What is your background?
I am a trained RGN with 33 years’ experience, principally in all aspects of women’s health. I have a BSc Honours Degree in Acupuncture; I’m a member of the British Acupuncture Council – the leading body in the UK- and also a member of the BMAS (British Medical Acupuncture Society).
What inspired you to start this business?
Towards the end of my career as an RGN, I decided I needed a change which together with several other factors led me to think about what I wanted to do next.
I tried some sessions of acupuncture myself, and was quite cynical about it at the start, not expecting it to help. However I was very pleasantly surprised when in fact it did help and was very interested to learn more. The idea of having my own practice really appealed to me, so I thought that was the time to do something about it.
I live in Crowborough, but opened my first practice in Bexhill in 2012. I was offered a clinic space within an osteopath practice and thought it was the ideal opportunity, so I went for it. At the start I used networking to grow my clients, then when my business was at the stage where I could expand, I decided to open new clinics my home town of Crowborough and Uckfield to be nearer to home.
What products/services do you offer?
I purely offer acupuncture, no other service or products. As I have a lot of experience as an RGN, if a client comes to me with a problem that I feel should be further discussed with their G.P. then I would say so and recommend they see their Doctor.
As I have also trained as a Midwife, one specialist area I work with is in supporting clients undergoing assisted reproductive therapies such as IVF. As such I am part of a network of specialist acupuncturists working with The Zita West Clinics (London) and the Alternative Fertility Network (AFN), which are ongoing programs of which I am an affiliated member.
Who are your clients and where do they come from?
I see a wide range of clients and the age range is from 16 to 70 years. Clients older than this often take longer to respond due to the ageing process, so more sessions are required – generally twice as long. I do not treat children less than 16 years as it is not my specialist area. Most clients live relatively local to my clinics, up to 10 miles away. Clients initially come for 1 treatment per week for 3 weeks and then we review the treatment results with the client. A further treatment plan is then discussed and agreed. The majority of my clients usually come to see me on a 2 to 6 weekly basis and I’m generally booked about 10 days ahead.
What technology or apps are most useful to your business?
I have a website which I manage myself and it brings me in new business along with pervious client’s referrals and recommendations. The website covers all the areas that I work in and I am on the first page of Google. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook but those don’t generally bring me new business as such, they are primarily for networking and my Facebook business page is more of an educational tool about acupuncture. On social media I follow everything that is local to my clinics which keep me informed about what is currently topical.
My business works because I put my clients first and I am organised and focussed. Also my RGN experience gives me an added insight into a client’s health and wellbeing and I work to bring the best of both western and oriental medicine to my clinics service.
Article written by Sue Edwards, VA Sussex for www.acupuncturespace.co.uk/