What’s the best way to break down big goals into actionable steps? Are you committed to developing your private practice in 2023? How do you measure success when you’re working toward your goals?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about quarter-by-quarter planning to reach your goals this year.
Podcast Sponsor: 28-Step Checklist
Are you ready to leave your full-time job for private practice? Maybe you work at community mental health, or at a non-profit, or you’re a 1099 or a W2 at a private practice already. Is this the year that you start a solo practice? Or maybe you already started a solo practice, but you’re really not sure if you’re doing it right. I want to give you something totally free that will help you out on your journey. I have a 28-step checklist to make sure that you start a solo practice correctly! It’s totally free, it’s a download. I just get your email and send you other tips that are going to help you be able to grow your solo practice! You’re going to get weekly emails that help you to start your practice correctly. So, if that sounds good to you, head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/new to get started today!
In This Podcast
Important numbers to know
The three tenets of good business!
Identify your building blocks
Important numbers to know
As you dive into the planning process, it’s a lot more helpful and workable to plan for the best-case (and worst-case) scenarios when you know how much money you have to work with.
Therefore, some important numbers to have on hand when you start your planning process include:
The average number of client intakes that are coming into the practice every month
The average amount that each client pays for their sessions
The lifetime value of your clients
We want to make sure that some of those core operating things are understood and are being worked on and … that [you] have a clear assessment.
The three tenets of good business!
For your quarter-by-quarter planning, you want to know where your:
1 – Problems,
2 – Opportunities, and
3 – Successes are!
Therefore, to get a good sense of how everything currently stands within your business, consider gathering some firsthand data and experience through a questionnaire.
I would do some sort of survey with your employees or contractors. This may be a digital survey, but having you – or someone else – go through an interview with every single staff member to get an idea of it and bring it together as a macro-report is a great way to bring it all together.
Identify your building blocks
After your internal survey to understand the ins and outs of your practice, brainstorm the three core building blocks that you want to commit to working toward in 2023.
For a solo practice, it could be:
Signing new clients
Quality assuring new clients
You can say, “You know, I think by June, I’m going to want to have a virtual or executive assistant. Someone that’s answering the phone and scheduling, things like that … for quarter 3, I’m going to put that as a goal.”
So, once you have identified your three goals, you can break them down into actionable tasks and assign them to different months or quarters throughout the year to work on. Make it easy for yourself to do the work that you have to do.
Set some time aside for each task, and identify a basic measuring system to track your successes. Remember to recognize and celebrate the small wins because they add up.
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!
A new year, a new you, yeah, how about a new year, a new private practice? If you’re ready to start a private practice this year, or maybe you just got one going and you’re thinking, did I do it right? How do I do it right? How do I leave this full-time job? I have a 28 step checklist just for you to walk you through the initial steps of starting a practice. Just head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/new. Again, that’s practiceofthepractice.com/new.
This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 837.
Hello, welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast. I hope that you are doing amazing today. Hope your new year is off to an amazing start, or if you’re watching this at some point in the future, that it just helps you think through your goal setting, where you’re headed, what you’re doing, all of those sorts of things. Today we’re going to be talking about specifically how do you do quarter by quarter planning in regards to your business. Now, let’s just start with a couple assumptions that I have that if you don’t fall into these assumptions, then maybe work on those first.
My assumptions are that you have a clear direction of where your private practice is headed, that your mission your vision you know what values you have, you have a staff that is doing what you think they’re doing, that there’s not a whole lot of cleanup that needs to happen. If there is a lot of cleanup, if you’re not sure where you’re headed, if you’re not sure on your niche, you definitely want to do those sorts of things first before you dive in to what we’re talking about. As well, my assumptions are that also you are working on or have completed having your QuickBooks set up, having bookkeeping being paid, attention to that you have a basic understanding of your numbers. Are you making money? Are you not?
A couple numbers you’re going to want to make sure that you have a pretty good idea on as you enter into this process would be on average how many new intakes are coming into the practice per month. That could be if you’re a solo practitioner, just you. If you’re a group practitioner, for the whole group. Also on average, how much is each person paying? So if you have a hundred clients in a month and you maybe get some insurance, that’s $90, some that’s $115, you have some private pay that’s $150, $175, $250, then you know that overall average is it $165 per session. We want to have that general number and if we don’t that’s something we want to work on before we dive too far into the quarter by quarter planning. But even that could be part of our quarter by quarter planning.
