Business Growth Strategies: Why Diversification is Good for Your Natural Therapy Business?
- Created: Friday, 16 October 2015 10:03
By IICT Whether you intend to conduct a small scale family-run business or a large one, the benchmark for success is growth.
There are several proven strategies to help in the growth of your business including listings, promotional flyers, hosting an event, advertising campaigns, offers and promotions, discounts and packages and tie-ups with charitable institutions. However, today we will focus on diversification.
Diversification can help you deal with fluctuations in the market. In the spirit of working smarter not harder, diversification is an attractive option for many natural therapists. Let us study how diversifying your services and products can help your business remain sustainable for the long-term.
But first up, some basics:
What is diversification?
In a natural therapy business, you could focus on just one model like acupressure or reflexology. However, it makes no sense placing all your eggs in one basket. Diversification is a model that can help you maintain a core practice while working with the different strengths of your staff or by adding retail products to your offering.
For instance, your core practice could be natural medicine. But you could diversify to other modalities like aromatherapy, Ayurvedic medicine, western herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and naturopathy. If your core competency is reflexology, you could diversify by hiring staff for acupuncture, musculoskeletal therapy, physiotherapy and massage therapy. You can also look to sell retail products that relate to these services, helping to generate incremental revenue.
What Should you Know about Diversification?
Diversification is market centric. If you already have a strong foothold in the local market, then it makes sense increasing the scale of your operations to bigger markets (and eventually international markets). In either case, sensitivity to customer needs and industry trends is very important. An another key consideration before diversifying is an accurate market analysis. This can help you answer many questions like:
- Are the products/services you plan to implement accurately priced?
- Are they relevant to the area and market dynamics?
- More importantly: do you have the resources, capital to offer these diverse services or products?
Different Types of Diversification you Could Consider
You could consider diversifying within the ambit of pure therapeutic procedures. You could offer an array of similar procedures for healing like acupressure, acupuncture, reflexology, musculoskeletal therapy and physiotherapy.
Another kind of diversification is creating one or several parallel businesses. You could have a therapy business adjacent to a clinic with fully qualified doctors. The intergrated approach to patient care could house homeopaths, naturopaths, doctors of eastern medicine, herbal medicine and Ayurveda. This diversification requires more capital and thorough planning. It also needs integration at the top level and also at individual levels. Staff must periodically be cross-trained to be able to understand the different healing philosophies and work in harmony.
How your Business Benefits from Diversification
There are numerous advantages of diversification for a natural therapy business:
It helps eliminate risk
Every day, there are reports about new scientific discoveries and alternative cures - some of which are quite real (and some not so). But, clients are fickle and quickly shift from one practice to another, in which case you can be ready with an alternative strategy or healing plan.
Diversifying is great for startups
Diversification can help eliminate risks that come early on in a business. It can greatly reduce financial stress as you build your clientele and understand their specific needs and wants.
It can give you an upper hand over competing businesses
One thing that is certain in any business, including a natural therapy business, is competition. One business starts up and experiences success, then you can expect to see proliferation of similar businesses around the corner or in the next suburb. It is a good idea to plan a diverse setup right from the get go, that is difficult for potential competitors to replicate. Based on the speed at which competition takes place, you can naturally and gently create diversities in your own business while using effective marketing strategies to promote your core business as well as your diverse products and services.
You get revenue from both services and sales
When you have a diverse set of services on offer, you can also open a shopfront that retails products related to those services. Some customers just like to window shop and when they spot a range of diverse therapies and treatments neatly segregated but available at the same clinic, they are not only impressed but also more inclined to walk in and make an enquiry or purchase a product. There is no promotion more powerful than word-of-mouth - even to this day. A good conversational sales rep and a wide array of products is a sure shot promotion for repeat and additional business.
Guidelines for Diversification
When you plan to diversify, it will do you the world of good to follow certain guidelines:
- Make a solid plan before jumping in
- Allocate incremental budget
- Allow for additional advertising both traditional and online
- Listen to what your existing employees have to say based on their experience and expertise
- Understand what clients want from your business and anticipate what your local population may need in the near future
- Consider budget for cross training staff, building your online reputation or purchase new products
From a purely financial perspective, diversification can help reduce risk by possessing various ways of generating revenue. You can help reduce the impact of market fluctuations, protect against volatile markets and maintain (or increase!) marketshare. When you have a diversification plan in place, it is easy to set and check off targets as you go.
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