Going From Solo To Group Practice
Changing Your Private Practice Name
There are several things that you need to do when thinking about starting a group practice. Look at what you already do and make changes to make it work for the group. For example, you might have named your practice your name, and what we tend to recommend is that you pick a more generic name or a name that’s maybe not associated as strongly with you. Why? If your name is on the door or the sign, people are always going to ask for you, as opposed to getting clients for your clinicians, which is ultimately what you want to do as a group practice owner. One day, maybe you do want to sell the practice. If you built your practice up around your name, it might be harder to sell it, because it’s so attached. What happens when you do sell it? Do they keep your title while your name has all this high marketing power versus changing it to something else? It just creates problems with that situation.
Formalize Your Practice
So another thing you need to do is to form a legitimate business entity. If you never created an LLC, definitely do that because you want to have that legal protection. Formalize the things that you are doing. For example, pick out an accounting software to help your track all of your receipts. Open a business-specific bank account instead of using your personal account. Now is the time to separate all of those things. When your money, expenses, and income are all tracked formally, you can run a profit and loss report. So if you haven’t set up something like QuickBooks, now is the time. It may have been manageable to do it yourself on a spreadsheet, but if you’re going to have a group practice, there’s going to be a lot more money coming in and money going out. And so it’s going to get unwieldy pretty quickly.
Outsource When Possible
When you’re first starting, the hardest thing is that so many people think they can bootstrap it because it’s cheaper than paying somebody else to do something. But at the end of the day, you have to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes, it just makes more sense to hire somebody who’s an expert at that thing because it’s going to take them way less time than it’s going to take you. Plus, you can’t be good at absolutely everything. As clinicians, many of us struggle with paying for those services. We forget to realize our current rate and how much we would save by paying someone else.
Does your group practice have one specialty or multiple? If you’re not sure who your therapist’s ideal client is, you need to talk to them and ask them. Where are their referrals coming from? They could be coming from a population that you never marketed to before. So, sit down with your therapists and find out who you should be talking to. Find out where the ideal referral source will be. A group practice can have multiple places where they need to market for specialties.
What Do You Want To Be Known For?
If you have a little bit of everything, it’s hard to explain your practice. An umbrella niche is challenging to understand. When someone asks, “what do you do?” You’ll say that you own and mental health private practice. The next question they will ask is, “what kind of clients do you see?” Then, you’ll have to explain a big long list of people that you see. That person is not going to remember anything you said. Instead, you can focus on one thing. For instance, “we focus on women’s issues.” Even if you have more than one specialty, make sure you can explain in it a super concise manner. Learn more about consulting with Alison.