Working from home
My name is Caroline and I am new to this forum. I am newly qualified in massage, reflexolgy and therapy and have accredit certificates in Indian Head Massage and Hot Stone Therapy. I have set up a therapy room at home (converted a spare bedroom). I have tried to promote what I do, however, I get the impression (from comments made etc) that people think because I work from home, rather than a rented room etc, that I am not professional. I can't afford to give up my full time job and rent a room so working from home is the only option for me at the minute. I would like to hear from other therapists who work from home and their experiences of this - do you have the same problems, how do you promote your business etc, I feel like jacking it in!!
All I can say is it takes time. I was made redundant and set up at home as I didn't have enough clients to justify renting a room. Just do your best by each client you have, ask for feedback. Ask your friends and family to hand our flyers to their friends and families and ask them to put them on notice boards at their places of work. Put flyers on notice boards in shops, fitness clubs, etc. I started by giving friends introductory prices in return for word-of-mouth advertising. My partner is also very good at promoting my business as he has first hand experience of the treatments. Make good use of what you have available and don't give up.
I gave my card to a lady who needed a remedial treatment. She subsequently went to someone who was recommended by a friend - "a professional who was also cheaper!" I have to say I felt a little insulted and thought she obviously didn't view me as a 'professional'. (The 'professional' rents a room) She called me recently to ask for an appointment. The person she had been saying had lost her faith in their ability after just one visit. She has now become a regular client who appreciates the effort I put in and the qualifications I have. ps: her friend is now a client too!
Hope this helps.
I have worked in a leisure centre, health centre whilst working from home. Initially I got more work from the former, but still pushed the home side. After 3 years I am now busier at home. I believe I am seen as a professional at home as much as externally.
A piece of advice would be, if you hear that any of your clients is having treatment at the local doctors, ask them to mention they are being treated by you, even if it is for something quite unrelated. That way the doctors get to hear about you. Obviously, if you start treating them and they are already under the doctors, you should ask your client to inform their GP.
One thing I have noticed, is that clients are more likely to let you down at a leisure centre than if you are treating them at home, even when you have reminded them.
I am sure lots of therapists will tell you, it all takes time. You will get a busy period and you think you have "made it", then suddenly it goes quiet again. Your busy period will be different from another therapists busy period.
Just keep at it.
Thanks for the replies. I know it takes time, I just didnt think it would be as hard as this! and as disheartening! I will keep pushing on and thanks for the suggestions.
Im not working at home as there was to much red tape that came with it, but am working as a mobile, have been since nov'10. To date have had three appointments, which is sole destroying, and it would be easy to give up, but I dont do easy. Just wanted to say its not easy however you do it. Good luck.
I am mobile, advertising like mad and getting nowhere. Ive been told it can take up to 2 years to get a decent client base.
Hang in there it will come good in the end.Youve worked too hard to give up now.
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It can take a long time to build a business, but I've found it can be done successfully from home. Over the years I've always worked at least some of the time from home, as well as clinics, gyms and offices.
My best advice would be (if possible within the contraints of your own home situation); try to make the room as professional as possible - clear away all home furnishings and personal objects and pictures and put up some posters of muscles or whatever is appropriate to your therapy, leaflets, etc. This is of course easier if you can dedicate a room and not have the spare room bed in there. If possible move bed out and store it, if not possible decorate it to look more like a sofa.
Instead of saying you work from home or see clients at home, refer to your 'home clinic' which sounds a little more professional.
At the end of the day your professional attitude speaks more highly about your work than where you work. Do your best to have family recognise your clients are different from friends dropping by. Also emphasise to clients that they have a specified appointment time - 11:00 for an appointment is not the same as 11-ish for a coffee! I've had to gently 'educate' some clients by making appointments for '4:15' - this encourages them to realise I'm working to a timetable as much as any other professional.
I wish you the best of luck - it does take time to build a business but hopefully in a couple of years you will have a very rewarding career.