The Frugal but Professional Practice
by Celeste Hackett, C.H.
I believe that hypnotism is a calling. And if you get it, it sort of burns in your breast until you do something with it. Once you start really seeing hypnotic phenomena in friends or clients you become kind of star struck and most of us can never go back to the old way of being. You change. It’s like waking up. And the curious thing is not everyone gets the call from seeing the magic. It’s a special gift for a select few.
Did you get the call like I did? In the articles I will be writing here I hope I can offer you information or inspiration to help you to answer your call and start or further develop your business. Keep in mind, however that I am new to starting my own business, and new to writing about it, so everything I say will be in that context. I hope to share with you what I have done that has worked for me and I am very interested in hearing what’s worked for you.
You may be surprised to learn that, so far, what I have done in my business has actually put me in the black in only six weeks! So maybe some of what I have implemented will help you too. I just started this past January 2006. Now I didn’t say I was very far in the black, but I am in the black by a hair. But most new businesses don’t even see that color black for over a year or more – if at all, so I am very pleased indeed.
So without further blah blah blah, let’s just jump right in to some of what I consider to have helped get my practice started on the right foot.
Learn How to Run Your Office AND Be a Hypnotist
Most hypnotists start out with more training in session work than in setting up and running an office. To me the running the office part of having my own business was confusing, overwhelming and frustrating. If this rings true with you then the first thing I hope you will invest in is some sort of practice-building training that includes heavy information on administration. I love Maureen Banyan’s Business Start up Pack.
The Business Pack, as it is affectionately known, was endlessly helpful to me. I can now say that my office is actually organized and even more productive than my session work! I don’t have to worry about how to get results with selling on the phone, collecting money, scheduling, filing etc. because I have a system that works easily and smoothly. NOW I can really concentrate on what I love most which is working with clients and growing as a hypnotist.
With the knowledge I gained from my business training (in all of two CD’s and one little booklet) I have turned almost every phone call into an appointment. I now get money for several sessions UP FRONT and I have a tested way to be certain that my clients show up and come back. Also, I am now taking credit cards, and I DO NOT work nights or weekends! I could easily write a whole article on a host of many other benefits I received from this office training I received, but just take my word for it, It is far more than worth the money to spend time in the non-clinical part of your practice.
Think About Working out of Your Home
I work out of a home office. LOTS of people have cautioned me against this, but I am hard-headed. And I am glad I am because it has worked beautifully for me. I have found working from a home to be no problem at all once I got over it. My main concern was that I thought if I didn’t have a real office it would look like I was not successful. And to tell the truth our home is not a single family home but an apartment.
In fact, I am happy to say I just finished a fourth session with a man who, in the course of our conversation today, very humbly mentioned that he just happens to be a multi-millionaire. He loves what hypnosis has done for him. He is making changes to help with stress while working on two new start up ventures and dealing with a difficult family member. To think that I was concerned no one would come here. He also has asked me to be on a video he is putting together depicting his personal journey while going through starting these businesses, sort of like a documentary! (Of course I said YES! I’ll keep you posted.)
I have to tell you that at first when I started working from my apartment I tried to think of all kinds of things to say in case anyone asked why we don’t have a real office or at least a house. I decided I would say, “Because we just got married and are saving for one”. Or “I don’t need much space so it just makes sense” or “It’s hard to find an office in such an excellent location”. But to tell you the truth no one cares! It wasn’t long before I found out that actually clients are very caught up in their own problem. THAT’S what they want to know about. Can you for Pete’s sake help me? Or they are very concerned that they can’t be hypnotized.
The best part of working from home (or in my case Chisolm Place Apartments) is our rent is free! Or is it my office is free? One of them is free. Yippee! I also save money by using my home computer and phone for office work, plus I don’t have additional utilities to pay. All of this saves me a ton of money. In addition, I don’t have a commute, and if I want to take a nap between clients, or put in a load of laundry or wear a mud mask for a pimple, I can. I have even been known to wear my pajamas until 10 am when my first client usually arrives. (Flannel. With little moons and stars on them.)
Now there are some things that you do have to be careful of like choosing clients, and doing things that create a space in your home that reflects professionalism. And in my next article I will go into these issues in more detail. I also hope to share how to prepare your client before he arrives so he will feel even more confident and ready to work with you whether you work from home or not. So until then keep believing in your dreams but also DO something about them.