In this episode of the Practice of Therapy Podcast, Gordon goes solo and discusses the things he has learned in his practice over the past twelve years. He reveals how he started his practice in the realm of his church life to see what would happen and it took off. Gordon wanted the freedom and flexibility that having his own practice allowed him. Then, Gordon reveals the lessons he has learned. The first lessons are the importance of making small steps, putting the right systems in place, and learning how to outsource. Later, Gordon talks the value of understanding ROI, planning things out, and setting goals. After, we learn some essential networking and marketing skills. The big one Gordon brings up is using the coordination of care form to let doctors know you are seeking new clients. Lastly, Gordon explains diversifying income, managing money, and creating niches.
Importance of Making Small Steps
Gordon says if you bite off more than you can chew, it can really put you into crisis. Make sure you are financially prepared to start a practice. If you jump in without the finances, it may slowly put you under. Once you have at least ten sessions per week, then a snowball effect should take place. Gordon says it takes about two years of work to really get the practice to a sustainable place with a steady source of referrals.
Putting the Right Systems in Place
Know how to have the clinical systems in place. For example, know your intake procedures, financial management, and how you plan on doing client follow ups. These systems should be pretty well automated, and you do not want to spend a lot of time on them. Systems are a crucial piece to make sure the practice runs smoothly. Gordon wishes he spent more time on this to grow his business faster.
Do More Outsourcing & Return on Investment
Gordon was concerned about spending too much money or thinking he did not have enough money. He wishes he would have outsourced more. With the insurance panels, Gordon should have outsourced all of those processes earlier. He then spent a year learning to navigate all the credentialing aspects and billing procedures. Gordon feels like he wasted a lot of time doing this instead of outsourcing. If something is going to take you a long time to learn, Gordon says to outsource.
Understand the return of investment on your time and on your money. Therapists sell their time and expertise. Time is precious, so it would have been a much better return on investment to outsource technical business aspects and spend more time seeing patients. Gordon says to pay attention and have the right mindset to ensure you are seeing a return on your investment.
Planning Things Out & Set Goals
Gordon learned to map things out by writing everything down and prioritizing each item. In the past, Gordon has had a bad habit of jumping into things without writing anything down. For example, during this podcast, Gordon listed everything he wanted to say as not to ramble.
Have an understanding of ways to measure what you are doing so you know if it is working or not. Particularly around the financial side. Really look at the numbers. It inspired Gordon to put together his Money Mindset course. Lesson learned, Gordon’s fee split was not working, and he was subsidizing to pay his therapist. Financially supporting his therapist was a generous thing to do, but it was not sustainable.
Value of Seeking Help & Networking
Gordon reveals one of his friends was very generous with his time and give him pointers on what to do to start his own practice. His friend told him to get on insurance panels; however, it might not be the right decision for everyone. You do not need to be on insurance panels to be successful. Private pay is easier to do and fewer headaches. Insurance panels should depend on your client base and demographics. Gordon does not want anyone to be afraid of seeking help from others. Anyone looking to start a practice can find so much assistance and resources that are available online and in-person. For example, Gordon wants to help people start their own practice.
Networking is all about building relationships. Get out and let people know who you are and what you do. Gordon wishes he spent time making himself known to doctors and other people who give frequent referrals. Coordination of care is when clients come to see Gordon, and they sign a release to let their doctor know they are being seen by him. Also, he sent a flyer alerting the doctor that he was accepting new patients. One particular doctor’s office was struggling to find a therapist to refer to, so he ended up getting many new clients from this one little marketing strategy.
Create a Niche
One of Gordon’s niches is marriage and family therapy. Gordon advertised the fact that he does marriage therapy and counseling because he loves working with couples and helping them navigate through relationships. Also, he works with people who struggle with sex and pornography addictions. Gordon gets a lot of calls for people seeking help with those issues. Creating a niche is an excellent way for people to hear about your services.
Diversifying Income and Money Management
One reason Gordon started his podcast was to create income. Also, Gordon created an online course to assist others with using G-Suite. These few things diversify Gordon’s income. Another way Gordon expands his salary is with a group practice. Then Gordon explains how his parents did not know how to manage their money very well and lived paycheck to paycheck. So many therapists are struggling financially, so Gordon wants to end the money struggle for business people.
Meet Gordon Brewer, MEd, LMFT
Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast & Blog.He is also President and Founder of Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC. He is a therapist, consultant, business mentor, trainer and writer. PLEASE Subscribe to The Practice of Therapy Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. Follow us on Twitter @therapistlearn and Pinterest “Like” us on Facebook.