Is your practice successful and growing quickly? Are you considering doing less therapy and moving into more of a CEO-related role? What should you start doing less of from the get-go to free up your time?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok answers your questions about how to free up time now that your business is thriving past $100k.
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In This Podcast
- What should I stop doing?
- Who are you turning away?
- Replacing yourself with other people
What should I stop doing?
You don’t get to six figures typically by outsourcing everything from the beginning. Usually, you wear a lot of hats: doing bookkeeping, answering the phone, return emails, update the website … but at over $100k, you should look at what you should stop doing. (Joe Sanok)
At the beginning of any business, the owner does everything, from answering the phone to taking out the trash. Now as your business has grown it is important for you to pull back on doing all the tasks and outsourcing a little bit more.
Outsource as much as you can because every hour that you are not doing therapy you should either be building the business or growing it. If you find yourself filing forms, you need to get someone else to do it otherwise you are spending your own hourly rate shuffling pages.
Who are you turning away?
Think about the calls that your turn away or refer out: can you bring someone onto your team that can gather up all those clients that you are not able to or not specifically qualified to see?
This can help you to keep those clients and that income in-house so that you do not lose out on potential income while not having to take those clients yourself.
Replacing yourself with other people
If you are the only Gottman-certified therapist in your practice, you need to hire another one (or two) to replace you.
hire someone who can answer the phone, clean the office, perform intake with clients and even scan potential new clinicians to hire.
Raise your rates:
If your practice is this full, then it is time for you to increase your hourly rate. This benefits you and it also benefits your clinicians because their rates will slowly go up as well.
We don’t want you seeing more people, so leave the crappy insurances that pay little and pay late … leave those and we want your hourly to go up and usually we want that to go up by at least $50 a session, if not more. (Joe Sanok)
With your raised rates, fill your extra time up with something creative that will push you to grow and expand your skillset.
Books mentioned in this episode:
- Directories and SEO with Jessica Tappana | PoP 592
- Pillars of Practice
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Meet Joe Sanok
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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This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 593.
Well, I am Joe Sanok your host. I hope you are doing awesome today. We, every Wednesday are doing this Ask Joe Series. These are short form 5 to 15 minute answers. People ask some questions and then we talk through what my advice is for them. You know, it’s a way to kind of get back to some of our roots with Practice of the Practice, to make sure that we’re really supporting practitioners that we’re doing it in a way that helps you to continue to grow and just to connect with you. We’ve got Killin’It Camp coming up in October, which I am so excited about. For every five books that someone buys from Thursday is the New Friday they end up getting a ticket and then if you get 10 books, there’s extra bonuses. Like we’ve got some mastermind groups, and then if you get 25 books, then you can come to Killin’It Camp and do a half day experience with me with just a handful of other people that did the bulk book buy.
So if you have done that, it’s so awesome that you did it. If you haven’t got your ticket yet, just go buy at least five copies of Thursday is the New Friday on Amazon or wherever you buy it. It’ll get shipped on October 5th and you’ll get all of those books sent to you. And then just whenever you buy them, go over to thursdayisthenewfriday.com, fill out the form, and we’ll make sure you get your ticket.
So we are so, so, so excited to be hanging out with you today. Today’s question is a really good one. I’m really excited for it. So this question is about my business is thriving and I want to work less and I made over a hundred thousand dollars last year. What should I do? This person didn’t want their name said which is totally fine. Over at practiceofthepractice.com/askjoe, you can go submit your question either anonymously, or you can put your name in there if you want. So first question you should ask yourself is what should I stop doing? What should I stop doing? You don’t get to six figures typically by outsourcing everything from the beginning. Usually you wear a lot of hats. You do your book, keeping you answer the phones, you return emails, you update your website, you wear a lot of hats, even taking out the trash and just doing that. But really over a 100K you need to look at what should I stop doing and outsource as much as you can, your phones, your emails, your EHR, your book keeping.
As much of that, that you can outsource the better, because every hour that you’re not doing therapy, if you’re that full, you’re basically paying that amount. So if you’re cleaning your office for an hour, I’d rather you do an hour of therapy and then pay someone to clean the office because you’re going to make more money off of that. Next start thinking about who are you turning away? Who are you turning away? Who calls and you’re like, they’re just not a good fit for me for one reason or another. Could you bring someone on as an associate, as a clinician that could do that, that could see those people to keep that money in-house, keeper those clients in-house to help them? Next you want to look at replacing you with as many people as possible. So that means clinically, so if you are the only one that’s Gottman Level II certified to help couples, we want to find someone that you can help get trained to be Gottman Level II.
