True Nature Acupuncture – Small Business StoryPosted: August 20, 2013
I am loving that I have the opportunity to talk to many small business owners around Austin. I recently interviewed Rebecca Hindman, the owner of True Nature Acupuncture, to learn about her business and why Austin is a great place for holistic health care.
Tell me about your business. My business is True Nature Acupuncture. I offer holistic health care as an acupuncturist and a hakomi graduate to help people become physically and emotionally healthier.
How did you get into your business? I got into it in 1997 during a study abroad program in Nepal. I turned to Tibetan medicine when I was sick and it helped me to recover. That peaked my interest and after I finished my undergrad degree at Naropa University, I was looking for something similar to Tibetan medicine and the closest thing was acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Preceding that experience, mind/body practices like meditation helped me with my anxiety. Studying Chinese medicine, the Hakomi Method and offering those services were a perfect fit.
Why Austin for your business? Austin is a pretty enlightened and resourceful city for holistic health care providers. There are at least three counseling programs and two Chinese medicine programs in Austin. There are a lot of healing arts as well as a lot of people here interested in holistic and natural living. For these reasons, it’s a great place to continue to learn and grow as a practitioner. It’s also a fun and creative environment to be an entrepreneur and to be growing a business.
Do you use promotional products? I use business cards and prescription pads with my logo and a little map on the back. I’ve used pens and stationary with my logo on them, as well as informational folders and pamphlets about acupuncture. These are usually educational and patients appreciate knowing more.
How has social media changed your business? It has kept True Nature on people’s minds. For example, when people come in because of an article I posted. If they have a specific need for relief from their allergies and read a posted article about how acupuncture can treat Cedar Fever they will come in for that reason. It has helped create awareness that my business is out there and what it provides. Before I started my practice, I did some self-promotion outside of social media by going to the chamber of commerce and giving talks at the library.
What is your favorite social media outlet for your business? Facebook is my favorite. I like it because it is where people hang out. True Nature can offer something without asking for something in return except for keeping a connection.
What other ways do you market your business? A lot of True Nature’s business comes from word of mouth. Many referrals come from clients and other health care practitioners. I use My Emma for periodical newsletters and offer seasonal promotions as well as sharing health articles. Every fall, True Nature offers a ‘Back to School Back to Health’ promotion which is about to launch for this year.
What is your favorite local business other than your own? I love The Steeping Room. Between their comfortable atmosphere, delicious healthy menu, knowledgeable inviting staff and creative items like the “Mo-tea-to” it is a winning business. The combination of positive attributes that The Steeping Room has brings me back as a customer over and over again.
Any advice for other aspiring business owners? There is no magic bullet, it is a combination of factors that move your business forward. Have a purpose. Be patient and return again and again to your purpose. Also surround yourself with positive support. The people who are really going to help are the ones who have been there and can empathize with you while your business has its successes and challenges.
What else do you want to share about your business? I am excited about True Nature’s new location in central Austin’s West Campus district. It feels like a tree house. I love helping people and seeing their lives improve as they become healthier.