A new year offers the enticing promise and allure of a fresh start and new possibilities. This new year is especially tantalizing and hopeful given the life changing events that we experienced over the last two years. At this time in particular, we are excited to embrace hope and look ahead with optimism. Many of the challenges we conquered over the last couple of years taught us new skills or shifted our outlooks to accept unavoidable change.
As you look ahead to the clean slate of a new year, excitement and optimism should come to your mind. Consider this: we had a couple unprecedented years which required us to shift business paradigms and act nimbly in response to a worldwide crisis. And we persevered! We can enter a new year rejuvenated knowing we can successfully take on anything.
It makes sense to apply the insight we gained from last year to the new year ahead of us. We had to look at all the components of business practices that didn’t work with the new way of doing things and modify protocols to fit new business models. Times of change require people to assess what does and doesn’t work and implement new ways of doing things. This process taught us the benefits of planning and thinking ahead. For those who regularly plan, eliminating old and establishing new systems was familiar. For others, and maybe it was the hard way to learn, but having to quickly pivot and instigate change was implemented as best as possible. Regardless of how we all got there, devising a plan, establishing protocols and implementing a series of action items has now (hopefully) become less foreign and more familiar.
At this point, whether or not you’ve devised a thorough course of action for the year, you might find it helpful to add a few new steps to your business protocols or perhaps completely revisit how you go about preparing your practice for a new year.
Here are some suggestions you might want to make a part of your New Year planning. A separate page is included with this article so you have a convenient checklist that you might want to make a regular part of your annual planning.
The items in this category relate to elements of your healing practice as a business. The intent is both for you to follow up on business related items and to consider whether or not you want to make some changes to your practice. This category is meant to get you thinking about the course and development of your practice and about yourself as a business owner. If you’re a sole practitioner, you might feel inclined to expand your practice to add other professionals who bring new treatments to the practice. The sky’s the limit!
Perhaps you look at this section with reluctance since it concerns the drudgery of paperwork. Try not to look at it in this way, but spin it to something positive. The forms you ask clients to complete are meant for both their protection and yours. Plus, for example, you should look at the client intake form as a resource that provides information and assistance about your client. You base treatment decisions on the information that the intake form provides. As for informed consent, this is your protection in case a misunderstanding or miscommunication arise bet ween you and a client.
This section concerns aspects of your physical office. You could approach it from two perspectives: 1) Office size and amenities; 2) Supplies and equipment. If you have a solo practice with a small space or perhaps you operate from a home office, consider whether the space makes the most sense for you. If you’re focusing on developing your client base, then you might want to plan to expand at some point in the year. This assessment is intended to get you thinking about the services you offer and whether you have created the best set up for yourself and clients.
Also, complete an inspection of your office equipment, supplies, and even décor. You want to make sure that office equipment meets your needs or check to ensure you have appropriate equipment for your business needs. Take a look around your office, is the space conducive to the services that you perform? Is it a place of refuge for clients? Or do you think some touch ups or redesign are needed? Don’t forget supplies. Not just inventory but condition. If you offer your clients towels or other items during a session, is the condition and quality of the towels appealing or do you need to order new ones? Your goal, among other things, is client satisfaction so small things like towels contribute to the way clients look at you and your business.
Here you can perform a self-assessment and evaluate your professional goals. Some energy healers are required to hold licenses, but that requirement depends on state laws and applies to only a percentage of professional healers (note: check url for your state). Also, ask yourself if you want to diversify professionally by adding additional modalities to your practice. If so, talk with energy healers in the modalities that interest you. Are these modalities ones that resonate with you? Then look into what is required to become proficient and also look into the timeframe (and your availability) that you would need to commit. If it makes sense to you, then schedule training into your year.
Often promotional planning gets neglected due to more pressing day-to-day commitments. Yet, it should be one of the most important action items. Schedule time weekly for social media and blog content. Including time in your calendar not only sets aside time, but also serves as a visual reminder to promote your practice. It is difficult to measure the success of marketing efforts since it can take time to create awareness and often the public’s response to ads or promotional offers are spread over time – not an immediate return.
Whatever promotional efforts you generate for your business, make sure the information is error free and reflective of you. Nothing could adversely impact your image than an unprofessional website and marketing content. The list below includes the type of marketing activities most likely to make sense for you. If any one of these doesn’t make sense or there is another activity that you might like to add (e.g. short instructional videos), then include this component into your marketing tasks. One thing to keep in mind regarding promotional efforts, don’t abandon any activity that you started. You represent yourself (and your practice) poorly if you start then stop an activity like a blog for instance. It shows a lack of enthusiasm and commitment if you do not keep up with an effort.
Your checklist can also be a living document for the year. As the months pass, refer back to any items that recur or were postponed till later into the year. Another benefit to the checklist is its function as a resource to others in your practice. Whether you work with other energy healers as a team or have a staff, this checklist can also be used by them as it applies to their roles. As a business owner, you probably keep a lot of information about the practice to yourself, the checklist can help you to maintain a balance of responsibilities by letting others assume some accountability in your office.
As for the main purpose of planning for the new year, having a system in place, or a checklist, will serve as your guide and resource. There are many details to remember and tasks to juggle. Even if you are a sole practitioner, there’s no reason to bear the burden of remembering everything. Create a process that works for you and helps you to manage your business. Setting up an annual plan-for-the-new-year routine can remove the stress that comes with responsibility whether you accomplish it yourself or delegate it. You’ll likely feel more in charge with a level of energy and commitment that you want to reserve for your clients.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for educational purposes only and is not legal advice or opinion.
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