So you have decided to take the leap and change career! You are all fired up, excited to be doing your own thing, following your passion and finally going to be your own boss! You've done your courses, you've submitted your case studies and you have your shiny new certificate! Shopping is next and you get your exciting new kit, it is all set up and you now wait for your clients to start queuing outside your door for appointments.
And you wait .... and you wait....
All new therapists experience the highs of starting out in the industry, all your family and friends are there to support you (especially when its free because you are 'practising' or 'training') but what happens when you actually have to start building a solid and loyal client base? When the supply of family and friends dry up and you have to start charging for your services? This is now your income after all.
This is where your new journey actually begins. Learning your new skills to start doing your treatment side of your business is just the start of building your new career. You need the tools to get your business out into the community, find new clients and get them to return to you time and time again. Growing and filling your client book is an essential part that you need to make sure you work on and master or else you will be sitting in an empty salon with shiny new varnish and no one to polish.
Its a good job we have been there and done it so can help you with the tools, tricks and tips to grow your business from all angles.
Here are the first few simple steps to get started :-
1. Choose a business name that you can spell (you will be surprised how many glamorous names are out there that clients can barely remember let alone spell!) Something easy and memorable that gives you and your new business an identity. Try not to limit yourself too much to one aspect of the industry incase you wish to expand at a later date. Being 'Sallys Nails' is limiting and will be hard to change if you later decide to do Massage or Facials.
2. Make sure your name is available to buy as a domain name before you decide to settle on it and get all your media printed! You don't want to find out you have another Sallys Beauty Salon down the road from you who already owns the domain name, your clients may end up going to the wrong Sally if they are searching for you online!
3. Give your business a Social Media presence on a few of the main social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. This is a necessary evil Im afraid even if you are not a fan of social media, 95% of the population is and that is where your clients will share their experiences with you with all their friends and family. This is a brilliant opportunity to get free ongoing online advertising so you really need to make sure you use it.
4. Get your business listed on Google Maps. This is a tricky one as you may not want your address online (however if you start working from home it is something you will be unable to avoid as clients need to find you) Getting on Google is again one of the few free advertising tools you can use, as it is location based it will help showcase your business to your local community and point people to your social media or website.
5. Get yourself a business website or at the very least a webpage. No, Facebook or Instagram is not a website! Do not mistake using them as your shop front as there are limits to who can see them and what you can showcase. Facebook and Instagram are also not listed in google searches like websites are so you will be missing out on people searching google for services you offer. Your website is your shop window, its the new 'high street' and it is essential as people do enjoy window shopping. Ensure your website has some key information on it (we will go through this on another blog) and that it is updates often. Link your site to your google places and you are already creating a strong community presence for your new business.
These are a few key things to start doing when you decide to build your new business. Making sure people know who you are, where you are and what services you offer will bring more business to your door.
If you would like in depth information and help on how to set up, build and grow your business join one of our business building workshops run through out the year. We offer all the tools to help you hit the ground running to build a successful business in 12 short months.
Happy Business Building!
LB Training Academy