Beatrice Whitman is a graduate of the Health Enrichment Center, an accredited massage therapy program located in Freeport, Illinois. In addition, Beatrice is a member of the American Massage Therapy Association, a national organization that is limited to certified massage therapists. She has held a private practice in Rockford and has nearly tripled her clientele base since she first began two and a half years ago.
Despite only having 1 year of experience under my belt, I am in a unique position of using my naturopathic training and expertise in a variety of ways.
I have had the opportunity to be a medical consultant for a company in the natural health product industry, I maintain a part-time practice in a successful integrative clinic, and I lecture to both public and professional audiences.
Particularly, my role as medical consultant has allowed me a chance to travel across the country, visiting many different health clinics and various practitioners. I have had a chance to speak to new NDs who are trying to find a way to make ends meet and build a practice and also to be successful NDs, integrative MDs, and DCs.
This unique perspective has allowed me to observe a few elements that create a successful naturopathic business and a thriving practice. My goal is to share some of the lessons and tips I have had a chance to learn with students and new grads as they also try to find a way to grow their business.
Currently, the first few years after graduation have become almost a painful right of passage, where new grads struggle to pay off school debts and build a practice. Unfortunately, we are all familiar with difficulties to grow a profitable practice and generate adequate income in the years after graduation.
As a profession, there is a growing realization that we need to narrow the gap between struggling new grads and established NDs.
My hope is that by sharing my own experiences and some of my observations of successful NDs we may be able to close that gap and propel new NDs to succeed sooner than later.
Find Your Identity and Do Not Try to Be Everything to Everyone One of the most common characteristics of the most successful NDs is that they all have created an identity and a reputation that are specific to their style of practice.
More importantly, they know what they are not and do not lose focus on what has made them successful. Find what works for you, and build around that. An example is to identify your clinical passion and target your treatment style, marketing efforts, and website to suit that indication.
I have been drawn to healthy aging, memory, and cognitive function, so I contacted the local Canadian Alzheimer Society chapter to offer nutritional education for their community events and print media.
I also pursued additional training in applicable therapies such as infusion and intravenous treatments.
A courteous and warm greeting by clinic staff often makes the biggest and most lasting impression. Smart decor and soft music make a big difference, but I have found that the key to creating a positive and warm atmosphere starts with the attitude of the clinic leadership.
The rest of the staff take their cues from the practitioners. For example, some of the best clinics I visited have a receptionist who welcomes you with a warm greeting despite being a company representative and offers complimentary tea and refreshments.
Also, another nice touch is when other physicians and staff greet you in the waiting room even if they do not know you or you are not their patient. Fortune Favors the Bold This is not just a saying that applies to the ancient Romans but also to successful practitioners and business owners.
So often, key business connections are gained after boldly going after an opportunity. Be confident in your talents and skills.
You are capable of delivering that talk, helping a company, or writing that article. Just go for it! As an example, I agreed to do a speaking event for a pharmacy company that works with long-term care nursing homes for a group of nurses and pharmacists. Though the task and group were daunting, that one lecture turned into booking more than 10 other events with that same group over the next year.
A door would not have opened if I had not offered and taken that first, intimidating step. Any business, including naturopathic practice, is about selling and delivering a high-quality product, which in our case is ourselves.
All NDs are selling themselves their clinic, the staff, their appearance, the ability to help a patient, etc to existing and prospective patients. Many new NDs are afraid of this reality since the role of sales is often perceived to have a negative stigma or because they lack the confidence in their ability.business plan, business plan how-to, business plan template, creating a business plan, health and wellness, naturopath, starting my business plan, writing a business plan Futurpreneur Canada’s Start-Up Program takes your passion and turns it into a reality.
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