Is It Time For You To Start A Group Practice? | GP 161

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When is the right time to start a group practice? Have you been struggling with a full schedule and too much to do? Would you like to work in a community of like-minded therapists? 

In this podcast episode, LaToya Smith speaks about whether it is time for you to start a group 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.

You don’t have to take my word for it – Do your own research and see for yourself – TherapyNotes is the #1 highest-rated EHR system available today, with 4.9 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.com and on Google.

All you have to do is click the link below, or type promo code JOE on their website www.therapynotes.com, and receive a special 2-month trial, absolutely free.

If you’re coming from another EHR, TherapyNotes will import your demographic data quickly and easily at no cost, so you can get started right away.

Trust me, don’t waste any more of your time, and try TherapyNotes.

In This Podcast

  • Are you feeling overwhelmed?
  • Do you have loads of intake calls?
  • Have you been yearning for a community?
  • Is your vision getting bigger?
  • Do you want to create multiple streams of income?

Are you feeling overwhelmed?

I was swamped, and I knew it was absolutely time. I was doing way too much stuff for the practice on my own.

LaToya Smith

When your solo practice takes off and you start to see more clients, the paperwork and admin increase, and you are struggling to find the time to get to everything because your schedule is totally full – it is time for you to start a group practice.

A lot of times I’ll say to people when they ask me, “When’s the time to hire? When’s the time to think about adding another [clinician]?” and I’ll always say [it’s] when you’re about 75% full – so don’t wait until you’re already full and overloaded before you bring somebody on board!

LaToya Smith

If you know that you’re reaching your end point where there is just too much to do and you are struggling to get to do it all, then you need to consider hiring someone else and shifting into a group practice.

Do you have loads of intake calls?

Is your phone ringing off the hook? Are you missing potential clients because you are in session when someone is calling? Are you constantly referring clients out because your schedule is full? It may be time to hire.

What would it look like for you if you had another therapist in-house, within your practice, that you can refer to?

LaToya Smith

How much more beneficial would it be to your practice if you could allocate clients to a therapist that is on your team, instead of referring them elsewhere?

Now, [having] a group practice, those referrals can stay in-house. That means that you can begin to help more people, and also, it will help [your] income.

LaToya Smith

Have you been yearning for a community?

Therapy can be a lonely profession.

Starting a group practice can create a professional community where you and other like-minded therapists work together, sharing the effort, and supporting one another in between sessions with clients.

[With group practice] you have community. You have a team of people who have come together under the vision and mission of your practice, who understand the values of your practice, and who are all in and connected, and you are building a team.

LaToya Smith

If you want to work with people around you, then look for like-minded therapists who share your values and bring them in under the banner of your practice to serve and work together.

Is your vision getting bigger?

Is the dream that you have for your practice getting bigger, and more attention from your ideal clients, and you need some help to serve them all?

Build around your vision!

Hire another therapist that also works with your ideal clients, or hire a therapist that works with clients that relate to your ideal clients.

You know it is time to start a group practice when your vision is shared by many people, clients, and therapists alike.

Do you want to create multiple streams of income?

Adding therapists to your practice is a great way to bring in more money, because right now if you are solo and you’re thinking about doing a group practice, [then] you’re the one who’s doing the building, you’re the one who’s collecting the funds and if you don’t work, then where’s that money coming from?

LaToya Smith

By adding therapists, you not only get to provide more access to mental health care to your clients, but you also supplement the income into your practice, which takes a lot of financial burden off your shoulders.

Once income starts being made from other therapists, you can be free to think creatively and attend to other aspects that need doing in the practice.

I can focus more now on growing my practice [and] scaling my practice if I had other people on board who are also seeing clients.

LaToya Smith

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet LaToya Smith

An image of LaToya Smith is captured. She is a consultant with Practice of the Practice and the owner of LCS Counseling. LaToya is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

LaToya is a consultant with Practice of the Practice and the owner of LCS Counseling and Consulting Agency in Fortworth Texas. She firmly believes that people don’t have to remain stuck in their pain or the place they became wounded. In addition to this, LaToya encourages her clients to be active in their treatment and work towards their desired outcomes.

