It's common to have fears, nerves, and worries when it comes to starting and running your own practice. These limiting thoughts can range across many areas, but some of the most common I hear are:
You're worried about your pricing -- is it too high? too low?
You're worried about where your next patients are coming from and you're worried if people are going to call you or not
You're hoping people will be willing to buy from you, but worried they won't want to
Your patients are coming to the end of their plan of care & you're worried about if they're going to stay or not
In this post, I want to tackle these fears head on and help guide you down the path of becoming a leader to alleviate these worries.
The first thing you need to do is go from being passive to being active.
I will be the first to say that it's a difficult transition from working in a traditional setting as a therapist to working for yourself where you're responsible for finding your own patients. when you're accustomed to just showing up every day and the patients are just there, it's hard to train yourself on how to get them to be there. In the traditional setting, I would say most of us are "passive" when it comes to growing our caseloads. It's not typically our responsibility to fill them.
When you run your own business and own practice, it's completely on you to find customers, clients, and patients. And more than that, you have to figure out how to make it easy for them to find you. Not easy when you don't know what you don't know, but taking an active role in the process is essential.
Instead of spending your days sitting by the phone, spend them brainstorming ideas on how you can get in front of your ideal people, build new relationships, and get the word out there. Then review your current communication and contact channels to make sure it's easy for people to find you and contact you.
Become the leader.
This leads me to the main point of this post -- it's imperative that you become the leader in your business and in relationships with potential & current clients. You have to be the one to lead the dance, to captain the ship. You're the professional and you're the one guiding your client down the path to reach their goals.
Taking an active role is deciding what needs to get done, making a plan to get it done, and communicating it effectively.
In any conversation with potential new clients, be willing to find out if you're the best fit for them, and if so, what are the next steps? Outlining a clear plan will make you feel more confident and make you come across as more credible and professional.
Develop a client or patient success journey.
One thing that I recommend to all of my business coaching clients is to write out on a sheet of paper what your client success journey looks like.
Where do people find you?
What's the next action they're supposed to take?
If it's booking some kind of discovery call, what is the goal of the discovery call? (probably to schedule for an eval or refer out)
When you book the eval, what happens next?
At the end of the eval, what happens?
What happens after the initial plan of care?
And so on
Literally draw yourself a map of where your people are supposed to go and what criteria need to be met to advance to the next stage.
If you're able to only worry about one stage at a time, it takes away a lot of the worry of "oh no what if they don't buy a package, what if they stop showing up, etc" -- it becomes way more of just one step at a time. And keeps you from getting ahead of yourself.
You're able to focus on if the client is a good fit for the next stage or not, it becomes less complicated, and easier for the client to say yes to moving forward.
Realize pricing is not the priority.
When it comes to offering cash-based therapy services or private health services, your price is not going to be the thing your potential clients are looking for first.
They're in pain right now. Whether it's emotional or physical, they have a significant problem that the traditional route in healthcare will not serve, and they're looking for an alternative solution.
They want to work with a professional who is willing to give them the time and attention they need, work with their schedule, and help them fix the problem for good. These kind of outcomes come at a premium price, just like any other service around. You yourself are also probably more willing to hire someone you like and you feel like understands you than someone who may not be that great, but is lower cost.
The great thing about being a cash-based provider is that you can set your own rates & always make it easier for a client to pay you by offering payment plans or packages. There are options to help make it doable. So if someone really wants a solution to their problem and determine you're the person to help them, there are ways to make it work financially and time-wise.
Instead of worrying about pricing and if people will buy from you, worry about if you're the right fit to help the person in front of you and if you can develop a solid plan.
Instead of waiting by the phone, think about "who can I call today?"
Instead of worrying about if people will stick around or not, take the leadership role in the relationship and have an open and honest discussion with your client about where they're at, the progress they've made, and what's going to be the best plan for them moving forward. People just want to know what to do next to move towards where they want to be. And you have the opportunity to take the active role in guiding them.