When to NOT do it all on your own
Before I had people helping me in my businesses, I did it all. In order to make that actually WORK, you’ve got to schedule time to do billing, to return phone calls, to respond to emails, to do paperwork (which, alas, I still have not figured out how to delegate 😉 ). What this also means is that those are hours that you cannot see clients… which means you are not making any money during those hours.
As your practice begins to take off, you need to focus your energy on only two things: Taking care of your current clients and continuing to grow (or maintain) your practice.
At some point, it is going to become clear that you need someone helping you because either you are not keeping up with the billing end of things (probably because you are not scheduling in the time to do it or you are booking clients during the time you did schedule because you felt like you needed to) OR you are finding yourself spending time doing those tasks rather than getting out to exercise, spend time with your honey when you get home at night or on the weekends or you feel like you can’t go to your kid’s game because you’ve got to return those calls. Those are the red alerts that you need someone to help you.
The other thing you might notice is wishing that you could clone yourself. So maybe you actually should? Probably there are tasks you do that someone can do without a master’s degree and a license. Those are the tasks that you can take off your plate.
I often think clinicians with kids are the first to hire out some tasks, but really any clinician with a life outside of work should consider finding someone to whom they can delegate tasks.
Sometimes that someone is not an actual human. If you are finding that you are spending time with scheduling, consider investing in a cloud-based Electronic Medical Record system that has scheduling capabilities. Often, this sort of system also has the capacity to do reminder calls or texts, billing, online journaling, prompting to fill out initial paperwork and electronic signing of those policies and procedures. I use Counsol.com and like it, but there are others out there too. Rob Reinhardt has a great break down of the EMR options out there. Check out his blog.
After you explore the digital help you can get, you may be ready to work with a real, live human being. Start by asking around and seeing who other therapists in your community are using to help with billing. If you are interested in other supports (as I was) and are willing to train around billing (as I was), ask outside the therapy community. Personal referrals from people you know to people they have WORKED with is key. (You are not looking for the therapist down the hall to recommend their cousin, you are looking for someone who does good work, is reliable, efficient, and easy to work with.)
Before you interview them, create a list of all the tasks you’d like to offload. This not only helps you discuss fit with them, but forces you to really consider which tasks you don’t actually have to do yourself.
Wondering how you’ll afford all this help? We should talk. As always, feel free to leave a comment or a question below.
Comments are closed.