How far do the dreams that you have for your practice stretch into the future? Have you been yearning to join a group of like-minded professionals that are experiencing the same struggles and successes that you are? How can you scale your business sustainably?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok and Ashley Mielke discuss how to grow a seven-figure, multi-location group practice.
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Meet Ashley Mielke
Ashley Mielke is a Registered Psychologist, Founder, and CEO of a large group private practice in Alberta, Canada called The Grief and Trauma Healing Centre Inc. She is passionate about supporting heart-centered practice owners in starting, growing, and scaling their businesses.
Ashley was called to start her company after the tragic death of her father by suicide in 2010. It was the purpose she found through her healing that inspired the ‘WHY’ that drives her 7-figure company today. It brings Ashley great joy to support other heart-centered leaders in building successful practices that are aligned with both their business goals and their deepest calling.
In This Podcast
- Identify your purpose
- Get clear on your values
- Get clear on your unique value proposition
- Develop a strong marketing strategy
- Cultivate a strong social network
- Key questions to consider for scaling up
Identify your purpose
It’s really important, as you’re thinking about scaling, to be very clear on what your purpose [for doing this work] is. What is the why that drives you to grow a group practice?Ashley Mielke
You can easily create a business without a clear purpose, but over time, it will become increasingly difficult to develop it, broaden it, and understand what you want to do with it.
Having a clear “why” to the reason for your business existence will also help you to answer important questions or pick the right solutions when you experience trying times.
It’s not the answer for everything, but it’s a strong guidebook to choosing the best answer for a question at any given time.
It’s the “why” that’s going to carry you through those very difficult and challenging seasons and those times when you want nothing more than to give up because those times will come if you haven’t already gone through them, that’s just the reality of being in business and entrepreneurship.Ashley Mielke
Get clear on your values
Are the values that you have associated with your business just for show, or do you make sure that they are enacted, supported, respected, and encouraged?
Values lose their worth if they are just words on a page. For them to have an impact and nurture success and strong relationships, they need to be actively chosen at the moment and acted upon.
Ask yourself, “What do I believe in? What are the parts of me that show up every day in my business and in my leadership and my client sessions?” That is who you are. So, it’s nothing that you have [to be] creating or thinking about, it is who you are.Ashley Mielke
One of Ashley’s key points is that if you want to build a practice based on lived experience and values, then hire clinicians to work in the practice that have those two things.
You can teach people how a business works, but it can be difficult to teach values because a large part of their strength is their innateness in a person. So, find the people that resonate with your values and hire them.
At the Grief and Trauma Healing Center, every therapist on our team has experienced a significant loss … they’re very passionate about grief and trauma already, it’s not something that we had to teach them, it’s something that they’re already impassioned to do.Ashley Mielke
Clinical supervision can be offered and skillsets can be trained, but inherent values are mostly individual. If you want to build a true practice on those, then hire the people with those values and train them further in their skillset, but that personality is vital.
Get clear on your unique value proposition
What is it that sets you apart from the other practices in your community and your field? For both therapists that want to join your team, and clients that are seeking treatment.
And additionally, what is the added value that you offer your clinicians and clients? Beyond the way that your business is unique from others, what amazing things can you offer those that decide to work with you?
Your clients and clinicians are going to be looking for something in you that reminds them of themselves. They’re going to say, “Oh my gosh, yes, this is exactly where I need to be [because] they get it …” [so] don’t be afraid to lead with your story.Ashley Mielke
Develop a strong marketing strategy
This is key for scaling up.
- What is your current marketing strategy?
- What are you doing, if anything, to grow your visibility in the community?
- How are people finding you?
These answers are important, especially if you want to open multiple locations and increase the ways that people can find your work and connect with you.
1 – Invest in a beautiful and user-friendly website
2 – Invest in professional photography and videography
3 – Invest in search engine optimization to list on Google organically
Cultivate a strong social network
We are not meant to do this work alone. It can be very isolating, especially as you scale up and your business [becomes] bigger than most practices around you … you want to connect with those group practice owners that are in a very similar stage as you, as well as [connecting] with people that have gone ahead of you.Ashley Mielke
There are three support networks that you should cultivate for yourself:
- People that are going through or are at a similar level
- Mentors and business owners that have achieved what you are working on achieving
- A place for joy and fun
These two groups will help you to stop comparing and working in isolation, giving you a stronger sense of peace, patience, and a knowing that it can be done even if it looks different from what someone else is doing.
The third group is for you to make time away from work that can nourish you by adding another aspect of life to yours that has nothing to do with therapy or business! Have a you-day and do things that bring you joy.
Key questions to consider for scaling up
- Do you have assistance in place to allow for scalability in multiple locations, like a phone system or EHR?
- What is your to-do checklist for when you open your first additional location?
- What are your current numbers so that you know what the next step that you can take is?
- Have you maximized your current resources?
- Do you have a leadership and management team in place to support sustainable scalability?
- What is your strategy for maintaining team culture and communication in scaling?
- Are you prepared to stop seeing clients or to reduce your contact with the business running to focus more on growth?
Sponsors Mentioned in this episode:
- 8 spots for one-on-one consulting with Joe! More time. Clear Vision. Future Planning. Make 2023 the biggest jump yet!
- Trust me, don’t waste any more of your time, and try TherapyNotes.
Useful links mentioned in this episode:
- Visit The Grief and Trauma Healing Centre and connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
- Connect with Ashley Mielke on Instagram and LinkedIn.
- Check out practiceofthepractice.com/invite to join Next Level Practice
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- How to get Paid Speaking Gigs with Brittany Richmond from The Speaker Lab | POP 893
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- Apply to work with us — a decision-making matrix for your next steps
Meet Joe Sanok
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.
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