An Interview with Online Business Manager and Simple Practice Expert, Frances Harvey | GP 51

Does your private practice need a system reboot to clean up loose ends and run more smoothly? What red flags do you need to watch out for when hiring new clinicians? How can you properly organize your to-do list to also make space for the importance of the when-to and how-to lists?

In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon speaks with Frances Harvey about online business managers, Simple Practice, and putting policies and procedures in place for your group practice.

Podcast Sponsor

While there may still be a lot of uncertainty about what this year will have in store, there’s one thing we know for sure – your services as a therapist have never been more essential, making it the perfect time to ensure that your private practice website attracts your best-fit clients and gets them to call you.

Whether you’re a seasoned clinician with a website in need of a refresh, or you’re fresh out of school needing your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution. During the month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year!

From now, until the end of the month, they’re completely waiving all setup fees and only charging $39/month for your entire first year of a new website! Head on over to brightervision.com/joe to learn more.

Meet Frances Harvey

Frances is the Founder and CEO of My Solution Services, Inc. She is also a Master Certified Life Coach, a Certified Professional Coach, and an Online Business Manager.

She has been encouraging and helping people see their potential and to move forward for over 30 years and has been doing that in the mental health field for 15 years! She knows the business of private practice!

Her gift of encouragement, listening, and helping others comes naturally and her passion is to see people live the life that was purposed for them, as well as assisting them as a Strategic Business Manager.

Visit her website and connect Facebook. Get in touch via email: frances@mysolutionservices.com

In This Podcast

Summary

  • The importance of how-to and when-to
  • Some mistakes that group practices can try to avoid
  • Hiring tips

The importance of how-to and when-to

As a clinician who wants to move from a solo into a group practice, or any business owner wanting to expand their company or group, sometimes they become excited in the process and might not prioritize the right things to do first.

Having the idea is the first step. Knowing how to and when to implement these new changes is the next important transition.

So the when-to-do is extremely important because sometimes the things that somebody might want to do … we sit and we work together and prioritize the top three and then we put those top three in order. If you have three things and you start working on one that isn’t really going to be a revenue generator, that’s not the right order. (Frances Harvey)

It is important to work out the ‘how’ and the ‘when’ in addition to the ‘why’ and the ‘what’.

Some mistakes that group practice can try to avoid

  • If new group practice owners are mostly focusing on making more money, the process of their business can become messy and disorganized.

You can’t expect to throw somebody into your business if you do not have a business model happening. If you don’t know what to expect, if you don’t know what to expect of the staff you’re going to bring on, what they’re going to expect from you and what the procedures and the policies are. (Frances Harvey)

  • You have to know what your deal-breakers are, to know where you can be flexible and where the absolute boundaries are. Be mindful and purposeful of the planning before you take a certain action.

Hiring tips

  • Asking strategic questions to glean out information about the person; how does this person handle situations, what are their future plans, can they financially sustain their household while their caseload is being built?
  • Look for the red flags that show if this person is not going to stay around for long. If you hear red flags in the conversation, thank them for their time and move along.
  • When you hire somebody, give them the proper and due training. Frances gave her new clinicians an orientation and then assigned them a mentor that taught them the finer ropes before they were good to go.

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Meet Alison Pidgeon

A portrait of Alison Pidgeon is shown. She discusses ways to grow your group practice on this week's episode of Practice of the Practice. Alison is a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, one of which is a 15 clinician group practice. She’s also a mom to three boys, wife, coffee drinker, and loves to travel. She started her practice in 2015 and, four years later, has two locations. With a specialization in women’s issues, the practices have made a positive impact on the community by offering different types of specialties not being offered anywhere else in the area.

Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016. She has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.

Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

[ALISON]:
Well, we did it. 2020 has finally come to an end. And we have made it out on the other side. And while there still might be a lot of uncertainty about what this year will have in store, there’s one thing we know for sure, your services as a therapist have never been more essential, making it the perfect time to ensure your private practice website attracts your best fit clients and gets them to call you. Whether you’re a seasoned clinician with a website in need of a refresh, or you’re fresh out of school needing your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution. And during the entire month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year. From now until the end of the month, they’re completely waiving all setup fees, and only charging $39 a month for the entire first year of a new website. That’s a savings of $240 for your first year of website service with Brighter Vision. All you have to do is go to brightervision.com/joe to learn more and take advantage of this great deal. That’s brightervision.com/joe.

