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Episode 82

Why your missing out on 97% of clients

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About this episode

Hello everyone! Katie Bell here, and welcome back to another episode of the Treat Your Business podcast. Today, we’re diving deep into a topic that’s often whispered about but rarely confronted head-on: the importance of money in running a successful clinic. So, buckle up and get ready for some eye-opening insights that might just transform your approach to business!

Episode Summary

In this episode, I explore the critical role of financial health in maintaining and growing a successful clinic. I passionately discuss why money should not be a taboo topic and how it is essential for solving business problems and achieving personal and professional goals. Drawing parallels to the importance of oxygen on an aeroplane, I emphasise that a profitable business allows you to help more people and contribute positively to society. I share real-life examples, industry insights, and practical advice on how to shift from just getting by to thriving in your business. This episode is packed with actionable tips to help you improve your clinic’s financial performance and overall success.

Key Takeaways

  1. Money as Oxygen for Your Business: Just like oxygen is vital for survival, money is crucial for a business to thrive. Without it, you can’t help others or sustain your operations.
  2. Changing the Mindset Around Money: Many in the industry feel uncomfortable talking about money, but it’s important to shift this mindset and recognise that being profitable enables you to deliver better services and create a greater impact.
  3. Business Skills Over Technical Skills: Having excellent clinical skills is not enough. Successful business owners also need strong business skills. Investing in your business education is crucial for long-term success.
  4. The Importance of Marketing: Great products and services are essential, but without effective marketing, potential clients won’t know you exist. Focus on building relationships and educating your audience to convert them into loyal customers.
  5. Customer Acquisition and Retention: Understand the different stages of the customer journey—prospects, leads, and customers—and tailor your marketing strategies to address each stage effectively.
  6. Building a Sustainable Business Model: To achieve financial freedom and personal fulfilment, it’s important to create a business model that supports reasonable working hours, continuous growth, and a healthy work-life balance.
  7. Upcoming Live Event: Mark your calendars for October 25th for a live, in-person event that promises to be a game-changer for clinic owners. Stay tuned for more details!

This episode is a must-listen for any


This podcast is sponsored by HMDG


  • 0:00-Introduction
  • 0:00-Changing the Mindset Around Money
  • 1:27-Importance of Money in Business
  • 5:17-Changing the Mindset Around Money
  • 9:22-Business Skills Over Technical Skills
  • 15:15-The Importance of Marketing
  • 19:15-Customer Acquisition and Retention
  • 23:30-Building a Sustainable Business Model
  • 25:31-Upcoming Live Event
  • 26:30-Final Thoughts and Encouragement


Treat Your BusinessEP82

[00:00:00] Katie Bell: Money isn’t everything, right? But it ranks pretty high up there with oxygen. But nothing kills a business faster than a lack of oxygen. Also known as a lack of money. But why are we so unashamedly focused on the money? And getting money? In our industry in particular, I hear this all the time. We don’t want to talk about the money.

[00:00:25] Katie Bell: We feel icky when it comes to selling our services to clients because we don’t want them to think that we’re in it for the money, but there’s almost no business problem that can’t be solved with more money, which is really handy because almost every business I know is full of problems. Including my own, can I just say.

[00:00:45] Katie Bell: Every business has problems and money can solve most of them. Money helps you solve the vast majority of things that make business a pain in the ass. And secondly, When you’ve taken care of yourself, you then have a chance to help others on a much bigger scale. But I know you’re going to tell me, Katie, I didn’t go into this business to make loads of money.

[00:01:10] Katie Bell: If I did, I should have chosen another profession. I hear you. So you’re either lying or you have a hobby, you have a job, not a business. And yes, I know we are all about delivering value. We are all about being exceptional therapists and being great at what we do and transforming lives and changing the world and so on.

[00:01:31] Katie Bell: But how much of that can we do if we are skint? How many people can we help? If our business isn’t profitable, how long can you keep doing what you’re doing and not have your take home pay increasing or being consistent? How many hours can you work and not be present with your family and still take no money out of your business?

[00:01:57] Katie Bell: I hear this so many times when we have calls with clinic owners who will tell me that they’re paying themselves the minimum and they will just top up as and when they need and I just think this is all wild. Thing in our industry. Our industry seems to not value ourselves and the transformations that we make to people’s lives high enough.

[00:02:20] Katie Bell: We’re underpaid, we’re undervalued. When you get on an aeroplane, they’re going to go through all the safety procedures and the airline attendant inevitably gets to the point which we can pretty much say off the top of our heads now if you’ve been on a plane hundreds of times in your life should the cabin experience sudden pressure loss Oxygen masks will drop down from above your seat.

