Therapists with successful practices tend to spend their time and energy differently from great therapists who don’t have the practices they want.
As a therapist in private practice, there are 3 kinds of activities you spend time on in your business: providing services, taking care of the day-to-day, and moving your business forward.
The time you spend with clients providing therapy falls into this category. All of your income and most of your work satisfaction probably comes from providing services.
Taking care of the day-to-day
This is all the stuff you regularly do to run your business besides providing the time you’re in the room with clients. Day-to-day activities include answering your phone, paying bills, writing notes, managing your billing, going to consultation group, charging credit cards, and answering emails. It also includes maintaining your marketing. If you write a blog, give talks, or network, you can include that in this category.
Moving your business forward
This third category includes the tasks you don’t HAVE to do in order to maintain your business where it is right now. It’s the time you spend moving your business forward. This category includes the time you put into dreaming about your business, looking at the big picture, learning new business skills, creating goals, and getting inspired for the business you want to move towards.Therapists who put time into this category tend to succeed at making more money and creating businesses they want to run.
How much time should you put into moving your business forward? At the very least, one hour or more per week. More is better.
Let’s look at some specific activities and tasks that will move your business forward.
Reading articles and books about business. Hey, you’re moving forward right now!
Participating in a business coaching program or peer-led business mastermind group
Setting goals and planning the steps to accomplish them
Overhauling your website
Creating new services
Reaching out to new potential referral partners
I'll give you an example of why this time makes such a big difference to your business.
A therapist I’ll call Sheila came to me with a very full practice. She had a caseload with 80% insurance based clients and 20% private pay clients. She loved her clinical work, but she was working too many hours and needed to increase her income. She knew if she added more hours she’d burn out, but she wasn’t sure what else to do.
She signed up for my Superpower Method For Therapists™ Program, and using that process she created a new plan. Even though she was working full time, she started putting at least 2 hours per week into “moving your business forward” activities. She overhauled her website to reflect a niche and created a new business model which included group therapy. Within 6 months she had launched her group and her percentage of private pay clients was on the rise. She was following a step by step plan to move off of insurance panels. She was able to slightly cut back her hours while increasing her income.
Carve that time out.
When I run the Superpower Method For Therapists™ Program, the participants do a lot of work. We have group calls 2 times per month, and the lessons and homework assignments between calls can take 2 or more hours per week. I also give bonus challenges to help participants move their businesses forward even more if they’ve got the time and energy. At the end of the program, participants see that they’ve managed to carve out 2 or more hours per week to move their businesses forward. Many participants then commit to continuing to carve that time out after the program is over.
But how can you possibly do more than you're doing right now?!
So I know you don’t have an extra 2 or 3 hours per week lying around on your calendar. You’d love to put time into this “move your business forward” category, but you’ve already got a long to do list. You can’t add more.
You need a STOP doing list
If you're already working full time, you're a parent, or you're burning out, you have to get creative about what goes on that STOP doing list.
You’ll probably find all of the items for your STOP doing list within your day-to-day tasks. In both of my businesses, I pay for excellent help from someone who takes huge items off of my “day-to-day” list. She does them so well that I can truly let them go. I rely on systems like my practice management system which includes billing and online scheduling. Many therapists have found that using an online practice management system takes hours off of their day-to-day work. If you’re spending time emailing or sending voicemail messages back and forth about scheduling, find a better system.
Your turn. How can you take action now to move your business forward?
If you liked this article, get practice building help dropped in your inbox every week. You’ll get stuff I don’t share anywhere else.
You'll get no spam from us. Easily unsubscribe at any time.