The two most significant things I initially invested into my business fifteen years ago, are still relevant and useful today. Both items at the time purchase, were financially significant because my business was only part time and they were what I considered then to be expensive.
The first item was a high-quality portable massage table. It was not only comfortable for the recipient to lie on for the duration of an hour consultation, but also had a large weight carrying capacity. This was an important factor when dealing with people trying to lose weight, pregnant women and gigantic footy players! This meant that I could have big people on my table and not have to worry about the legs failing, or the table tipping.
This portable table is also very light to carry, and easy to place in and out of my car. And the best feature of all, it is height adjustable. So, my back never gets sore when I work.
Of course, now that I have permanently migrated into my clinical environment, I have an electric table, which is brilliant for altering heights based on the size of the client, not just my height. I look after my body as well as yours when I work to ensure I can continue to provide one to one service for a long time to come. Therefore, the purchase of long lasting and suitable hardware is essential.
Can you guess what the second big initial investment was? Well it was two things actually.
My towel warmer still creates toasty warm towels for massage and trauma work, or even simply clients in need of nurture and reassurance. For such a simple gesture of warmth, the trust factor of quickly building the working relationship with a client is immediate.
The final fantastic investment I made in my business was exceptionally good quality towels. I purchased them in bulk quantity which enabled a wholesale purchase price. I swore after having a massage experience whereby I could see and smell the previous (what felt like 15) clients prior to me, that I would change the entire set of towels for each and every client. Whilst this is in accordance with the Code of Conduct, many therapists don’t do it.
I know, Eeeeeeewwwww with a capital E!
So, I purchased sixty towels, which sounds like a lot, but when you use 4 towels for every session and can massage upwards of eight to then clients each day, then that washing pile rapidly grows! It’s a regular site to see my Hills Hoist full of nothing but towels! The washing alone can be time consuming and expensive. Hanging the towels outside also exposes them to direct sunlight, so they fade, but are also exposed to airborne particulate matter. So, if you have a client who gets hayfever from pollen, having air dried towels is a massage issue!
Nowdays I have an industrial sized washing machine and drier. No sooner have I finalised one client, the towels are straight into the washer, dried at lunchtime and folded at the end of the day for tomorrow.
Today, I have undertaken purchases for training equipment that has cost me in excess of twenty thousand dollars. I see this as a long-term business investment and are grateful to be in a position to do this. That said,
starting your own business doesn’t mean you need all the bells and whistles upfront. You just need the basics and bare minimum to deliver the service, and, test the marketplace to see if there is demand for what you have to offer.
Nothing purchased in my clinic has been spur of the moment. It has been well thought out, and I’ve done a cost benefit analysis to ensure I can justify the purchase in the first place. Any new item must be able to compliment my brand and services offered.
It’s the little things that clients comment on – the hot towels, the reminder emails, recorded video summaries, and support essences, all support and contribute to making my service unique and desirable for repeating.
Nowdays as a coach, I often get asked what would I invest in. Here’s my top tips.
2. Invest in quality items
As you can afford, invest in business acquisitions which provide value to your business, whether it be time saved by your client using an online booking system, or an electric treatment table. There’s nothing worse than paying money and spending your valuable time to acquire a service and the equipment fails. It’s such a strong reflection on the business and its brand.
1. Invest in quality training.
Always undertake training from credible and industry known service providers. The reason for this is that their content is of a high standard, and their training programs have been scrutinised. Additionally, a good trainer will provide you quality content AND quality supervision to ensure you are learning their material correctly. This is vital to bring it back to your place of business.
Quality items which last a long time are a good investment if your business can afford.
3. Be authentic
Let’s be honest. When first starting out, it’s absolutely ok if you don’t have all the bells and whistles.
It’s also ok if you don’t have all the technical knowledge.
Simply be upfront with clients about where you’re at.
Remind yourself of the passion that led you to provide the service you are providing. Always remain connected with your ‘why’ and that tends to get you through any bumps along the journey path.
Continue to be devoted to who you are and what you are trying to achieve. I often find it’s the simple little things that we bring to the table that make our product so attract – it’s an extension of our authentic self!
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