Let’s all turn around and face the elephant in the room here - being an entrepreneur may not be for you. Sure, it may sound super fun to call your own shots and be in complete control of your own schedule but, is it really what you want right now?
Working together with other practitioners and benefiting from the close support and guidance of more experienced leaders may just be your jam. The predictability of regular client traffic that you don’t have to find, the camaraderie and support of your colleagues down the hall, and that paycheck landing in your bank account every two weeks - it’s pretty enticing right?
While some people crave stability, other people REALLY want to run their own show, open up their own lemonade stand, or hang out a shingle with their name on it. This could make those people in the first camp simply want to run away from all of this screaming with their hands in the air!
I get it. As an entrepreneur for almost 30 years now, I know first hand that taking the reins, running the show, managing the team, raising the cash, marketing the ‘thing’ and ultimately accepting responsibility for your businesses’ performance - phew! - it can be a daunting thought. So let’s focus on how to become an awesome employee first.
When you start out as an employee and, with time, begin to feel more comfortable with the skills and applications of your knowledge, you can start to increase your value to your employer by helping them to build and grow their business. This will make you an irreplaceable leader at your company.
Rising to meet the daily demands of your employer’s business, offering creative solutions to administrative and professional practice pain points and better understanding your clients’ and customers’ experience will make you well respected and, well, quite possibly promoted!
Before you begin to dive more deeply into the strategies listed above, make sure you and your team are very clear with who exactly your ideal clients are. Take a look at your most successful clients. This will show you where your team’s unique strengths and abilities lie.
Rather than serving ALL the people who walk through your door, it’s actually more important to hit it out of the park with a very narrow group of people so that you become recognized in the marketplace for predictably solving this specific kind of injury, health challenge or fitness problem for your clients.
With clarity about who you best serve, now it’s time to go out there, find where they hang out and get them into your business!
First, create a list of all of the services your company is currently billing clients for. Examine the list closely. Are there opportunities to offer more than one service to the same client? Can you break down larger services into smaller sections, price them accordingly and stack them in such a way that a small completed project or service leads to more work together all with a similar goal in mind?
For example, you could offer a complimentary 20 minute functional screen for each new client with a simple fill in the blank report containing three specific recommendations. This could lead to a group session where your clients come together online to learn an easy way to work on a few exercises especially designed to help improve their functional screen score.
In a new list, document every place that clients come from into your business. This information can be easily collected on your client assessment form and then entered into a Google or Excel spreadsheet for tracking.
Who is your biggest referral source? Word of mouth from existing clients? Physicians and other practitioners? Insurance company disability management departments? The directory services of Provincial Practitioner Associations? Did you find a few current referral sources that may have surprised you? I bet you did!
Now brainstorm on your own or with your team about all the new places where you can find your ideal clients. Be as creative and generous with this initial process as you can. Put EVERYTHING that comes to mind on the list and edit it later. You don’t want to leave any opportunities out!
It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyways) that being a supportive, cheerful and agreeable practitioner will go a LONG way towards you getting recognized as a well respected team member in your company.
As you regularly deliver high quality work within set timelines you will be seen as reliable. When you receive feedback on your performance and quickly make the necessary changes to your habits people will know you as adaptable. These qualities will serve you immensely as you help your company’s brand stand out in the crowded marketplace.
Speaking proudly about your company to your family, friends, colleagues and clients will solidify your reputation as a solid brand ambassador. When you are proud of what you do and what you’ve accomplished with your company’s support it shows!
Becoming a great employee is a work in progress and is best tackled in small steps day by day. On your journey to becoming a great employee, your supervisor, your manager and/or employer will see the consistent way you show up in your role and competently deliver on each of your responsibilities. Don’t be surprised if you’re offered more opportunities, a promotion or even a pay raise!
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