Ask Joe: How to Make a Budget | POP 608

Image of Joe Sanok. On this therapist podcast, podcaster, consultant and author, talks about how to make a budget.

How do you structure your business budget? Which budgeting essentials should you make sure to include in the annual planning? What do general marketing budgets look like?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok answers your questions about how to create a budget.

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In This Podcast

  • Keep tabs on your numbers
  • Budget essentials
  • Marketing budgets
  • Overall budget

Keep tabs on your numbers

Have an idea of how much money is coming in and going out of your business.

As a general rule of thumb I would take whatever came in, subtract the costs [and] all the expenses, and then I would pay myself 50% of whatever the net was. (Joe Sanok)

Why 50%?

  • To keep ample money aside to pay tax when the time comes
  • Save an emergency fund valued at a couple of months of expenses.

Budget essentials

Assuming you are budgeting for a business, some of the essentials you need are:

  • Electronic health records if you are billing insurance
  • Having an assistant that answers phones and schedules intake
  • Savings of at least 10% of the business value that you can put into marketing

Very few therapists are putting money into marketing, and so even if 5% of your budget is going into marketing, that’s a huge amount that you’re putting into the marketing to get your name out there. (Joe Sanok)

Marketing budgets

There are three key important aspects to marketing a business.

Brand Knowledge:

You want your customers to know that you exist. Work on boosting your company’s general brand awareness.

Brand Attractiveness:

What is your unique selling point? How do you make your practice stand out? Some finances from the marketing budget can go into:

  • Getting professional assistance with taking fun, professional, and light-hearted headshots for your website
  • Doing video marketing
  • Paper-click advertising

Brand Trust:

Now that people know and like you, you need to get them to trust you. This is done through you creating content that resonates with your clients and speaks directly to their pain points.

Overall budget


As a telehealth therapist, you may not be spending that much on rent, however, if you own property for your business, the general rule is not to pay rent that is more than 15% of your overall gross income. This depends on where you work, as some property markets are more expensive than others.

Keep an eye on trends:

Are you spending more on marketing overtime than you expected? Are you spending more on staff overtime than expected? Notice where things are growing and where things are contracted and adjust your budget accordingly.

Your income:

Make sure that you are taking at least 50% of the net income home. Run your numbers, starting with how much you want to bring home a year, and work backward to find how much you should be making per session to make that annual amount a reality.

Useful Links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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