What percentage of sales are from your top 3 customers ( or class of customers)?
In my local town two estate agencies have closed up and moved on. Both had had successful thriving businesses and employed half a dozen people directly and indirectly. Neither of them had just a few customers, but they did just have one class of customer, one specialised in first time buyers, one in the top end properties. Ironically the estate agency that did survive was the one that had rentals and was an agency for mortgage advice as well. In other words they had other sources of income.
In research I carried out for my book, “Set Up a Therapy Business: A Step By Step Guide” where I asked successful therapists what other forms of income they had to supplement their therapy income this is what they said.
What would you do if your top customer went out of business? Or moved away?
This is some of what the successful therapists do:
- sell other related products. If you sell to your existing client base they will buy from you because they trust you and you gain an extra income stream, so it is a winwin situation. :0)
- run workshops/ classes/ teaching. This was by far the most popular source of other income for the therapists, with 62% of therapists responding saying that they run workshops or group sessions of some kind. Again for each hour you give your time more people can benefit. The attendees also benefit from a reduced cost per head, so yet another win‐win situation.
- The next most popular solution was part time employment. Obviously this doesn’t have to be working for big corporates or selling out your values. Of those who stated what form of employment they did, it ranged from working at university, working on reception at a clinic in exchange for a reduced room rental, to working in a small charity. Clearly this would not be at a high hourly rate but is in keeping with their values and gives a regular wage coming in ( or reduced costs).
- Running an unrelated or related business. Again
this can be in keeping with your values. Examples from
the therapists included running a nutrition business,
editing a well‐respected ethical paper and running a
small media company. What would have been really
interesting to find out is whether they had any
crossover from one business to the other and whether
they employed staff.One advantage of having your own business that does
employ staff is that you can “leverage” their time too.
They get paid a fixed salary and you receive their skills
for a piece of work or so many hours. It can be a
headache having staff, though, including having to pay
for them whether the clinic is busy or not, so you need
to balance the pros and cons.
A couple of the therapists run busy clinics employing a number of therapists. This is a higher risk strategy as it requires more funding to start up in the first place and they need to fill the clinic in order to cover the cost of the premises, but it does give rental income from the hiring out of room (plus the opportunity for cross referral).
- Writing. Some of the successful therapists also made extra income writing books, articles (and websites!). The advantage is that as well as earning an income from the writing it also made them appear as an expert and is free marketing. By putting your contact details in readers can also contact you directly.
- Learning additional therapies giving additional options to their existing customers, or learning additional skills within their therapy ( for example reflexology in pregnancy).
The key to earning more than the average salary is getting additional income streams. Don’t make yourself vulnerable by relying on just one income stream.
The above information is an extract from the report ” Successful Therapists Reveal The Secrets of Their Success” a copy of which is available at no charge from my website http://www.setupatherapybusiness.com