Updated: Mar 27, 2020
Now that Christmas shopping season has arrived, I am using this latest blog post to explain why you should shop local this Christmas...
When people think of a ‘business owner’, they often think of a CEO of a large company with massive amounts of cash, using their company’s profits in order to purchase yet another holiday home abroad, and driving flashy cars. In reality though, these are the exceptions, not the rule. In fact, a typical person who is self-employed runs a small business with a very modest turnover, just trying hard to provide a decent life for themselves and their families. This is especially the case when first starting out. It isn’t at all uncommon to make an overall loss in these early years. For instance, in order to run my business, I have had to pay out for my car, equipment, insurance to practice, website, promotion (e.g. online ads, leaflets, business cards, graphic design), and training courses.
Furthermore, in my line of work, the lead up to Christmas is always the quietest time of year, as people avoid booking in for treatment in order to save money for the holiday period – couple this with the fact that Christmas is also the most expensive time of year for myself as well, this creates a huge financial strain.
People often think that self-employed individuals charge too much for their services, but again, this is far from the case. Let’s take the typical £38 I charge for an hour’s mobile treatment as an example. Firstly, this is the cost of a mobile session, which is a lot more time demanding than being in-clinic, which allows you to finish seeing one person, then get the next client in straight away. On average I spend roughly 20 mins travelling to a client, and including the journey back, that brings it up to 40 mins. So there’s the first thing – you’re not paying for an hour of my time, you’re paying for an hour and 40 minutes. Now let’s take off petrol money, add the time it takes to update the accounts and patient notes, consider the fact that someone like myself who has recently started practicing doesn’t have enough clients for full-time work yet, and that most work that you do in the early years e.g. promoting the business, doesn’t pay (if anything, this actually costs money). Also take into account that self-employment doesn’t provide a minimum wage, sick pay, holiday entitlement or a workplace pension. Now reconsider – is that £38 still a lot of money? This is why I often feel taken advantage of when people expect self-employed individuals to provide a heavily-discounted rate, or even to work for free at events etc, as this seriously compromises our ability to make a living. After all, when was the last time you went in to work and did a shift at the office for free?
"People often think that self-employed individuals charge too much for their services, but again, this is far from the case... take into account that self-employment doesn’t provide a minimum wage, sick pay, holiday entitlement or a workplace pension"
So running a small business is hard, and most people don’t realise just how difficult it is. Therefore, my request is for you to shop local this Christmas, support your friends, family and colleagues who are self-employed, as it really does make a big difference to how well they can earn a living, not to mention the fact that shopping local instead of purchasing from big companies boosts the local economy. Take towns like Melton Mowbray for instance – people are always commenting on how many empty shops there are in the town centre, but this will only continue to be the case in the absence of enough people supporting these businesses!
I have plenty to offer in the way of gifts this Christmas. Why not check out the gift card options I have on sale? This allows you to purchase my services for a friend or family member. These vouchers can be purchased in electronic or paper form, and can be redeemed towards an initial consultation, follow-up, gait analysis, online injury prevention workshop or sports taping session. More info about my gift vouchers can be found at: www.willgoodbournsportsmassage.com/gift-vouchers
Also, why not check out the Christmas shopping event being held at Melton Wellness House on Sunday 24th November? Myself and other practitioners who operate at the house will be there to showcase the products and services we have on offer, and will also be providing some special deals exclusively for the event – this is a fantastic opportunity to pick up a few Christmas presents!