As I enter into 2014, I can’t help but reminisce about the year past. 2013 was an eventful year for me and Counseling India, the clinic I run in Bangalore. I moved to Seattle in May 2011 with just faith that the clinic will do alright. My fellow counselor was someone I trusted and depended on and she has delivered sincerely. We did well. The clients went home happy, we paid the bills and basked in the glory of a job well done.
But as I enter into the New Year, I am asking myself and my team if that would be enough. Will hard work and sincerity alone take us to newer heights and feed our minds and stomachs? Competition is up and newer, younger talent is abundant. It is imminently possible that just breaking even could start posing a challenge, something I have never experienced in my working life. The only way our clinic can grow is if we offer unique services. Exploring newer avenues of marketing can only help.
For the last 13 years I have been uncomfortable and wary about marketing the clinic and myself. To me it was akin to selling a consumer product. The clinic and its services are much more than that. We offer solace, peace, direction.... not something that should be peddled as wares in the market. I have been scornful of fellow professionals in my field who do that.
But my high and mighty thoughts and lofty ideals are tasting dust in the light of the modern sun. My leased clinic space is becoming pricier. Clients are getting snagged. Assessment kits and other instruments are getting more and more expensive with passing time. Good work alone is not going to help. We will have to aggressively market what we do. I have full faith in the services and assessments we offer, but organizing ourselves into an efficient team is the need of the hour. I am bracing myself for this non clinical work to increase the footfalls in the clinic. It’s not going to be easy. We are expanding our range of offerings to keep up with the newer expectations of the clients. We are brainstorming. We are stepping out of our comfort zones while walking the thin line between ethical professionalism and utilitarian issues
If I am honest to myself, hope is a precious commodity as I swim in new waters. The team is looking for motivation and direction and I have precious little apart from my clinical knowledge and experience to give them. But, I am learning new things about business, every day and discovering new insights.
As I walk down this path, there is only one thing that I am clear about -We will survive and we will thrive. Times are changing and so will we.