Every therapist wants to keep their expenses and overheads low, and this year has been exceptionally difficult for many of us. Everyone is scrambling for payment breaks and reductions, but suppliers are aware that if they lose clients, they may not be able to replace them. There’s a delicate balancing act in evidence.
Here are a few things to consider if you’re feeling the financial squeeze, business-wise.
Cut your operating expenses
Operating expenses include all of the costs you incur in order to run your business – your supplies, rental and utility bills for example. Some things may be negotiable while others are going to be harder to get help with. Remember that your suppliers are also likely to be facing financial issues right now and negotiation rather than outright demand is key.
Look at all of your outgoings, from rent and utilities to marketing expenses, and massage supplies. Prepare yourself for writing a ton of emails, making tedious phone calls, and hearing the word ‘no’ more than once, but it’ll likely be worth it if you persevere.
Renegotiate as much as you can
There will always be some services you can’t cancel or do without, and these are the ones that you’ll have to attempt to renegotiate. List every single business expense and supplier and set aside a day (or more, depending on how long the list is) for calling them and sweet talking.
The best chance of getting a discount comes from doing a little homework first. Cell phones are a good example, as are call providers in general, as we all know discounts are there to be had but going in uninformed won’t get you a good deal. So, tell them you want to leave and go to a budget cell company. Find out what they will offer you as a new customer deal and tell the current supplier that you know switching will save you $X dollars less. Ask to be put through to the customer retention department. Use this tactic on all your utilities and you should get some decent response
Negotiating rental costs may be more difficult. Find out beforehand if your rent matches up to rent on similar units and properties locally. Approach your landlord with a figure that’s realistic and suggest that it would be in both of your interests for him to drop the rent for an agreed amount of time. You’re a great tenant, he won’t want to lose you, and you don’t want to have to move. It might result in a temporary rent reduction that buys you more financial time.
Saving money on online costs
If you have a website and are promoting yourself on social media, there will be costs associated. While you can set a website up yourself using drag and drop sites like Squarespace and Wix, you might find that in the long run this costs you more because they cost you about three times as much per year as hosting a WordPress website.
TinyLetter (by MailChimp) offers free simplified email service for smaller mailing lists that’s still pretty nice.
If you can afford it, swap to WordPress. You can teach yourself and set up a site using one of the inexpensive templates on offer or consider finding a freelancer looking for some work. There are sites like ionos who will help you buy your website name if you don’t own the domain already, set up your website and even sort out a dedicated email address, inexpensively.
Subscriptions – the power of cancellation!
Do you subscribe to online services, social media scheduling services, image banks, mailing lists and more? One little known fact is that if you try to cancel most of them online, just before you reach the ‘are you really, really sure?’ page, you’ll usually be offered a reduced rate or even a free period to reconsider. They don’t want to lose you! Adobe, Canva, Zoom and some others will give you the offer at the very, very last minute but be careful not to delete any accounts accidentally…