[00:02:42] Katie Bell: Please place the mask over your mouth and nose and pull the straps to tighten. If you are travelling with children or someone who requires assistance, make sure that you use your own mask first before helping others. How good was that? Could be an airline attendant. No, I couldn’t. I’m so travel sick. I would hate every minute of it.

[00:02:58] Katie Bell: Why would we fit your own mask before helping others? Because if you’re sitting over your seat suffering from a lack of oxygen, you can’t help anybody else. And even worse, We now have to deploy those really scarce resources to come and help you because otherwise you’re going to be dead.

[00:03:16] Katie Bell: I want you to think about this in terms of your business. Oxygen, money is the thing that is, you absolutely have to focus on. And it’s not from a place of not being with the integrity with that thought. It’s from a place of if I make more money, I could help more people.

[00:03:39] Katie Bell: If I make more money. I can contribute to society in a much greater way. I always think, in fact, I’m recording this podcast now and I’m looking through the windows of my office because it’s at the bottom of the garden, most of you know this, and I look back at my house. I have a really outrageous commute, let me tell you.

[00:03:57] Katie Bell: But I’m looking back now and at the moment I can see through the window that my cleaners are here and they come on a Monday to just do a little titivate. By me not being profitable, I would put them out of work. And this morning I was on a big two hour call on a massive big strategy meeting about something that is going to be happening.

[00:04:18] Katie Bell: It’s going to be going down in our industry. In the next few months, and I’m going to be able to tell you about this really soon, but my lips are sealed for another two weeks. I’m recording this in June, so if you’re listening to this outside of that, it’s already happened, or it’s happening, and you’re going to know about it.

[00:04:35] Katie Bell: But oh my goodness, how exciting. But I was on this massive call, and my window cleaner turned up. And I was thinking, if I didn’t make money, He, I wouldn’t be able to give him a job. So there’s all of these people that you can contribute to within society that put money back into society that makes the world go round.

[00:04:53] Katie Bell: It makes the world a better place. But you’ve got to focus on the oxygen in your business. The stats vary. And exactly what percentages of businesses fail within the first five years. But some estimates put it as high as 90%! I’ve never seen this stat being quoted as anything less than 50%, right? So let’s take my super optimistic view on things.

[00:05:17] Katie Bell: That means that you have a 50 50 chance of still having your clinic doors open after five years. But this is where it gets really worse. These stats don’t take into account, or they only take into account, businesses that completely cease trading. What they don’t take into account is the businesses that plateau at a low level and slowly kill or make the lives of their owners so miserable.

[00:05:42] Katie Bell: Have you ever wondered why No small businesses plateau at a mediocre level. At one end of the spectrum, you’ve got Pete the clinic owner who works 16 hour days. He’s doing 60, 70, 80 patients. He never takes holiday, or whilst he, when he does take holiday, still having to answer patient emails and juggle a million things.

[00:06:06] Katie Bell: And he’s just about making enough money to keep his head above water. He doesn’t really know how much he can pay himself each month, and he just has to look in the bank to see what he can afford to pay himself. And on the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got Sally, who runs a a physio and wellness clinic with 20 physios working for her.

[00:06:26] Katie Bell: It seems like her primary business model is just counting the sums of money that keep rolling in. Because she has systems in place, she has now a team doing the work for her. And she sits in a seat which is managing director, MD, CEO. She is the visionary, but she’s not the one necessarily doing all the do.

[00:06:46] Katie Bell: It’s really common for small businesses to never grow past the point at which they generate just enough profit for you as the owner to make a modest living. Not a great living, a modest living. And it seems that no matter how hard the owners try, their efforts to get to the next level just lead to more and more frustration.

[00:07:07] Katie Bell: And then at this point, one of two things can happen. They get really disillusioned. Or they just accept that their fate is, their business is nothing more than a low paid, self created job. Now I know that what I have just said is going to resonate for some of you listening to this podcast.

[00:07:25] Katie Bell: And the reality is that many business owners would probably be better off getting a job in the industry. They’d probably work less hours, they would probably have less stress, they would probably enjoy more benefits and have more holiday time. But on the flip side, there are some business owners that seem to have it all.

[00:07:45] Katie Bell: They’ve created reasonable working hours, they’ve got fantastic cash flow, they enjoy continuous growth, they go on holiday, they are unplugged on their holidays.

[00:07:56] Katie Bell: But many business owners blame this industry. Many business owners say we’re just like an insurance driven industry, and it’s like a low paid industry, and nobody, nobody’s going to pay our prices if we increase them. Nobody’s going to want to work for me unless I’m paying them 50, 60, 70%.

