It’s common to enter into the health and wellness space with limited hours and resources to start your practice. Despite being fuelled by passion and a desire to make a difference in the health of others, you may still have other commitments that require your time and energy.
Fortunately, working fewer days or a shorter workweek can come with a number of benefits, including the ability to better balance family, personal time, and other professional and personal pursuits. In addition to this, there are ways to structure your business and workflows to ensure the hours you dedicate to your practice are high impact and high earning, despite limited working hours. Whether you are just starting out and maintaining another job, balancing personal commitments, or choosing to work part-time intentionally, a shorter workweek does not have to mean compromising the potential of your business.
How can you reap the benefits of reduced working hours and still build a thriving business? Here are 8 ways to help you establish a successful part-time practice:
1. Define Your Hours
First, you’ll need to consider what a part-time practice looks like to you. Will you be setting aside evening hours each day, or dedicating full days a couple of times a week? You’ll need to consider what your other current time commitments look like. If you have other obligations, what schedule can you commit to maintaining without burning yourself out while still allowing you to complete necessary business tasks?
2. Establish Your Calendar
Once you’ve determined the hours you can dedicate to your practice, setting up a calendar and booking system with your service availability is key to ensure your clients follow the time boundaries you’ve set for yourself. Ensuring you have an intuitive calendar that knows what service is available when and allows for a seamless booking process is key to maintaining your outlined hours. This will alleviate time-consuming back and forth communication with clients trying to arrange a time to meet.
3. Communicate Boundaries to Clients
What should clients expect when it comes to communicating with you? You may want to include a service agreement that provides a 24 to 48-hour disclaimer on response times and indicates the best way for them to reach you during your off-hours. This can help to ensure you don’t miss any incoming messages and client expectations are managed. Clients knowing upfront what to expect is an important consideration for an overall great client experience.
4. Be Clear on Your Niche
Identifying your ideal client will allow for more targeted, efficient work. Your marketing efforts will be more direct, as you’ll begin to pick up on the language and pain points your clients resonate with. In time, you’ll come up with a methodology to support your niche with common recommendations and protocols as you take note of similar issues your clients face. This is where templates and saved recommendations within Practice Better can alleviate time-consuming repetitive work.
5. Have Systems in Place to Streamline Workflow
With limited time to dedicate to your part-time practice, it’s important to consider how much time you’re allocating toward your day-to-day workflows. Systems that are efficient will allow you to uphold the hours you’ve outlined for yourself to dedicate to your practice, while a disorganized, inefficient workflow may lead to the need to put in more hours to accomplish your workload. Consider how you can automate everyday tasks to free up time.
6. Increase Your Value
Despite a shorter workweek, working part-time does not necessarily have to equate to lower-income. Perhaps you want to offer higher ticket services and offerings as a means of bridging the gap between lower volume due to time constraints and a desire to make more of a full-time income. Think of how you can add even more value to your clients. The value you deliver to your community can be reflected in the price of your offerings. With limited hours, you may have the ability to see fewer clients, but if you’re delivering high-value services and your prices reflect the transformative experience you can provide, your income doesn’t necessarily have to be lower simply because you’re logging fewer hours each week.
7. Introduce Passive Income Streams
Certain types of services and offerings will be more time-consuming and require you to be more hands-on than others. Explore the idea of passive income streams as a means of bringing more income into your business without the same level of required hands-on commitment. While they still require you to create, market and sell these offerings, they differ in that they can exist as standalone offerings that can continue to bring income into your business in a more hands off way.
8. Consider Outsourcing
You may reach a point in your business where you have more tasks than you can handle in the time you have available. By outsourcing, you leave yourself more time and energy to dedicate to other aspects of your business. When deciding what to outsource, consider the things you tend to avoid, compared with which aspects you actually look forward to doing. Whether you decide to outsource bookkeeping, taxes, marketing, or otherwise, an added bonus in addition to freeing up your time will be working with someone who specializes as an expert in their field, allowing you to focus where you are an expert in your own field.
Whether you are in a place where you are part-time and growing your practice toward being full time, are currently full time and looking to downgrade the hours dedicated to your practice, or simply looking to work a shorter week, there are many ways to establish a business model that allows you to create a thriving business with lasting impact.
Practice Better is the complete practice management platform for nutritionists, dietitians, and wellness professionals. Sign up for free today.