Dr. Connor McClenahan on Opening a Co-Practice (not a group practice) | PoP 516

Image of Dr. Connor McClenahan speaking on a therapist podcast about opening a co-practice.

Have you heard of co-practices? How do they differ from group practices? Are the structures in co-practices perhaps more suited to how you would like to run a collaborative practice?

In this therapist podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Dr. Connor McClenahan about opening a co-practice.

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Meet Dr. Connor McClenahan

Image of Dr. Connor McClenahanon speaking with Joe Sanok on the Practice of the Practice podcast, a therapist podcast providing support to clinicians and therapists.

When Connor started his private practice in downtown Los Angeles, he saw therapists exhaust themselves competing with big-budget group practices. After years of helping therapists with their marketing, Connor is expanding to provide a new way to practice called Here Counseling.

It’s better support than a group for a flat membership rate. They provide built-in systems to help your practice stay full, connected, and thriving.

Visit his website, connect on Facebook and Instagram.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • Co-practice versus a group practice
  • For which clinicians do the co-practice model work?
  • Being an owner of a co-practice
  • What does it take to set up a co-practice?
  • Tips on having members in your co-practice and what to consider
  • Connor’s advice to private practitioners

Co-practice versus a group practice

In a typical group practice, owners and clinicians are a part of the corporation and share the profits, however, in a co-practice, therapists pay a flat rate for the services they receive.

For example, let’s say you make $10k worth of client income, that $5k that goes to your group, you kind of scratch your head and wonder ‘what am I paying for with that $5k? What are the services that I’m actually getting?’ So, co-practicing actually reverses that and says ‘why don’t we create a fair price for the services that you need in order for your practice to thrive?’ (Dr. Connor McClenahan)

Then, the therapists pay a predictable amount each month for the services they use in the practice while seeing as many clients and charging however much they want, which enables them to take home a larger salary at the end of the day.

For which clinicians do the co-practice model work?

Dr. Connor discusses that clinicians should be honest about what they earn, and then consider what they have to take care of versus what they are paying for. If a clinician decides to join a co-practice, they would need to have their own LLC or sole-proprietorship as a business that processes its own payment.

If you want to receive a check at the end of the day and you don’t want to have to worry about payment at all, then a traditional group practice would be beneficial in that way. But I think there are a lot of benefits that could be really cool with the co-practicing model. (Dr. Connor McClenahan)

Being an owner of a co-practice

I have to think about what is the price that I need to charge in order to make enough to take on some of the risk or some of the responsibility of managing a website or running Google Ads, and so that is a little bit of getting feedback from people who are members in terms of what’s working for them, what’s not and what services are worth it for them and which aren’t. (Dr. Connor McClenahan)

Dr. Connor also gives his own honest feedback about what and how much work he can manage before deciding to delegate and hire out.

This is the middle ground: finding a price point and a package that works for both the owner and the members within the co-practice.

What does it take to set up a co-practice?

  • Knowing how to do web design and running Google Ads and having skill in both video and photographic editing because having these skills in place can help to get your co-practice off the ground faster.

Having these skills yourself however is not essential: you can definitely collaborate with others when you need a hand with photo editing or organizing an effective and professional website.

  • There does not need to be only one person in charge: you can pool the resources of multiple people together when starting a co-practice, and in this way, you can find a system together that benefits everyone from the start.
  • Look for an office space that is big enough to hold all your people.

Tips for having members in your co-practice and what to consider

  • Have clear expectations from the get-go with all your staff and partners. Keep important details and notices in writing so that everyone is on the same page. This also helps the staff realize what their roles in the business are.
  • Dr. Connor suggests getting feedback from members to see how they feel and what they think about the system to make sure that everyone is comfortable with the terms. This also enables the staff to be a part of the decision-making process and helps their concerns to be heard.

As with any new business venture or system, it is wise to try to cover all your bases and understand the ins and outs before diving in. Dr. Connor recommends:

  • Be creative and reflective about the systems you have in your life right now. Think about how you can create a system that is adaptable, for example, consider your business model in the face of the COVID pandemic and how you can create systems that are flexible enough to move through difficult times.
  • Work with people who consider the same questions and collaborate with them in an effort to move you both forward in your careers.

Find out more about the membership here.

Books mentioned in this episode

Useful Links:

Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultant

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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