Thinking of starting your own natural therapy business? If you have the professional qualifications and a few year's experience in the industry, you may be ready to take the next step.
Having your own practice as a business is both challenging and rewarding. Though the idea may seem overwhelming, having a proper business start-up checklist and meticulously following it gives you a real opportunity to succeed in your own natural therapy business. It is extremely important, as over half of all new businesses fail within the first couple of years due to lack of planning and preparedness.
To remain immune to uncertainties in the business environment and to sustain and thrive, you have to be aware of what to expect before and during your business operations. It is advisable to visit your governments' websites about starting up a new business, where you can test your business readiness.
Here is an essential checklist to help you start your therapy business.
1. Study your Market
Firstly, you should assess the need for your services in your area and whether your business has the potential to succeed in your chosen location. You should also look at the current trends in the industry to help you determine the probability of success, get to know your competition and what you need to achieve to gain a competitive edge. Maybe you can use a more customer friendly approach or a different product mix. The choice of location plays a critical role in your business success so you need to considering the demographics, passing traffic and noise levels.
2. Seek Advice and Support
Governments and other industry organisations provide advice and support to new and upcoming business owners including information on how best to start and run a new business. There is information about various aspects of your start-up business such as funding sources, how to manage cash flow, bookkeeping, legal matters, regulations, access to training, marketing plans and much more.
3. Plan your Business
- Business Plan: The success of your business depends on the robustness of your business planning. It is also important to periodically review and revise your business plan as part of your business operations. You can find information on these topics on government websites for small businesses, including downloadable templates for business plans and related start-up guides. We ourselves have a Business Plan template for anyone thinking of starting a Reiki business, check it out here.
- Marketing Plan: You must also have a marketing plan in place for your natural therapy business. Online templates and guides are good place to start, in addition to the information you can seek from industry organisations and professional advisers.
4. Source Finances
Setting up and running your natural therapy business involves a sizeable financial investment and further inflow from time to time. Whether you plan to use your own funds or apply for a bank loan, make sure to have proper accounting. You may want to try other sources like venture capital or government grants. Make sure you have adequate finances before you embark on your start up venture. Find out about what insurance your business needs, from protecting your property and equipment to professional cover. We cover some of the classic money mistakes that new businesses make over here if you want to know what to avoid!
5. Regulatory Requirements
When you start a new business it is mandatory to follow the regulations as stipulated by your government. You should obtain any required licenses and also register your natural therapy business with the authorities concerned. Find out what taxes apply to your natural therapy business and make timely payments to the local, state or federal governments. You can also seek information on any business tax deductions that you can claim. Ensure you comply with the standards and codes of practice and also complete all the legal formalities.
6. Choosing your Business Name
You will need to check if the business name you have in mind for your natural therapy business has already been registered. You must ensure that your business name does not cause any trade mark violation. You may also want to consider protecting your brand with a registered trademark to prevent misuse or imitation. Similarly your website must have a unique domain name to stand out from the crowd and have a strong impact with your target audience.
7. Professional Business Support Services
To achieve business success you should hire business support from professionals like lawyers, accounting services and online marketing agencies. The importance of technological support to keep up to date with the fast changing business world also cannot be ignored. Professionalism adds credibility to you and your business which cannot be underestimated.
8. Hiring and Employing Staff
It will pay to employ capable and experienced staff in your natural therapy buisness as client satisfaction leads to repeat visits and word of mouth publicity.
9. Grand Inauguration
Publicise the opening of your natural therapy business in a big way and have a grand inauguration with introductory packages to get the word out in your local area.
10. Join a Professional Industry Body
By promoting your professional membership status with an industry body such as the IICT, you are demonstrating to customers that you believe in delivering the highest standards of practice and patient care, which helps build credibility for you and your business and building trust with customers is a MUST!
Diligently following the above essential business start-up checklist will make you a confident and well prepared business person and a much sought after natural therapist.