The email from one of my Clients looked innocuous enough. But inside was a bomb, primed and ready to wreck my early Friday evening as I began to unwind for the Bank Holiday weekend.
I was all set to go to the local theatre to see my friend’s talented daughter play Rizzo in Grease. She was, by the way, extraordinary.
However, the bombshell went off and I felt pole axed and in pieces. All that I had worked so hard for, all the time I had invested in building my business from the floor up seemed lost. Fear sat like cold porridge in the pit of my stomach.
My mind monkeys went berserk, fighting with each other in a bid to laugh the loudest – my biggest competitor had turned his nuclear marketing missile on to Osteopaths!
His email thanked my Client for downloading his special ebook that promised to transform her Osteopathic practice in seven steps! My stomach churned as I imagined my faithful tribe of beloved Osteopaths leaving me and going to join the boy with the monster marketing machine at his disposal.
Clucking like a hen about to lay, I dived into my online group of women business owners and wailed like a jilted bride. I stood no chance up against this marketing genius! What was I going to do?
But the girls quickly rallied and they smothered me in virtual hugs and then they said in unison, “But Gilly, he’s not YOU! He doesn’t understand Osteopathy, he doesn’t know about the constraints Osteopaths are under and he doesn’t care for them as passionately as you do! Maybe this is a template ebook which can be altered from Osteopath to Chiropractor or Beauty Therapist or Dentist!”
And their words soothed me and I realised that I couldn’t compete with him on his level. I am just not cut out to be a marketing machine. But I am cut out to help Osteopaths to follow their dreams. It’s important to me to pass on my own personal experiences of building a small but essential business within a valued community.
I am passionate about OSTEOPATHS. Not builders, not cleaning companies and not dentists.
And then the realisation dawned. There will always be the threat of a competitor who tries to muscle in on your patch. And the reality is that some people will be wooed by their slick operation. And if that’s the case, then let’s just blow them a kiss, wish them well and let it go.
I don’t have a massive ‘sales funnel’ and I don’t have a team of hundreds who will call you and tell you how to change your business.
I am Gilly, not a company. I am passionately convinced that osteopathy should be better promoted within every community, better known for its incredible benefits and better respected for its ability to help the body to heal.
You know, every day I get excited to read my emails and see how you’re getting on. I even get encouraging messages from around the globe which greatly spurs me on! Every Monday I personally talk to my Osteobiz Club Members and together we come up with the next step or two to take towards the particular business they want. Some want dynasties and legacies and some want to earn enough to enable them to treat children whose families cannot pay. And we must honour those individual dreams and strive for them.
Last Friday at 7.15am I began writing six blogs for a Client. I had drawn out from her who specifically she wanted to work with. I checked out her website and the tone she preferred, I researched a little to make sure I was accurate. I got lost in my words for many hours and drank many cups of tea. Great little blogs flew out of my pen specifically for her and to help build her Practice. It didn’t even feel like work!
I don’t have a template with blanks to fill in; I make sure that what I deliver is to the best of my ability and suited to the growth of your particular Practice.
And it’s the same for you.
You also love your work and strive to do your best. But at any moment a highly respected competitor could come along to your patch and open up a new Clinic. What are you going to do? Give up and go and stack shelves in a supermarket? Of course not. Competition is healthy. We shouldn’t be scared of what others might do in our area.
What we must do is to make sure we understand what our unique talents are, value our skills by pricing them correctly and specialise. We should also remember that we offer something that nobody else can.
Never forget that ‘people buy people’ and your particular talents are unique.
Indeed, over the years I have communicated with hundreds of Osteopaths and the one thing that strikes me is that, despite having learned specific techniques in a structured classroom, you all then develop those abilities and every one of you will have a slightly different way of questioning, diagnosing and treating.
So if a competitor muscles in on your patch, you have nothing to fear. Your people love what YOU do: look after them well and they will ALWAYS come back for more.