Grow a Group Practice is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you grow your group practice. To hear other podcasts like the Imperfect Thriving podcast, Bomb Mom podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Welcome to the Grow a Group Practice podcast. I’m Alison Pidgeon, your host. I’m excited that you are joining me today, we have a great topic that is much requested among group practice owners. So how this podcast came to be was that in our membership community, Group Practice Boss, the number one requested topic that they wanted to learn was how to clean up their systems and their processes. So I thought it’d be great to find someone to interview for the podcast about that very topic, because it sounds like something that with the new year, everyone’s kind of thinking about how do I make my business more efficient? How do I make sure things aren’t falling through the cracks?

So I interview Frances Harvey today. She’s the founder and CEO of My Solution Services. She also has a lot of other cool kind of certifications. She’s a Master Certified Life Coach, a Certified Professional Coach, and she’s also an online business manager. So we talk about the differences between an online business manager and a virtual assistant in the interview, in case that’s not clear to you. Frances has a lot of experience running private practices. She is also an expert at Simple Practice. So if you use Simple Practice in your business, and you want to learn some tips and tricks, definitely listen the whole way through the interview, because at the end, she gives a bunch of tips on how to really optimize the whole practice that you may not realize. So I’m really excited to share this interview with you today. And here is Frances Harvey from My Solution Services.

________________________________________

[ALISON]:
Frances, welcome to the podcast. I’m so glad you’re here.

[FRANCES]:
Hi, Allison. Thanks. I’m so excited. Glad I’m here too.

[ALISON]:
Yeah. So I asked you to come on the podcast because I get so many questions from practice owners about just cleaning up their systems and making things more streamlined and efficient. So I thought you’d be a really good person to talk to about that. Yeah. So before we get into all of that, can you tell us a little bit about your company and what you do and the types of clients that you serve?

[FRANCES]:
Sure, absolutely. Thank you. Well, Happy New Year, everybody. And my name is Frances J. Harvey, and I am the founder and CEO of My Solution Services. And I started in online, well, just business management way before online, about 35 years ago, and just helping to set up and run and manage businesses for really all kinds of industries. And then about 15 years ago, I was really honored to land a position with a mental health agency in Southern California, where I started off as the office manager and then moved into being the director of the business for the counseling center. And so basically what I did was I ran everything on the outside of the therapy room. And after about eight years of that, I just kind of decided I was done with corporate, and as most people do when they go into business, and decided, you know, I’ve been running businesses for long enough that I think I could do it myself.

And so I resigned and started My Solution Services. And basically, as an online business manager, what we do, me and my team, we come in and we help to manage your business for your practice, we work alongside with you. And we customize it, which is what really sets us apart in the industry is we really work hard to customize our services to each individual practice and solo practice or group practice, as much as possible. That was one of the reasons I decided to leave and do it on my own. That’s because it was just too cookie cutter for me. And so basically, that’s what we do, we do everywhere, anything from phones and scheduling to admin work, we do a lot of training, I am a professional certified coach, and a master certified coach. I do a lot of coaching with therapists in their business and strategic planning.

So we do quite a wide variety of things, and know the industry really well. So we’ve been around for almost seven years now. And just love what we do. And so I’m so glad that you offered for us to speak today.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, yeah, me too. Um, I had a question, if you could clarify what the difference is between an online business manager and a virtual assistant? Because I would imagine that many people in our audience maybe don’t know the distinction between the two.

[FRANCES]:
Oh, great question, Alison. I get that often. And it’s really important to know, because the difference is a couple things as well as you’ll have differences in rates, but you’re going to have differences in experience. And you’re going to have differences in skills. But one of the main differences is that a VA is very task oriented, and they’re incredible. I know, some amazing VAs out there and refer to them when and if I can, and they are very, very task oriented. They get the job done, they do, you know, exactly what you tell them. Most of the time, they’re going to need to be trained and told what to do. They’re going to, you know, just pretty much do the job.

