Like most therapists when I started my practice the one thing I did not consider was creating a culture for innovation. I thought that I would put out a shingle, speak to a few local parishes, doctors’ offices, and attorney’s and I’d have a thriving practice in no time. When that did not happen I decided that signing up with insurance companies would be the next most logical step.
What I did not bank on was that now my instead of my working for myself I was working for the insurance company. That did not sit right with me I knew there had to be a much better way that I can be completely independent. So, here were the lesson’s learned.
- I was a business owner – I learned that I needed to change my mindset establish the practice like a business, incorporate, separate your business income from your personal monies, do bookkeeping at least quarterly.
- Specialize – do one thing really well and be known for that one thing.
- Decide who you want your clients to be – you want to know exactly who you want as a client – such as professional women, young adults, couples – this will help in deciding your fees.
- Determine your worth and stick to it – undercharging is not sustainable. Take into account what having this client is costing you in overhead, billing time, rent, light and your expertise and time. Clients will pay the fee that you confidently charge because they know they are receiving quality.
- Provide Excellence – The more creative you are in your delivery of services the better the client feels about coming to you. You are providing them with a solution for a problem that clearly they cannot solve on their own.
- Get paid on the spot – trying to collect money for services later can be a nightmare. Have several options for payment making it easier for clients to pay you on the spot. Discuss those options prior to their first appointment, at the first appointment and whenever you deem necessary thereafter.
- Don’t rely on insurance companies or any other source for your clients – I have learned that one of the best qualifiers in client success rate is that they are willing to pay out of pocket for the need that they have. The self-pay client is motivated to make the changes necessary to achieve their goals.
- Create a pristine marketing plan – if you fail to have a good marketing plan attracting you specific clientele will be almost impossible.
- Create a culture of innovation – the more innovative you are in your approach the bigger your client base. Always look for new methods, new theories, use case studies to create hypothesis. Always pose the “what if?” to your method and approach.
- Be grateful and show it – find a way to show your clients that you appreciate their patronage. People always want to be recognized and appreciated.
Remember these are your clients that have come to you because they chose you. Despite the kind of practice that you have you always want to keep in mind that you are creating a culture of innovation. Your methods and the way you run your business should be non-traditional, always cutting edge and innovative.
Your partner in success,