What you really need to get set up and seeing those clients
When you’re just starting out (or starting to get serious about your business) it can be confusing to know what exactly to implement to get your business looking and operating like a genuine business. Depending on your circumstances, you might even have a limited budget and want to stretch your pennies as far as they will go.
There are a lot of companies vying for your attention to sign up to their systems, processes, products and services. Some of them can be really tempting (and really expensive), especially if they are promising to take away the confusion of launching your business. So, I wanted to write a quick post about what you need to be perceived as the incredible and expert allied health professional that you are.
COUNTING THOSE BEANS
When you operate a business, you get paid (YAY!), and it’s important to know where that money comes from and where its going. Employing a basic accounting system will help you navigate those first years of serious business.
Bootstrap your accounting by using a free or low-cost accounting system like WAVE. You can track your income and expenses, be ready for tax time and gather some good insights into your business using their reporting functions. WAVE also offers Invoicing as well, BONUS!
When you’re starting out, you can set up a free Gmail email that resembles your business name such as email@example.com. As soon as you can afford the hosting fee or Google $5/month fee, get your own business domain so your email becomes firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will already know that I LOVE practice management systems, and my brain is screaming to me to write here “Get a practice management system”, but the reality is, they cost money (the good ones anyway), and right now, we’re bootstrapping, so I am going to suggest a very simple and FREE option: Acuity Scheduling.
With Acuity, you can offer different appointment types, offer online bookings and its all electronic. You can sync it up to the calendar on your phone as well.
** My brain is still screaming, so I want to put a note in. When you start progressing towards being able to afford $50 a month, invest in a Practice Management System (a good one, like Cliniko). A good system can do more than a calendar/ scheduler will ever be able to do.
CONNECTING WITH YOUR CLIENTS, VIRTUALLY ANYWHERE
I use Zoom for all my calls (most all people I know that operate online do). Its free and easy to use and it also allows for you to record sessions to send to your clients later (or store on file).
A FACEBOOK PAGE
As a society, we spend a lot of time on Social Media. Having a digital footprint as a modern-day business is important. Your potential clients want everything about you before they contact you, its that ‘Know, Like, Trust’ factor.
Facebook pages are free to create and can be done in an hour. Connect your booking system to it and you’ve established your business’ digital existence.
KEEPING CONNECTED WITH YOUR CLIENTS
We all know we should be sending useful, insightful and entertaining newsletters to our clients. Mailchimp is a free platform that allows you to create newsletters and set up automation, all quite easily.
Congratulations! You are now ready to burst into the world of operating your own private practice. If you’re overwhelmed, or still not sure of what you need to get your business operating smoothly, reach out! We’d love to help.