Scaling Your Private Practice: 3 Keys to Successful Growth By Sarah Gershone
Experiencing growth in your private practice can be very rewarding - but it can also be stressful.
Whether you are growing from a solo practice to a group practice, opening an additional location, or bringing on administrative staff - growth always means change.
In fact, if you try to grow your practice without adjusting your strategies for running your practice, you may find yourself overwhelmed.
So, how can you grow while still providing your patients with excellent care AND protecting yourself from unnecessary stress and headaches?
If your practice is full and you have a waitlist of patients, it didn’t happen by accident! You’re doing something right, and before you embark on making your practice bigger,take a step back to evaluate what you’ve done to get where you are.
Do you offer an approach or have a vision that really resonates with potential clients? Do you have an area of special expertise that is in high demand? Whatever it is that has lead to your success, make sure that you preserve that element of your practice as you move forward.
This kind of big-picture understanding will help you navigate many of the decisions that you will need to make as you grow, and ensure that you stay on course as you expand.
When you are doing things on a small scale, there is more room for doing things in a bit more of a haphazard and unstructured way. As you grow and bring more people on, having clear procedures and streamlined processes is a must.
A good place to start is by simply identifying any tasks that you do on an ongoing, repetitive basis. These are areas where you can create a written, repeatable plan (or operating procedure) that can be shared with others working in your practice to ensure that things are done efficiently and approached in a consistent way.
There are also smart decisions you can make regarding how you provide information to your clients that can also save you time and spare you stress. I often work with my website design clients to create FAQ pages or other places on their therapist websites where common questions are answered, and steps for scheduling and first appointment are clearly laid out.
Simple changes, such as having an informative website that tells potential clients who you serve and what insurances you accept, can reduce the number of phone calls and emails you have to spend time answering while providing the same pieces of information over and over again.
#3 Delegate and Automate
You can’t do it all and - what’s more important - you shouldn’t do it all. As your practice grows, it’s crucial to identify those tasks which eat up a lot of your time and mental energy but that you don’t have to actually do yourself.
There is an important difference between “tasks that must get done” and “tasks that must be done by YOU.” Recognizing which is which and capitalizing on outsourcing those tasks that can be effectively done by others is a crucial part of your practice’s growth. Having Practice Solutions take care of your claims processing, client invoicing, and benefits verification is one way that you can remove something from your own list of things to do. Similarly, times of growth are often when I hear from therapists who are ready to have their website handled professionally.
One of the best ways to decide which tasks you should work towards delegating is to consider what is your “zone of genius.” We all have things that we are especially talented at. These are the skills and passions that led you to do all the hard work which lead you to become a therapist in the first place!!
Many therapists have to start off doing everything themselves because their practices are so small and they are just getting started. But, ultimately, you did not become a therapist so that you could spend hours wading through patient paperwork, or stay up late at night watching YouTube videos, trying to DIY your website.
As you grow, focusing on doing those tasks which fall inside your zone, while delegating other tasks to outside help, will not only make you happier - as you do more of the work which you really love to do - but it will also make your practice healthier as tasks are completed by people who are experts in those fields.
Ultimately, the growth of your private practice is sure to be both rewarding and challenging! It requires you to shift your mindset, and find ways to preserve the high quality work you do, while expanding your team and serving more people. But by utilizing the strategies we’ve outlined here, you can propel yourself toward growth and success!