[00:08:17] Katie Bell: But this, May be particularly difficult if you’ve been in an industry for a long time. But for the most part, when people blame our industry or their industry, they’re just playing the blame game. And some of the most common industry complaints I hear are this, it’s way too competitive. I ran a stat, in fact I had to chat to UPT before I came on the podcast, how many clinic owners How many clinics are there in the UK right now?

[00:08:39] Katie Bell: And they said there’s 6, 000 clinics within the UK in the physio world. That’s not osteopaths, sports massage therapists, etc. So everybody tells me it’s too competitive. People tell me that the margins are too low because they’re having to pay their staff or these massively hiked prices.

[00:09:00] Katie Bell: And the advertising doesn’t really work in our industry. And I have to say That’s a load of rubbish. It’s rarely the industry that’s truly to blame. Cause after all, there’s quite a lot of people doing quite well in the industry. So the obvious question is what are they doing differently?

[00:09:19] Katie Bell: The biggest thing that they’re doing differently,

[00:09:22] Katie Bell: and I guess it’s vitally important distinction to make and to know is that. The key reason that most small businesses fail is because the owner of the business have excellent technical skills. They are clinically absolutely smashing it out of the park. They have spent thousands and thousands of pounds on CPD courses on the shoulder, on the hip, on the SI joint.

[00:09:49] Katie Bell: So they are technically amazing at what they do, and every single clinic owner who I speak to, and I have the pleasure of speaking to, are f ing incredible. We have incredible people in our industry. We transform lives,

[00:10:05] Katie Bell: but they lack business skills, and it’s this lack of business skills that caused the business to fail. Now, this is not meant to discourage you from being in, being a business owner or a clinic owner, or from starting your own business. But what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to resolve to become a good business owner, a good clinic owner, not just the technical thing that we do.

[00:10:32] Katie Bell: A business is an amazing way for achieving financial freedom. Personal fulfillment, time, freedom, experiences, travel, adventure.

[00:10:44] Katie Bell: So the first thing that I want to say is that we’ve got to get good on the business side. And I don’t know about you, but when I went to uni, and I don’t actually think anything’s changed now. But when I went to uni, I got not even one hour on business, not even one hour. So my job in this industry. is to get you good at the business stuff, to get you great, to get you exceptional.

[00:11:15] Katie Bell: You can, you are all great clinically, you are all great technically, you don’t need to keep doing more and more things thinking that’s going to be the thing that breaks you free or sets you free.

[00:11:25] Katie Bell: The key to success is getting really great on the business side of stuff. Now I’m just going to seed something in here. Because this is my mission, because I am so passionate about allowing clinic owners to live the best versions of their lives and to free them of feeling completely trapped and on this hamster wheel and burnout and exhausted.

[00:11:53] Katie Bell: And because I am here to uplevel our whole industry’s self worth and value, then I’ve planned this thing. It started off as a small thing and then I realized that I was holding myself back. I had those limiting beliefs that imposter syndrome coming up and I realized that for me to positively impact the lives of a million people or more by 2027, because that’s our mission in Thrive I had to, we had to crank things up a little bit.

[00:12:25] Katie Bell: Not a little bit, a lot. So I got out of my own way and I’ve planned this thing. But at the time of this podcast releasing,

[00:12:35] Katie Bell: All I can tell you about this thing is that you are gonna wanna be there. It’s October the 25th. That’s pretty much the only information you need. It’s October the 25th. It’s live. It’s in person. It’s face to face. Aren’t we all fucking bored of listening to me on a podcast? Every Wednesday on your way to the clinic and not being part of a community.

[00:13:00] Katie Bell: Are we all sick of being on Zoom? Yes, we are. Isn’t it about time That we broke the mould, we freed ourselves from being on Zoom and not consuming any of the content or actually doing anything about it because it’s easy to just not be present, it’s easy to be on your phone, it’s easy to buy another one of those courses and never actually listen to it or do anything about it.

[00:13:19] Katie Bell: This is going to be different. We are going to create the most exceptional learning experience that this industry has ever seen. We are going to create community, you are going to get to mastermind amongst. Others. We are going to collectively, together, up level our confidence, self worth, and self belief.

[00:13:45] Katie Bell: Because you are not on this planet to just run a mediocre business or a clinic. And if you are, then definitely don’t come to the live event, guys. It’s not for you. Which is fine. So I just seeded that little thing in there, because if you do nothing else, Cut that date in your diary, so that you cannot tell me.

