Is your private practice struggling?
Practitioners spend so much time taking care of others. We know when our clients are unwell or sick, and strive to make them whole again. But in our efforts to help others, we often overlook our business and ourselves. Our practice is great, but our business and business strategy is suffering and needs tending and care. So how do you recognize the telltale signs that your private practice is struggling?
1. Avoidance, Fear & Resentment:
You know there are things you should be doing to help your business thrive, but you avoid them. Why? Because they make you uncomfortable or don’t seem interesting or naturally compelling you believe in “following your joy.” You feel less confident about your business tasks and put them on the back burner. You choose the path of least resistance, least risk and least learning or effort until it is a crisis. With the added pressure and stress of a crisis, it is hard to do anything effectively or authentically when driven by fear. It’s a vicious cycle and waste of time, money and peace of mind.
2. Head-in-the-Sand Finances:
Your financial income from your practice is unpredictable and wearing thin. You don’t have a clear sense of what you are making and spending each month/year. You love what you are doing, but at times you put your head in the sand when it comes to really knowing where things are at financially. You don’t have the money to build your business.
You have more than your share of clients who don’t pay at all or are on a sliding scale. The ego loves ambiguity and uses it to create stress and worry, robbing you of joy in your business.
3. Faith or Life Philosophy Absent from Your Business:
When our most important faith or life philosophy is not acting as the fuel that guides our daily intentions, it creates a compartmentalized life. Cut off from the source of our inspiration, our business can start to feel devoid of inspiration and purpose, resulting in depressed daily functions. This is often when practitioners say they feel alone in their practice, with heavy burdens on their shoulders, contributing to burnout.
4. Walking the Line of Burnout:
This is when work feels like work, and not a life spent living your purpose. Your clients and/or staff can feel like a whole lot of effort. Building rapport feels less than easy and you feel like it takes huge effort just to get the smallest thing done. You can taste resentment when considering how much effort, time and money your business requires. If you secretly wish you could cancel your client load or if client, staff, or team problems overshadow the positive aspects of what you once loved to do, you already have your toes on the wrong side of the burnout fence.
5. You Feel Abandoned by the New Client Fairy:
You don’t know where or how to get more clients and you feel frustrated at putting effort into this, or efforts you are making are not yielding results. You feel discomfort, concern or fear when your clients abruptly stop their sessions. In the absence of a thriving practice, any client can feel like a match for you. This may indicate you have lost track of your true target audience/ideal client. You secretly hope that the “new client fairy” will have new clients contact you and sign up, because being good at what you do should be enough — right? Sadly, we know that is not the case.
6. Current Business Tools Suck:
You are suspicious that your business tools (e.g. website, contact manager, branding, ads, policies) are not fulfilling your needs and don’t reflect your true business. You don’t even know or care if your website is phone or tablet compatible. You experience more than your share of “no shows”; clients are either rescheduling, not paying full rates, not following your policies or are needing a lot of your time between sessions. Your client sign up and retention percentages boarder are poor.
You feel like you can’t quite get on top of your growing inbox, mail, emails or to do list. You occasionally miss replying to emails and phone messages or at times are late for meetings or even sessions. You find yourself rushing, doing things twice, or constantly revamping your business in an effort to get organized hoping “it will work this time”. If any of these things are happening, chances are your current business tools, policies and boundaries are working against you more than they are working for you. Good news is, this is a pretty easy fix!
7. Poor or “Wing It” Marketing Efforts:
You tend to leave marketing for when you realize you are running low on clients or money. You have no clear goals and have decided that your best plan to build your business is to “take it as it comes.” Your marketing budget is more of a “pay as you go” or “pay as you are able” sort of deal. There are not clearly established marketing priorities or a business strategy. You have an unrealistic expectation that when you complete a few marketing tasks (e.g. placing an ad or circulating a flyer), it should somehow result in flooding your welcome mat with a long line of new clients.
You feel frustrated at the reality that marketing is actually an ongoing process of building relationship and rapport. It will need constant nurturing and revamping for most of the life of your business. Still, you are left wondering if other practitioners somehow know things you don’t about business or marketing. You are likely right. But you can change that!
We’re Here to Help
As fellow practitioners, we have all had times in our lives when we pause long enough to recognize when we are not in balance. On a daily basis, clients come to us for support to regain wellness and balance. But do we as practitioners seek support to create wellness in our business? If your practice is the spirit of what you do, you private practice business is the body. We need wellness in BOTH to create a thriving practice.
At Global Alignment Coaching, we specialize in helping Practitioners in the Mental Health and Wellness Industry start, upgrade and run a thriving Private Practice. Please contact us at info@globalalignmentcoaching for a free 30 minute business consultation and find out how to boost the vitality of you private practice. Isn’t now the perfect time to nurture your business like you would your clients?