An Online Business Manager is going to be more of a partner or a part of speaking into your business, because they have more experience, more skills, and hopefully more background in the industry. So because I have 15 years worth of experience in mental health, you know, I have so many people reach out to me, they go, hey, I’m just starting a practice and I have no clue what to do. I’m just like, overwhelmed, I’m beside myself, I’m pulling my hair out, I want to do this, but then I get stuck because I’m just, you know, I don’t know what to do. Or they’re already doing it and they’re doing it wrong, or they want to level up and they don’t know how to. So not only do we do the tasks, as you know, the daily things, but we also come in and speak into the business and help strategize with you, and plan, and grow.

So, even though like when we do the phones and scheduling, you don’t get a VA off of my team, you get an intake coordinator. They’re specifically designed to take care of your phones and scheduling and converting over into intakes. And so, but in addition to that they’re able to speak into, hey, Alison, I’ve been answering the phone for a while and I’ve noticed that people aren’t booking because you need this kind of a therapist on your team, or this is what they’re asking for, or whatever they hear over and over and over. So they’re going to come to you and they’re going to say, if you would consider bringing this type of a therapist on, I could fill them up in a heartbeat.

[ALISON]:
Mm hmm.

[FRANCES]:
So there’s some, you know, cross over with the two. But what brings them really apart is the skills, the knowledge, the experience, and the business training, of being able to strategize, to help you grow and level up.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, thank you for that explanation. I like to think about it like an online business manager is going to look at sort of the whole functioning of the business in terms of like systems and processes, like you said, whereas like an assistant might just come in and be like, okay, I need to answer the phone and like, type this into the EHR, great, I can do that. But like, you’re sort of seeing it from a broader view, and really helping them figure out the flow of how things should be functioning in the practice.

[FRANCES]:
Yeah, and in addition to that, not only strategizing on, okay, this is what you need to do. But then we say, this is how you need to do it. And then the third component that’s extremely important is when to do it. And so that how and the when tends to get lost a lot of times. It’s like, I have this great idea. I’m a solo practice, I want to move into being a group practice. Let me just go hire some therapists. Do you have a, you know, manual? Do you have a policy and procedures set up? Do you have, you know how you’re going to do that…? And just their eyes just kind of go, oh, my God, I never thought of that. So the when to do is extremely important. Because sometimes the things that somebody might want to do, say they have a list of five things. We sit and we work together, we prioritize the top three, and then we put those top three in order. Because if you have three things and you start working on one that isn’t going to really be a revenue generator, that’s not the right order. You want to look at the how, the when, you know, in addition to the why, and the what.

[ALISON]:
Right, yeah. And I feel like that’s such an important role that you play in helping the practice owner, because obviously, they were trained to be therapists and not business owners. And so I think that’s just, you know, obviously, it’s a weak point that a lot of therapists need help with when they become business owners, especially group practice owners.

[FRANCES]:
Yeah, absolutely.

[ALISON]:
Yeah. So would you say most of your clients are solo practices or group practices? Or is it kind of across the board?

[FRANCES]:
It’s across the board. We have solos that literally are full. They haven’t been taking new clients, and they don’t want to answer their phone. We have medium sized group practices, we have large group practices.

[ALISON]:
Okay, nice. So obviously, since this podcast is focused more on group practices, that is kind of what I want to drill down into. So when you’re working with group practice owners, what are some of the biggest mistakes that you see them making?

[FRANCES]:
Oh, my goodness. If it’s a new group practice, again, it’s that they’re trying to put the cart before the horse, and I get it. Because the whole idea usually, you know, in a group practice, it’s like somebody that’s solo, they’re full, they keep getting referrals, they refer out, they’re thinking, why am I doing this? I could be making more money. And so the first reaction is to just go hire somebody, get them in there and start making money. But that opens the door for big time messy.

