Libby Rothschild, CEO of Dietitian Boss. Follow on LinkedIn.
The current economic situation makes it difficult for many people to pay their bills. Many experts discuss the possibilities of a recession (paywall). Professionals, such as dieticians, who have their own practice, feel the pressure. But there are ways you can change that and make your private practice recession-proof.
No one knows how long the recession will last, but one thing is certain: you cannot afford to watch the situation unfold. Recession-proofing your private practice will help you survive and thrive in uncertain times.
That’s why it’s vital to start thinking about how to protect your practice now. Below are three ways owners can make their business recession-proof.
1. Cut costs by going virtual
An effective way to reduce costs is by: go virtual, which means you can save money on office space, equipment and your practice’s personnel costs. It also makes it easier for customers to access your services. Customers don’t have to drive to a physical location or wait for an appointment.
In addition, you can provide more services online because it is cheaper than meeting face-to-face. It’s a great way to cut costs and keep your practice running smoothly during economic uncertainty: the more ways you can do it, the better.
You can also reach a wider audience and get clients who need help but don’t have the time or money to travel to see you in person. Consider, for example, offering a discovery call for virtual coaching packages to new clients. This way they can get an idea of what kind of relationship they want with you before paying for regular sessions.
2. Increase customer’s lifetime value
You want customers to come back again and again, and they will if you provide them with exceptional service and quality products!
When customers come back time and time again, they typically spend more money per visit than someone who has only been there once or twice. And that means you can increase your sales by focusing on customer retention. The more loyal customers you have, the more money they will spend with you over time.
You can also increase customer’s lifetime value by offering more than just advice. For example, dieticians can provide customers with an ongoing support system that includes meal plans, recipes, support groups, or personal chefs. By providing more services, you can help your customers for years instead of just months or weeks like others in your industry.
Also be creative with marketing. Using social media marketing to build your brand and develop relationships can save costs (vs. paid advertising).
Consider creating an online course for people who can’t afford your expensive coaching packages.
3. Plan ahead with a budget
A budget helps you manage expenses and allocate resources. This way you can keep track of how much money is coming in and going out.
You can make business decisions accordingly by estimating how much money you have at different times. A budget also allows you to identify areas where excess spending is occurring so that corrective action can be taken before things get out of hand.
First perform the following steps:
• Estimate your monthly and annual income and expenses.
• Find out which expenses you can save or eliminate.
• Watch for upcoming life events that could affect your ability to work (such as a wedding, baby, etc.).
The best time to prepare your private practice for a recession is before it happens. Having a detailed budget with your upcoming expenses makes it easier to handle them when they come in. You can set clearer goals by breaking them down and planning each quarter.
For example, start saving now if your office rent is due each month and you know the price will rise in three months due to inflation. So when the time comes, you have enough to pay it without selling assets or taking out loans.
If the economy continues to struggle, many people will look for ways to cut costs and save money. Private practice professionals will need to leverage the online space to reach more clients and cut costs. The best way to prepare for such an eventuality is to plan. By going virtual, increasing client value, and using a budget as a resource, you can prepare your private practice to withstand future recessions and grow into a thriving business.