[00:14:07] Katie Bell: Okay. See I’ve already got clients booked in. Okay See, I haven’t got the kids sorted and I’m saying that with the most amount of love possible Because I know that you’re all super busy seeing clients, but if you cannot Separate yourself from the business and get yourself out of it for a day. Then you need to really look at What’s going on for you and why, like this, you need to be at even more.

[00:14:31] Katie Bell: Okay. So that was just my little seed of something very exciting that’s happening. I can’t tell you anything more, but keep your eyes peeled. I’m going to be talking about it even more over the next few weeks. Let’s get back to the podcast.

[00:14:46] Katie Bell: So many business owners fool themselves into thinking that if their product is excellent, the market will buy from them. The concept of. I want to say this in a really big voice, but I won’t because that’d be weird. If you build it, they will come. That kind of concept that if you’ve got the best shockwave machine, if you’ve got the best clinical staff, if you’ve got there’s somebody with a master’s and a, and then this, that and the other, then everybody will just want to work with you and want to come to your clinic.

[00:15:15] Katie Bell: It’s a strategy that’s really packing expensive guys and comes with a really high rate of failure. So great products are not enough. Marketing must be one of the major activities. that you’re doing in your business for your business to be a success. When does a prospect find out about how good your product or your service is?

[00:15:36] Katie Bell: When is it? The answer, of course, is when they buy from you. If they don’t buy, they’ll never know how good you are. Nothing happens until the sale is made. We’ve got to understand a really important concept. A good product is a customer retention tool. Period.

[00:15:55] Katie Bell: They’ll buy more from us, they’ll refer other people to us, they’ll build up, it’ll build up our brand through this word of mouth that everybody relies on in our industry. But before customer retention happen, happens, we’ve got to think about customer acquisition, aka get the clients in through the door.

[00:16:15] Katie Bell: Marketing. So the most successful clinic owners will start with the marketing. They will think about What do I need to do to be more visible? Now, last week, you will have heard me talk on the podcast about, we talked a lot about offline marketing. And one of the things that I’m going to talk about today is why many of you are missing out on 97%.

[00:16:40] Katie Bell: of your prospects. So

[00:16:45] Katie Bell: we label people going through the before phase as prospects. These are the they don’t really know you exist yet and the successful completion of this phase is that the prospect knows who you are and is indicating interest in you. Okay, so Tom is a really busy Salesperson in somebody’s business and they sit at a desk all day and he’s really He is in a lot of neck pain and back pain he can’t focus, he can’t concentrate, it’s making his vision go all funny he’s not sleeping well, so he’s really tired, so he’s reaching for more and more coffee, and we’re just in this massive circle.

[00:17:23] Katie Bell: Now, Tom is now searching for a solution. Tom is like I cannot cope with this anymore. Okay, so Tom clicks on a Google ad, for example, and he’s taken to a page where or Tom sees something, for example, that might spark his interest. Something educational about neck pain on social media channels or it’s a how to free yourself from net pain in five simple ways.

[00:17:53] Katie Bell: Downloadable guide. Now he clicks on this, he puts his email address, and Tom sees value in that thing. He enters his email address, and that means we’ve moved him from a prospect into a lead. These have indicated some interest in your offer or your thing or the way that you work and then you move them from that phase into customers.

[00:18:16] Katie Bell: That is when Tom reads your downloadable five step guide, he gets genuinely great tips that he previously didn’t know, he’s implemented them, he’s had a quick win and in addition to that, because he’s downloaded that guide, you have sent him an email saying, Tom, how is your neck pain? Are you still in neck pain?

[00:18:37] Katie Bell: Tom, would you like to feel like an owl? Or whatever. It prompts him to start connecting with some of your content. Which means that Tom is now more likely to take your call to action, which is Okay, get out of neck pain consultation. And then Tom becomes a customer.

[00:18:57] Katie Bell: So before is the prospect, you get to they have to get to know you and indicate interest. During is the lead, they, this is about getting them to like you and buy from you from the first time. And then after is getting them to trust you and buy from you regularly and refer new business to you.

[00:19:15] Katie Bell: So one of the biggest mistakes we see is that people try and sell directly from their adverts. So they use their ad to say, Physiotherapy clinic, open, book now, or physiotherapy appointments available, or we are osteopaths in your local area, click here to book. And the big reason that this doesn’t work as well as people want it to work is because most people don’t know you’re what they need.

[00:19:43] Katie Bell: And at any given time, about 3 percent of your target market is highly motivated and ready to buy. 3 percent are hot balls of fire that are like, I cannot deal with this back pain any longer, I’m going to pick up the phone and I’m going to ring today. But those are all the people that know, Ah, I’m going to ring the physio, I’m looking for an osteopath, or I’m looking for this person in my local area.