I had, at one point, when I was the director at the center, I had 26 therapists that I oversaw. I hired them, I trained them, I did accountability, I fired them. And so you can’t just throw somebody in. If you don’t have, you know, I’m not a real, you know, stickler on, oh, my God, you gotta have every single thing in place, all your I’s dotted your T’s crossed and your ducks in your place. Sometimes, yes, you do have to have that, sometimes you have to leave room for a little bit of flexibility. But you can’t expect to throw somebody into your business if you don’t have a business model happening. If you don’t know what to expect, if you don’t know what to expect of your staff that you’re going to bring on, what they’re going to expect from you, what the procedures and the policies are, you know, you could find an absolute top notch clinician, scale of one to 10, they’re a 12. You bring them on, and they are the worst staff person. They’re terrible when it comes to the business or the admin work. And that, you know, whether people believe it or not, therapy is a business. Your practice, Alison, is a business. I know you get that.

[ALISON]:
Right.

[FRANCES]:
And you can’t, you cannot just, you have got to know what your deal breakers are. You’ve got to know exactly, you know, where can I fudge, so to speak, the lines, and where am I absolutely not willing to bend whatsoever. So there’s a lot of work ahead of time to just beginning to move forward to get into the group practice. And then if you have somebody that’s in a group practice, and they just keep piling it on, and they haven’t done their systems in place or whatnot, after a while, you know, they’ll reach out to me and they’ll go, I’m a hot mess. Now we gotta back pedal, right, and kind of go back to the very basic at the beginning, and start from, you know, the beginning and move forward. And it is a lot of work. It’s so much easier for somebody that has just now moving into a group practice to take that time and do it right, than to go back and backpedal.

So one of the things is, you know, really being mindful and purposeful about the planning before taking certain action. There’s some action that you can take and move forward while you’re doing it. But one of the things is, you know, know what your expectations are, and know what your deal breakers are, have your policy and procedures, so that person coming into your business knows what to expect and what the boundaries are. The other thing is, you need to make sure that, especially if you’re doing your W-2, that you try not to get that, you know, oh, well, they’re great. I knew them in grad school, they’re a friend of mine, it’ll be fine. If they’re coming into your practice, they’re now an employee. And you need to treat them with love and respect and as a person first, but they also need to understand that this is not a friendship agreement. This is a business agreement.

[ALISON]:
Right. Yeah, I’m really glad that you brought those two things up. Because I see that all the time as well. I get those calls as well, Frances, of people who have started a group practice, and they’re like, oh, my gosh, I didn’t really do any planning on the front end. I just brought these people on and now this is all a mess, and I need to fix it. Yeah, so for sure. It’s always easier to set it up right from the beginning.

[FRANCES]:
Yeah. And one of those is, you know, when you go through the process of the hiring process, I’ve had clinicians come to me go, what am I doing wrong? And I’m like, okay, well, tell me about it. Tell me your story. What are you doing when you’re talking to somebody, or when you’re going through that process? They’re like, well, we have coffee, we talk about it, and then they’re like, yeah, come on. I’m like, no. So I go through, and I teach them what I call my HR training, where I did that for eight years. And I refined that process over and over and over for eight years, every time I did it, I refined it and improved it. And it was a rigorous process of bringing somebody on board. And one of the biggest things that I found was that through the entire process that I continued to weed out the ones that were not going to be the best fit for what we were looking for. And it’s critical.

[ALISON]:
Yeah. Yeah. I’m glad that you brought that up, too, because that’s something I wanted to ask you about. I know you have a lot of experience with hiring. And that’s always a big learning curve as well, for group practice owners, especially if you’ve never had any experience doing that before, which many of them have not. So what sorts of things did you learn? And I realize we could probably talk about this for a whole hour, but yeah. What sorts of things did you learn about hiring? Like, how did you continue to refine your process to make sure you were getting those people who are good fits?

[FRANCES]:
Well, Alison, a lot of that was very strategic questions, type of questions that would give me information about, number one, how this person handles things. Number two, what are their future plans? You know, one of the biggest questions in hiring is what are your plans in a three to five year period? That one, you guys can write down and use and say thank you very much. You know, if that was, there was a couple of them. But if there was only five questions, I think the entire process, that would be in the top three.

[ALISON]:
Because what are you looking for or not looking for in the answer?

