What’s the value of purchasing an already existing private practice? How can you learn to overcome your fears and take smart yet brave business risks? Are there chances that you want to take that you know would pay off?
In this podcast episode in the Seven Figure Practice series, Joe Sanok speaks about purchasing a private practice and making it your own with Nicole Ball.
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Meet Nicole Ball
Nicole is the owner of Mental Wellness Counseling in Traverse City, MI. Mental Wellness Counseling serves all of Michigan with its virtual telehealth options, and clients in Northern Lower Michigan with face-to-face counseling and walk-and-talk therapy options.
Nicole uses a holistic counseling approach that focuses on all aspects of a person’s life including physical, mental, and spiritual. She is also a full-time Professor of Social Work at Ferris State University, where she teaches social statistics and research, advanced interviewing skills courses, and research mentorship.
In this Podcast
- Purchasing a practice versus building one
- The risks that paid off
- Implementing changes
- The right mindset matters
- Nicole’s advice to private practitioners
Purchasing a practice versus building one
Nicole Ball bought Joe’s first private practice, Mental Wellness Counseling, several years ago. Since then, the two have remained friends, while Joe works on Practice of the Practice and Nicole now runs Mental Wellness Counseling.
There are many reasons why someone might want to purchase an already existing private practice instead of building one from scratch themselves.
For Nicole, it was about the established brand and the name behind the business.
For me, the value is reputation. Clearly [the owner] had spent years developing a reputation in the community … And with that reputation came things that people recognize, people in our community recognize the name of the business. (Nicole Ball)
The risks that paid off
For Nicole, purchasing and leasing a building with more offices than she had clinicians for at the time was a big risk.
It was a very exciting move and I did it because of the vision that I had. The risk was that I [was] going to lease out this building that has seven offices, a reception, and a lobby … When it was only me and one other clinician that were moving over … So in the process of purchasing, I was [hiring] 1099 clinicians. (Nicole Ball)
The vision for Nicole was to get every single office filled with a therapist and a client. It was the biggest financial risk that she took, but Nicole doesn’t regret it at all.
When you buy a private practice, you are of course allowed to change the structure as it fits your vision. For Nicole, she changed Mental Wellness Counseling to take insurance instead of solely being cash-pay.
The vision that I saw [for the practice], in order to get to that place, I was going to have to accept insurance. (Nicole Ball)
You can add the divisions of payments with the clinicians whether they need supervision, if they are partially or fully credentialed, and whether they have had additional training. Each percentage split can be allocated in different contracts with the individual therapists so that you can easily keep track of how much each person gets paid.
The right mindset matters
If you are attempting to do something big, new, or risky in business, you need to address any fears by facing them head-on.
Ask yourself, what is the worst case scenario? Then walk through it, because almost always the worst case scenario is survivable.
Every single time that I do that and I walk myself through that, the worst case scenario is always survivable. The worst case scenario I could always undo in one way, shape, or another. In the worst case scenario, I will still be okay. (Nicole Ball)
If you can answer this question and know it’s going to be okay, then you realize that truly anything is possible. The only way to go is up!
Nicole’s advice to private practitioners
If you see a vision to get bigger, to do more, then just do it! Get started on it, and give it a shot, because your fears will be present no matter what, so don’t let them stop you.
Sponsors Mentioned in this episode:
Useful links mentioned in this episode:
- Visit The Mental Wellness Counseling Website, and connect with them on Facebook and Instagram.
- Save the date for Level Up Week: March 11-14, 2024!
Email Joe at [email protected] to suggest guests for the show
Check out these additional resources:
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 who are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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