When I first started out in pursuit of success without a virtual assistant for private practice, my alarm would go off at 5am and I would hit the ground running with my Trello in one hand and my coffee in the other. I was my own virtual assistant, marketing coordinator, IT department and accountant. I was also a counselor, a mom (to dogs and a human), a wife and a person in the world. It quickly became very overwhelming. My Trello seemed to take on a mind of its own with to-do lists that turned into ongoing task lists that turned into “things I wish I could do if I had a clone” lists. I would pull all-nighters and convince myself that business ownership meant sacrifice, hustle, grind and little to no sleep.
While it is true that starting a private practice takes sacrifice and grit, it is also true that when the mountain seems too big to climb, it is time to outsource and delegate.
Step 1: Hire Some Help
Having a virtual assistant for private practice to help you with tasks will be key in alleviating some of that workload. Are you worried about costs as your business grows? Check out local Facebook groups. I found my VA in a local moms’ group. I posted the job, interviewed candidates, and hired a VA within a week’s time.
Hiring someone local that is looking for some extra cash will allow you to pay a bit less per hour, until you start leveling up in private practice. You can choose to pay your VA $10 – $15 dollars an hour, depending on their experience, the income level of the area in which you live, and what you can afford, of course.
Pro tip: Pay your VA a living wage so that they are motivated to help you and so that you are also helping them.
Step 2: Draft a Delegation Plan
Now that you have a VA, it’s time to draft a plan. Which aspects of your business are you good at and do you enjoy? Which aspects of the business drain you of your time and energy? If you love producing content and blogging, but really prefer not to do the scheduling and accounting, these tasks can be delegated to your VA. Make a list of things that you need help with and commit to that list.
Step 3: Train your VA
Your business is your pride and joy, so if you find yourself wanting to hold onto all aspects of it and wanting to micromanage the way things are handled, remind yourself that you committed to a delegation plan. Your practice simply cannot grow without successful outsourcing and delegation.
Go down the list of things that you have committed to delegating and take time to train your VA on one thing at a time. Training gives you the opportunity to teach your VA everything they need to know to get the tasks completed the way you would like them to be completed.
Pro tip: Your virtual assistant for private practice will not be perfect and will need time, patience, and coaching to learn the tricks of your trade.
Step 4: Let Go
Once you have a VA, a delegation plan, and have trained your VA on tasks that will free up your time, take some advice from Queen Elsa and ‘Let It Go’. You don’t have to do it all and, quite frankly, you simply cannot do it all. Be sure to set up a weekly time to check-in with your VA so that you can handle issues that may arise and so that you can offer your new assistant the support they need to do the job well.
Pro Tip: If you have never managed anyone in the past or if you are particular about the way you like things to be done, ensure that your management style does not become tyrannical by allowing your VA room to grow and by recognizing that they will need to be coached and taught your vision for the practice over time.
Following the 4 steps above will aide your practice in growing by freeing up time for you to do more of the tasks that need to get done to level up. Letting go of other tasks can be difficult, especially if you started out bootstrapping your way to the top. Although this is true, the long-term negative consequences of choosing not to outsource and delegate far outweigh the short-term wins of doing things yourself. Your practice can only grow so much with you doing it all, and you can only take so much stress before you feel consumed by your Trello.
Rose Skeeters, MA, LPC, PN2, NCC
Rose Skeeters is the creator of Thrive: Mind/Body, LLC, an innovative online counseling & coaching group practice aimed at providing accessible, affordable, specialized and convenient services to anyone, anywhere. Skeeters also provides consulting and clinical supervision to like-minded and driven clinicians. Are you interested in learning more tips to grow your online practice or to level up? Contact her today at firstname.lastname@example.org.