Most private practice clinicians would agree that we are constantly making small decisions that are shaping our future & the future of our private practice. For the first six years in private practice, I remained solo because I needed to find a balance between work & family life. Before my youngest child turned five, I started making decisions to expand my solo practice to a group practice toward the end of 2016. It happened fast, I launched my group practice in January of 2017!
Small decisions…big results:
In January, I had the office space, and the clinicians and I was able to juggle between clinical & administrative tasks. By February, I started realizing the multitasking was no longer effective. I needed an office manager to answer phone calls and help with scheduling to keep the group practice running smoothly as I was busy maintaining my clinical workload. From a business perspective, I was not yet ready to hire an in-house office manager until the clinicians’ schedules were busier.
Online Phone Specialist:
After much research seeking a cost-effective solution without sacrificing the human touch, I came across My Solution Services, Inc and consulted with Frances J. Harvey. They specialize in Online Business Management for mental health clinicians. She helped tremendously by starting me on an 8-hour package with a fully well-trained phone specialist in March. Further, I spent less than a few hours training the new online phone specialist for the specifics of our practice. She was already familiar with mental health protocols, policies, and trained in using EHR’s for scheduling and rescheduling clients. Frances’ knowledge and 12 years of experience in mental health aided the training of her phone specialists. This allowed me and my practice the luxury of having a highly trained specialist in talking with and scheduling potential callers on their first intake.
Less missed calls equal business growth:
By end of March, we realized I needed to upgrade my package as more calls were coming in and new clients were successfully scheduled. In April, I upgraded to a 15-hours package, to fill my clinician’s’ schedules. This gave me time to focus more on marketing – meaning, even more, calls, more intakes, and more revenue!
By April, I made another executive decision upgrading to a 25-hour package to provide excellent customer service, not miss any calls, and additional clients scheduled for intakes. At this point, it was a no-brainer to realize my business depended on not missing new inquiries or calls. Not to mention, I had gone from a team of three clinicians (including myself) to a team of five!
A similar trend continued in May. The group practice continued growing as the phone specialist scheduled new intake appointments and get people into the therapist’s room. Because the business plan and systems were working well, I had more time to work on my business.
So, what happens when your practice gets too busy after hiring an online phone specialist:
As I continued working on my business, eventually I hired my own in-house office manager to help run other business operations by end of June. Working with My Solution Services, Inc gave me the opportunity to proceed at a slower pace while developing the group practice. I was in control of what I wanted to spend on phone services and strategically prioritize each step of the business’s growth.
I understand the initial worries and fears in taking risks to grow your private practice. One of the fears is expenses, but some expenses give your business an explosive growth and mental freedom to work on what is important in the long term. Don’t’ be cheap in this area! Investing in Online Business Management services encompassing phone specialists, EHR, and digital marketing are essential to business maintenance and growth.
It is amazing to learn our small decisions makes big difference!
Manpreet is the Founder and Owner of Wake Counseling & Mediation in North Carolina. With 2 locations and 6 on staff, Manpreet runs a successful and growing practice! If you are in the area or know someone who is and seeking help, contact them at 919-647-4600 or you can schedule online at https://wakecounseling.clientsecure.me/client_portal.