Are you new to the group practice world? What connection does face-to-face marketing have with creating new referral sources? Why is it important to track data when your group practice is starting to properly scale up?
In this podcast takeover episode, Alison Pidgeon does live consulting with Anna Saviano about the beginning stages of group practice.
If you have a growing group practice and are looking for ongoing business support, we have a new membership community especially for you. Every month we will be taking a deep dive into topics that group practice owners need the nitty-gritty details of including:
Managing People | Creating a Positive Work Culture | How to increase retention of clients | Money management | Hiring | Marketing and Branding | Office Space, and many more.
Anna is a LPC in Kansas City, MO, living and working in the same neighborhood she grew up in. Her group practice is Heartland Therapy Connection, and she has three clinicians plus an admin.
They believe in providing space and connection for a diverse population of clients, most with a trauma history. She loves living and working in my community and providing excellent service.
In This Podcast
- How to begin to reduce your own caseload
- How to be intentional with your time
- Marketing and referrals
- Track your data
How to begin to reduce your own caseload
For some group practice owners, suddenly handing over their clients to other therapists or dropping them is a difficult or unpleasant thing to do. Instead, you can ease yourself out of a hefty caseload over time.
When I was shedding clients, I did it very slowly over a period of time, so as people finished up I just didn’t take any new clients (Alison Pidgeon)
- If you have old clients that are wanting to return to you to resume their therapy, it is up to you to decide how you would like to handle that, and you can offer to hand them over to a fellow clinician who you know they would be in good hands with.
- Once you have hired admin assistance who will handle intake calls and scheduling clients to clinicians, it is easier for them to say ‘no’ to returning or new clients on your behalf than it sometimes is for you to say ‘no’ to them directly.
- You can increase your rates which would automatically weed out potential clients. In this way, you would work with fewer people but still make an income while freeing up time for you to run the practice as the CEO.
- Give your existing clients the option to change out over a period of time, for example, give them 90 days or 180 days from now and tell them that you are changing your schedule around and once that time is finished, if they are still with you, they will be moved to another clinician. This can actually also motivate them to complete their therapy with you faster than becoming comfortable with the idea that they will have you as their therapist “forever”.
This gives them time to think through the options and to wrap their head around the change, so it may not be a short-term relief … but at least you know that you are moving in the right direction. (Alison Pidgeon)
How to be intentional with your time
Spend some time writing out two things:
- Goals or aspirations that you have for the future of your practice, and
- Which admin or HR responsibilities would you be willing to delegate out to an assistant.
I think a lot of times we just get so used to doing everything ourselves that we don’t stop to think “oh wait, I don’t need to be the one building the website, or cleaning the office, and running the errands and and and” (Alison Pidgeon)
You do not have to immediately delegate out everything if finances do not allow it, you can begin gradually because most of the time assistants will pay for themselves with the work they do in growing the business.
Pick one or two things you would like to delegate out and hire a person or people to handle those as this will immediately free up some of your time to focus on growing the practice.
- Be protective of your new free time: when you have free time, often things will come along to fill it if you are not aware. Use this time intentionally to work on completing or implementing the goals and aspirations that you have for your practice.
Marketing and referrals
Work on cultivating at least 10 to 15 different referral sources. I think a lot of people don’t realize the variety and the breadth of the referrals sources that they’re going to need for a group practice and there may be periods of time in the year where one referral source might dry up, [but] then you still have 10 more who are still sending you clients. (Alison Pidgeon)
If you want to grow a successful and varied group practice, it is important to have an equally varied and broad referral network so that all the aspects of your practice have streams of potential clients linked to them.
Naturally, having a wide range of referral sources means that you will not depend too heavily on a handful of sources that could dry up or change, leaving you in the dust.
When it comes to referral sources, face-to-face marketing is important. This can look like this:
- Giving a talk or seminar
- Having a coffee date with other therapists who could be referral sources
- Going into a doctor’s office to create a referral source
It is important to nurture the relationship that you have with your new referral source and to remain consistent so that they do not forget about you when they are giving a client advice about who to see.
Track your data
- Aging report every two weeks to make sure there were no outstanding balances.
Once a month:
- Checking the progress reports from the previous month to see that everything is on track.
- Keep a call log to see to track your conversion rate, if your marketing is working or not, and to see from which referral source is sending you a lot of new clients.
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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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