We want to replace you in every arena. We want to replace the phones, we want to replace the taking out the trash, as much as possible. Also we need to be raising your rates. So if you’re this full, it means we don’t want you seeing more people. So leave the crappy insurances that pay little, that pay late, you don’t like working with them. You don’t have many clients on them. So leave those. We want your hourly to go up. And usually we want that to go up by at least $50 per session, if not more. If you’re full, you might as well go up by a hundred dollars a session. So if you’re at 190, go to 290 because you don’t want more people. So it really doesn’t matter if you say no to them or they say no to you. It’s a risk that you can take at this point.
Now what happens when you have other clinicians? It looks weird if you’re at 290 and everyone else is at 125. They need to be up in the 190 to 250, if you’re at 290. So what happens is everybody goes up. You end up making more money, they make more money and you free up all that time for yourself. So one thing you can do is look at how many people you’re seeing. So say you’re seeing 20 people a week and you’re at 190. So that would be what almost just under four grand. So like $3,800 or so. So you’re making $3,800 a week from your work. Now, if you divide that out by say 290, you’re going to see that you probably need significantly fewer clients than when you’re at 190.
So then you know okay, when people discharge, they go down to every other week. You can kind of change that up. Another thing that works really well if say you’re doing eating disorders or anything that could have an intensive side is to say Joe right now is not taking new weekly clients, but what he is doing is he’s taking intensive clients that for two weeks doing an intensive with him and then move into weekly clients. So the cost of that is X number of dollars for these eight sessions. So it’s Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, two weeks in a row. So as a couple, as someone working on their eating disorder, as a behavior specialist, as a parenting specialist, whatever your thing is you learn a ton in two weeks. So then you need fewer sessions moving forward and we move you then into weekly sessions for awhile. It’s a great way to just have an influx at your new rate of sort of a prepaid model, without it being a, you have to buy 10 sessions ahead of time. So it’s a really great way to fill that up.
I would say also once you continue to raise your rates, fill that extra time, not with more clients. I mean, once you kind of get more of those higher rate clients, fill it up with something creative, something that’s going to be a stretch, a bit of a gamble. Every year I look at, well, what’s my big thing that if I do that, like things are going to just be amazing. So early on, so four or five years ago, it was, if I can have two consulting clients that are paying me twice my counseling rate, that’s going to be awesome. So that year, I think I ended up averaging about five per week that were paying twice. So at that time, I think my rate was 150 per counseling session and so my consulting was $300. So $300 an hour, that was way better than 150 an hour and then the next year it was, if I can have a handful of mastermind groups that have six people in it, each paying 500 bucks a month and we meet a couple of times a month, that would be a game changer.
So I did that. Then it was if I have a membership community and then it was if I have a traditionally published book. So right now my main focus is Thursday is the New Friday. This book that I wrote through Harper Collins, it comes out in October, is something that I’m pushing, I’m focusing all of my kind of creative gamble side of things into that. So then that’s my main focus. So whenever I look at my email or my time, if I have extra time, it needs to be around Thursday is the New Friday, not just dinking around in some other way.
So then you have this hyper-focus on the gamble, but then if you achieve it, holy cow, you’re at a different level. You are around different people. You are leveling up in a different way than if you didn’t. So I think about people like Gen Morley, who came to Killin’It Camp she was making her on 30K a year. And I think she just emailed. She’s making over 200 a year now and she said that I can disclose this. She just emailed that she wants to be on more podcasts. So she’s trying to level up. She’s focusing in. People like that that say, here’s what I’m going to work on and here’s how I’m going to give back. Like they stand out in my mind. I know Gen, because she is focusing on big things. So when you start to level up, you got to start freeing up the time for the things that are the gambles, that double, triple, quadruple your business, instead of just saying, what can help us grow by 5% or 10%?
So go do it. Thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. This episode of the podcast is sponsored through pillarsofpractice.com. Pillars of Practice is our e-course. It’s all about starting a practice or growing a practice. In fact, in the next episode, we’re going to be talking about how to select an associate or a therapist to add to your practice. The next Wednesday, come back, because we’re going to be talking about that leveling up into group practice a little bit. So thanks so much for hanging out with me. Have an awesome day. I’ll talk to you soon.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We really like it. And this podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.