How long ago did you put yourself in your patients’ position and actually lie back on the couch and have a treatment yourself?
As therapists, we need to be constantly evaluating and improving our skills.
One of the ways we do this is through CPD – continuing professional development. That usually means going on accredited courses to keep up to date.
Another valuable way of keeping up as a business owner is to keep track of what other therapy clinics are offering in your area.
Of course, if you follow my training methods you will already be part of a loose network of therapists who refer clients to each other.
But I find it useful to go slightly out of my area to see how other popular clinics are operating.
It is very illuminating to put your trust in a therapist that you do not know, sit or lie back and watch how they work and listen to what they tell you.
You are putting yourself in the position of one of your patients the first time they visit you. You may be apprehensive. You may not warm to the therapist or you may bond straightaway.
Make a note of the booking procedure. Was it efficient? Is their website better than your own? What about the waiting area? Keep a careful mental note of how you are welcomed, how you are spoken to and how you are treated.
This ‘mystery shopper’ experience has two benefits. First you can compare your experience to what you are offering.
You might be able to steal a few ideas, pick up a few tricks. Sometimes, if you have a bad experience, you will remember never to repeat those mistakes in your own clinic. (One of my clients told me they had endured an hour at a clinic when the therapist had talked about her disintegrating marriage. My poor client was exhausted at the end of the appointment, not refreshed and cared for.)
Secondly, if you like what you see you can approach the therapist in a few weeks time’ and invite her or him to join your network.
This is how my network plan works. A massage therapist gets a client with a more medical condition. She refers to me. I send a patient who needs ongoing massage therapy after initial physiotherapy to her. We both win.
I really encourage you to spend some time and a bit of money sizing up the competition. It is really worth it.