Then also we want to know the lifetime value of your clients. So on average, do your clients come three times? Is it super brief counseling? Do they tend to stick around for two or three years? How long are they coming in to stay in your private practice? That can really help with some, some forecasting in regards to understanding how much money is coming in. If we get one new client, how much money are they going to bring into the practice. how much of an impact will that make and then knowing some of our ad dollars or things like that, now, any of those things that you’re not doing, if you’re not doing it, don’t feel bad, we’re just going to add that into the quarter by quarter planning. But those are some of the basic assumptions that we want to have met before we dive too far into stretching ourselves into new areas. One of the reasons is that if we have too much on our plate already and then we add more to our plate, it’s just going to get overwhelming. So we want to make sure that some of those core operating things are understood, are being worked on and really that we have a clear assessment.
First things first are to if we’re going to look at our quarter by quarter planning, we want to know where are the problems, where are the opportunities, where are the successes within your private practice? First things first is I would do some sort of survey with your employees or contractors. This may be a first a digital survey but having you or having someone else go through and interview every single staff member to get an idea of it and bring it together as a macro report is a great way to bring it all together. So we now have 17 people that in some capacity work for Practice of the Practice. That includes audio engineers, that includes show notes people, that includes transcribers, that includes consultants like LaToya and Ashley and Andrew. That includes our people that are supports like Dana for our membership communities, Jess as our director of details is also helping with my crazy email list and people emailing me. So we have 17 people, that’s a lot of people to keep track of and to work with.
So in August Sam R, she was leveled up to Chief Operating Officer. As part of that process we’ve met with some EOS people, so the entrepreneur operating systems people, and we have a bunch of forums and she’s in a membership community as part of that to implement EOS across the board. EOS is just a way of thinking about your business of creating systems and measures, and we’re doing quite a bit around that. So part of that process for us for me was to say like, where are people at right now? We had a survey that went out to everybody. We also, in addition to that survey, I had a survey that went out to everyone that was in Level Up Week, that was something we hosted in September, what went well with that? What didn’t go well? Why did we have a certain number of people join our membership communities? Why didn’t we? So just starting to get some data.
Then Sam, as part of her onboarding, as COO, sat down with every single person to talk through what do they like about their job? What do they hate about their job? What do they think could it be improved? Then she and I sat down, and I think it’s something valuable to do and have someone do that’s outside of you as the owner if you’re large enough. Because you’ll get maybe different type of feedback when they’re talking candidly with somebody that isn’t the owner that it’s probably not going to get back that Dana said this, Sam said this, Jess said this, that it’s, here’s the big picture. From that, for us, the big picture was, hey, we love the mission of Practice of the Practice as we understand it, we don’t necessarily know exactly what the mission is. That was an opportunity for Sam and I to give a revision of, or a version of the mission of where we’re headed and then to talk to the team and say, is this what you’re hearing, what you’re seeing, what you see? Like poke holes in this.
We got, the people liked the mission of what we’re doing. We’re helping therapists, we’re growing mental health access, we’re helping people live lives that they want to live that goes beyond maybe the narrative they were given in grad school. But there’s some major communication problems that when we’re launching something that in a lot of ways I, as the founder of the visionary, the guy that gets excited about creative things, I am not the best at the minutia, which we all knew and I own throughout, but we weren’t solving that problem. So putting Sam in that position then allowed us to say, okay, what are some things that we need to do that can improve that? How can we systematize aspects of the business? How can we level this up in a lot of ways the growth we experienced? Not that it was unexpected. We, I had always hoped that we would grow significantly and we could help a ton of people, but it also in a lot of ways like I didn’t go to school for business. So to be able to now have Sam learning this stuff and loving it, I don’t love a lot of that minutia.
Are you ready to leave your full-time job for private practice? Maybe you work at community mental health or at a nonprofit, or you’re a 1099 or a W2 at a private practice already. Is this the year that you start a solo practice? Or maybe you already started a solo practice, but you are really not sure if you’re doing it right. I want to give you something totally free to help you out on your journey. I have a 28-step checklist to make sure that you start a solo practice correctly. It’s totally free, it’s a download, I just get your email and send you other tips that are going to help you be able to grow your solo practice. You’re going to get weekly emails that help you to start your practice correctly. If that sounds good to you, head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/new to grab that 28-step checklist. Again, that’s practiceofthepractice.com/new and you can grab that 28-step checklist.
Then once you’ve done that, once you’ve talked to staff, you have an idea of where the problems are, it’s a lot easier to say, where’s the money coming in? Where’s the opportunity? What’s the impact we want to make? What are the external types of things what are the internal types of things? For example, with Practice of the Practice, we’ve identified three major building blocks that for us, we’re going to have all of 2023 revolve around. One of those is new client acquisition or new people getting onto our email lists, getting into our system, listening to the podcast. That’s one big one.
