Building an Empire in the Naturopath Space
Written by Tim Buttery.
Naturopathy business is fast becoming a viable alternative to modern medicine in Australia and females are the primary target audience of your business according to studies from the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine.
Jerome Sarris and Jon Wardle, authors of Clinical Naturopathy In Practice argue that “Naturopathy is developing from a traditional healing art into an evidence-based practice.” It’s with this notion that a re-evaluation of the way naturopaths market themselves and conduct clinical practice, is required.
With that in mind, there are a number of elements to building a naturopath business successfully in the digital age. Here are some steps to getting started on your journey towards building an empire…
Find your identity
Naturopathy is a wide-ranging profession so finding a particular niche or speciality is necessary for healthy business growth.
From herbal therapy to homeopathy, nutrition and dietary advice, kinesiology and physical therapy—there is a risk that you can be a jack-of-all trades master of none when the range of services are too broad.
Someone who is an expert at narrowing her modus operandi in business is Vanita Dahia, one of the keynote speakers at the Naturally Good Expo.
Dahia has built her career in part around natural treatments for stress, anxiety and depression. Her internationally selling book Alchemy of the Mind reveals how to achieve happiness through the balancing of chemicals that are connecting the brain with the gut, stress, cravings, addictions, and libido.
Atmosphere is everything
Just like any practice, environment says everything about your business.
Naturopathy studios should include the obvious —soft music, friendly staff and refreshments to your clients such as tea, health juices or water. Consider basing your business design on fitness or physiotherapy studios rather than medical clinics.
Apart from the need to take in the obvious consideration about practice location and ease of use, minimalist designs are becoming popular with the less clutter the better.
One local business that has adopted this minimalist approach is The Wholistic Medical Centre in Sydney. Pioneered by Naturopath Kathy Harris, this centre amalgamates modern medicine with naturopathy, a common trend in giving naturopaths greater credibility. Furthermore the design has focussed on nature as a theme incorporating plants, trees, and natural sounds. The idea of your wellness studio incorporating elements of nature such as a greenhouse room, or foliage on the inside of your practice is a great relaxant.
Don’t forget the obvious, plant your business in an environment that’s easy to access.
Become a digital native
It is vitally important that naturopathy continue to be promoted as a viable form of alternative medicine in Australia.
Many businesses are using social media streams, SEO tactics and marketing campaigns, all backed by a well-developed website to reach the masses.
This rise in technology isn’t surprising as an Australian study from the Gold Coast revealed one of the most sought after sources of nutrition information was the internet.
Furthermore the study stated over 30 percent of respondents found it hard to attend medical appointments due to time barriers, meaning naturopaths need to create a digital hub for those who can’t get to the office.
If you’re able to create not just a social media presence, but an online entity to your business where information, treatment options and a blog producing ‘how to’ articles is active, then you’re one step further ahead than most medical businesses.
This is one area in which social media is not only becoming a tool of business promotion, but now naturopaths must possess an adequate awareness of how to integrate social media into potential treatment methods.
Find a mentor
Those who have been in the industry for a number of years are wells of wisdom. These people boast more information and have a range of both positive and negative experiences that can help you glean better ways of doing business.
A great resource to understand the mentor-mentee relationship stems from The Queensland Government, who has an informative guide to the positives and negatives of mentors.
Mentors predominantly assist with personal development and a great place to find a mentor and work on personal development is at the Naturally Good Expo – Dedicated to supporting and fueling the natural, healthy and organic products marketplace.
About the author: Tim Buttery
Timothy is a ‘jack of all trades’ freelance journalist based in Adelaide, South Australia. Having worked with the National Basketball League to Wotif.com, Timothy has a portfolio replete with diversity. His latest contributions have been to Fine Food Australia and Total Facilities. With a Nutrition background in high school, Timothy has worked for Goodlife Health Clubs and has a wide knowledge of the human body and its physical and nutritional needs.