Level Up Series: Your First Year of Private Practice | POP 821

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.

Do you feel daunted by the prospect of creating your business? Do you want to hear Joe’s top 9 tips and lessons to prepare you for your first year of private practice? Can you see the dream you want but don’t yet know how to reach it?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about your first year of private practice.

Podcast Sponsor: Noble

A an image of Noble Health is captured. Noble Health is the podcast sponsor to Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Our friends at Noble have run their own clinics, worked with thousands of clients, and have seen firsthand the burnout and stress that can come with heavy caseloads, difficult topics, and a lack of time.

With these issues in mind, Noble built their app to support therapists by making between-session support easy and offering an opportunity to earn a passive income. Now, with new CPT codes coming in 2023 that will allow therapists to offer reimbursable remote monitoring support, Noble is revolutionizing remote patient monitoring.

The team at Noble has built a program that you can quickly implement to allow you to reimburse code 989X6 for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) remote monitoring.

This is so exciting for therapists and clinics!

This new CPT code, which is coming into play in January 2023, will allow you to make more money per hour and earn passive revenue. Noble’s system provides everything needed to reimburse:

  • Objective data gathering device integration
  • Assessment and data stream, display, measurement, and integrations
  • HIPAA-compliant integrations into other EHRs
  • Real-time and immediate interventions for elevated symptoms

If you would like to discuss adding their “plug-and-play” remote patient monitoring for 2023 so you can reimburse the new CPT codes, schedule a time to talk with Eric, their CEO at pop.noble.health.

In This Podcast

  • Grad school kind of screwed us over
  • First off: the 3 lessons to unlearn
  • Next: the 3 basics of setting up a business
  • The 3 cornerstones of success in private practice
  • Your quarters
  • Figuring out your rate

Grad school kind of screwed us over

It is much better to be a great therapist that has no idea about business than it is to be a poor therapist that knows a lot about business, so don’t worry!

Your clinical skills are more important to have under the belt because the business stuff can be taken care of.

Grad school really doesn’t teach us the basics of business, and I hope that today can be a training that helps you to make that bridge between the clinical and what [works] in the business world.

Joe Sanok

First off: the 3 lessons to unlearn

1 – Busyness is not business: running around and constantly doing things doesn’t lead you to build a great business.

Having the proper infrastructure and systems that will help you, that’s what’s actually going to help you. If you don’t plan correctly, it’s going to be just another job, not a business.

Joe Sanok

A business pays you even if you’re not actively working. So, if you want to build a business, you need to actively build structures that work and earn money passively.

2 – Money is bad: therapists, you do not need to struggle financially! You do not need to be scolded for making money because making money and creating a profitable business is what will allow you to reach and help more people.

The truth is that money magnifies what’s already there. So, if you’re bad and you make more money, you’re going to be a bigger jerk because you have more resources, but if you’re good you’re going to continue to help the world. 

Joe Sanok

3 – The best do the best: being the best is no guarantee of security. You could be the best therapist in town, but with no marketing or onboarding strategies, you would have little to no clients.

Those who work smart and venture to seek help are the ones that often head ahead and go further.

Next: the 3 basics of setting up a business

1 – Set up your business:

  • Register your practice. This is state-specific so check your requirements, but it’s mostly an LLC or PLLC, or SCORP
  • Set up bank accounts to keep track of expenses, income, and transactions
  • Launch a basic website

It’s more just knowing how to do it and in what order to do it. 

Joe Sanok

  • Create a basic marketing strategy: how do your clients know that you exist?
  • Do good clinical work and pursue continuing education and training to polish your skills as a therapist

2 – Find your community of growth: find a group of like-minded therapists to work alongside because it will help you to grow so much faster.

Get an accountability partner, join a cohort, and receive the additional bonus of dipping into other knowledge bases.

3 – Find solace in knowing that other people are in the same place as you, and that what you are trying to do has – in some ways – been done before.

The 3 cornerstones of success in private practice

1 – Access to organized knowledge

2 – A supportive community of people

3 – The tools of the trade and how to implement them

Your quarters

1 – Your first quarter

  • Think about the user experience: what is your client going through before they reach out for help? How can you make it easiest for them to find you and contact you?
  • Get your logistics going by launching your website, starting your marketing efforts, and networking.
  • Write and publish blog posts to give new clients content of yours to read and to boost your new website’s SEO.

I recommend that you try to get at least half a year of blogs done as soon as possible. If you can get 26 blog posts up and start to link to each other, you are set – from a blogging perspective – for a while.

Joe Sanok

2 – Your second and third quarters

Assess what is working and what maybe needs to be tweaked and changed. What is the 20% in your practice that is giving you 80% of the results? 

3 – Your last quarter

  • Consider your workload, should you start hiring clinicians for your private practice? If you are 60 to 70% full, and you’re open to hiring, then consider expanding your business and hiring your first clinician.
  • Which hats can you start to take off? What are you doing that can be done by someone else, saving you time, money, and energy to see more clients?

Figuring out your rate

Look at your lifestyle. What is the salary you want to make, the taxes of that bracket, and your projected cost of the business to roughly calculate this number?

You don’t need to stick around the rate of other clinicians in your area. You can use it as the ballpark, but not the limit.

As soon as you’re consistently 60-70% full, raise your rate substantially because you know that you’re close to being full.

You can create the business life that you dream of living!

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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