If we don’t have new people coming in, it’s hard to continue to grow because a lot of the people that maybe have joined Next Level Practice, they’ve heard about it that are on the list already, they’ve said, it’s not for me. Or they’ve been in it and they’ve grown and expanded. We want some new blood in. That’s one of our building blocks. The next one is to optimize our membership communities as much as possible. So we’re going to be doing more surveys, we’re going to be having some advisory boards, we’re going to try to make sure that we really understand if someone leaves, is that a positive leave? Like they exploded in their private practice and they want to just grow it on their own for a while? Awesome, glad Next Level Practice helped you do that versus a negative leave where someone says that this isn’t for me. I was offended by this. I was upset. That we understand when people leave and we understand when people come in. So growing and enhancing our membership communities.
Third is growing our internal systems. Thinking about our internal systems, like where are those communication problems? Where are there things? Then now that we have those building blocks, we can then say quarter one, like, what needs to happen quarter two, what needs to happen quarter three, quarter four and let’s have probably three major projects in each of those quarters. As an example, two years ago I hired a Facebook ad specialist, I’ll put that in quotes. This person was highly recommended by a very influential person that I knew personally really well. I knew this influencer really well, knew that they were rocking out, I had seen their numbers. I felt like they were an ethical person, and they are but their Facebook ad specialist was doing some things with my ad account that was not real great.
I didn’t realize that Facebook, while this person was doing advertising for us, had actually warned us a couple times of ads going against their policies unbeknownst to me. Eventually, Practice of the Practice got banned from doing Facebook ads. So you probably haven’t seen one in a few years or a couple years. That’s a problem. So quarter one, if we want to bring new people into Practice of the Practice, one method of that is paid advertising. It’s to have that pay per click, it’s to have Google Ads, it’s to have Facebook or Instagram ads. It’s to obviously have things that aren’t ads. There’s lots of strategies you can use to get in front of people that genuinely would be helped by the work we do.
Quarter one, one of the projects is get our Facebook ad account unbanned and so we’ll eventually get to like who exactly is doing each of those things. But what you’re going to do is after you’ve done some sort of survey to understand the pain, the process, all the things going on in your business is you’re going to want to then, probably with a couple people that are in your executive team, unless it’s just you, maybe you’re a solo practitioner still, that’s totally cool too. To say for us or for me or for the solo practice, what are the three core building blocks this year? So for a solo practice, it’s probably going to be getting new clients probably some sort of quality assurance with current clients and then third, something around your operations your flow, your executive things.
Then once you have those down as your big building blocks, you can look at quarter by quarter. You don’t have to even go in order. You can say I think by June I’m going to want to have a virtual assistant, executive assistant, someone that’s answering the phone, scheduling, things like that. I don’t think I’m ready for that right now, but for quarter three, I’m going to put that in there as a goal of look at hiring a virtual assistant. Then what has to follow after that is training and giving feedback to that person. So quarter four would be making sure that you do a good job with that virtual assistant or with getting new clients.
Maybe one project you’re going to do is to work on a SEO for your blog posts. So you’re going to try to put out 26 blog posts that you can drip out every other week throughout the year. Then you’re going to have good SEO on that. Maybe it’s going to be hiring an SEO company, maybe you’re going to try to network with three new people a month, and that’s just your quarterly project throughout the whole year. Then we’re breaking it down and so it may be network with three people a month throughout the whole year, but then maybe mid-year you add to that and say, evaluate everyone that you’ve networked with and see who has sent you new referrals, who has helped you with new referrals and say, okay, these three people, out of the 30 or 40 people that I’ve networked with are the top tier ones. What was different about those three in regards to their referrals than maybe the other folks?
Then now you have three projects per building block each quarter, so it’s like nine projects a quarter that you’re working on. You want to make sure now you set time aside for these, that you have time, that you’re sitting down, that you’re understanding that, that you’re walking through it and that you’re knowing what is the measure for each of those building blocks. For example, new clients, is it that you want to be as full as you want to be by June? Is it within a quarter? How are we going to measure success in each of those areas, so having a clear KPI or key performance indicator around each of those building blocks. Once you have that plan, you want to make sure you put into your calendar time to do those things.
That’s how you do it. It’s super awesome, super focused, super, super, super. So quarter by quarter planning to reach your goals this year.
If you want some help staying organized, we have a totally free checklist for you if you’re starting a practice over at practiceofthepractice.com/new. You’re going to get that 28-step checklist and our email course all around starting a practice to keep you organized, help you understand what you need to do. If you already have an established solo practice or you’re just getting going, you want some extra support, in March, we are going to be opening up Next Level Practice, which is our membership community for solo practices. This is entirely for solo practices. It is aimed at helping you know what to do as a solo practice and positioning you for success. We have a supportive community of people where you’re put into small groups, you get accountability partners, we bring in experts, and we also have time with me and other consultants to help you continue to grow and know what to do. So if you want to read more about that, if you want to get on that waiting list for March, head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/invite. That’s where you can look at it.
Thanks so much for letting me into your ears and inch your brain. Have a great day. I’ll talk to you soon.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. .
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