Running a smooth and successful practice takes work. Alot of it!
It doesn’t matter if it is staffed with ten people or two, there are still many working parts to help run the practice smoothly. There are so many ways to help ensure that your practice runs effectively and without a hitch. What are they? How can I manage my private practice with little to no stress? Let's dive in to 5 key strategies to run a thriving private practice.
KEY STRATEGY #1 | Design and establish a successful workplace
Once you have established a place to meet with clients and have a steady stream of referrals and clients to see, you will need to know how to establish office management procedures. Some benefits of having successful office processes and procedures in place are:
It helps to make your private practice run smoothly and efficiently
It will ensure that clients are served well and...
It would allow your practice to take care of you
KEY STRATEGY #2 | Compartmentalize in the workplace
A way to think about the business side of running a successful private practice in counseling is by implementing the art of compartmentalization, in other words, of having separate departments that are out of sight but constantly supporting the practice. That's the beauty of keeping it running with little to no stress! It doesn't have to get complicated. Allow me to explain.
These different compartments can be broken down into four areas:
Marketing Department: Pretty straightforward = this would function as your way market your business on social media or locally.
Clinical Department: The clinical department functions as the part of your practice where all of the clinical records and client information is processed and handled. All of your client documentation is handled here. Things like session progress notes, treatment plans, personal health information (PHI), and patient payment information, etc. are handled through this part of your practice. And there definitely needs to be a system in place to keep this information confidential and keep it secure...
Client Information Department: The client information department functions where you need to be concerned about HIPAA compliance and things such as that. There will be some cross-over to the “business department” with this, but it can be done in such a way to keep client PHI safe and confidential.
Business Department: The business functionality aspect is the part of your practice where you will handle all of the business aspects of your private practice.
Basically, there's a lot to manage with owing and running a successful private practice. Even if it is a small business, you will need to have systems in place to handle emails, answer phone calls, set up appointments, receive money, pay bills, and track expenses. And just like the clinical side of things, you'll want your processes and systems to be secure and reliable.
KEY STRATEGY #3 | Have fruitful employee management skills
To plainly put it: you want to be sure that you and your employees work well together. Simple. It isn't difficult to implement this either, because you can do this by a few simple ways:
Get to know your team. Hold meetings and meet regularly with one another. Pick a time to meet weekly or every other week to discuss what is going on around the office.
Agree on ground rules, establishing rules from the beginning which will foster a supportive, respectful environment. This will encourage and strengthen teamwork.
Make your staff meetings more effective by setting a consistent agenda. Some teams use a template to set a consistent agenda for each meeting, withstanding items such as new business or check-ins. Also, in team meetings, this is a time when the team can actively engage in problem-solving and to step back and analyze processes while not in the midst of a busy workday. Stay on task, avoiding side conversations and other good meeting habits make the time more productive.
Celebrate each others’ successes! Keep a running list of things the team has accomplished, share stories about meaningful patient interactions, have fun and keep one another encouraged. These things can help to improve your team culture.
KEY STRATEGY #4 | Hire the right virtual assistant
If you are running a practice out of your home, you may want to consider an online virtual assistant. A virtual assistant can help run your business, even if they are not in the same state as you! They can schedule appointments for patients, help organize virtual documents, answer emails or whatever else you may need. A virtual assistant can be a great asset to your small private practice. A great way to delegate tasks is by employing a virtual assistant. It is definitely ideal to hire and delegate tasks to a virtual assistant that specializes in the mental health field. Stress-Free Virtual Assistant is a great company to employ and hand out tasks for your private practice! With our services, we can take the heavy load off your hands and deal with the back-end of things while you run your business. Click here to see if we're the right fit for you!
KEY STRATEGY #5 | Delegate tasks to others
To delegate tasks effectively, choose the right person for the job. Part of being a good leader is understanding your employees’ strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. If you need to delegate a task that is going to require a lot of collaboration to complete, don’t delegate it to someone who very strongly prefers working alone. Delegate it to someone who prefers collaborating.
Explain why you’re delegating.
If you’re delegating a task to someone out of the blue, it really helps when you provide context for why you’re giving them that responsibility. Provide the right instructions. Tell employees your goals or the milestones you hope to hit and let them tackle the problem in their own way. Don’t look for perfection or micromanage; someone else might complete a task differently than you would. As long as you get the result you’re looking for, that’s okay. Provide resources and training. You have to make sure the person tasked with a job or project has the tools and resources they need to be successful. Delegate responsibility *and* authority. You’ve probably been in a situation where you were tasked with something but didn’t feel fully empowered to make decisions. As a result, the work stalls, you end up having to ask for help, and the task takes more time from both the employee and the manager.
Check the work and provide feedback. There’s nothing worse than a manager who delegates something to an employee and then blames the employee when something goes wrong. Don’t be that manager. Check the work you delegated to your employees when it’s complete, make sure they did it correctly, and give them any feedback needed to improve when handling the task going forward.
And finally--say thank you! When someone completes a task or project you delegated, show genuine appreciation and point out specific things they did right or well.
Running a practice smoothly doesn’t have to be daunting or scare you. You can do it with the right organization, the right employees, and the right way to run the practice.
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