Are you looking to streamline your business practices, increase your profits and have more space in your life? If you want to expand, grow and increase passive income streams then yes, you should hire a virtual assistant.
Make the Transition to Outsourcing Tasks Work For You, Your Clients and Your Business
Start with a small package: prioritize streamlining your business practices so your practice runs like a well oiled machine. This strategy decreases stress immediately and allows you time to build a trusting relationship with your VA. Imagine what it would be like for you if your practice ran with more efficiency and ease. How would you feel everyday knowing that your billing is handled correctly and you never had to call another insurance company again. What would it be like for you if you could mentally and physically unplug knowing your calls and scheduling were handled in an ethical manner and you only had to focus on your sessions? What would it be like to have email autoresponders that schedule newsletters that keep your clients and referral sources engaged? What would it be like for you if you actually had the time to write that book, go on vacation, create a webinar or facilitate the group you have great ideas for? What would this be worth to you? What fears would you need to get through in order to let go and enjoy more? Identify 3 things now that are your top priorities for streamlining your practice? What is not working, what is it that your have difficulty understanding, and what causes you the most stress? List the things that would make contacting your office and scheduling with you easier for your clients?
Let Go of Your Phone
Work with a virtual assistant that is trained by a therapist. Therapist are more likely to train their virtual assistants in empathy, reflective listening, clinical assessment and crisis intervention than any other source. Therapist understand how hard it is for clients to make that first call, what a valuable opportunity for relationship building calls are and how to make appropriate referrals. Virtual assistants can also get you more private pay clients. Virtual assistants have time to go that extra mile for your clients by discussing the potential risks of utilizing health insurance for therapy, look up out-of-network benefits for your callers and spend additional time reflecting your value and unique skill set to clients. Therapist struggle with letting their phone go, mostly out of fear that something will go wrong if they don't. I invite you to consider, what it would be like for you if there was a virtual assistant out there that could handle and respond to your callers and clients more efficiently and just as skillfully as you could how would you feel? What would you utilize that time for? It is imperative that you take into account that scheduling for a private practice requires more time and effort on your part than that of any other industry. How? First, there is only one of you not a staff that shares the calls like in a medical setting or group practice. Next, emotions and life experiences are unpredictable thus your clients needs are too. Therapy practices are unique as they require weekly appointments. That is a big commitment in terms of scheduling for clients and tons of unexpected changes and life circumstances get in the way of being able to have a consistent therapy session schedule. The amount of client calls and emails you receive in a week regarding cancellations, rescheduling, following-up on no shows, calling referral sources, responding to new callers is more extensive and time consuming than most businesses. When I time tracked how many hours per week I was spent on email and phone communication regarding scheduling it came out to 6 hours!!! 6 valuable hours, that if I had the choice would have rather spent with my clients doing what I love the most, therapy. My assistance efficiency was also much higher than mine due to not having to manage clinical issues and being a efficiency master. My clients were also happier as they could reach someone within business hours immediately. I got my 6 hours back and increased my income and sanity as a result.
Understand The Value of Your Time
You provide difficult life saving support to struggling individuals everyday. This is not an industry where quantity over quality applies. As therapist and born caretakers, we often put the needs of others before our own. A lot of us assume that we are supposed to be it all, do it all and do it all well. I hear from therapist all the time that feel buried in work, stressed, behind and lonely. They never even considered obtaining more support for their business by professionals who are trained to complete the tasks they are struggling with. Furthermore, they think it is a luxury that they can't afford and judge themselves for falling behind. The reality is, is that most therapist are falling behind. It is not possible to be the accountant, the insurance billing expert, the administrative support staff, the marketing expert and an excellent therapist. Outsourcing some of my work, truly changed my life. $60.00 a week paid for 10 hours of administrative work that I no longer had to worry about and opened up 6 hours of free space in my week. To have free space for joy, to have additional time to see a client made it more than worth it.
Cristina Smugala, MA, LPC