Introducing TheraSuite and How to Come Up with an Idea for a Side Hustle | GP 101

On this therapist podcast, Alison Pidgeon talks about TheraSuite and How to Come Up with an Idea for a Side Hustle

Do you struggle with finding the best furniture to suit the therapy workplace? How can TheraSuite solve your interior design problems? Are you thinking about starting a side hustle for the new year?

In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon speaks about TheraSuite and How to Come Up with an Idea for a Side Hustle.

Podcast Sponsor: Brighter Vision

An image of Brighter Vision Web Solutions is featured as the sponsor on Faith in Practice Podcast, a therapist podcast. Brighter Vision builds all in one websites for therapists.

We made it another year and now it’s time to jumpstart your practice and gear up for a successful 2022. What are the first steps to bringing in more of your ideal clients? Having a great website and marketing your private practice online.

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!

For the entire month of January, they’re completely waiving all setup fees and only charging $39/month for your 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.

In This Podcast

  • TheraSuite
  • Coming up with your side hustle
  • Start small

Therasuite

Therasuite is a company that supplies office furniture specifically designed with therapists in mind.

It offers a place where therapists can purchase furniture and office supplies for their work that is suited to serving therapy needs while being mindful of therapy nuances.

Therapists can explore the website and view boards – collections of photographs – that are categorized by:

  • Style: modern, seaside, etc.
  • Space: therapy office, home office, waiting room, etc.

There were consistently questions in the therapist groups [about furniture] and it made me realize “this is a common problem that practice owners have, they need somebody to help them decorate their office”. (Alison Pidgeon)

Coming up with your side hustle

Let go of originality

The idea that you come up with does not have to be groundbreaking and completely new to the world.

If you really want to do coaching but there are so many other coaches already, you could still bring something different. (Alison Pidgeon)

If you want to develop an idea that already exists, do so, because how you go about it is already unique to you.

Meditate

Take some time off work or spend time over the weekend to allow your mind to rest and to pursue creativity. It is difficult to think outside the box when your mind is overworked.

Use your skillset

Start a side hustle or a business that is focused on what you enjoy, are passionate about, and where you already have some knowledge. It will be easier to get off the ground and help you to remain invested.

Problem-solving

Consider the pain points that your potential clients are experiencing: how can you solve these problems? How can you provide a service or a product that can alleviate pressure from your ideal client?

Look abroad for inspiration.

Cast your net wide to gather inspiration and new perspectives. Listen to podcasts around your topic, find more inspiration, and explore the various possibilities.

Experiment with small ideas.

Test your idea even in its infancy so that you do not spend too much time testing. Instead, practice doing it.

Don’t wait until you have this idea perfectly formed. Try out a small piece of the idea somehow or talk to people who you think could be potential clients or customers of this idea and see what they think about it. (Alison Pidgeon)

Start small

You do not have to dive into the deep end and put loads of money or get into a lot of debt from the start of your project.

Start small and make do with what you have first to test your idea before investing in it. Try things out and adjust accordingly in the future. It may fail and you learn from it, or it may succeed and you can expand it.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Image of the book Thursday Is The New Friday written by Joe Sanok. Author Joe Sanok offers the exercises, tools, and training that have helped thousands of professionals create the schedule they want, resulting in less work, greater income, and more time for what they most desire.

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Alison Pidgeon, Group Practice Owner

An image of Alison Pidgeon is displayed. She is a successful group practice owner and offers private practice consultation for private practice owners to assist in how to grow a group practice. She is the host of Grow A Group Practice Podcast and one of the founders of Group Practice Boss.Alison Pidgeon, LPC is the owner of Move Forward Counseling, a group practice in Lancaster, PA and she runs a virtual assistant company, Move Forward Virtual Assistants.

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.

Transformation From A Private Practice To Group Practice

In addition, she is a private practice consultant for Practice of the Practice. Allison’s private practice ‘grew up.’ What started out as a solo private practice in early 2015 quickly grew into a group practice and has been expanding ever since.

Visit Alison’s website, listen to her podcast, or consult with Alison. Email Alison at alison@practiceofthepractice.com

Thanks For Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!

Podcast Transcription

[ALISON PIDGEON] You are listening to the Grow a Group Practice podcast. Whether you were thinking about starting a group practice or in the beginning stages, or want to learn how to scale up your already existing group practice, you are in the right place. I’m Alison Pidgeon, your host, a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, one of which is a large group practice that I started in 2015. Each week, I feature a guest or topic that is relevant to group practice owners. Let’s get started.

Happy new year, everyone. I’m really excited that you decided to join me today. I am introducing my newest business called Therasuite. We’re also doing a whole series of podcasts about interior designs specifically related to therapy practices. So whether you are someone who loves design and loves learning more about it and can apply what they’ve learned, because it’s something that they enjoy or if you’re totally clueless about design and you need some help or maybe somewhere in between this series of podcasts is going to be great to listen to.

So I have interior designers who I’ve interviewed. I have other practice owners I’ve interviewed. Then today I’m doing a solo episode all about Therasuite and how I started it as a side hustle and how you can also start a side hustle in addition to your group practice. So first let’s talk a little bit about Therasuite. So Therasuite is a website that is two things. So we have a service for folks who want to contact an interior designer who understands what therapists want in an office and they want a designer who will create a floor plan for them, or pick out all of their furniture or maybe figure out how to incorporate existing furniture into things they already have. So if you want a designer to really give you a custom design, that is one of the services that we offer. So if you go to our website, which is thera-suite.com and suite is spelled like hotel, suite S-U-I-T- E. Y, you can go under the About page. There’s a whole page of our designers. You can contact one of the designers and you can tell them what you’re looking for and they can help you out.

The other option that we have is kind of a more do-it-yourself option. So if you want to basically purchase a collection of furniture and décor items that is going to work for your office and is in a style that you really like, you can actually buy a board. So you may be familiar with these. Sometimes if you’re like on Pinterest or something like that, you’ll see a whole collection of items. It’ll say like, oh, coastal living room, and then it’ll show you like the couch and the chair and the curtains and the coffee table and all the stuff that kind of goes with that style for a living room.

So we have done the same thing with Therasuite. We have put together a whole collection of furniture that would work for a therapist’s office. Also knowing that there are particular needs, a therapist has that maybe somebody else in a office and with another industry may not need. So like I remember one of my first offices that I furnished realizing like the clock ticked really loudly. So when there was silence in the room, I’d hear the clock ticking and really annoy me. So I went on to Amazon, specifically to look for a clock that doesn’t tick, you know these types of things that like, you wouldn’t know, unless you’re a therapist and you’re doing this work every day.

So I looked for things specifically that I knew would work for therapists. Like you obviously want your chair to be the most comfort, quality chair that you can find. So we put together these collections of boards and they’re by style. So when we say style, we mean like you like modern style, you like coastal style, you like farmhouse style, mid-century modern. So there’s different options, depending on what style you like.

We also have things grouped by space. So whether you’re designing a therapy office or maybe you’re designing your home office, or maybe you’re designing a kid’s therapy room, or a waiting room, we also have specific boards for those as well. So that is what Therasuite is all about. So I’m really excited. It’s being launched into the world. It’s something that I have been working on for, I don’t know, maybe the past eight months or so. I’ve been working with a website designer to build out the site and testing it and getting together all over the pieces and it’s finally ready.

o that is super exciting. I came up with this idea because I love interior design. I always have. That’s something that I used to do to sort of like de-stress after I got home from work, when I worked at the community mental health agency, like before I had kids. I obviously had to take care of them when I got home from work, but I would come home and like read these home design blogs and just look up when Pinterest started. Oh yes, that was just like, everything was pinning, like an interior design idea. I enjoyed doing that in my own house. Then when I started my practice and we started expanding and we had to build out offices and decorate offices, and I really started to think about what needed to go into a therapy office, what I didn’t want in a therapy office. I worked with a designer, which was super helpful. So just learned a lot about the process along the way.

So when websites like modsy.com came out, or you may have heard of havenlee.com, so these are sites where people can go on and get designs for residential spaces. They can get a design for their living room or a bedroom. If you have no idea how to design it or what furniture to buy, everything is done virtually through an interior designer. They send you a whole collection of items that you can purchase and have them shipped to your house and then you kind of set up the room according to their instructions.

So that’s kind of how this idea for Therasuite came to be is. I saw those websites and I was like, they need that kind of thing for therapist offices. So that is kind of where that idea came from. Also, and I’ll talk about this in a little bit when we talk about how do you come up with an idea for your side hustle, I noticed that over and over again, especially in therapists groups, there’s so many therapists Facebook groups, and just places where therapists are hanging out and talking and asking questions. There were always questions about, oh, I just got a new office. What kind of chair should I get? Or I have no clue where to start with decorating this new office. What items should I get? What shouldn’t I get? What should I spend money on? What should I maybe not spend as much money on?

There’s consistently questions in those therapist groups. So that made me realize, oh, this is like a common problem that practice owners have. They need somebody to help them decorate their office, especially if it’s not something you enjoy. When we moved into our new office space, we had a very short amount of time to get everything set up because we were like bursting at the seams in the other office. We just wanted to get in there right away. Obviously time is money. Like you don’t want the office sitting empty any longer than it has to.

So within a few days we had furnished and decorated an office, a four office suite with an admin room and a waiting room and two bathrooms. So that’s the other challenge that practice owners face. That they may have to get a space decorated in a very short amount of time or a space put together in a very short amount of time. So that the other problem that I think Therasuite solves for therapists. It’s that it’s not like your house where if like it takes you a few months to get everything together or you’re missing a coffee table for a little while, you can’t find the right one. It’s not a big deal, but in your office space, that’s a whole different story. You want it to look pulled together. You want it to look professional, you want your clients to feel comfortable and like, you obviously know what you’re doing as a therapist.

It also comes through as a reflection of your space. Like if your space is beautiful and put together and clean and comfortable, they’re going to have a lot more confidence in you as a therapist. So yes, definitely go check out Therasuite. Like I said, it’s thera-suite.com like hotel suite. I’m curious to see what you think about it. There are obviously lots of fun, inspiration to check out on there. You can see the boards and how they’re put together. You can also read our blog. So the blog is a mix of other practice owners’ offices. They’ve submitted their picture to get inspiration to kind of see what you like. I’ve also pulled together tips for what are things that you would want in a home office? My home office is on the blog. So you can see that. So lots of fun things to look at if you enjoy looking at furniture and decor as much as I do.

So I want to switch gears a little bit and talk about kind of how to come up with ideas for your own side hustle. So Therasuite was definitely a side hustle for me. It was something that once a week for a couple hours, I would work on. I farmed out the creation of the website to a website team. So obviously I still had to collect a lot of the content and meet with them and stuff like that but it wasn’t time consuming because I wasn’t making the website. So really in my mind, it really was a side hustle. I purposely decided to start this business now because I knew it wouldn’t take up a ton of my time, which is something that I try to be very protective of with everything that I do and having three little kids at home.

I don’t want something that I’m going to have to really spend tons of time doing. I want to have something that can mostly be farmed out to somebody else. I can hire an assistant. I can hire a website team. I can hire a marketing person. And obviously I’m still somewhat overseeing all of that, but it’s not taking up tons of my time.
[BRIGHTER VISION] We made it another year and now it’s time to jump start your practice year up for a successful 2022. What are the first steps to bringing in more of your ideal clients? Having a great website and marketing your private practice online. Whether you are 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 entire month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year. For the entire month of January, they’re completely waving all set fees and only charging $39 a month for your entire first year of a new website. That’s a savings of $240 for your first year 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.
[ALISON PIDGEON] So like I was saying, just switching gears a little bit, I wanted to talk about how do you come up with an idea for a side hustle? Because there’s lots of group practice owners that get their group practice up and running, and they’re like, oh, this is great. I’ve delegated lots of things. I have therapists now who are bringing in. I don’t have to see so many clients anymore. I have this free time that I could do something else. I could start another business If I wanted to. And lots of times group practice owners tend to be entrepreneurial. They have other business ideas, or they know that starting something else could lead to another stream of income, which obviously is something that’s recommended as an entrepreneur that you don’t kind of put all your eggs in one basket and just count on one stream of income. You want multiple streams of income.

So I did a webinar in our Group Practice Boss community, talking all about how do you come up with an idea for a side hustle? So I’m going to kind of you the highlights of that webinar, if you’re not familiar with Group Practice Boss, it is our membership community for folks who have established group practices. We do a different topic every month. We have a Facebook group where we can share ideas and answer people’s questions. We’re actually in the process of, and hopefully it’s done by the time this podcast airs, is transitioning to using a platform called Circle instead of Facebook. So that is where this information was originally presented.

So one thing I found that was super helpful was actually an article in The Guardian. So if you go to theguardian.com, you can actually look it up. The article is kind of old, it’s from 2015, but it still has a lot of good information. So the article is called six ways to come up with your ultimate business idea. So I’m just going to sort of paraphrase some of the topics in this article. So the first heading says, let go of originality. So I think a lot of times folks know they want to start a side hustle, but they’re like, oh, well, everybody is doing a coaching practice or there’s already this type of business. So what am I going to add that’s different. But I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. I think that we can all put our own unique spin on something. Don’t let that stop you if you’re like, oh, I really want to do coaching, but there’s so many other coaches already. You could still bring something different.

I think another thing to think about too is because there is so much wealth of information now on the internet, obviously that’s just being offered for free, we forget that folks want somebody who’s going to curate that information for them again. So like with Therasuite, I’m offering practice owners, a shortcut. You can go on wayfair.com and see literally tens of thousands of different chairs, but that would take you forever to sort through all of those and read the reviews and finally decide what color you actually really want that’s going to go with the other furniture you already have.

So that’s where it’s really offering people a shortcut and really curating information is something that I think is becoming more and more popular. And curating information is really niching down. So I could go onto one of those sites I mentioned before, like HavenLee or Modsy. But again, it’s not going to be exactly what I need if I’m looking for furniture and decor for my office space. But if you really niche down you’re going to be able to give somebody exactly what they need, and that is something that they’re willing to pay for.

So back to the article. So again, this article is from The Guardian. It’s called six ways to come up with your ultimate business idea. The second one is meditate. So if you listen to Joe Sanok at all, talk about slowing down so that we can be more productive, he talks about this in his book Thursday is the New Friday. That’s exactly what they’re saying in this part of the article. It’s really important to kind of let your mind wander and not have something scheduled every second of the day, because that’s where your unstressed mind is potentially going to come up with some creative ideas.

So the next section talks about using your skillset. So obviously, I have a background in mental health. If I didn’t have a training in mental health, it may not be such a great idea for me to start a mental health, private practice, maybe not impossible, but I would definitely be at a great disadvantage. I probably wouldn’t go opening up an accounting firm because I know nothing about accounting. That just probably wouldn’t be a great fit for my skillset.

The next section talks about solving a problem. So a lot of times when we talk about starting a business in entrepreneurship, you want to try to find a way to solve people’s problems, or we talk about pain points because that is something that people are willing to spend time and money on in order to solve it. So if it’s not a problem, it may not be something that I’m as urgently willing to spend money onto, to fix or to address. So like we know in therapy a lot of times people aren’t proactively going to therapy to prevent mental health problems or issues. They’re only going when their marriage is falling apart or their kid’s almost getting kicked out of school, or they are having trouble getting up out of bed and doing everyday things, because they’re so depressed.

