Few things can be more exciting than starting your new acupuncture business. Finally, here’s your chance to make a living by using your unique talent to help and heal others. Such is your excitement, that it can be tempting to dive straight into things without bothering to register with any kind of professional association.
After all, there’s no legal obligation to register with the British Acupuncture Council, or any similar organisation for that matter, so why not simply set up shop and start bringing in customers?
Because to do so means missing out on a whole range of benefits, including those designed to help you bring in those customers in the first place. Here, we explain why it pays to register with the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC)if you perform acupuncture here in the UK.
Save on the cost of a license if you perform acupuncture in Greater London
In most places throughout the UK, your only legal obligation is to complete a one-off registration as a skin piercer under the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions 1982 Act.
This will typically involve a visit by a representative of your local authority. They’ll need to inspect your premises to ensure you’re meeting the appropriate hygiene and health & safety standards. They’ll also want to check that you have the sufficient qualifications to perform acupuncture and that you have the appropriate holistic insurance in place for your business. As long as you meet that criteria, you’re free to start performing acupuncture on your clients.
In Greater London, things are a little different and can get pretty expensive.
Under the London Local Authorities Act 1991, you need to apply for a Special Treatments license to run your acupuncture business. The process is the same, and you still need to prove that you’re qualified, insured, and adhering to hygiene standards, but you then have to renew your license every year.
In 2018, that will cost you at least £250 for your premises, plus £45 to register each practitioner working there. Add that up, and you don’t need us to tell you what a pretty penny it’s going to cost.
Here’s the good news: the act does say that you can avoid paying for this license as long as you’re registered with an officially exempt body such as the BAcC. In the long-run then, being a BAcC member can not only save you the costs of renewing your Special Treatments license but also cut out all the hassle of dealing with the paperwork.
Improve your reputation as a business
If there’s any single benefit of registering with the British Acupuncture Council that stands out as the most helpful, it’s this one.
Think about it: if you’ve got a problem with your sink at home, would you prefer to hire a plumber who’s an accredited member of their industry’s trade association or a random guy you found on Facebook? It’s the first one, isn’t it?
The same applies to your business. Those looking for an acupuncturist are far more likely to opt for a professional that they can trust to deliver a quality service than some random chancer with a bunch of needles.
The BAcC holds its members to the highest standards and ensures that they adhere to strict professional codes of conduct regarding the quality and safety of their service. By showcasing your BAcC registration, you’re showing potential customers that, yes, you can be trusted to deliver a safe, hygienic, professional service.
The benefits of this simply can’t be stated enough.
At one time or another, every business is going to face challenges in attracting customers and making a success of things. The more you can do to bolster your reputation by proving that you’re a legitimate professional who’s serious about delivering quality services, the more customers you’re likely to attract.
Bring in new customers through BAcC accredited search
Sticking with the theme of bringing in new customers, those who are serious about only working with a BAaC registered acupuncturist can find one local to them by searching through the organisation’s directory of approved professionals.
When you register, your business details are included in that directory. What’s more, those directory listenings may even show up in search engine results, further improving your business’ visibility to potential new customers.
Improve your skills and industry knowledge
Just because you’re fully qualified doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. In fact, the most successful professionals in any industry are those who never stop looking to expand their expertise.
As an acupuncture professional, keeping on top of the latest industry research and improving your skills means you’re better equipped to provide the most effective treatments and potentially even broaden the range of quality services you offer to your customers.
The BAcC can help with this thanks to its Continued Personal Development (CPD) programmes. These provide you with access to education and training courses designed to help you increase your know-how, fine-tune your technique or even learn brand new skills.
Expert advice and support
Running a business is rarely easy. Yet if you register with the BAcC, you’ll at least have access to a whole range of support services, advice, and practical tools to make it that much easier.
Some of the things they can help with include:
- Business issues such as registering with HMRC or other legal obligations
- Marketing support
- Taking out insurance for your acupuncture business
- Legal matters (including a 24-hour legal helpline)
- Advice on safe practice
That’s to say nothing of the usual member benefits such as discounts when buying from certain suppliers or attending industry events which alone could make your BAcC registration the best investment you make for your business.
Have you benefited from registering with the British Acupuncture Council? Why not share your experiences with us in the comments below. Have questions about registering that you think other acupuncture professionals might be able to help with? Join in the discussions on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.