[00:20:10] Katie Bell: So these people are highly motivated, ready to buy. But these are the prospects that most of your marketing hopes to convert. But there’s 7 percent of people who are very open to buying. but not like absolutely going to press the button there and then. There are 30 percent of people who are interested but just not right now.

[00:20:31] Katie Bell: The next 30 percent are not interested and the final 30 percent won’t take your product or your offer even if it was for free. So when we are selling directly from our advert, like book here for a physio appointment, you’re only targeting the 3 percent who are ready to buy immediately and therefore losing out the 97%.

[00:20:49] Katie Bell: When we create a lead generating advert or where we change our marketing strategy, you increase your addressable market to 40%. Because you get the 3 percent who are hot, the 7 percent who are ready or open to buying, and the 30 percent of people who are interested but not right now. 30 plus 7 plus 3, 40%.

[00:21:14] Katie Bell: By going from 3 percent to 40%, that’s increasing your effectiveness of your advertising by 1, 233%.

[00:21:22] Katie Bell: This is about building a relationship first, rather than just going in for the jugular to make that sale or to force it down people’s neck. It’s the kind of marketing that’s like sowing the seeds on the farm because it’s an investment in the future. As your database of interested people grows, your business and your results will grow.

[00:21:43] Katie Bell: When you educate, when you teach you’re seen as an expert and as an authority, you’re not questioned. Therefore, you can technically charge any amount of money, just gonna drop that in there. Your trustworthiness skyrockets. You are positioned as the expert and you’re set apart from all of that competition.

[00:22:01] Katie Bell: You have hot, warm, and cold. Hot, warm, and cold. Most people’s marketing is just trying to focus on the hot. They’re like people who are instantly ready to buy. And that’s great. And we need that marketing strategy. That’s why Google Ads works really well, because it is pushing an ad in front of somebody who is actively searching for the solution to their problem.

[00:22:27] Katie Bell: But we have this other pool. Forget your cold people for now, but you’ve got to think about all of those people who know they have a problem, but don’t know what they need to do about it.

[00:22:39] Katie Bell: It’s about educating and teaching to convert them into Becoming. A prospect, a lead, and then a customer.

[00:22:48] Katie Bell: So I want you to imagine that the marketing strategy is a branch on the tree. And this is, and on that branch, that like main think branch that comes off, there’s like loads of little branches, okay, and then you’ve got, then this is like one of the things that we’re doing when it comes to our marketing strategy.

[00:23:06] Katie Bell: It’s not the whole thing, it’s a part of it. It’s a part we often forget, and there’s lots of different big branches like your sales strategy, your finance, your numbers, your team, operations, but they all are sat on a big, thick tree trunk. That is your roadmap, that is your overall plan,

[00:23:30] Katie Bell: and beneath that, for the tree trunk to stay upright, is the roots, and the roots is you and your performance as the clinic owner. Homaya. So I want always to offer some kind of, real advice here because I hear so many, I see so many things online and on the internet and lots of different the coaching platforms just talking about, buy this lead magnet and do this to she’s going to change your life and change your business and make you millions of pounds.

[00:24:01] Katie Bell: It’s not going to because that branch is just a part of the whole tree. And if you work on that branch and you haven’t worked on your roadmap and the actual plan for your business. Then I ain’t gonna work and if we don’t work on your performance as a clinic owner that roadmap isn’t gonna work either So this is a part of the whole picture.

[00:24:22] Katie Bell: That’s what I want you to know But it’s a really important part that cannot be left out when it comes to being visible and getting you in front of the people that need you the most. And to do that, we need to be profitable. We need to make money. I have really enjoyed this week’s podcast. And I hope I’ve inspired you to believe in yourselves, to know that you are good enough, And to know that there is things that you know, there’s things that you don’t know about running a business, and there’s things that you don’t know you don’t know yet.

[00:25:04] Katie Bell: There’s all that stuff out there that you are yet to learn when it comes to being, to running a successful clinic. If you’ve never learnt it and don’t know it how do you know how to do it? And that’s where we come in. That’s where our podcast is here to drip feed you great bits of advice and tips and tactics and tools and strategies each week to try and encourage you to really start.

[00:25:31] Katie Bell: Focusing on your CPBD, your continuing professional business development, not just more and more courses about the shoulder or the neck or the pelvic floor or whatever it is. I love you all dearly. Have a fabulous rest of your Wednesday. I can’t wait to be back again next week with another episode.

[00:25:49] Katie Bell: And don’t forget to get October the 25th in your diary and all will be revealed soon.

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