clock iconPosted Monday, 24 January 2022

7 Steps to Evolve Your Complementary Therapy Practice in 2022

By Lawrence Taylor Ellyard

It has been an unpredictable year for small and medium-sized business (SMBs) in Australia and New Zealand, and as 2021 comes to a close, none of us have a crystal ball -  but there's research that hints on what's to come in 2022. In the fifth edition of the Small and Medium Business Trend Report, The Harris Poll spoke with 2,500 SMB leaders across the world. The results illustrated common challenges, plus similar links between revenue growth and different approaches, from customer engagement to flexible working conditions.

So, what's the best way for your business to harness a rebounding economy in 2022?

By developing a data-informed business plan now, you can hit the ground running. A well-thought-out business plan outlines your goals, helps you prepare for an unpredictable future, and can help you secure funding for accelerated growth.

Below are 7 steps on how you can do it:

1. Look Behind to Look Ahead

The first step to planning your 2022 strategy is to step back and evaluate what worked and what didn't this year. You can't move forward until you take into consideration an honest assessment of your current state.

Are you happy with where your sales are at? Did you meet your goals? What about your clients? Do you have a good idea of who they are and where they are? Did your creative campaigns deliver the ROI you hoped?  

Next, you will want to perform a marketing SWOT analysis to help uncover any blind spots and aspects of your business or audience shifts that you want to leverage in 2022. Much has changed in the past year, so sticking to the same analysis from the year prior probably won't suffice. 

2. Master Social Media

Gone are the days of print advertisements and enormous billboards. Today, marketing is on social media. Therefore, you should increase your brand's social media presence.

Cover the basics like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. These platforms allow you to showcase your brand like never before. Eye-catching and helpful content is valued.

Additionally, you will be in contact with your clients at all times, which allows you to communicate with them informally. This is actually what the complementary therapy business needs to thrive. If you don't know how to manage social media accounts or don't have time, hiring an expert is always a good idea. 

3. Stay Current with Covid

This is the huge, no-exceptions slogan that should ring out anytime it's time to make a company's strategic choice. While major economies are unlikely to revert to the severe lockdowns of early 2020, many clients are keeping a close eye on Covid-19's future trajectory.

According to an ongoing Deloitte poll, 51% of consumers are concerned about their physical well-being when it comes to their activities, up from 47% a month ago. It is important for complementary therapy practices to keep a careful eye on the local and national situations and modify their methods accordingly.

If you're unwilling to make the required efforts to make your customers feel safe and secure, they will go to another firm, that is. 

4. Personal Branding

The key is to master personal branding, and not just business branding. Small and medium business owners can hide behind the business brand and choose not to show who they are or show themselves as being vulnerable and human.

The only loyalty you can get as a business owner is through the emotional attachment that comes through being genuine and your authenticity, showing the human side behind your organisation and showcasing you and your staff.

5. Make a Date with Data

Data's dull, right? Wrong. It is the key to your continual improvement, and the digital world gives you insight like never before.  It's time to capitalise on that intel. Your social channels, websites, and CRM systems all give you reams of data to investigate. Ensure your reporting systems are set up from the get-go and then more time to understand how your marketing is performing.

Which emails received the most click-throughs? Who is opening them again and again? Which content performs best on your social channels?

All this information gives you the opportunity to optimise your digital marketing strategy, ditch what isn't working and do more of what it is. Experiment and make a fun date of it!

6. Keep Financial and Tax Records Up To Date

Predicting the trajectory of the economy and the markets that comprise it is almost impossible, and there's reason to be sceptical of those who forecast halcyon years ahead. It is therefore very important to plan your time and update your financial records on time.

Updating your records help you monitor the progress of your business, identify sources of your income, keep track of your basis in property, prepare your tax returns, and support items reported on your tax returns.

Records can show where your business is improving, where it could be improved and what strategies you can implement, ahead of time, to continually evolve and thrive.

7. Network with Other Complementary Therapy Business Owners

Don't miss the biggest trend of 2022: networking! Instead of growing alone in your field, you can multiply your efforts exponentially by connecting with other business owners.

Networking in 2022 will help you gain business lead referrals, hear new market perspectives, learn from others' experiences, sharpen your game and pitch, and team up and form relationships that will inspire and fuel each other's growth. Do it reciprocally. 

2022 is fast approaching - act now and continue to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to marketing, learning and adapting as you go, remaining open-minded to new ways of working that are client-centric in every way. Employing a hybrid of in-person and digital tactics will help you reach your clients, no matter where they are, and deliver long-term rich rewards. 

IICT is a professional industry body that provides membership, insurance, resources, tools, and support to grow your complementary therapy practice. Join IICT here or contact our team to find out more about becoming a member. 

Lawrence Taylor Ellyard

About the Author:

Lawrence Taylor Ellyard

Lawrence Taylor Ellyard is the CEO and Founder of the IICT with over 25 years experience in the natural health industry. Lawrence has been instrumental in developing the IICT's operations both within the Australia and Internationally.

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