The biggest challenge most practitioners face is simply getting enough clients or patients in the door and stabilizing their practice revenue. Most of my clients who take my course Your Best Year Ever need a crash course in marketing, which they never got in school, so they can feel confident about their ability to attract a steady flow of new business and can fill their schedule.
The second biggest challenge facing practitioners is that of increasing income without increasing their workload. Most practitioners run a business where their income is solely dependent upon how many clients or patients they see. If they want to make more money, they have to work more hours. At some point, there’s a definite cap on what they can earn, as there are only so many hours in the week and reserves of energy that can be devoted to serving clients.
I came up against this particular challenge in my 3rd year of private practice… and I was frankly quite astonished by how daunting it felt. I was seeing as many patients as I could personally handle week-to-week, which I was very grateful for, but I knew in my heart that the ‘time for money’ model was not sustainable for me for the long-term, no matter how much I loved serving my patients. I became increasingly concerned about this, as my entrepreneurial spirit felt constrained by the financial ceiling of my business model.
As you likely know, I made the decision to immerse myself in internet marketing at that time and built Dream Practice Coaching and wrote my first e-book, Build Your Dream Practice. I became passionate about helping other practitioners around the world. This gradually became my primary business and has evolved into something I never could have imagined a few years ago.
Let’s talk about your situation. You may be in a place right now where this conversation is highly relevant, as you’re up against this particular challenge right now and wondering what to do about it. Even if you’re not maxed out in your private practice and you’re still just trying to figure out how to fill your schedule, it’s a good idea to consider this information right now so you don’t have to ‘freak out’ when this time comes (like I pretty much did).
The first thing you want to do is make sure you are maximizing per client financial transactions to the best of your ability. From what I’ve witnessed time and again, most practices are leaving a lot of money on the table by solely focusing on the revenue generated from their one-on-one sessions. The goal of course is to create a win/win where you are serving your clients on deeper levels by offering more opportunities for them to invest in their health and well-being, while also increasing your income.
Are you taking full advantage of your front-end office space/waiting area? Do you have a line of supplements and herbs that people can buy as they check out? If it’s even slightly relevant to your practice, I would highly recommend stocking the most popular supplements that people take, such as multi-vitamins, fish oil, probiotics, and so on. Most of your clients are already taking at least one supplement, and if they aren’t getting them from you, it’s likely they are using a low quality product that they purchase from Walmart or Costco. They have no idea how compromised the quality is in this regard, so you are doing them a service by offering them a higher grade product. I’d recommend checking out Standard Process, Designs for Health, and Metagenics. With any of these companies, you can create a substantial revenue stream by making products available to all of your clients. If the average client spends $70 on a treatment and now they are purchasing a $35 bottle of fish oil on top of it that you make $17 in profit on, you can see how this can make a substantial difference to your bottom line over the course of a year.
What’s cool about this is that you don’t even have to push products on people; you can simply have the products clearly displayed where your clients check out and schedule. Many people will make impulse buys as they are paying for their treatment. Of course, you can train your receptionist to share some basic information on each product or you can do this yourself. I’d also recommend giving all new clients a new client welcome packet on their first visit and in that packet, put a flyer in there that covers the main supplements you offer and how they can help.
I know there’s a good chance you’re already using herbs and supplements in your practice, but I’ve seen time and again that most practitioners under utilize this approach in their work. If your clients are already taking these popular supplements even without your specific recommendation, they should be getting them from you.
Another avenue to consider here is retailing various products like Cd’s, candles, stress reduction tools, and books. There are many wholesale outlets online where you can order these kids of products and sell them at a profit in your practice. Once again, think impulse buys. If your clients love your work, they will naturally be open to investing more in products that you offer. I’ve had the chance to work with quite a few spa businesses and it’s clear that their profit doesn’t come from their primary services; it comes from ancillary product sales.
If you’re seeing even 25 clients per week, if you increase your per client transaction from $70 to $85 on average (which is very doable), you’re increasing your annual income from rough $87,000 to $106,335. That’s nearly an extra $20,000 a year without any extra work. This can easily be accomplished through extra supplement and product sales.
