Article first published in CAM Magazine
A niche market can mean the success or failure to develop and run a successful clinic. When you look at some of the most common treatment techniques you need to consider the advantage of it being a well known household name or not. On one level the familiarity is good, but as a practitioner it can work against you. Everyone of the same modality is your competition and they are preying on the same customers. So one has to consider if there is a saturation point, before determining if this modality can benefit from another practitioner in your local area.
One thing that made me laugh when I was working at one of my first clinics in Ladbroke Grove. I was given a leaflet by the centre for a practitioner who had loads of skills and then was just me, with just the one. This practitioner could do healing, reiki, light therapy, massage, indian head massage, mediation…the list just went on and on about 12 different techniques in all. What was so apparent was that although she was able to do all these skills, she was not a specialist of any.
Working in a niche but ever expanding field of treatment is why we have been able to build a reputation and gain a good corporate identity that has lead to our successes. I feel that a growing marketplace is better than a saturated one.
The other aspect of working in a niche field is the type of work that you do. It is important that the technique has the ability to provide a good, lasting affect that inspires the client to make positive changes in their lives thereafter. The specific type of client or ailments that you specialise in is equally important. For us having worked with difficult and debilitating illnesses and symptoms with both children and adults is what makes the work defined and very rewarding.
The other important aspect to not being saturated is that it is imperative that we do not allow our technique to become diluted like so many others. In particular those where practitioners have received just basic training or those who have integrated other techniques but still call it the same name. I should say that integration is fine but then it needs a new identity. But in so many cases they are not and the public do not really know what they are getting.
I remember when I had an organic food shop when one of my staff offered to give me a shoulder massage. I thought great, having had such a long day. But as we went through the session I realised that she was doing something else. In this case some reiki as well. It wasn’t that I had a problem with reiki, it was the fact that she was giving me treatment without telling me.
Dilution and misrepresentation are the two main things that have held me back for years from training practitioners. Myself and my wife Joanne who is a senior practitioner and administrator of the foundation have invested so much into our clinic, school and reputation we just didn’t wanted ill-guided, poorly managed and trained practitioners going out there and living off what we had strived for years to build up. Then for the rug to be pulled from below our feet for the sake of earning a few extra bucks and giving out certificates.
Standards of excellence
As the founder of a technique and training school I feel that not only do I have a role but a responsibility to make sure that all practitioner students and newly qualified practitioners have the skills, experience and knowledge base to represent themselves and their school / foundation. Most importantly that the practitioner adheres to the standards of excellence, as the public deserve no less.
For this reason not do only do the students need to receive the training, but thereafter once qualified it is a necessity that they receive a mentoring and support system to be in place, to maintain such standards of excellence and to develop and fine tune the techniques and knowledge base thereafter.
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