Practitioner Blog: Transition to Practice
By Debbie Milsom, Homeostasis Naturopathy, Bilgola, NSW
I recently attended the ATMS Transition to Practice Seminar, which for me was invaluable.
As a newly qualified naturopath, I had registered my business name, arranged my insurance, set up my website, and on the face of it looked like I was doing all the right things. I had one big problem though, no customers and no strategy to rectify the situation. If I am completely honest, I was sort of OK with this, due to lack of confidence in my abilities as a new practitioner. I know many newly qualified practitioners feel the same, as business and marketing is generally not an area where we feel comfortable.
The seminar covered lots of information on how to get your business up and running and plenty of ideas for growing your business.
What was covered?
Business planning doesn’t just cover where you want to go with your business, but also focuses on the practicalities of how you are going to get there. Things that need to be considered include, the legalities, where your business will be based, how you run your business on a day to day basis, how many clients you want to see each week, how they book, how they pay, how you manage your bookkeeping etc. Ideas were offered, and experiences shared, by the two highly regarded and successful practitioners presenting.
Marketing is an area that I know most natural therapists are not particularly good at, myself included. It’s pointless to go to the expense of setting up a website, if nobody looks at it, and yes, you absolutely need to have an online presence. The setting up of websites was discussed and strategies given to increase your presence online including how to use searching engine optimisation (SEO) and social media to boost your exposure. Marketing is also not just about social media, but networking and education and again lots of great ideas and examples were given.
So, what did I get from the course?
Confidence, confidence, confidence.
Confidence to realise that I am my business, and it’s down to me whether it succeeds, and that I now have the tools to help it succeed.
I started out on the right track, and now have the confidence to implement all of the new marketing ideas. In the two weeks since attending the course, I have had the confidence to write and post several blogs and have lots more in the pipeline. I have edited my website to ensure it appears when certain search criteria are entered. I know where I am going to spend money to increase my coverage and get further up the Google rankings. I am even planning some educational talks and a whole lot more.
I really would recommend attending this seminar either as a new practitioner or as a student. The earlier you start, the more you can structure your plan, and get your name out there.