Monday, February 17, 2014

The Need for a Business Plan in the Healing Arts

"The healing arts have always involved an exchange of energy. A few generations ago a farmer might have offered a chicken or a goat in exchange for a healer’s remedies; today this exchange involves money. I often hear herbalists and healers say that they don’t feel comfortable accepting money in exchange for their services. It’s as if money itself is somehow tainted with a negative energy, and that being poor will make you more honest and pure. Money is simply the new currency – the modern day chicken and goats. In order truly to thrive doing what you love, it’s important to make peace with money as today’s accepted form of energy exchange." -- Melanie Pulla, from her article Herbalpreneurship and the Importance of a Business Plan on the Herb Geek blog (a new favorite of mine).

My intention for this year is to at least triple my income in my Mama Love flower essence aromatherapy business. I'm expanding my product line and working on the research and development phase of that right now. I'm also in the planning stages of developing a new and improved (and greatly expanded) website and will be getting into a new phase of product photography in the next few weeks. When I think about it too much I get seriously overwhelmed because, in addition to this, I'm in school updating my skills in order to get a better day job / career job. The recession kicked my butt so hard I've had no choice but to deal with this. But in reality Paul and I really wish we could make a living at our small businesses instead. Going to school on student loans is giving me the time to do both. But I keep forgetting about pacing myself. And that's where having a workable business plan comes in.

I loved Melanie's article because she so succinctly describes what happens when you don't have a business plan and refer to it: she described MY life! ("Oh crap," I thought when I read it.) Last semester I just did what I thought I had to do to keep my business afloat and barely did enough of that. I did, however, add some new products to my line before school started and that, as well as just persisting, tripled my Mama Love income last year! To triple it again, though, I need to come back to basics and have a measured step by step approach I can follow without freaking out.

Deep sighing. There's a book about how to write a business plan on my bookshelf. I've read it. I think I even have written a business plan or two. But I didn't know how to do one for the businesses we're in now. How do you even conceive of a market analysis for an esoteric healing practice done in a way that is markedly different than anyone we know, especially one done over the internet as well as in-person? And art? Yeah... I'd LOVE to be able to project how much money we could make doing that! But back to basics: it isn't hard to imagine doing parts of it. It's probably even feasible to come up with a marketing plan based on what we know from what we've done already. And I intend to follow through on what we've learned.

1 comment:

MARVINO said...

thanks for this reality. i love what you are doing. we need plans!