[FRANCES]:
Well, it’s like, for us when I was at the agency, we weren’t just a bill, meaning an intern bill where we just brought them up, we train them, they gave their hours, we gave them clients, and then they got licensed, and they decided to go into private practice. And then one day they say, I’m leaving, and they take all their clients, which is a financial, oof, you know, with the agency or the practice owner, whoever it is. So, I want to know, you know, what are your plans in three to five year period from now? And if they were to say, you know, oh, well, eventually I’m going to go into solo practice, or private practice. Oh, that’s great. Okay. And I could keep going through the process, and then at the end of that conversation, I would let them know, you know, it’s probably not going to be the best fit because we’re not looking for somebody to just come in, learn, train, get your license and go. We’re looking for somebody to be with us long term. And then their jaw would kind of drop and going, whoa, okay.

Some of the other things were, you know, can you, it’s different now, because it’s so much more, you know, when the the federal came in and said, okay, your guideline to having a W-2 or 10-99 is now this, many had to go to a W-2. So that changes the process a little bit. But if you’re still doing a percentage break, even as a W-2, one of the things that we would want to know is can you financially sustain your household while, you know, your practice and your caseload is being built? Because if it’s a, let’s say it’s a single person, this may be their sole job, do they have other means of income to support themselves while they’re building it? You know, when you were building your practice, that it took time and cost money. So you want to look for the red flags that are going to say this person isn’t going to stick around long. Because it takes a lot of time, effort and money to bring somebody on staff.

[ALISON]:
Mm hmm. Yeah, I totally agree with that. And I think too, it’s interesting, because I just had a meeting with my mastermind group today. And we were talking about like, what are those red flags in the hiring process that come up? And one of the members of the group was saying that she kind of offered this job to somebody like a month ago, and they still haven’t gotten back to her.

[FRANCES]:
Big red flag.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, that’s what I said. I said, oh, that seems like a red flag. Like, to me, that’s like, you know, okay, if she’s taking that long to get back to you, is she also going to, you know, take forever to get her notes done? Are you gonna be chasing her down to do this and that and the other thing, and so yeah, I think it sounds like you learned that lesson, too.

[FRANCES]:
Yeah, communication is so huge with me when I hire, I’m all over it, and it’s like, if you don’t communicate with me, there’s too many forms of communication out there to say, if my email’s down, well then pick up the phone and call me, or text me, or send me a note, you know. It’s a huge red flag, you know, if somebody is taking that long to respond to you. And then of course, as I said earlier, know what your deal breakers are, you know, and if you hear that in the conversation, then you just politely thank them for their time and move on.

[ALISON]:
Right. Yeah. Any other tips or advice about hiring that you would give to practice owners?

[FRANCES]:
Um, I think one of the biggest things that once you do hire somebody is that you give them the proper and due training. Now, clinically wise, they’re probably already in that process. But you can’t expect somebody to come into your business and know all the ins and outs of the ropes yet. So what I would do is because I did have such a large staff, is they would have a basic orientation. And then once they went through the orientation, they were assigned a mentor therapist that had been with us longer and proven to be, you know, kind of like that star person, that star staff person. And they would come alongside them and help them, you know, learn the ropes until they felt like they say I’m good to go. If you don’t have a large staff, it’s gonna fall upon you. But don’t just say, oh, here, read this or you’ll learn as you go. You need to have, that’s part of being prepared, you know, some kind of procedures manual, something that they can go to, and refer back to, you know, even when you’ve told them that. Now, that I’ve told you this, it’s on this page in your manual, you can always go back to it. So don’t think… it’s kind of like don’t just throw them into the wolves and expect them to, you know, jump and run.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, exactly. I think that’s so important. And I know that is a big deal for me as well, in my practice, because I think you’re like setting the tone for people, you know, just coming in to a new job. Like, obviously, you want to have a good first impression, because like you said, you don’t want a whole bunch of turnover.

[FRANCES]:
Absolutely.

[ALISON]:
So having that person who they feel like is a safety net for them, I think is so important. Yeah, yeah. Great advice. Well, I know you mentioned that you are an expert in Simple Practice. And that’s part of what you do in your businesses is you help people set up Simple Practice, is that right?

