Dr. Lorrie Miller didn’t set out to start a private therapy practice. She initially started a consulting firm offering emotional-intelligence assessments to help companies hire compatible employees.
Dr. Miller soon found that employees were more interested in visiting her one-on-one instead of discussing their emotional quotient (EQ), or their skill in managing their emotions, at work. While she still sells her assessment and interpretation service to companies, organizations, and groups, it’s now a smaller part of her business focus.
Now, Dr. Miller’s practice, Emind Wellness & Training Institute has a burgeoning clientele seeking therapy and preventative check-ins focusing on stress reduction and anxiety management. Many of her services are even covered by many insurance plans.
SCORE helped Dr. Miller get in the business mindset while she transformed her consulting services in to a full-fledged business.
Miller faced a new challenge when she realized she would need to shift from life as a student and clinician to that of a business owner. “I was perfect on paper. I had all the training, education and experiences and I even graduated at the top of my doctoral program; but I didn’t have any experience in business, marketing, branding and selling a service vs. a product.”
Miller felt overwhelmed by the amount of business education available, and she struggled to put what she was learning into action. She contacted SCORE and was matched with her mentor, Chuck Sawicki, who invited her to a half-day training event on understanding business funding, startup preparedness and marketing.
“Initially, Chuck helped me by brainstorming with me to help talk through my business goals,” Miller recalls. “As I progressed, he helped me develop my business plan, particularly the financials, and helped me learn to package my services in a way that is more ‘user friendly’.”
Anticipating future growth
Now that she’s been putting her business knowledge into action for a few years, Miller knows she will soon need more help in the form of massage technicians, administrative personnel and licensed mental health practitioners. She anticipated these needs — after all, she and Sawicki included growth strategies in her business plan.
“I believe that with hard work, focus and of course emotional stress management, obtaining your heart’s desires is attainable,” Miller says. “Even if it takes two years of work before you start sharing your expertise with others!”