What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
My backstory is that I’ve been a therapist for 22 years. I came to Australia from Canada to study a Masters of Forensic Sexology, met the love of my life, stayed, studied a Masters of Counselling, had two boys and opened up my private practice. I was working as a Unit Coordinator and Senior lecturer at a University, wrote a textbook and exited the academic life to focus purely on my passion of helping couples create amazing relationships and train people in the area of Mental Health.
Describe the process of launching the business.
Climbing the ladder and the slow, hard route like so many take but 22 years on, it looks great and nearly effortless (and that’s what people see) rather than the climb! I did the work, website, social media, clients, consistently engaged with media and ran trainings throughout Australasia. Networking was always required as well as maintaining the business, website, personal and social presence. The start was nearly no clients for months and now I’m booked out for months. My client retention is over 90% and most clients remain in the loop for 5-10 years with only intermittent sessions for maintenance. There’s easily 6 months of work ‘prior’ to launch to get everything ready to go, and I loved that process.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
The main thing is word of mouth. If you provide an amazing service, people will want to talk about your service and share it with others. The more regular your presence that you have in media and social media also reinforces this – if you remain front of mind for people and are authentic with your message, they gain trust and inquire to work with you.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Today looks great – since Covid and lockdown because a normal feature of day-to-day life, people are struggling with mental health and their relationships. The bonus is that more and more, people are beginning the conversation about mental health and relationships. Being open to what they are feeling and sharing has been a much needed bonus. The future for the practice is looking great – more programs, more clients, a new relationship book on its way, the start of the year mindfulness and gratitude journal about to be released. From strength to strength and yes, all the hard work does pay off.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Don’t be afraid to ask others for help. The ones who have done the work before you – seek guidance, appreciate the guidance and apply the learnings. Don’t be stubborn. Be aware that there will be set-backs and that’s ok – they provide additional teaching moments.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Which don’t I use! Calendly, Square, Paypal, Zoho, Infusionsoft, Wix, WordPress,
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Soooo many to list! I love books so some of them would be: Book: Deep work by Cal Newport, Book: 10 Lessons to Transform your Marriage by Gottmans, Book: Languages of Love
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
START! It’s never ‘the right time’ – so stop waiting for it and start!