There are so many choices when it comes to building a business, you can invest your time and money into things that you "think" will build it or things that will actually build it. There are three things that I did which I believe have been very significant in taking me to the level of success that I now enjoy:
- Professional Development - I am a life-long learner. You certainly don't have to do what I did in taking four university degrees but I do believe that it is extremely important that you continually update your skills and knowledge so that you can offer competent serve and expand your practice. For example, I have taken training to become a professional mediator, substance abuse expert and parenting coordinator. When the economy was at its lowest and other therapists were struggling to make a living, I was fine. You see, I had many referral sources because I offered diversified services.
- Effective technology - I have never hesitated to invest in equipment and software that will speed up administrative tasks and automate tasks that would otherwise require considerable man hours. Having hardware that offers speed and software that is customized allows me to perform necessary activities with a few clicks of the mouse. I am able to save thousands of dollars in salaries because of the things that I can do myself in seconds. Computers do not save time or money unless they meet your needs and you therefore need to make sure that the person who is helping you to set up your network understands exactly what you do need and how to accomplish that efficiently.
- Expanding into areas that bring business and personal satisfaction - I like variety and have always had interests that have encouraged me to do things that others in my field never consider. For example, I have written two books, am a columnist for newspapers in two provinces, and fulfill professional speaking opportunities. All of these works together with my other professional activities so that each enhances the work of the others. You need to do things that will give you options for earning business income and, at the same time, keep you excited about getting up each morning.
The three categories listed have built my business and given me satisfaction. I have always, however, had to remember what the core of the business is so that I am not tempted to head off in a direction that might destroy the success that I worked hard to achieve.