My chiropractor also has a few massage therapists that rent from him. He recommended massage and i also thought it was time for a massage. His front desk didn’t schedule for them, instead I had to call their cell phone to schedule. On the message, she said that she didn’t check it often and that texting was better.
Finally after numerous back and forth, we scheduled an appointment. It was a good massage, but I lost her number and didn’t want to go through the hassle again.
They lost money because they didn’t have their logistics down!
Recently on Facebook, someone asked me about the value of a “unified voicemail system.” I use Grasshopper and thought it was common knowledge that it is essential for any business to thrive. But actually, it’s not! A lot of people use a hodgepodge system that does not effectively support clients wanting to start counseling.
As I started to reflect on the success of Mental Wellness Counseling, I realized that much of it was due to a unified system and voicemail was just part of it.
Should I start a group practice?
Maybe you have a solo practice and you’re not looking to add additional therapists. That’s fine, this article is probably not for you. But first I want you to consider some numbers and some mindsets.
When you make more money, you can have more free time. It’s not just about more money, it’s also about the lifestyle you want to create.
Imagine you’re currently seeing 20 clients per week at $150 per session. That means you are grossing $3,000/week. If you wanted to drop down to ten sessions per week, you’d have to make up $1,500. Here are a few ways you could do that:
- Raise your rates to $200 per session, that would bring in $500 more per week.
- Hire a counselor at $50 per hour and have them see 15 sessions per week (15 x $150 = $2,250 – $750 in wages = $1,500)
- Have five counselors that see five sessions per week and take 50%, 25 sessions x $150 = $3,750 x 50% = $1,875.
Sounds easy, right? Not so fast. (For more on how to start a group practice, check out the Authoritative Guide to Every Stage of Private Practice)
One practice with many counselors
Having a consistent system is really important in growing a group practice.
Here are things that you’ll want to consider:
- How will you switch from a “you-focused” practice to a “we-focused” practice?
- Do you need to rename your practice or get a different URL?
- Will each clinician have a landing page?
- Will everyone blog to find new clients?
- How will people get scheduled? Do you need a virtual assistant to schedule new clients?
- How do you make sure that the new client experience is easy, streamlined, and functioning well?
The first steps toward a group practice
In my opinion a great website and clean phone system are the first steps of a group practice’s development. I personally use Grasshopper because it uses our cell phones, so there is no infrastructure to support. We can have customer voicemails. Also, you can upload MP3s of your greeting so they can sound very professional.
This is an affiliate link so I do get a commission, but I really love using them!
For me, a unified phone system makes it crazy easy for a new client to find the ideal counselor, schedule, and get started.
Joe Sanok is a business consultant that loves helping counselors and service-based businesses to effectively market and grow. Joe discovered that many of the basics of business are never taught in graduate school and when employed, they completed changed his businesses’ success.