Once you max out your personal schedule, a logical step to take would be hiring associates at this point. I’ve worked with a number of practice owners who want to expand their business by bringing on other practitioners. There are of course many upsides to this model, but I wouldn’t classify this particular approach as ‘making more while working less.’ When you hire associates, you’re now a manager. What I discovered in my practice was that I don’t particularly enjoy managing people. Before you actively pursue this model, just make sure that being in a managerial role would reflect your character strengths. This is a totally different role than clinician or healer.. and it’s good to know this going in.
One of my clients who used to work with me privately was seeing 20 patients a week when we started. We quickly got him up to 40-50 a week, at which point he decided to bring on associates. This was a pretty stressful transition for him, as it took a lot of effort to find the right practitioners that he could trust to represent his business. He had to get used to being a boss and setting firm boundaries.. and sometimes taking off the ‘nice guy’ hat. This was a big leap for him, but after a lot of trial and error, he finally found a groove and was able to bring in 2 new associates who have been with him for years now. His practice has gone from 20 patients to over 125 a week and he is prospering in this role.
Although it may sound obvious, I can’t tell you how many practitioners I’ve worked with who are leasing space that is largely unoccupied. If you don’t want to hire associates, but you have a lot of space in your building that isn’t being used, it’s a no-brainer to sub lease it to other practitioners. If you can find responsible and professional people to rent space to, this tends to be a lot more hands off than managing associates. Even if you have weekend hours only, you could likely rent that space out to ensure that you are maximizing practice revenue as much as possible.
The next step I invite you to consider is selling online products. You can either create your own product line or sign up as an affiliate and earn commissions on other people’s products. Creating your own product line is extremely helpful not only for increased revenue, but also expert positioning. When you have e-books and online courses that represent your business, you now have the coveted ‘author status’ that warrants higher fees and typically makes client attraction so much easier.
If the process of creating online products feels intimidating to you (it does for most people), I’d recommend getting my course, 1 Day Digital Product, which will show you how to create an online video course within 24 hours. It may take you longer than this, but this course will cut the time of implementation substantially. It’s really not that hard to do! You can productize your knowledge for both your client base and the world at large. This becomes an exciting prospect, as now you have the ability to earn passive income streams, broaden your audience beyond your local market, and scale your business in a way that removes the financial ceiling of trading time for money.
The other option is affiliate marketing. You can head over to Clickbank and sign up for a free account there. Once you do that, you can check out their extensive marketplace and sign up as an affiliate for products that complement your practice model. For instance, if you treat infertility a lot, you’ll find all kinds of fertility e-books there that you can promote and earn commissions from. A really good fertility product would likely sell for around $77 and you’d earn 50% of that on average, so you’ll get $40 per sale. If you sell 5 of those a month, that’s an extra $200 of revenue without doing any extra work.
Most of us are so deeply conditioned to believe that we have to trade time for money and that passive income generation is a far removed ideal. Trust me, that is not the case. It does take an open mind and a willingness to commit to the process. You can’t just spend an hour or two trying to generate passive income, then decide it doesn’t really work. There are plenty of entrepreneurs who live a freedom-based lifestyle generated from passive income streams. I’ve personally been amazed at how far I’ve been able to take this business model after spending many years in the time for money model seeing patients.
There is no right or wrong here. If you love seeing clients and trading time for money, then by all means keep doing that! If, however, you notice an itch within you that is demanding attention… a knowing that your true potential can only be fulfilled when you create a one to many model in your business, then I invite you to take this seriously and get the support and mentoring necessary to move this forward as efficiently as gracefully as possible. It’s not easy to do this on your own. Especially when I was making the transition, I had a couple of online business coaches by my side to ensure I was avoiding the main pitfalls and creating the right foundation for long-term success.
One of the best resources to help you in this regard is my new coaching program, The Liberated Life. This program is focused on the integration of consciousness expansion and creating a freedom-based lifestyle. This amazing group is working with me to overcome limiting beliefs and cultural conditioning that perpetuates mediocrity while also creating a structure for their business/career that frees them up to live where they want, set their own schedule, leverage their innate talents, and serve as many people as possible.
Go ahead and click here to learn more about the program. You can join anytime, but for the month of September you’ll get a massive discount as a founding member. This is a FULL YEAR of support with me, which I have never offered before in a group program. If you’re a solution-oriented person ready to fulfill your highest potential, we’d love to have you as part of it!
What other ways have you found to increase your income without increasing your workload? Leave me a comment below!