Are you interested in expanding your business by opening multiple locations? Would another location help you to achieve the goals you have laid out for your practice? Which logistics should you focus on when opening a new office space?
In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon answers the question: Should I Open Practices in Multiple Locations?
In This Podcast
- 8 questions to ask yourself first
- Pros and cons
- Logistics of multiple locations
8 questions to ask yourself first
1 – What are the priorities that you have for your business and its growth?
This question will help guide you in your decision-making process for how you should expand.
- Do you want to cover the state?
- Which income bracket do you want to be in?
Is it to grow to a certain size? Is it to grow to a certain income level? Having multiple locations could help you reach those goals, so you really need to be clear about that. (Alison Pidgeon)
2 – Does having multiple locations help you to reach the goals you have laid out for your practice?
The first and second questions work hand-in-hand: what are the priorities of your practice and your business growth, and will multiple locations help you achieve the goals of your practice?
3 – Could you achieve your business goals without a new location?
Sometimes opening a new office is a nice shiny achievement that some business owners go for because it feels like a clear line of expansion, but examine your business goals first. Would another location distract you from the goals that you want for your practice?
4 – Do I need another office, or can I expand to online therapy services?
Check your state licenses to make sure that you are viable to work online. Online spaces are more affordable and are most likely here to stay.
5 – How much office space do I really need?
Sometimes less is more.
6 – How much distance should you have between locations?
Some people choose to open multiple locations close to one another but consider spreading them apart because that enables you to market to a wider circle of clients and broaden your client base.
Now if I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t have done that, I would have made the locations further away because … we’re going to start pulling from a whole other population of folks who wouldn’t have ordinarily traveled down to our original office. (Alison Pidgeon)
7 – Do you want to stay in one state or expand to two or more?
Consider the logistics in terms of licenses and regulations if you are wanting to work in more than one state because some laws vary.
8 – Are you comfortable with delegating?
If you want to open multiple locations, you will need to get comfortable with delegating tasks to people who will run offices for you in each space.
You can’t manage everything, so build a capable team that you can trust and allow them to do what needs to get done.
Pros and cons
- It would attract clients who live in that area who would not normally drive to your previous location.
- There will always be a need for in-person therapy.
- You can serve different communities in multiple states.
- Having a brick-and-mortar business helps with marketing.
You can claim a Google My Business listing, people drive by and see your sign. Having a brick-and-mortar location adds to the legitimacy of your practice. (Alison Pidgeon)
- You are going to have to pay for certain expenses.
- Each office will need in-person staff at all times, such as a clinician and an admin person.
- Multiple locations are more likely to be expensive in terms of overhead than if you have one central location.
Logistics of multiple locations
- Are you going to keep your admin staff centralized or assigned to a specific location?
- Will you combine all your marketing in one account or make different social media accounts for each location?
- Which leadership positions will you need to hire to keep the multiple locations running smoothly?
- Will you use the same systems (EHR, phone system, and so forth) in each system?
- Would you track accounting information separately for each location or together?
- If you are opening a location in another state, you need to trademark your name.
- What do you need to register to do business in another state?
Check out these additional resources:
- Gabrielle Juliano-Villani on Running an In-Home Counseling Practice | GP 88
- Group Practice Launch
- Group Practice Boss: www.practiceofthepractice.com/grouppracticeboss $149 a month
- Email Alison: firstname.lastname@example.org
- PoP Group Practice Owners Facebook Group
- Free resources to help you start, grow, and scale
- Work with us
- Consult With Alison
- Alison Pidgeon on Therapy for Your Money Podcast
- Practice of the Practice Network
Meet Alison Pidgeon, Group Practice Owner
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.
Thanks For Listening!
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