She has also launched Strong Witness which is a platform designed to connect, transform, and heal communities through the power of storytelling.

Visit LaToya’s website. Connect with her on FacebookInstagramStrong Witness Instagram, and Twitter.

Apply to work with LaToya.

Email her at latoya@practiceofthepractice.com

Podcast Transcription

[LATOYA SMITH] The Grow A Group Practice Podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice Network, a network of podcast seeking to help you market and grow your business and yourself. To hear other podcasts like the Practice of the Practice podcast, go to www.practiceofthepractice.com/network. You are listening to the Grow A Group Practice Podcast, a podcast focused on helping people start, grow, and scale a group practice. Each week you’ll hear topics that are relevant to group practice owners. I’m LaToya Smith, a practice owner, and I love hearing about people’s stories and real-life experiences. So let’s get started. In this episode will be a solo episode. I know you’re used to me interviewing wonderful guests, but I want to jump on here today just to chat a little bit about group practice and then tell you about some amazing things here at Practice of the Practice that are coming up that I definitely want you to be a part of. You know I do a lot of consulting, I talk to a lot of people, people reach out to me and often ask about starting a group practice and I’ll chat with them or do pre-consulting calls and we’ll answer questions. But today I wanted to chat a little bit about how would you know what’s a good time for you to start a group practice or signs that led me to start a group practice. So I’m just going to run through five of them with you and take some notes and then if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me through the Practice of the Practice website. I’d love to jump on a pre-consulting call with you and then move forward from there. [LATOYA SMITH] So the number one reason, and this definitely stood out for me, when it was time for me to start my group practice, I knew it was time for me to start a group practice. These were like flashing lights, when I was completely overwhelmed and I was swamped. I knew it was absolutely time. I was doing way too much stuff for the practice on my own. What I could manage when it was solo, when it was just me, I felt like I was getting a little burnout. I’d start the, start my day early in the morning and then I’d end later in the evening and I would do just about anything to keep things afloat and I realized this is entirely too much for me. That’s what a lot of times I’ll say to people, they’ll ask me, “Well, when is it time to hire or when is it time to think about adding another person?” I’ll always say when you’re about 75% full. So don’t wait till you’re already full and overloaded before you bring somebody on board. If you know you’re reaching that point and things are starting to get way too heavy and you’re unable to manage things on your own, then it is definitely time to think about in that moment, Hey, it is time for me to start a group practice. Or what would it look like for me to start a group practice? So point number one, when you’re overwhelmed, you know okay, I got to switch up and I have to do some things differently because I can’t keep carrying this on my own. Because really, the point I’m trying to make, you don’t want to work yourself to the point of burnout. So even as you’re reaching that, as you’re reaching full, when you’re starting to notice this is starting to get too much for me, that’s certainly time. [LATOYA SMITH] Point number two, when those intake calls are constantly flowing in and it’s too much for you to handle. So one and two go together, but let me explain two a little bit more. A lot of times I’ll hear therapists say, they’re getting so busy, they have to refer so many clients out per week, per month. My question back to them is, what would it look like for you if you had another therapist in-house within your practice that you can refer to? So think about that. Think of all the calls now that you can’t even take, and you’re referring out to other therapists at other practices and how much more beneficial would it be for you and your practice if you could just refer to another therapist that’s on your team. So now having a group practice, those referrals can stay in-house. That means that you can begin to help more people and also it will help the income. So if those calls keep coming in and you find yourself just constantly turning people away or adding so many people to your wait list, or having to refer so many people out, think about how you could help those people under the umbrella of your practice if you had other therapists with you. Another great sign that you need to start a group practice, those calls keep coming in and you’re referring too many people out. [THERAPY NOTES] Point number three, and this is big for people who love community, starting to group practice is a great way to build community under the name of your practice. Some people just have a hard time working by themselves, or they don’t have somebody to review cases with or to chat with or to build with or to see around the office. That’s what a group practice is. It’s another big part about it. You have community, you have a team of people who have come together under the vision and mission of your practice, who understand the values of your practice and who are all in and connected and you are