by Louise Bennett
If you’re a small business owner planning to build your wellness business, here are some ideas to offer a helping hand.
In small business development, we all need to feel a regular sense of victory, or achievement, over the inevitable hurdles and barriers. Small doses of ‘wins’ can definitely get your energy moving.
The basics of your business
Once you’ve got the basics of your business up and running (e.g. vision or mission statement, website, logo, business cards) that’s a milestone achieved. Major win. Now for the juicy bits.
Lead into your niche
You might think that your area of wellness service is clear and obvious, but sometimes you may be overly broad in reflecting this on your website or business card. Believe it or not, lots of potential clients can get confused or misled about a business's services.
So, whatever wellness business you’re in, imagine taking the hand of your client and gently leading them inside and saying – “this is what I do.” For example: “I’m a yoga teacher specialising in restorative yoga” or “I’m a masseur specialising in Swedish Massage.”
You don’t have to feel hemmed in by your niche or speciality. You can also offer other services, but aim to put forth your particular speciality. Start thinking – what will set me apart from the crowd? Then look at your website to see whether that is literally spelled out.
Have you got your speciality in black and white? Yes? Then treat yourself – that’s a major win!
And from there you meet your target client
OK, so you’ve put up your website up and your business cards are sitting neatly on the front desk. But where are your clients? Auntie Jill and Cousin Bob might be regular clients, but that’s not going to be enough.
My own wonderful and humorous business coach has been drilling the words: ‘target client, target client’ into my ear since the day I started meeting with her. She gave me a sheet of paper with a stick figure. “Now, what is the name of your target client? What does he/she look like? How old? How much do they earn? Can they afford to pay for your services?"
This focus on my target client’s attributes has really helped me. And the important thing here is that as I get more proficient at marketing my own freelance business, I have my target client in mind. Also, when I meet someone who is interested in my services, but isn’t my target client, I can think twice before agreeing to work with them. This is wise – it can save a lot of pain and disappointment down the line.
Have you got a sheet of paper? Draw a stick figure (as badly as you like) and write the name of your target client at the top. Then list as many things as you can think of about this client. Done? That’s another win (a major one) – so go treat yourself to something nice.
But where is your target client?
You need to become visible. You can’t offer a service if no one knows you exist. Think about offering something of value for free, to get things rolling and attract clients.
Ideas to find clients
It’s easy to fluff about and waste a lot of time in the search for clients. I know the dangers of continuous study (instead of applying what I already know). I know the dangers of social media and its distracting vortexes. Your aim is to get clients – through a process (or funnel) of prospects, leads and opportunities.
Keeping your ideal client in mind, here are some ways to get your message out there:
Getting and keeping clients is probably the toughest challenge that a small business owner will face. Make your efforts sustainable and keep your goal in mind. Once you’ve got even just a few clients, you can then start to develop your business building ideas at a grander scale. But get the above basics done and reward yourself. You’ve won the first part of the battle. Many people never get this far.
Here's a link to a blog that will take you a step or two further.
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