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HOW TO SURVEY CUSTOMERS WITHOUT BEING A PEST Guest writer Cate Schreck tells us how p.7



CATHY LOVE Occupational Therapist Coach Speaker Author

For first time readers a quick intro, I am Cathy Love an Occupational Therapist, Coach, Author and Speaker. I am the founding director of Nacre Consulting and I work with parents and disability service providers to achieve brilliant outcomes for children with special needs. I provide a range of services: • Private practice coaching to business owners • Family Service Coaching to help parents manage thier child’s team and services • Clinical supervision to individuals and teams • Service delivery consultation to disability service providers More to be read about all that over on my website Each month I write up news, useful information and pearls of wisdom for those working with children and families in the disability sector. Given that it is a rapidly changing landscape and one that is increasingly privatised there is typically lots of news to be shared.

Welcome. A wintery, puffer vest on and arms out wide welcome to you all. May I take this opportunity to publically express gratitude for our central heating. Its currently working overtime. With more indoor time than usual, I have been busy writing content and developing new products and services. Time has whizzed past. Lots of new clients have joined my private practice coaching program and new partnership conversations are on the go. My diary is filling into 2017. The Business Plan Bootcamp kicked off today. The template I provided asked participants lots of interesting questions and got their management mojo going. Well done to all who have participated. The Paeds Biz Success beta program has sparked interest. Proposals are out and more enquiries are coming in. Give me a buzz if you want to find out more. My new website is up. I wonder what you think? It is always interesting to re think your message and re write your words. The WordPress site is fabulous behind the scenes and I now have so much control over any changes. It isn’t perfect, there are still bits to do, but prolific beats perfect. This sure is aligned with our August Paeds Biz theme of innovation. Take a look and please let me know what you think via the ‘contact me’ section. Our Paeds Biz August theme is innovation and product development. We typically don’t think of ourselves as selling products, but we do and we need to get both clear and creative on this in our pending NDIA dominated future. Cate Schreck, (those at the recent Forum met her in real life) has shared some tips on how to survey your clients. Various time and paper saving products are previewed. Yes, Pokémon Go as a potential business booster is here between the pixels. Yes, I have been out and about catching them and yes, its great fun… just saying. Book yourself for fifteen minutes for a cosy read of this month’s Paeds Biz. Kettle on, screens off, perhaps a comfy chair. Come on over and join us.

Cathy Cathy Love Director of Nacre Consulting


CONTENTS 02 Introduction Meet Cathy Love 04 COVER FEATURE: Innovative Products & Services What’s hot in 2016 06 What are your competitors NOT doing that families and schools really need? Identifying products and services that people don’t know they need yet. 07 COVER FEATURE: How to survey customers without being a pest. Guest Writer - Cate Schreck from Lightbulb Training Solutions 08 Issuu Follow Cathy Love to receive your monthly Paeds Biz fix Becoming Chief, How to lead your child’s special needs tribe 09 Time to shake up your report writing formats Learn why Report writing is a powerful marketing tool 10 Paeds Biz Success Program Read more about our twenty week program 11 The Wrap



WHAT’S HOT IN 2016 Electronic Questionnaires

I haven’t posted a parent or teacher questionnaire or a service agreement to a client for years. Instead I use interactive pdf documents that clients can fill out and e-sign, save and return via email. Jot Form is proving helpful and a more formal cloud based service. Jot Form has hundreds of customisable forms you can use or adapt, alternatively you can build your own. I find that teachers in particular appreciate the electronic version and it’s so much easier for them to attach it directly into the students e-file.


I have mentioned this organisation previously. This website enables clients to search for providers, they can compare providers and contact the providers they select directly. Totally established to meet participant needs within the NDIA environment. Providers have very detailed profiles that include video, links to social media, articles, content and documents. Providers need to sign up and there are varying levels of monthly payment plans. I strongly encourage you to take a glance and at least register for the ‘free level’ and get your business loaded up. For larger businesses who can manage the premium membership it is possible to post events, create promotions, photos, list products and classifieds, contact members and more. Their site and newsletter have comprehensive content. Hmmm innovative and super interesting.


