Essential Systems to Grow a Private Practice with Michael Ashford | POP 897

Why do many practice owners struggle with systems? How can you shed what isn’t necessary for you specifically to do and find what is? Which systems do you absolutely need for an easily run, successful private practice?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok shares another Level Up Week webinar where he and Michael Ashford discuss the essential systems that you need to grow a private practice.

Podcast Sponsor: Therapy Notes

An image of Therapy Notes is captured as the sponsor on the Practice of the Practice Podcast, a therapist podcast. Therapy Notes is the most trusted EHR for Behavioral Health.

As a therapist, I can tell you from experience that having the right EHR is an absolute lifeline. I recommend using TherapyNotes. They make billing, scheduling, notetaking, telehealth, and E-prescribe incredibly easy. Best of all, they offer live telephone support that’s available 7 days a week.

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Meet Michael Ashford

A photo of Michael Ashford is captured. He is the Director of Marketing at The Receptionist. Michael is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Michael Ashford is the Director of Marketing at The Receptionist in Denver, Colo., and has spent the past decade building and leading marketing teams at companies large and small. Prior to his career in marketing, Michael was an award-winning journalist after graduating from Kansas State University.

Visit The Receptionist, connect on LinkedIn, and listen to the podcast.

In This Podcast

  • How practitioners struggle with systems
  • Saving time as a system
  • Essential systems to master

How practitioners struggle with systems

Even just taking the time to [ask yourself], “What is a system that I want and why do I want it?”

Joe Sanok

Not using any systems is a difficult choice to make because it will lead to huge confusion down the road, and not being specific about which systems you use is also tricky because you won’t even have a reason why you are doing them.

  • So, be intentional. Think about what processes in your business you need help with – or want to simplify – and look for what is available in the market.

Knowing why you are using a certain system will help you to pick the best one for you and your private practice.

  • Next, you need to measure what success looks like.

The same is true with your operations and the systems that we have set up. If we aren’t clear on what success looks like and how we’re going to measure it … then you’re not going to be very good at it.

Joe Sanok
  • See and understand the ROI of your time. As the business owner, perhaps at the very beginning of your private practice journey, it’s true that no one can do it as well as you.

However, once you begin to grow, and your time becomes more valuable, you will need to delegate and allow other people to do those jobs because they are good at them and because your time is vital to use wisely as the CEO.

Saving time as a system

Here’s an exercise for you: take any task that you regularly do, and ask yourself; can I eliminate this task? Is what I’ve created still even applicable?

If you want to practice this even further, try to procrastinate on purpose and see if you can:

  • Eliminate something
  • Delegate it
  • Automate the system

If the task still comes to you after all of those processes, you can decide if it is still important for your key performance indicators, then do that task.

Good systems will improve your workflow and should create very clear expectations for you, for the individuals, and for whatever seat they are sitting in within your practice. Good systems will give you feedback.

Joe Sanok

Remember that these processes need to reduce your stress or frustration.

Essential systems to master  

1 – The essential systems for money can include:

  • Gusto: Practice of the Practice uses Gusto for all payments to the W2 employees – highly recommended!
  • QuickBooks: QuickBooks is a great way to keep track of all of your money that’s coming in.
  • The Profit First system: pay yourself first by taking the profit out first and putting it into a separate account before you pay everything else, like operations!

2 – The essential systems for people can include:

Trying the LEAN way which is:

  • Plan
  • Do
  • Check
  • Adjust

And for the best results with planning for the people in your business, try KPI planning.

[Have] a system for saying, “A year from now, what are the two or three big picture KPIs that I want for the business?” and then breaking them down quarter by quarter.

Joe Sanok

3 – The systems for content to consider:

  • AI: you can use AI to easily break down larger chunks of content into smaller, usable pieces that you then run through, check, and upload when you need to.
  • ChatGPT: use ChatGPT to reword, change, edit, or redo your content in different ways. You can also use it as a tool to help you brainstorm new ideas, titles, blog post ideas, and so much more!
  • Try Google Trends: use this system to pick the best words that have the highest hits and searches online.
  • Catch your ideas: use the notes on your phone to keep track of your ideas anytime so that you don’t lose the best ones!

4 – Systems for clients:

  • The Receptionist for clients is used by Practice of the Practice to allow easy, seamless, and successful check-ins of clients when they come into sessions.
  • Therapy Notes is also used by the Practice of the Practice team, and is great for taking, making, and editing client data and notes. Use the promo code JOE to receive three months for free – and if you are in a Practice of the Practice group, that’ll be six months!

Books mentioned in this episode:

Sponsors Mentioned in this episode:

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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