to the hourly "value,' forgetting that the money they receive has to spread over the entire day of their work, which, of course, includes the times they have no clients at all.
2) They thought that all of their clients would just come to them from the telephone directory’s yellow page one-liner advertisement, or that the clients they got would love to tell everyone else about them without further effort. (How many of you have experienced that a good many of your clients don't want to admit to others that they used hypnosis for some issue--unless it’s to stop smoking!?)
3) They thought they would not need to spend money to get money. In other words, most every other entrepreneur in a new business has to borrow money or have it already in the bank in order to draw upon it to build their practice, and to tide them over until their clientele becomes adequate for self-support.
4) They got discouraged because of their own lack of confidence in what they had learned, and allowed what they may have perceived as failure with a client or two, to influence them into believing they couldn't be good therapists. The way you become good at your job is to do it over and over again until you become the "expert" you hope to be.
5) They couldn't "hang in there” long enough to see it through. Most every business I know of takes anywhere from three to five years to get "in the black." I think this holds true with therapists, on the whole, although a few may be lucky enough to hit the right time, right location, high potential, etc.
6) They were not as keen, thoughtful, careful and spiritual about their location and looks as they were about their training as a therapist. By this I mean that many therapists seem to be unconcerned about their own personal appearance or their space. I have met some who are slovenly in appearance, too flashy, or simply too strange for the customer base they want. Some therapists have their offices located in an area of town that clients aren’t comfortable with or can’t find a parking place when they come to appointments. Some have their family phone used as a business phone, which can mean losing messages to other family members or having someone answer in an unprofessional way. Some have an entry and/or office interior that looks seedy, too metaphysical, or otherwise unpleasant for the clients that the therapist desires.
7. They did not treat their Savings Account as importantly as they treated their Checking Account. When I deposit money into my business checking account, I write a check for 20% of that amount and put it into a business savings account. This becomes my "slush fund" to handle unexpected emergencies, dry spells, and taxation.
8. And, before I forget, they did not find ways to take care of themselves. They took every client at any time, no matter how many hours, or they absorbed their client’s problems. Whatever the issue, do take care of your own spirit, whether it is through meditation, finding a mentor, having lunch with friends, having some reading or recreation time, or going to the gym, yoga or Tae Chi. From the beginning of my practice, when I get my new appointment book for the year, I go through and mark one day a month “for me”. I also do not take clients on Monday, in order to do the management of my business, and to handle my own personal appointments. It is also when I mentor (I require being taken to lunch, for that activity!).
In summary, the keys to a successful hypnotherapy business are:
Determine the kind and length of business and type of clientele you want.
Stay at it, for enough years to determine your success.
Learn to be as good a business manager as a hypnotherapist.
Market your business whenever you aren't with a client.
Maintain a confident spirit in the "down" times.
The only way you become a fine therapist is to "DO IT!"
It takes money to make money, like any other business.
Regularly put money into a business savings account.
Treat your professional life like any other business--WORK at it.
Keep regular business and telephone hours.
A successful entrepreneur is a self-starter.
Be thoughtful and spiritual about your location, space and appearance.
Take care of yourself. You are as important as any client of yours.
Copyright © 2001 by Del Hunter Morrill
http://www.hypnocenter.com; (253) 383-5757