[FRANCES]:
Yeah. I consider myself a, I want to say, what would be the level just below expert, because I’m always learning. So I want to make sure that people understand that, you know, I don’t know everything, I know quite a bit. But I am constantly learning. So we actually have a training course package in coaching in Simple Practice that we do. And I’ve been using it for about, I think, a little over five years now. And so we do love it, we do advocate a lot for them. But one of the things that I had noticed, as I would be bringing on new monthly retainer clients, which are normally on phones and scheduling, they were in Simple Practice, and they were only using, you know, maybe a quarter of the entire functionality of Simple Practice. And a lot of them weren’t even using the portal. I’m like, why? And they’re like, well, we don’t know how. I’m like, okay.

Some people are great with sitting and reading or sitting and watching the tutorials. And I’m so glad that they can get it that way. But other people aren’t, they need that one on one, hands on, visual kind of thing going on. So what I realized after hearing that over and over and over again, is, hey, there’s a need for some serious training here. So along with my operations manager and myself, we do team training. And we literally go from the back end, from the beginning, all the way through going over to the front, what I call the daily view, going I mean, literally is everything that we can possibly train and teach them, we do. And what I find is some of the littlest things in Simple Practice will trip somebody up.

[ALISON]:
Yeah, and I think what’s great is that those EHR systems can be so robust and so helpful in so many ways. But like you said, people don’t necessarily know how to utilize it to its fullest capacity. I know for me, it took me a while to figure out where the reports were in my EHR. And then, I was like, this is amazing. It’s like aggregating all this data for me, but I didn’t know for a while.

[FRANCES]:
Well, yeah, I definitely have a couple tips. So one of the things I would love to share with you guys is just yesterday, Simple Practice updated their mobile app. And that also is important because if you use it with joining a session for telehealth, the app must be updated, as well as for the client too. So you need to let your clients know if you’re using telehealth and they’re going to be using the mobile app that they’re going to have to update it. And that just is a matter of if it’s an Apple, they go to the Apple Store, if it’s you know, an Android, they go to Google Play, that kind of thing. But it is required in order to make it work properly. So that just came out yesterday. There is a connection test link. I don’t know if you guys are aware but it is basically video.simplepractice.com/connection-test. So that’s one.

One of the very first things that we do when we have a new client that we start the whole training course with is I tell them, you need to go through the process as a client, in terms of, you know, creating a test or creating yourself with your email in there as a client. I want you to go through the entire process of looking, you know, from the very beginning of getting your first email, to logging into the portal and doing a password, to filling out the forms, to getting them submitted, to, you know, to see what your clients are going to see. Because if they go, well, I went in here, and I did this and this and this happened. And you’re like, well, I don’t know, because you have no idea what it looks like, you’ve never experienced it, that doesn’t look really good and professional for your client, you need to know what they’re talking about. They look to you as that expert, in the first place as a therapist, right. And so if they, if they call and they go, hey, I’ve got this problem and you’re like, oh, I know what you need to do, right away. You don’t even have to go, um, let me get back to you. Okay. So even if you’ve been using Simple Practice for a while, and you haven’t done this, go through the process as a client in the client portal, it’s really going to open your eyes to that.

Another tip is, these are, some of these are very simple. Some of your people may be going yeah, I know that. And that’s okay. But like I said, some of the littlest things can make a difference. If you’re searching for a past client and you can’t find them, and you’re like, I know I saw this person, I know I was in Simple Practice, make sure that you have both your active and inactive checked when you’re searching, if you can’t find them, go to the inactive and look and see if they’re there. Because you may have marked them and you forgot. Two years later, can you remember everything you’ve done? No. I can’t.

And then another one. This one, I love this one. My office manager, Carly, she reminded me, make sure you tell them this one because it’s one of my favorite ones. I’ve learned this the hard way about four years ago, four or five years ago when I was new with simple practice. And when you go into your settings, and you’re setting up your calendar display, not your availability, but when your calendar is going to display times for you to see, it’ll say the default is from 7am to 11pm. Right? So that means when you go to the calendar view, you’ll see 7am and 11pm every day. Well, what happened was that I had a client who would see clients, their last appointment was, let me get this right, their last client was at 6pm. So I scheduled the appointment, this was back in the days when I was doing scheduling myself, I scheduled the appointment, put it on the calendar, and then I had to go back and find something, put it in there and I went to the calendar, and it wasn’t there. And I went, I’m not going crazy. I know I put this in here. And I looked and looked and looked and looked and it was driving me nuts.

