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Monday, 8 December 2014

Christmas lull? Read our 5 ways to make the best of it!

In most businesses Christmas is a busy time, with customers increasing spending either for gifts or for parties and entertaining. But in my experience many hypnotherapists (especially those who are newly established) find that over Christmas and New Year their client numbers tend to take a dip. If this happens, they respond either with a sense of panic that their business may be disappearing forever, or a sigh of relief that they have less to do while they are busy with family, school concerts and so on.

It's probably true that just about any self employed person, in any type of business, finds peaks and troughs in their work patterns. Over the years, I have been through times when the waiting list for a first appointment is several weeks, and times when I wondered if someone had secretly changed my phone number and forgotten to let me know. (Except the people selling advertising of course, they always seem to find me!)

Having said that, how you cope with these 'down times' can help or hinder your long term business prospects so here are my tops tips to making the lull work for you.

1. If you normally spend three days a week on your business, keep spending three days a week on it. You’d have to do this if you worked for someone else whether you were busy or not! If you don’t have clients booked in
          a. Write some articles and blogs so you have them ready to use at busier times.
          b. Get your accounts up to date (and remember the final deadline for online
              tax submissions in the UK is January).
          c. Update your website, social media profile and on line directory listings.
          d. Write some handouts, leaflets or fact sheets giving useful tips to clients in those
               areas you deal with most.
          e. CPD: catch up by reading some books, going on a course, watching some
              hypno-videos on you-tube. Plan your CPD for next year.
          f. Make some new audio tracks for clients/
          g. File stuff! Get all your emails and paperwork organised.

2. Review your PR and advertising for this year - what worked and what didn't? And, following on from that, plan your PR for next year.

3. Think about what you can offer that might tempt people to purchase from you right now, either for themselves or as a present for someone else. If it’s too late for this year, think about what you could do for next year.
I have to say here, I don’t promote therapy sessions as a gift. It’s a bit like buying a Christmas puppy: too much of a commitment to make for someone else! However, more suitable ideas include guided relaxation sessions, CDs, self help ebooks, or a 'How to have a stress free Christmas' evening event.

4. Network - contact other therapists on line via social media, try out a new supervision group. Lots of them have socials in December which is an ideal way to get to know people.

5. Pro bono work - consider using your time and skills to help others, perhaps a local support group for carers or lonely elderly folk would appreciate a free relaxation session for their members. Not only will this help them it will be something to put on your CV.

And when you've done all that, take some of the advice you are so fond of giving to others - schedule some relaxation and fun, and have a good Christmas and New Year. Visit again in 2015 for more hypno-articles.

If you have enjoyed this article, please use the buttons on the grey bar (below the author details) to share it with others who might enjoy it too. Thank you.

Author: is Senior Tutor At Yorkshire Hypnotherapy Training, which offers multi accredited hypnotherapy practitioner training in Wakefield and York, along with taster days and foundation levels. Debbie has written a chapter on working with IBS in The Hypnotherapy Handbook, aimed at students and newly qualified hypnotherapists and also offers supervision and continuous professional development (CPD) for those in practice. Please contact Debbie to find out more.

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