How to have a Successful Practice

[Image courtesy of lkunl at]

[Image courtesy of lkunl at]

There is no step-by-step way to a successful practice, because we all have a different ideal picture in our heads that we are constantly comparing to our current situation. Sure there are plenty of great ideas you can employ (our blog is full of them!), but ultimately you have to create your own step-by-step plan to build that ideal picture in your mind.

Here’s my problem with plans… if you don’t have a certain group of skills that allow you to build, adjust, and realize your ideas, the best plans will, as they say, go to waste.

There’s a list of 11 ways to be a failure in the book, The Big Moo, written by The Group of 33. I have revised that list into the 11 skills you need to have a successful practice. If you can infuse these skills into everything you do to create your ideal practice plan (business plan, marketing strategies, client education, etc.), you are well on your way to a successful practice.

  1. Be open and transparent.
  2. Listen for the truth in others, even especially those who disagree with you.
  3. Set reasonable expectations for yourself and others, and be consistent.
  4. Test your ideas, tweak them, and test them again.
  5. Focus more on creating your ideal practice, and less on what other people think your practice should be.
  6. Realize that you don’t need 20 clients per week right away to prove that your idea works. Growth in the right direction proves it.
  7. Eliminate the “required” step in the pursuit of your idea. Being stuck on one thing that holds up the rest of the process can cripple your business. Be open to changing anything.
  8. Those people who don’t instantly get your idea are not necessarily bullheaded, shortsighted, or stupid, they are your potential clients. Pay attention to what they “don’t get”, and use that information to adjust your marketing strategies.
  9. Continually work on increasing the quality of your presentation style. There is never a “good enough” elevator speech, technique demonstration, health presentation, or client interview. The better you are at explaining what you do, describing the benefits, and motivating people to invest in their own health, the easier your practice-building plan becomes in every other aspect.
  10. You also do not have to have an authority in the field agree with you or your approach. You do not need anyone’s permission to succeed.
  11. The “Big Win” is not necessary. Benchmark your small victories along the way, so you have a full picture of your overall success.

Approach all of your planning with these skills in mind. For more information on developing success skills, check out our professional development products…

Present Yourself Powerfully: A presentation kit that makes it easy for practitioners to give talks, workshops, and demonstrations.

Marketing Communications for Massage Therapists: 150 professionally written examples of correspondence: emails, letters, announcements, and press releases that accommodate your various communication needs.

Do-It-Yourself Promotional Items: Gift Certificate and Client Education Brochure templates you can customize and print yourself (or send the file to a printer if you prefer to have the professionals print them up for you).

Classic texts that have helped build thousands of success practices for more than 30 years:

Business Mastery, by Cherie Sohnen-Moe

The Ethics of Touch, by Ben Benjamin and Cherie Sohnen-Moe

And here’s a link to our free downloadable resources (guides, checklists, posters, etc.).


Do you have your own list of success skills? Please add to our list in the comments below: