What are some different and interesting ways to start a wellness center? Can you merge a counseling center with a preexisting business? Why should you consider hiring administrative staff when your practice grows big enough?
In this podcast takeover episode, Alison Pidgeon speaks with Alyssa Buchanan about how to start a wellness center and growing her group practice.
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Meet Alyssa Buchanan
Alyssa Buchanan is a licensed clinical social worker. In 2017, Alyssa opened Skylight Counseling Services in West Melbourne, Florida where she invests her time in facilitating an environment where clients and families feel heard, empowered, and comfortable working with their clinician toward their overall healing and growth.
Last year, Alyssa saw a need for counseling services in her hometown in rural Ripley County, Indiana, where there were little to no counseling resources. Alyssa opened a second location in Batesville, Indiana to serve the population in her hometown.
In This Podcast
- Things to consider when starting a wellness center
- Hiring more clinicians
Things to consider when starting a wellness center
If you are considering branching out your businesses or you want to add another branch to your preexisting company, Alison suggests really thinking about your business model and then how much money you need to get it started.
With a basic business model, you will consider costs that relate to:
- Renting or purchasing a space to use
- Furnishing the space with adequate products as well as any equipment necessary
- Marketing expenses such as launching a website and purchasing ads
You can create the model in the way that suits you best, either allowing you more control or more freedom in your time and energy because you can set it up to be more self-sufficient if you would like.
There are options for starting a wellness center in different ways. You can:
- Approach a gym and see if they are open to collab to create a wellness center,
- Approach a healthy restaurant chain and see if they would be interested in working with you in your branch.
Hiring more clinicians
When you hit about 15 to 20 clinicians you have to start structuring the business differently [because] it gets to be too much for you to manage it all … this is something to keep in mind if you keep growing you’re going to have to look at potentially hiring other leadership positions or hiring more admin staff. (Alison Pidgeon)
When you reach high numbers in terms of having hired many clinicians in your practice, you can start to consider, or reconsider, your goals and time invested: do you want to cut down on the number of clients that you are seeing? Do you still have referrals coming in?
You can switch out some clients to clinicians to free up your time, hire some administrative staff to help you run the business and you can switch up your role from being a clinician yourself to being a full-time CEO.
If I was you I would probably hire somebody whose like an office manager who is physically there as well instead of a virtual assistant who doesn’t ever come into the office [because] you are not physically there, you may want somebody who is physically there. (Alison Pidgeon)
- Live Consulting with Lauren Hartz: How Do I fill the Caseloads of Unlicensed Clinicians at an Insurance Based Practice | PoP 558
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Meet Alison Pidgeon
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 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting
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