That’s when they actually make a decision to make a change and address the issue. They’re not like, oh, I’m doing great and I’m going to therapy. It’s not something people usually see as something that we spend money on, if it’s not a problem. So when I was talking about reading people’s comments in the book groups and saying how decorating their office was an issue, it was a pain point for them then that jumped out at me as, oh, that’s a problem that could be solved.

The next section in this article says, look abroad for inspiration. So I don’t know if any of you have listened to a podcast called How I Built This, which is produced by NPR. It’s a great podcast where he interviews entrepreneurs, usually when they’re like pretty far into their business. He kind of talks to them through like the whole life cycle of their business from the beginning to when they sell it or they retire or something like that. So he did an episode with a brother and sister who started a brand called new me tea and they had grown up in America, but their family was from the middle east and the tea culture in the middle east is quite different than it is here in the United States. They drank a particular type of tea there that they couldn’t get here in the US.

They just thought how cool would that be to bring some of the types of tea and the kind of the tea culture from the middle east to the United States? So they built this very successful kind of tea company that was very different than anything the United States had seen before. So obviously they haven’t sort of invented anything new. They just brought something that was already existing to a place where it wasn’t readily available. So I think that’s a a cool idea. Again, I don’t know exactly how it would apply to your side hustle idea, but I liked that story and I think that we always think we have to reinvent the wheel, but we really don’t.

]So the last section of the article talks about experiment with maybe ideas. So kind of the idea of don’t wait until you have this idea perfectly formed. Try out maybe a small piece of the idea somehow, or maybe talk to people who you think could be potential clients or customers of this idea and see what they think about it. Like when I started my virtual assistant company, which is called Move forward Virtual Assistant it started because my assistant in my practice needed wanted to work more hours than I had for her. I just thought, okay, well I really want to keep her, keep her happy and so I’ll just hire her out to some of these folks that I know through business consulting and we’ll see how it goes.

It was just an experiment. It was all running through the counseling practice and we were just trying it out and it worked out pretty well. So we decided to actually make it its own standalone business. So there’s no nothing wrong with experimenting. I think experimenting actually feels a little bit less scary than like, oh, I’m going to go out and file a new LLC and get a whole bunch of money to start this thing. Like all my businesses that I had haven’t been like capital intensive. I think I started the VA business was about $3,000. I started to my counseling practice was about $3,000.So definitely things that you don’t need to go out and ask the bank for a hundred grand to start a business.

You can start small and you can try things out and you can just see how it goes. Maybe it’ll fail and you’ll learn something from it or maybe it’ll be success and you want to expand on it. So that is the end of the article from The Guardian. I hope you enjoyed that. If you’ve been having trouble thinking of what type of side hustle to start, if that’s something you want to do in the new year, I hope that was some good information to get your wheels turning.

I think one other piece of advice that I would give you is definitely pick a side hustle that you’re passionate about. You definitely don’t want to pick something that’s seems fun in the beginning or you think might just make a lot of money. So you’re like, “Hey, why not? This could be really lucrative.” Then you get into the weeds and obviously there’s ups and downs and then you’re like, I just don’t want to do this anymore. I think that happens when you don’t feel passionate about something. So I would definitely deter you from picking something just because you think it’s a good idea or would make a lot of money or something like that.

So thank you so much for listening to this episode. I’m really excited about therasuite.com. Please take a look. Let me know what you think. We also have a bunch of interviews this month, like I said, at the beginning of the episode with interior designers and other practice owners who talk about their experience with designing their offices and give lots of tips and dos and don’ts. So definitely stay tuned for that. That was really fun to put together and talk about all things interior design. I’ll see you all next time.

Thank you so much to Brighter Vision for being a sponsor of this podcast. We love your websites. I have a Brighter Vision website for my own practice. If you want to participate in the deal we were talking about at the beginning of the podcast, just hop on over to brightervision.com/joe.

If you love this podcast, will 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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