Should you transition from a solo practice into a group practice? There are some questions to ask when starting a group practice.
1. Do you like being around people that are colleagues and peers?
Is managing people something you like to do? Do you enjoy this or is it something that terrifies you? Maybe you don’t want to be around people don’t want to manage people or be a supervisor. Do you like just showing up and having to be accountable to no one except for your clients or do you want to be able to work with other people?
2. Are you getting calls/emails/requests for services more than what you can handle or for services that you don’t have?
You want to have some sort of traction before you open a group practice. A lot of people overestimate the need for this by thinking they don’t have enough calls coming in, in order to have a clinician be able to be full. Other clinicians will actually help you expand your reach more than what you typically would be able to have. I always encourage you to have at least five phone calls a week that you’re either turning away or putting on a waitlist. I don’t really like waitlists, I’d rather you hire clinicians. But you need to have at least five a week so that means that within a month or so you’re going to be able to fill up someone at least half time, if not everyone converts.
3. Do you want to work less and make more?
We all usually say we want to work fewer hours and make more money, but is that a reality? Are you willing to put in the hard work so that on those sick days or those days you’re on vacation you can still get paid? It takes some work to set up these systems and to be able to grow a practice in a way that’s actually going to feel fair to the clinicians, but will also help reward you for your hard work. Are you willing to put in that work to go from a solo practice to a group of practice?
4. What kind of practice are you trying to achieve?
Are you looking to make a culture, a family feel where it’s a group of people that really connect or are you just looking to grow something where you want people to be able to show up, do their work and leave. It’s really important to know from the front end what are you trying to do with this group practice. A lot of people say I want to create this whole culture but then they also don’t put in the time to do that. And that’s really going to define whether you want to W2 employees or 1099 contractors? How do you want this business to look? Is it just showing up and doing your work and getting paid for it or is it that you’re investing in a deeper community that’s there as well?
5. How involved do you want to be?
What is the long-term plan for you? Is it to work just clinical hours and then slowly move out of it? Is it that you want to expand it and make a mega practice? How involved do you want to be because that’s going to determine whether you’re going to hire a clinical supervisor, whether you’re going to be the one that does all of that, whether you outsource it to a practice manager, whether we add additional virtual assistants? You want to really know what are the boundaries for your own personal life that you’re going to want to have.
That transition from being a solo practitioner to a group practitioner is one of the best things that you can do if it’s in the cards for you. If you say that you want to be able to do this, you want to impact more people. It levels up your life in a way that very few things can do in the counseling world. Even if a part of you is saying you’re a little bit interested, go over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/apply. We have mastermind groups one-on-one consulting and tons of consultants that can help you get to that next level of your practice. We have openings for one-on-one consulting with myself and others that own their own group practices. They have done what you want to do! We also have small group communities that will help you grow that group faster.
Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC
Joe Sanok is an ambitious results expert. He is a private practice business consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice to increase revenue and have more fun! He helps owners with website design, vision, growth, and using their time to create income through being a private practice consultant. Joe was frustrated with his lack of business and marketing skills when he left graduate school. He loved helping people through counseling but felt that often people couldn’t find him. Over the past few years, he has grown his skills, income, and ability to lead others, while still maintaining an active private practice in Traverse City, MI. To link to Joe’s Google+