Small Business Sunday is a weekly feature where I talk about my work as a music therapist, running a company on my own, and the things that comes up as we go along.
2018 marks the start of my third full year in business (technically, I started in 2015, but it was only a half year). It’s pretty crazy, considering I never would have thought that’d 1) I would ever start my own practice, and 2) that I would actually manage to make it a full time gig. So that’s exciting.
As with my personal and reading lives, I decided that it would be a good idea to set some goals for my business and things I want to accomplish this year. I usually work more by the seat of my pants than careful planning, since I can never predict who is going to want services, who will cancel services, or what sort of chaos might erupt. But as these are pretty general, I’m hoping that it will be enough.
1. Increase revenue by 10%.
Yeah, I know, that’s a small increase. But as I worked a full caseload throughout last year, and can’t really take on more than I already have, it seems reasonable.
I have two ways I plan to hit this increase. The first is that my rates went up as of January 1st. The second is increasing my programming through the summer and adding more hours there though community programming and special projects.
2. Create an early childhood program that can be sustained year round.
I absolutely love running kids programs, but they’re hard to manage through the school year, because I’ve got so many daycares and preschools. But I have two different locations with a good number of people who come to all my programs, so hopefully will be able to get one of these going year round, and build that area of my business up a bit.
3. Take that ethics course I’ve been putting off.
I have two different music therapy credentials that I maintain: my Canadian one, and I also have the credentials that allow me to work in the USA. I technically don’t need the latter for my day to day work, but it’s nice to have the extra designation and it gives me more options if I were to move. The latter also requires me to take an ethics course in order to renew my MT-BC for the next cycle. And it’s probably better to just get it over with, since the exchange doesn’t seem to be improving.
4. Write more of my own children’s music.
I do a lot of my own adaptions of traditional music to make them suit an early childhood program, but I really want to start coming up with my own songs and materials to use in sessions. Doing so would also allow me to record and make albums for my clients for home use, without worrying about copyright issues.
5. Take better care of my mental health.
I slacked on this last year, and it definitely was affecting my work towards the end – I’m amazed I wasn’t more burnt out than I was by the holidays. It’s hard when your clients are struggling not to take it on yourself, but adding someone else’s problems to your own personal problems really wears on you after a while. My plan for this is still in the works, but it’s definitely going to involve being more careful with my scheduling, taking more breaks, and actually going to see a therapist myself.
I didn’t want to set more than this, because I already have a lot on my plate work wise. But all of these should be more than manageable, just a matter of making sure that I actually do them.