On the other side of the fence!
The vast majority of people reading this article will be members of the public rather than therapists, which is the world I work within. Then there will be those who are employed, those who don’t work for one reason or another and then those who are self-employed. My, what a varied world we live in!
For the last 11-12 years I’ve been self-employed within the therapeutic world and it is indeed a diverse and interesting one at that. With my lecturer’s hat on, I come across therapists starting out in that career and with my clinic owner’s hat on I come across those who are more established.
Occasionally I come across therapists who, like me, have celebrated ten years or more in the industry. Like any self-employed person, this is an achievement worth celebrating and for more than one reason:
1. It takes time to build up a loyal client base in order to get that repeat business, so you have to endure those early days.
2. Then you have to be very good to survive as a self-employed person – people won’t come back to
you if you’re no good at what you do.
3. You have to be brave and continue onwards and upwards (sometimes downwards or sideways) when the going gets tough i.e. clients tend to go off on summer holidays and business slows or if there’s a slow-down in the economy due to that thing called Brexit – it was amazing how the phone stopped ringing the day after that vote happened!
4. As a self-employed person, if you go on holiday or you’re ill, then the bills keep rolling in but the pay stops in its tracks.
5. You survive (or not) by your own business decisions.
I’m used to greeting new therapists to the clinic who are fresh from their training and new to being self-employed. My job is to sit them down at that stage and explain that it’ll probably take two years to get established and what they need to do from a marketing perspective to let you the public know of their existence! And then
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there are the established therapists who join the clinic, such as Sue Drew who moved her beauty & holistic therapy to the centre last year and is celebrating her 10th anniversary and Louise Morris, our physiotherapist, who’s been in business longer than I care to remember!
So to anyone such as Sue and Louise who’ve been self-employed for the long haul, I take my hat off to you, it’s a huge achievement as you don’t have to just be good at what you do, you have to be good at business too.
Nicola Griffiths runs the Cirencester Hypnotherapy & Health Centre in Dyer Street with a host of experienced therapists for the benefit of your mind and body: www.cirencesterhypnotherapycentre.co.uk.