Creating a holistic business and operating it successfully is becoming easier to do. Holistic medicine has started to creep into the mainstream and people are absorbing it in great numbers. But becoming mainstream doesn't make running a business any easier. Restaurants have been mainstream since the first stomach growl, and yet thousands close each year and most don't make it through the first five years. Owning a successful business is hard no matter what you're selling.
Here are five strategies that any holistic business can use to be successful.
1. Remember your purpose
As a holistic business owner it is important to remember why you got started in the first place - to help people. Many practitioners will get caught up trying to sell their service to everyone and forget that their ultimate goal shouldn't be profitability, but how much of a difference they make in the community. Find the customers that need your service instead of trying to sell yourself to the masses.
Practitioners need to understand what being of service really means. It is less about how much you should charge this client, or worrying that a client hasn't paid yet. It's about healing and sharing your gifts with others.
2. Find what you're good at
Many alternative medicine practitioners have different techniques and specializations in their field. A lot of practitioners will make the mistake of jumping on the bandwagon of each new thing out there. They believe the more they offer, the more they look like an expert and the higher the likelihood of clients drifting through their doors. But it doesn't always work out like that. Many become a jack-of-all-trades but master at none. Find your purpose. Find what you are truly good at and sharpen those tools until they are razor sharp.
Take some of the cards off the table. Too many services can be overwhelming and may even detract from your business. Would you rather eat a steak from a steakhouse or a restaurant that has an encyclopedia of menu options? If someone is looking for Reiki healing and sees that is one of the two or three services you offer, they are going to pick your business over your competitor who has a Chinese menu of services because they'll see that Reiki is your focus.
3. Be a teacher or a writer
Become not only a practitioner, but also a thinker. Get in touch with the philosophies behind the work you do. Write for your business' blog or social media pages. Submit articles or press releases to newspapers and other local publications. Provide free demonstrations or create workshops for people interested in learning about the services you provide. The more and more you interact with your work the stronger you and your business will become.
Alternative health care options are sometimes disregarded because there isn't proven data or research on these methodologies. If a customer is especially pleased with your work, ask them to write a testimonial that you can use for your website or any physical, informative literature you may have. Testimonials can be a great substitute for scientific research.
Potential clients who are looking at your business for the first time can be reassured by a few great testimonials. They feel more comfortable hearing about your practice from an external source. It establishes credibility for you and your practice.
5. Find your target
If your current marketing efforts aren't targeting a specific group of people, then you are probably reaching no one. Think specifically about who would benefit most from your practice and find ways to seek those people out, don't wait for them to find you.
Focus your efforts in the places that give you the best returns. If you've been posting flyers across town, figure out which places generate the most attention. When potential new clients call you referencing the flyer, ask where they saw. If all your clients are finding you through your flyer at the local gym and no one is calling about the ad at the doughnut shop, it's time to stop advertising there. The next step is to figure out what it is about people who visit the gym that make them interested in your business. Is that your target?
Always keep working to improve yourself and your business. There is never a time to stop thinking about new strategies that you could benefit from.