This awesome app sits alongside your calendar and lets people make their own bookings with you. It reduces the email tag for scheduling appointments, meetings, calls and more. Big time saver and a boost to customer service as they can connect with you when mutually convenient. You can get started for free by signing up with your email address. Once signed up you set your specific windows of availability and email people your personal Calendly link that they can use to book a time with you. When they select the time they want Calendly talks and syncs with your own diary and books the time in. Nifty.


Pokémon Go

Getting up to speed on all things Pokémon Go is critical for professional development. Children and families are talking about it. Children of all ages are increasingly walking the neighbourhoods gathering and nurturing Poke Balls (needed to catch Pokémon and then they hatch into Pokémon). They are outdoors, searching and catching Pokémon, and battling up levels in Gyms. A friends teen who has high functioning ASD spent two hours walking with his mum, time, distance, weather forgotten as he was intent on catching Pokémon. Other stories are appearing on social media about language and attention and play being enhanced by this augmented reality phenomenon. Interestingly businesses globally are experimenting with ways to bring Pokémon and their gatherers into their business locations. And they are succeeding. A café owner friend of mine purchased a ‘Lure” for a set duration. During that time Pokémon were attracted to that location, and so were their hungry and thirsty hunters. Bazinga. The Lure radically increased her foot traffic and nicely generated repeat customers. Could this work for private practice? I wonder, particularly with those businesses that have a shop front or a toy offer. Perhaps a Lure could be used for a location at which you are holding a specific event. This is so new and the mind boggles about what the future holds in the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality space.

Website Management

I am amazed how many people are not able to make changes to their own websites. Simple changes such as uploading blogs, images, videos, changing words and prices; adding events that people can book into and pay for…. and so on. All these tweaks must cost them a fortune! Not to mention all the time it takes. I am familiar with WordPress and it isn’t hard to use. I can do it. For my new website I had the WordPress operations sorted within a couple of hours’ worth of immersion. I can now do virtually everything I need. So, is this something you should be learning about? What difference would it make to the management of your website?


Anybody using Yammer? A colleague best described it as Facebook for business. A cloud based social network meets work platform where teams can communicate, share tasks and projects and get things done. Some of my coaching clients are using secret Facebook groups to gather and lead their teams. There are several similar virtual teaming products, nothing that google can’t help you discover. Lots of more project and task based products such as Asana, Trello and Slack, all of which are outstanding.



REALLY NEED? If you can answer this question then you are truly innovative. Entrepreneurs are always thinking about the problems people have and the ways they can solve them. The trick is to identify gaps in the market or even developing products and services that people don’t even know they need yet. How can this apply to private practice? Have you carefully mapped the services that your competitors offer? Have you asked schools, families, pre-schools and childcare centres what they really want? The following ideas are a hybrid collection of ideas and real programs. Please take the list and run wild with it.

Student screening programs

It’s time to develop the complete and remarkable care package. Pre-screening questionnaire (preferably electronic) for the teacher to complete, pre-screening letter templates for parents, fabulous student screening tools, preferably standardised, one-page template summaries, teacher feedback meetings, group program proposals, teacher in-service (face to face or skype) and parent feedback. We tend to screen pre-schoolers, but it is applicable to older children too. Imagine this entire package presented in a smart print and pixel brochure, ready to take to meetings or send to prospective schools. The brochure makes it a stand out. Top if off with a simple promotional video, only a couple of minutes and WOW; you have made a powerful memory. The addition of video takes it to a whole new level. I will leave you with the challenge – could you be so bold? I hope so!

Video supports

Many of our clients are socially fragile and find it hard to visit new places and meet new people. Does your practice have a welcome video showing them the carpark, building, rooms, bathroom and toys? A positive visual orientation may support them nicely in the transition to working with you. Similarly, do you have individual staff welcome videos that families can play for their children? Would a quick phone or video call settle the nerves of a child about to start with their new therapists? Imagine.


