Strategies for Slow Times During the Holidays—
Beverly Price, RD, MA, RYT
It happens every
year just before Thanksgiving and lasts through the end of the year---business
tends to slow down for many ancillary healthcare professionals—particularly
those professionals who work with patients needing diet and exercise. Why is
this? Wouldn’t you think that individuals would want to pay more attention
to their health with numerous food and beverage temptations lying around the
office, parties, etc.? Stress and holiday blues revisit at an all time high—wouldn’t
you think that your patients would want to address these issues to get through
Often, the answer to this question is “No.” People create a busy-ness
for themselves, whether it is running around purchasing gifts, attending holiday
functions, traveling, etc. and tend to put their health on the back burner.
However, there are some individuals who use down time from work to book those
healthcare appointments that they didn’t have time for when the workload
was heavy. Often, visits to the mental health practitioner are increased during
the holiday season.
What can you, as a professional, do during the holiday season to promote your
business/department and keep your patients motivated?
· Use the holiday party scene to schmooze with potential clients and
distribute your business card. What a great place to talk about what you do,
as you notice an invited guest complaining that the holiday desserts put her
over the edge.
· Attend networking meetings that you may not have had time for during
the year. These range from Women’s Business Groups, Chamber of Commerce,
Business Network International (BNI), and independent entrepreneurs groups.
· Connect with colleagues that you haven’t seen for awhile. Go
out to lunch and discuss how you can cross-refer.
· Write articles for local publications that feature holiday tips or
New Year’s resolutions, or work on obtaining media coverage for upcoming
programs where you can sell a story behind it.
· Update your website—maybe it needs a fresh, clean look.
· Revise your business and marketing plan—often when you put things
in writing, they are more likely to happen because you will follow through!
· Deliver gifts to your referral sources. With money often tight around
holiday time, consider the following:
-Homemade gift baskets—featuring fruit, essential oils, body lotion, soaps,
-Mugs, pens, notepads and/or other office paraphernalia with your business
or department logo
-Gift certificates for lunch at your referral sources favorite restaurant
-Bottle of nice wine (that isn’t too expensive!)
-Decorative item from local holiday craft sale
Most importantly, take care of yourself. Eat right, exercise, manage your stress
and create some space for yourself. You’ll be happier, healthier and ready
to start the New Year with a bang!
Beverly Price is a registered dietitian, exercise physiologist
and registered yoga teacher who offers individual and group nutrition and yoga
therapy in Bingham Farms and Royal Oak, Michigan. She provides continuing education
programs and consultation for dietitians, diabetes educators and other healthcare
professionals looking to expand their business, department or improve customer
service. For more information, log on to www.prazamana.com