Maintaining professional standards: professionalism in all areas of an aromatherapy practice, from the second the client steps through the door and into the aromatherapy business, practical niceties such as flowers, soft lighting and music, spotlessly clean linen and punctuality.
In regards for a client’s right to privacy and keeping your financial affairs in order, these are all vital elements of keeping your aromatherapy clinic running smoothly and successfully.
The following 9 tips are best business practices for any professional business whether large or small. Following these tips ensure your business runs smoothly at all times, information is easily at hand when you need it and come tax time, you can hand your accountant a neat set of well organized books, no over flowing shoe box in sight!
By setting professional boundaries between the aromatherapist and client, clear guidelines on expectations are set for everyone’s well being. Make sure to keep communication welcoming, friendly and clear, making sure your client understands the process of the treatment clearly to minimize and eliminate any misunderstandings. Always ask yur clients, do you have any questions?
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Keep Detailed Client Records
A complete and accurate record of all consultations, including telephone calls, treatments and personal details for each client is a must.
This is a continuous process, not just paperwork to be completed on the first visit. Reaffirm past details and assess new information at each treatment. These records are a mark of professionalism; they help you make the right decisions on a treatment plan and, if necessary, are the best protection against complaints.
Show consideration and sensitivity whenever asking a client questions and ensure that the information is kept confidential — leaving record cards out and in view of others is not good practice.
Keep Detailed Accounts For Your Aromatherapy Business
Whether you are self-employed or in a partnership it is necessary to keep a detailed record of all financial transactions. You will need to keep a note of all your income and expenditures: receipts, invoices, bank statements, the appointment diary all form part of the records of your business.
Take professional advice in the early stages of setting up a business: a qualified accountant will be able to advise you on such things as tax allowances as well as prepare your annual accounts.
Routine Maintenance For Your Aromatherapy Business
Supplies should be checked frequently to ensure they are in proper condition and not running low.
Make sure your thick cotton towels are in perfect condition and clean and dry.
The facilities and equipment you use must be checked regularly to ensure they are in proper condition.
Passageways must be kept clear, surfaces and linens kept clean and equipment checked against failure and safety. You are required to do all you can to eliminate the possibility of causing injury to yourself or a client.
Aromatherapy Health And Safety Practices
Ensure that your premises comply with all current health, safety and hygiene legislation —this can vary from country to country and from one year to the next.
- Be aware of evacuation procedures.
- Establish a policy regarding the use of open flames with candles, incense and so on
- Keep a maintained first aid kit on the premises
- Ensure the first aid kit is located in a prominent position
- Be well-trained in first aid techniques
- Keep emergency information and contact numbers posted in view near all telephones
Establish Clear Boundary Therapist And Client Rules
Professional organizations set high standards which cover the way therapists conduct themselves and their relationship both with clients and with other professionals. These include both practical and ethical codes of practice.
- Never abuse the relationship between therapist and client
- Act in a cooperative manner with other healthcare professionals
- Find out why a client is seeking treatment and their expectations
- Explain the treatment and discuss any fees involved with the client before any treatment commences
- Respect client confidentiality: never disclose client information without the prior written permission of the client, except when required to do so by law, and always ask a client’s permission if you need to consult the doctor before or after giving a treatment
- Never diagnose a medical condition and never claim to cure or give unqualified advice
- Be aware that clients may be demanding, uncooperative, over-emotional or hypochondriac
- Always conduct yourself in a professional manner and be courteous and respectful to a client at all times
- Treating anyone suffering from a medical condition should be done with reference to the medical professionals involved. It is appropriate to ask clients receiving medical care to give written confirmation that they are willing to have a treatment
- Ensure that any advertising represents the business in the most professional manner
- Set certain work hours and let those hours be known to all your clients
- If a client calls with an emergency problem, be flexible enough to understand and change the booking time if possible and not to charge
- Separate your social life from your work life
Personal Safety In Your Aromatherapy Business
Your personal safety is extremely important. Taking care to lift heavy objects, or when setting up your massage table if you are doing mobile home visits correctly will help keep your body healthy and injury free. A well stocked first aid kit is a must, even though the likelihood of it being needed will be rare.
And last but not least, hygiene! Make sure all your equipment is sparkling clean, no greasiness / oiliness or dust is visible and glass and steel surfaces are smudge and mark free. Make sure you wash your hands regularly for the utmost hygiene for both your health and your clients well being.
- When lifting equipment or clients, use proper body mechanics and lifting techniques to prevent injury
- Know the location of the first aid kit and maintain a current first aid certification
- Wash hands before and after every treatment
- Know the precautions and contraindications for aromatherapy and work within your scope of practice
Client Safety In Your Clinic
Helping the client on and off the massage couch not only ensures their safety but also shows a caring attitude.
- Provide safe, clear entryways and passages and keep these well lit
- Assist clients on and off the massage couch if needed
- Check clients are not sensitive or allergic to certain products
- Do not practice massage if you are ill or contagious
- Avoid open wounds and sores
- Use proper procedures in dealing with illness and injury. Refer to the proper medical authorities when such conditions arise
Retailing Your Aromatherapy Beauty Products
Many aromatherapists are going into the market of selling essential oil blends, their own specially made cosmetics and other aromatic delights. There is a distinction drawn between selling to clients as part of their treatment and selling to the public.
Products sold to the public are subject to various regulations that have become increasingly complex since labeling and legislation has come into force, and which vary from country to country.
There is considerably more awareness of just what toxic chemicals are in our everyday personal care products. The market in quality and organic personal care from facial and body moisturizers, sun block, babies body care ranges to specially formulated creams for older skins can become an extra line of revenue if you care to take the time and effort in developing your own skin care and beauty lines…
This can be a very rewarding and fun aspect of your aromatherapy business and one you can sell in shops and at markets. If you sell at markets, what better way than to advertise your complete care and treatment package..:)
Continuing Professional Aromatherapy Development
For further training and continuing professional development points required by your professional body there are often good opportunities to build and extend your knowledge and expertise by attending seminars and conferences.
There are also training congresses covering subjects such as manual lymphatic drainage, Ayurvedic diagnosis, the Bowen technique and seated acupressure massage. All these combine well with aromatherapy and during these seminars and conferences there is a good opportunity to mix with other therapists, make new friends and exchange ideas.
Final Thoughts On 9 Tips To Maintain Professional Aromatherapy Standards
Professionalism in your aromatherapy business will set clear guidelines with clients for great communication, clear understanding of what is involved in an aromatherapy treatment and what is not involved, as well as an empathetic and caring attitude. For many clients a caring and empathetic manner during treatment can play a key role in the healing process.
I hope these 9 tips to maintain professional aromatherapy standards have helped you. Have fun and love your work, your emotion shines through and is felt by your clients:)