Starting a Practice from Scratch: Planning

If you have been following my latest posts on Facebook, you will know that I’m starting a new practice. While I love helping massage therapists and other wellness professionals build their practices, there has always been a life coaching element to the work I’ve done with them. I loved those “ahah!” moments where my clients had breakthroughs that changed their lives, not just their businesses. Now, I am turning my attention to pure life coaching. The people I aim to work with are adult survivors of childhood parental and peer abuse.

I want to share with you the whole process of starting a practice from scratch.

In the past, when I started a business, I just jumped into it. With my massage practice, I just went out, rented space, spent a ton of money on equipment and was in business. It was a struggle, because I had no plan.

With The Growing Practice, I spent a couple months planning and building the business before I launched. It was far more successful because I laid out the groundwork before opening my virtual doors. I must admit, a coaching practice where I serve clients over the phone or skype is a lot different than a hands-on practice like massage. My coaching clients are all over the country. I do not need a brick and mortar presence. But the marketing principles are the same.

So let me go over what I’ve done so far:

DEFINED MY MARKET: I did a lot of soul searching here. The questions I asked myself are, “What kind of work would fulfill me?” “Who do I want to reach?” “Why would I want to reach these people?” In answering these questions, I realized that I want to do work that changes the lives of others. I want to work with people who I can relate to, and who can relate to me because we’ve been through the same thing. I was severely and chronically abused by my father as a child. I also was severely and chronically bullied by my peers throughout my childhood. I know the lasting damage done by this abuse. I had a long hard road to overcoming and changing my thinking from victimhood to embracing my past for what it has made me today. I want to help others on the same path to becoming an inspiration to others. This is what I’m passionate about. So my market is adult survivors of any form of childhood abuse, whether it be from family or peers.

DEFINED MY PROGRAM: This answers the question, “How will I serve my market?” I’ve done a lot of reading and writing and mind mapping to come to the outline of how I will guide my clients from victim thinking to inspiring others. These mind maps are ever changing, but have been my guide to writing and planning.

NAMED MY BUSINESS: Wounded Child Coaching. The name speaks of the childhood trauma, and to the inner child we all carry with us that still bears the wounds of that trauma.

DESIGNED THE LOGO: I am a very visual person. I have a background in graphic design that goes back to the 1970s, so logo design is an important part of what I do. Here is the logo I’ve designed. A fellow graphic artist asked me why I have the tears pooling in the eye. I told him that it is for the emotion that an adult with childhood trauma feels and tries to suppress.

PLANNED THE WEBSITE: For this, I’ve also used mind mapping. I’ve laid out the overall structure of the site, and with the software I use (NovaMind), I’ve written the content for the pages. In the image below (click on it to enlarge), you can see little icons attached to the boxes “WoundedChildCoaching,” “Home,” “Complimentary Session,” “Transcendence Coaching.” These are the links to the copy I wrote for those pages. The mind map tells me how I’m going to link pages to other pages, and also what external programs I need. For example, I’m going to use Survey monkey for an intake form for complimentary sessions, and it will then send the person upon completion to Schedulicity to schedule the session.

CREATED FACEBOOK PAGE: The next step was to let people know what I’m doing. Since I plan on using social media to get the word out to my target market, I have to start my presence. I’ve done this in the past so successfully, that I’m mentioned in Michael Port’s “Book Yourself Solid, 2nd Edition” on pages 296 and 299.

So, this is where I am at right now. I expect to launch the site within the next week. I’ve built many websites for others, including some high-profile people like Erik Dalton and Lynne Klippel. While I’m building my practice, I continue to web design, logo design and other graphics work for others.

If you have any questions about the process of planning your practice, or growing your current practice, please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment.

3 Responses to Starting a Practice from Scratch: Planning

  1. Angelica says:

    Hello, I wrote a comment on your fb earlier. I just opened my lil massage practice and I do have a fb pg, it has my friends but am wondering how to reach others. I do admit I haven’t posted much. I am really starting from scratch.

  2. admin says:

    Angelica, I am going to be holding a webinar soon on how to build your Facebook following. Keep an eye out on http://facebook.com/thegrowingpractice.

  3. Pam Cammisa says:

    Hi,
    Like your web site and blog, good info for the beginning business.
    I’m expanding my career to include private bodywork (I’m a PTA working in clinical setting now) and going through all the steps while I wait for my paper work for LMT from the state. I love your logos for your website and coaching. Do you design logos for others ? Would be interested if you do or can you refer me to the company.
    Thanks

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