A Brief Word Before You Start
Patricia Bishop runs a thriving hypnotherapy and healing practice in London. This is a thorough handbook to the complete business of setting up a complementary health practice.
Starting up – keep it simple
The good news, for most complementary therapists, is that the start-up costs for setting up a complementary health practice can be kept very low. Many therapists have built up thriving practices whilst operating out of a spare room at home, taking over a regular morning or afternoon slot at a nearby clinic or practice, or sharing rooms with a local colleague or friend. If you keep whatever equipment you require to a minimum and realistically prioritise what is essential for your particular therapy, then you may be pleasantly surprised at how cheaply and easily you can set up in practice.
If you are just starting out, then building up a practice does take time. All those comments you’ve heard from well-meaning friends and family do have some basis in truth. Complementary therapy practices take as long as any other business to establish, and you should, therefore, allow a full two years to build up the practice before you can reliably slough off any other part-time or full-time work. However, all the careful preparation and planning you put into the initial start-up period will be well worth it.
The more you can prepare and plan for your new practice, the quicker you will reap the benefits of all the hard work you’ve put in. You have most probably heard that ‘we never plan to fail, but we frequently fail to plan’, and this is never more true than when you’ve decided to set up on your own.
To help you on your way
This book is structured to help your decision-making and planning process as much as possible. You will find brief exercises, decision ‘trees’ and cost calculators included at various stages. By the time you have worked through this book, you will have had the opportunity to consider the major factors needed to build a successful practice, and will have at your fingertips a complete overview of the costs involved. This will help you to compile your business plan so that you can make any necessary arrangements for a loan. It will also give you a clear idea of how your practice can develop during that all-important first year. And if you have already started your own practice then these sections will help you to plan for growth.
There is also a section at the end of this book which gives full details of various organisations, books, telephone helplines and websites, which are useful sources for further or additional information. These are listed in an easy to use directory format, and include those sources or details which are listed in the text. This is a handy reference section for whatever stage of the process you are currently at.