building a team. If you don’t want to operate solo and you thrive and work well with people, and you want to grow with people and you want to build this powerful team, that’s another great reason to start a group practice. You have this team around you, everybody’s committed, and you have your own built-in community that you see at work or in the office, however many days you choose to go in or however often the team will be there. So if you don’t want do solo, if solo isn’t for you if you need some people around you find like-minded individuals who can, who can come in and really grab hold of the mission and vision you created for the practice and the values and build that way. [LATOYA SMITH] Point number four, how you know it’s a good time to start that group practice or signs that you see that it’s time? You know it’s time because your vision is getting bigger and bigger and you realize I can’t do this on my own. Let me explain this a little bit more. For instance, if you are a person who loves seeing couples and that’s your niche and your phone is blowing up, and remember I said a minute ago, you’re constantly referring people out and then you think to yourself, I want to help more people, I don’t want to refer them out, I need another therapist, what a great way to build, build around the vision. You can either hire another therapist who sees couples and you both are tackling these referrals that are coming in and then you both do that thing, or you may find that you see couples and as they come in, they’re like, “I really want to find somebody to work with my child.” Instead of referring out to the next person, now you hire a therapist for your team who loves working with young people, who loves working with adolescents or with young children. You have the people built in-house that can help you so instead of referring out, now you are adding to the vision. I want to help couples, but I know couples also may have some concerns about their young people so I want to have somebody on the team with the young people. Maybe you realize I do great in this area, but I really want, I don’t want to do too much trauma work and I want to add somebody on the team who’s trained in EMDR or brain spotting who can do that. Then you hire that person to come on board and support you with that. [THERAPY NOTES] As a therapist, I can tell you from experience that having the right EHR is an absolute lifeline. I recommend using Therapy Notes. They make billing, scheduling, note-taking, telehealth and e-prescribe incredibly easy. Best of all, they offer live telephone support that’s available seven days a week. You don’t have to take my word for it. Do your own research and see for yourself. Therapy Notes is the number one highest rated EHR system available today with a 4.9 out of 5 stars on trustpilot.com and on Google. All you have to do is click the link below or type promo code [JOE] on their website over at therapynotes.com and receive a special two-month trial absolutely free. Again, that’s therapynotes.com and use promo code [JOE] on the website. If you’re coming from another EHR, Therapy Notes will also import your demographic data quick and easy at no cost so you can get started right away. Trust me, don’t waste any more of your time. Try Therapy Notes. [LATOYA SMITH] Or maybe public speaking isn’t your avenue and what you enjoy doing the most, but there’s a great need in the community to go out and do that. So you bring therapists on board and you may find that they love to do public speaking. Or they love to do social media, live videos or what have you. So you build people to come on board with the team and then you build upon their resources and now you find that you can reach way more people. So it doesn’t mean that you have, and everybody can still be with your niche and then you build upon their strengths. Maybe someone, like I said, somebody loves public speaking or somebody loves to do blog posts and they love to just write along with doing the therapy. So they love to write outside and seeing their clients. So you know it’s time to build a group practice when you want to expand the vision and say, hey, this is how I would love to do it. I need more people to accomplish this goal that I want to do. I need more people to reach more people. So my team needs to grow outside of just myself. These are great, this is a great reason to build a practice, great reasons to build a group practice and to affect more people when you have a larger, greater, more focused team. [LATOYA SMITH] The last reason that I want to give, which if we be honest, sometimes it’s people’s very first reason is to create multiple streams of income. Adding therapists to your practice is a great way to bring in more money because right now, if you are solo and you’re thinking about doing a group practice, you are the one who’s doing the billing. You are the one who’s collecting the funds. If you don’t work, then where’s that money coming from? So you add therapists, and now while you are working, they’re working and they’re also billing. Or you add therapists, and like we said a minute ago, if we’re building out the resources, if we’re building on everybody’s strengths and we have other strengths of income, it’s not you that’s doing all the work. Maybe they’re creating a great webinar, maybe they’re writing the eBook that can also be beneficial for your practice. So adding more therapists also builds multiple streams of income. [LATOYA SMITH] Then another bonus. That