In my last article, I gave you tips on how to book appointments once you open your practice. Since then I have been thinking about the different topics that I can share with you to help have a successful practice. So, I am going to back up a bit and start from the very beginning, like: Setting Up Your Office. I believe it will benefit those of you who are getting ready to open your practice and some of you who may have already opened your practice and may be struggling.
It is always very exciting to be in the planning stages of opening your own practice. I am sure the option of either having a home office or renting office space comes to mind immediately.
Operating your practice out of your home is what most new hypnotherapists will opt to do when they are first starting out to keep overheads low. However, before you go ahead and do that, read the questions below and determine if a home office will work for you. If you answer "yes" to the following questions, then I believe operating your practice from your home would work for you:
Is your home easily accessible?
Will there be enough privacy for your client?
Will you be able to ensure there are no interruptions, disruptions from family members?
If you have a dog, will you be able to keep him out of the way and make sure he does not bark, while you are in session?
Is the office located close to your front door, or do you have a separate entrance?
If you answer "no" to more than one of the questions above, then I suggest you rent an office space.
Renting an office is a better choice if you can afford it. As it is going to give more credibility to your practice, most people prefer to go to an office for their appointments rather than someone's home. Some people are just not comfortable going to a stranger's home.
Once you have decided whether to have a home office or rent an office space, then you need to start thinking about how you want to market yourself. If you want to appeal to the general public, then you need to market yourself professionally. This means, your material, your office, your appearance, and everything that has to do with your practice must be presented professionally. You do not want to publish professional ads and brochures and when the clients come to see you, you are dressed in unprofessional attire or your office is not set up professionally.
The reception area of your office should be neat and uncluttered. Have a couple of chairs and a coffee table in the waiting area. The coffee table should have reading materials like testimonials from past clients, hypnosis articles, hypnosis magazines, etc. Clients will read these materials while waiting for their appointment, these materials only reinforces their confidence in you.
Most of you will probably work alone and will not have a receptionist to answer your phone, it is important that you answer all your calls professionally. If you intend to use your cell phone for your business also, you might consider adding a second line just for your business. Remember your relationship with the potential client begins with the first phone call.
Using your voicemail or answering machine is preferable to using an answering service. If you have your own voicemail, you are able to record a more personal message that you want your callers to hear. However, be sure to return calls within 24 hours.
Well, this is all for this quarter! Good luck with your practice!