Q&A was part of Next Level Practice, the most supportive community for therapists starting a private practice. In this video, Joe answers the question based on what the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant are.
Can you discuss Virtual Assistants again and the benefits?
A virtual assistant is almost always a multiplier, not an expense. What do I mean by that? So, I worked at the Community College in a full-time job with a part-time practice, Mental Wellness Counseling. I was seeing four or five people a week, so nothing big. It was just to pay off student loans. I had no idea I was going to be leaving my job. No idea that I was going to be making way more than I was there, and that I was going to be doing this awesome kind of work I get to do now. I was missing phone calls and would dread checking them at the end of each day and jumping on those phone calls, that would last 20 minutes or half an hour.
I hired someone who, literally all she did was check the voicemail at 9:00 a.m.,noon, and at 4:00 p.m.. The first day, she schedules three new intakes. So I might pay her for two hours a week, so $30 for those two hours, and I got three new intakes. It multiplied my time, because she was answering the phone, she was scheduling, she was getting on the intake, and at the end of the day I could just go home and hang out with my family. I didn’t have to worry about the four calls I had to call back and, if these people are in deep trouble, I could be stuck in my driveway for the next hour.
So that’s the benefits of it. I would say it also adds to your professionalism. Bringing on a virtual assistant, early on, to answer your phones is going to help people get connected so much quicker. Regarding the cost of virtual assistants, you usually want to pay as you go. You don’t want to have too much of a base rate. There are a lot of great services out there that I can connect you with, for example Therapy Desk – John Clark is awesome. You can let them know I sent you and they’ll give you a discount.
The way that works is say, fro example, you want someone ten hours a week. They hire someone, full time, for 40 hours a week and then they have four clinicians that pay for that person. So, you all pay for ten hours, but you all get 40 hours of work. So that person is just answering the call for all four practices. Some weeks, you may use 15 hours, other weeks you might use five, but it all evens out. That’s the only service that I would actually recommend.
I have interviewed so many other therapists and therapy assistant services; there just are not very many good ones out there that are worth the price they charge. I’d rather you check in with me to say, ‘Is it worth it? Is this person good?’ Because there are a lot of consultants that are out there, and I’m happy there’s more that are out there, but there’s a lot that really don’t know what they’re doing. And, you want to make sure that you work with someone that knows what they’re doing, so it’s worth the money, and so you don’t have to just undo a bunch of stuff later.
Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC
Joe Sanok is an ambitious results expert. He is a private practice business consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice to increase revenue and have more fun! He helps owners with website design, vision, growth, and using their time to create income through being a private practice consultant. Joe was frustrated with his lack of business and marketing skills when he left graduate school. He loved helping people through counseling, but felt that often people couldn’t find him. Over the past few years he has grown his skills, income, and ability to lead others, while still maintaining an active private practice in Traverse City, MI. To link to Joe’s Google+ .