It was three days before I found that appointment. Luckily it was the following night. What had happened was when I scheduled the appointment, I put instead of saying 6pm, I forgot to change the am to the pm. So the appointment was set for 6am. And I would never see it in 100 million years because the calendar view of 6am was not there. So what I had to do was I had to go back into the settings, I had to open it up to you know, 6am, there it was, clear as day, changed it to pm. And then it was on the calendar where it should have been.

[ALISON]:
Wow. Yeah, so those simple things that make your life much easier or much harder.

[FRANCES]:
Yeah. And then I think, I know that I’ve got so many but I think there’s just two more I would love to share, one is on the portal link, which is now called the domain, that’s in your settings. And that’s where you put in the link for the clients to schedule. You put in your name or your practice name. And if you’re new to Simple Practice, or you haven’t done this yet, if you put that in there and you hit save and close, you can never change that again. Now if you haven’t saved it, it will work, you can use it. But if you’re, say, a solo practice, and you put your name in there, and then you move to a group practice, and you wanted to change it to the group practice name, if you hit the Save and Close, you’re not going to be able to do that.

[ALISON]:
Wow.

[FRANCES]:
So that’s a real, like, permanent one. And then I think the only last thing is in the cancellations area, and I’m talking about settings, if you set the, let’s say, your cancellation policy is 24 hours. And so you’re gonna like, okay, set it to 24 hours, that doesn’t give your client time to cancel within the 24 hour period, because the cancellation policy in settings is to trigger the reminders to go out for the system to send the reminders out. So you need to set that at a minimum of 48 hours so it gives the client time to either reschedule or cancel within that 24 hour period.

[ALISON]:
Hmm, yeah, I can see how that would make a big difference.

[FRANCES]:
I’ve got a ton more, but I’m gonna leave them for another time.

[ALISON]:
Okay, well, those are all really good tips. I appreciate that. And I’m sure there’s lots of people who use Simple Practice, and I know lots of people who love it. So I’m sure that that was helpful for them. Francis, I wish we had more time. But unfortunately we need to wrap up our interview. Can you share with people how they could get ahold of you? If they’re interested in learning more about your business, how can they find your company?

[FRANCES]:
Yeah, absolutely. Well, the first thing I’d love to tell you guys, is I have a free gift for you. And it is called the Ultimate Guide to Outsourcing for Therapists. And there is over 200 items on this eguide, that is all hyperlinked. So there’s like an index, and then you go to the index, and then if you click on it, it’ll hyperlink down to that section. And then within the section, it’ll tell you all these tasks and items that you can outsource. Constantly in the Facebook groups I see, I don’t even know where to begin, if I hired a VA, what can they do? What can’t they do? What does, you know? What does a BM do? And all of that. So this is just a real simple, you know, here’s what you can do. So if you go to the website, which is mysolutionservices.com/ultimatedashguide, you’ll be able to click on the link and say yes, please, send me my guide. And then you’ll get that in an E form. And if you download it, it’s yours forever.

[ALISON]:
Oh, nice. Thank you.

[FRANCES]:
Yeah. And that’ll take them to the website, which they can look around and see what they can find. If they want to email me they can find me at frances@mysolutionservices.com. And we would love to hear from you guys.

[ALISON]:
Yeah. Well, thank you so much, Frances, for taking the time to speak with us today. I think this was all really valuable information. So I appreciate your time.

[FRANCES]:
Well, thanks, Alison for having me. It’s been fun and I appreciate it.

________________________________________

[ALISON]:
Thanks so much for listening. We are coming up on one year of having this podcast and it’s been an exciting journey. It’s been great to hear from folks that they have been listening to the podcast so I really appreciate all of the positive compliments and if you can take a minute to rate and review the podcast that would be great. Wherever you listen to the podcasts, like iTunes, and if you have any suggestions for a podcast topic, or you think you might be a good person to interview, please email me alison@practiceofthepractice.com. Have a great day and I will talk to you all later.

If you love this podcast, would you please rate and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast player?

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

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