What's in YOUR Budget?

What’s in YOUR Budget?Nicole Hodson Photo

End of year here at NANP means one BIG project: working on the budget for next year. While I don’t relish the exercise of working on complex spreadsheets and crunching numbers for hours on end, I do get charged up by planning out the coming year. It’s exciting to think about new projects and ways to improve our business, to bring more value and benefits to NANP members.

As I think about you, our members, I wonder how your budgeting process is going? What are you dreaming up for 2018? How many new clients do you anticipate? Where will they come from and how will you find them? Strategizing about bringing money into your practice is important, but so is planning how you will re-invest that money into your business.

Remember that adage, “You have to spend money to make money?”

Well, as much as I hate to part with hard earned income, this adage is true. It’s impossible to grow a business without regularly investing in it. The key is to be strategic about your spending, looking for ways to capitalize on every penny spent.

Try asking yourself questions like, “What’s the next step in my education? Will getting a new credential (say becoming Board Certified in Holistic NutritionTM) or a certificate in a specialty area help me to attract more clients? What additional modalities or services would benefit my existing clients? Could power partnerships with allied health professionals help my clients achieve their health goals more easily? What tools could I provide that I’m not currently providing?”

Translating the answers to these questions into actionable budget items is crucial. You must spend some time researching your options. I know what you’re thinking… TIME?! Who has time in mid-December? Agreed. December is arguably the busiest month of the year. But, making time to plan your business’ growth for the coming year is time very well spent.

Here’s an idea: wake up an hour early, grab a cup of bullet proof coffee or your favorite tea, settle in while things are quiet, and start the process. Take one early morning hour each day for one week to research and map out your growth strategy and I promise you will be on your way to a solid plan for the coming year.

Need ideas? I have a few:

  • Attend Conferences. One of the most efficient ways to boost your education, learn about new protocols, products and services is to attend industry conferences. NANP’s annual conference and expo is THE event of the year for holistic nutrition professionals. TIP: Maximize your travel and lodging dollars by attending a pre-conference session and earn a new certification. Check out our two pre-conference offerings for 2018.
  • Add a Credential. If you’re a professional member of the NANP you need to earn continuing education units to renew your membership anyway. Why not capitalize on that expenditure by getting a specialty certificate to set yourself apart from the crowd? Click here to peruse all your options (some even offer exclusive discounts to NANP members!)
  • Join a Business Networking Leads Organization. I joined LeTip International when I was in clinical practice. LeTip allows only one professional from each industry into a chapter, so you’ll want to find a chapter that doesn’t already have a nutritionist. My chapter had approximately 35 other members, who were all incentivized to provide me with warm leads. LeTip referrals accounted for more than 70% of my annual practice income. Talk about a return on investment! You might also want to check out Business Network International (BNI).
  • Form Power Partnerships. Let’s face it, many of your clients come to you with complex health issues that could benefit from a multi-faceted approach. Partnering with allied health professionals could help your clients reach their health goals quicker and in a more comprehensive way. Make a list of practitioners in your area with whom you’d like to partner. Stop by their office with a basket of healthy food, smoothie shots, or a veggie platter, and ask for an appointment to tell the practitioner and his/her staff about you and your practice. General Practitioners, Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Massage Therapists, Mental Health providers are a few of the types of practitioners who can make great partners for nutrition professionals. I’m sure you can think of more, and you’ll be amazed at how much interest you’ll drum up.

If you’ve got other ideas, we’d love for you to share them with us and your fellow NANP-ers. Click here to let us in on your ideas or see what others will be doing to grow their businesses. After all, the more productive we are as a group, the more people we can help.

Whatever your objectives are for 2018, I wish you peace, good health and prosperity for the remainder of 2017 and the coming year.  

Healthy regards,

Nicole Hodson, NC, BCHNTM
NANP Executive Director

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