As an RMT one of the toughest aspects of your career will be building your business. Many medical practitioners spend thousands of hours training on procedures, treatments, techniques and patient care yet very few pursue business courses to prepare them to run their practice. Here are five policies you should have in place to improve new client acquisition as well as your reputation:
1. Preparation Policy: It is very important that you set the mood with a professional atmosphere that reflects your practice. Your office and/or home must be impeccable; clean, fresh and welcoming. Nothing chases away clients more quickly than a massage room that looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in a month. Have a policy in place to ensure the treatment room is properly prepared before each patient and stick to it even if you are running behind.
2. Dress Code: The way you appear is just as important as your massage room. Be certain you are dressed in appropriate, professional attire. Darker coloured scrubs such as navy and black have been shown to instil trust in patients as do white tops such as polo shirts and tan pants. This is a crisp, clean look that will work well in both clinical and spa environments. Have a dress code policy even if it is just your self in the business to set a professional image.
3. Payment Policy: Asking for money is one of the most difficult aspects of running your business. Think of it like this: You would never walk in to a hair salon, grocery store or restaurant have your hair done, select some groceries or have a nice meal and say, “I’ll pay you next time.” It doesn’t work this way in any of these businesses and it shouldn’t work this way in yours. Being up front about your policies on collecting payment is one of the most important aspects of your business. Post your fees and payment policies prominently so there is never a discrepancy.
4. Mission Statement: As an RMT you are providing a health service to your patients. Even in a spa setting you will be contributing to your client’s state of mind which has a positive impact on their overall health. It is a good idea to look at your options and choose an area in which you would like to specialize. Whether it is sports injury, spa treatments or mom and baby, you can then focus your practice by increasing your modalities and providing the treatments that reflect your chosen area of expertise. You should then write a mission statement that sets policies for the patients you will treat and the services you will provide. This will allow you to establish yourself as a specialist which can lead to a nice generation of referral patients in your community. You can also consider partnering with other practitioners who offer services that work well with your expertise such as maternity yoga classes and lactation consultations if your focus is mom and baby.
5. Booking Policy: Your income is dependent on the appointments you schedule. Therefore it is important you have an effective booking policy. Ensure you outline a treatment plan and book appointments as your patient leaves. This will keep them on track for treatment as well as continue to generate a flow of clients.
Although not all RMT’s intend to go into business for themselves most positions you will hold require some basic business and client building skills. Having these five policies in place will help create a professional tone and keep your business on track.