Downloadable social stories

In the same vein as welcome videos, how could a downloadable social story about your business, team and facilities help new or returning clients. A great student project perhaps?


Keen to write a book but not sure where to start. Put off by the time and costs of self-publishing? Cut your teeth on an ebook. Spend some time unpacking all those book topic ideas. Get them out of your head and onto paper. Could you write a mini book, a few thousand words on school readiness, handwriting, the development of social skills, executive function, emotional intelligence or your favourite children’s books? The list goes on. Work on the content, insert the images and then hunt down the technology and services that convert it to an ebook. You will still need a designer to do the internal page layout and the cover but it will be money well spent. There are services that will help you with the entire project including loading your ebook onto global sales platforms. It’s ok to keep it simple and sell or gift it from your website. These are the sorts of ideas that a business coach is really good at creating and building with you. Nice to have a sounding board, new ideas dropped in and some accountability to ensure you get things done.

What are your next innovative service delivery steps?



Businesses understand it’s vital to know what their customer’s thoughts and feelings are about their products and services. Surveys are both time and cost effective to gathering that information but unfortunately, poorly conducted surveys are common and can have once happy customers quickly changing their minds about a business. Let me explain..... It’s dinner time, you’re just about to sit down with your family and the phone rings. Everyone looks at each other, rolls their eyes and ignores the ringing. Someone might feel guilty and answer the call, but they quickly wished they hadn’t. It’s the dreaded survey being conducted by someone who is clearly reading off a script. The same thing can happen via email. You open your email and there they are; surveys from businesses seeking your feedback on their products and services. If there is the promise of a gift or entry into a competition, then you might start the survey but your care factor diminishes when you see there are more than 5 questions and some require you to think and not just choose a response.

It’s not the survey that has customers annoyed, it’s the way the survey is conducted. Most customers are happy to give a business feedback IF you make it easy for them to do so AND you respect their time. Be SMART when seeking to survey your customers; Specific - What do you want to know and why? Keep your questions short and to the point. Measurable - Record and track the feedback so you can identify areas where your business could improve.


Achievable - Make sure you have the staff with the expertise to do it properly - a poorly executed survey annoys customers Reliable - Choose the platform/s that work best for your customers i.e.: phone, email, flyer, face to face or text messages Timely - Seek the customers’ permission and preferred time of day and frequency. Don’t assume. Remember: Customers know why you want their feedback but they are more likely to give it to you if you give them an incentive to take the time ie: discounts, free stuff, improved services, competition, charity support, invitations, special offers, events etc. Whether it is paper or pixel it’s all about the delivery and the benefits to the client. Survey Monkey will be known to many of you, it is a powerful online survey tool. Yes another subscription, however for ten questions or less it’s free. Facebook now has built in polling and is ideal for short niche data gathering. Surveys done correctly will not only add value to your business, they will leave your customers feeling valued. About Cate Schreck Cate is the Founder of Lightbulb Training Solutions (LTS)

This e-mag is hosted by a platform called Issuu. I only discovered that this was a thing last year and have since enjoyed a variety of reads. The writing, editing, page design and magazine layout are all done in separate programs outside Issuu. When it is all finalised it gets dropped into Issuu, we then share the link with you via Mailchimp. I would love you to follow me on Issuu. Here’s how you do it. Clicking ‘Follow Publisher’ below the publication you are reading OR

By clicking the green “Follow” button on our profile page. Once that is done, you’ll see all new uploads and stack additions from Cathy Love in your Feed.