I can’t forget, when you bring other therapists and other people onto the team, it frees up your time to turn around and work on the vision for the practice. Remember point number one that I said, when you are too overwhelmed approaching that point of burnout, you realize there’s not too much more I can do by myself, but bringing more people onto the team, now you’re at a place where, hey, maybe it’s time for me to decrease the amount of people I see because I am focused on building this practice out the right way. I’m focused on making sure the systems are in place. I’m focused on making sure that I am building the right team by bringing the right people on board, not just the therapist, but the admin staff. I got the right people answering the phone, I got the right people doing the billing. You’re focused on the community that you can help and making sure that you’re building people up, the therapists, the teammates so they can go out and do the best possible work they can. That’s the bonus point to think about. I can focus more now on growing my practice, scaling my practice if I had other people on board that are also seeing the clients. These are great reasons why you should build a group practice and great reasons, like if you’re already in the mix, these are reasons that you know, okay, it’s time for me to shake things up and do some things differently. Let me run through them again, here’s some reasons right here, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, number two, if those intake calls keep flowing in and flowing in and flowing in, you find yourself as referring out way too much, hey, you need some more therapists on your team so you can keep those people within the practice and not refer them out. Now, if there’s anything wrong with referring out, I’m just saying, what would it, I want you to think about that, what would it look like if I had people on my team available to take these calls? You want to, if you, hey, you want more community, another point, point number three that I mentioned, you want to build community and build a great team. If you know solo, this isn’t for you and you do well around people and you want to connect with like-minded people, then build that team of like-minded people. Point number four, just creating a larger vision, more resources for the community. You can reach more people and help more people with a greater and bigger team. Then of course, point number five that I mentioned, the multiple streams of income. So listen, I don’t know if you’re solo, I don’t know if you have a group practice and you are ready to continue to build and grow into something different. If you’re thinking about, hey, I want to launch a practice, then this is what I want you to know about. We’re coming up on Level Up Week for Practice of the Practice that is March 23rd through the, I’m sorry, March 20th through the 23rd 2023. So in Level Up Week, it is for those that are solo, those thinking about starting a group practice, those that have a group practice and are ready to level up, those that have big ideas and want to talk about more how to nurture them, grow them, and be effective with them. These are the webinars that you want to attend. Go to practiceofthepractice.com/levelup. What I want you to do is I want you to just scan through the different webinars that are available and I want you to register there for the ones you want to come to. Now, do not miss this opportunity to gain such valuable information from other therapists and professionals who are doing the things you want to see yourself doing, but just don’t know how to do just yet. It’s not, I know you wrote all those goals down for year 2023 and maybe you find yourself stuck or you don’t know how to take the right step. This is the place to come to if you want to see your practice grow and thrive and do great things in 2023. So remember, I need you to do it, go to practiceofthepractice.com/levelup, practiceofthepractice.com, I think I said that wrong a minute ago, practiceofthepractice.com/levelup. Level Up Week is March 20th through the 23rd. Go to that website and register for these great webinars. I cannot wait to connect with you all on there. And just so you know, on the 23rd I’m doing one, having a panel discussion with other group practice owners about how they knew it was time to level up, how they knew it was time to start a group practice. Then also during Level Up, we are going to learn more about the Practice of the Practice communities that we currently have, whether it be Next Level Practice, then it is Group Practice Launch for those, thinking about launching their group practice, Group Practice Boss for those who are ready to grow and expand their group practice and then Audience Building Academy for those that want to create additional larger streams of income outside of the group practice. So I look forward to connecting with you then. And like I said, make sure you connect with me on the website, reach out to me if you have any questions or you want to hop on a pre-consulting call, do some one-to-one work. I am so thrilled and happy to be able to work with you. Thanks once again to Therapy Notes for sponsoring this episode. Use the promo code [JOE] to get three free months to try out Therapy Notes for free. No strings attached and remember, telehealth is included with every subscription for free. If you love this podcast, please be sure to rate and review. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.