- Published: 31 Mar 2017
The Importance Of Counselling in a Niche Market
Back in 2006, when I made the scary decision to commence my own counselling business I was met with considerable skepticism. Well-meaning friends and acquaintances advised me to be very careful because I was giving up a high paying job and I might fail. For this reason,
I vacillated between yes it will work “to “what if doesn’t work?”
Naturally, I listened to the opinions of others at first but then I realised if I didn’t give this a go I would spend the rest of my life wondering “what if??”
If you are thinking of starting your own practice it is very important that you get advice from the right people. Whilst friends and family will naturally give you advice, it may not be conducive to reaching your goal.
With that in mind there are some essential steps that you should consider before you start.
This week I will focus on “Counselling in a niche market!”
As a counsellor, it is very difficult to be everything to everyone. I have found that the people who create a ’niche market’, take for example specific focus area of career counselling, are usually more successful that the ones who start a generic counselling practice.
Here is an example of what I mean: (client name changed).
James came to see me about starting his practice. He planned to open a counselling practice on the Sunshine Coast. When I asked James what type of client he was looking for he couldn’t give me an answer. I then asked James what he loved most about his studies and he said helping people find a positive outcome. James’s previous career had been as a financial planner and he loved seeing his clients but just didn’t like the hard sell component of his job. As I drilled down I found that James had a great knowledge of financials, budgets, loans etc. The further we went into this James himself came up with the idea that he was very well qualified to become a financial counsellor, thus utilising both his counselling skills and his financial skills. No longer would he have to sell product, but rather he could begin to help people get their finances in order.
James realised that as a financial counsellor he could provide support to people in financial difficulty, whilst utilising his counselling skills.
Now some of you may be saying “but those people couldn’t afford to pay”. James went on to contract for non-for profit organisations who provide support to those in need. James had his own practice but the clients were supplied to him from another source whilst he remained an independent contractor running his own business.
There are main four points I would like to leave you with:
- Don’t try and be everything to everyone, look for your strengths outside your counselling skills, there are bound to be many.
- Don’t always think that you must go out there hunting for clients, there are a myriad of ways to gain clients once you decide exactly what you are going to specialise in.
- Try very hard not to listen to negativity, this is often the other persons fear that is being projected onto you.
- Seek professional advice from people who have the necessary skills to help you reach your goal.
If you have any questions regarding this information, please call Jigsaw Training for a friendly chat.
Sally Healey, CEO
Jigsaw Consulting Group Pty Ltd