As a parent of a child with special needs there is always a lot going on. Parents may feel overwhelmed by child development experts, therapy, appointments and complex systems. This leaves parents tired, overwhelmed and feeling guilty that they should be able to do it all for their child. Becoming Chief is a book written for parents and service providers. It is written to help parents find their way, gather their support tribe, set goals and manage their child’s team and program. All the tough topics are covered, wonderful real life stories told and mountains of parent wisdom shared. It is easy to read, practical and energising. Becoming Chief is written by Cathy Love, Occupational Therapist, Coach, Speaker and Author. She writes to her passion of helping parents feel strong, informed and organised so that they can powerfully advocate for their child. Her book has been reviewed by Source Kids Magazine, Amaze, USA’s Autism Parenting Magazine and other publications. Buy your copy today click here For your e-book purchase click here FREE POSTAGE AUSTRALIA WIDE



Report writing is a powerful marketing tool. For years I have been campaigning to write fewer and fewer reports. Written reports, letters and session notes represent you and your business long after they’re written in. It is time to review your formats, get bold, innovative and stand out in the market place? Here are some tips

Embrace family centred practice. Capture the parents voice in your writing, briefly write up the relevant information they have provided via interview and questionnaire. Address the reasons for the referrals and the outcomes they hope for. Highlight the child’s strengths and talents. At times we default to the child’s problems and medicalise the commentary. Throw a light on their interests, extra curricula activities and accomplishments. Define their unique place in their family, school and community. Use and define jargon. As many of our clients will seek the opinion of Dr Google, it is best to support them with an understanding of all the relevant terms. This empowers them to communicate with stakeholders. Help clients get your report circulated. Offer to send additional copes with the original, each with a compliments slip for its intended reader. Alternatively offer to post them out yourself. Develop your electronic signature, sign the report and send PDF report versions to all who require it.

Make sure your email signature is uber professional and contains all your contact details. Write succinctly. Several businesses I coach have invested in writing courses for their staff and others have engaged professional proofreaders. Kudos to these business owners who appreciate the value and power of their written work. I have worked with many business owners to review and re energise their report formats. Nothing worse than writing up the same formats… for years. Insert pictures. With parental permission smart phones make this quick and easy. Images will make your reports memorable and unique. Time for more of this. Tech inspired. Video and audio reporting are new frontiers and ones that I am having loads of fun with. For some families I send audio and video session notes. I store them just as I do my notes. This works so well when you want to leave educators with specific instructions about strategies or suggestions.

How will you review your reporting formats? Which tips will you explore or implement? When will these changes be completed?



Next month’s edition will include: Content marketing Social Media tips Blogging and Vlogging Facebook live

I hope you enjoyed the read. I have provided lots of small bite sized bits of innovation. I trust there has been something for everyone and that you all have a couple of things to do. With NDIA driving change and so much more competition it is critical that private practice owners have positive change and innovation, high on their agenda’s. To continue doing the same old thing sure is a recipe for disaster. Both clinicians and clients are hunting for services with unique ideas who are doing it effectively, efficiently and energetically. So get your innovation on. Allocate some selfmanagement time to brainstorm and get all those big blue sky ideas out of your head. Jump online and look up some of the products I have profiled, pull some of them down into your reality, so that you can measure and manage the outcomes for you, your team and your business. If you have a team, take the topic of innovation to your team meeting… what can we do differently? What are the gaps in the market? Could we really?

As many of you know I am the founding director of Nacre Consulting. A cool business with an unusual name. Nacre is the natural process of a little seed, held in an oyster shell whist it grows, layer by layer, into a brilliant unique pearl. This process takes time, special conditions and forces of nature. And so it is true for ourselves and for the children and families we serve. More about my clinical supervision, parent coaching, teaching and private practicing coaching services on my (soon to be facelifted) website:

Explore, be bold and get brilliant. Have a great August, looking forward to our September check in. FOLLOW NACRE CONSULTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA

If you are curious about my specialist private practice coaching services you are most welcome to get in touch, find out more and experience a 30 minute complimentary session:


Profile for Cathy Love

Paeds Biz E-Magazine - August Edition 2016  

Paeds Biz is a monthly E-Magazine aimed at Paediatric Private Practitioners designed to help improve their businesses, by Cathy Love of Nacr...

Paeds Biz E-Magazine - August Edition 2016  

Paeds Biz is a monthly E-Magazine aimed at Paediatric Private Practitioners designed to help improve their businesses, by Cathy Love of Nacr...