How Many Clients Are Too Many Clients?

Diverse and colorful cartoon portraits by SimplePractice|June 18, 2019

When balancing a practice caseload, things aren’t always as simple as they appear on some “idealized” schedule. Life has a tendency to get in the way. Achieving the right balance starts with a conscious choice of what that balance will be. There are numerous factors to consider. 

One key consideration — Do you have the right number of clients for your practice?

Understand your caseload

Recently someone in the SimplePractice Community on Facebook asked, “How do you know if you have enough clients?” Many people responded, but we really liked the method shared by Shayna Reibman and decided to create a tool, The Caseload Calculator, for all SimplePractice customers to use.  

Here’s Shayna’s original comment:

Based on her methodology, here’s how the tool works: 

  • clients you see once a week get a score of 1, 
  • clients seen every other week receive a score of 0.5, and
  • monthly clients receive a score of 0.25. 

Adding these points together yields a final score.

If a clinician sees clients 3 days a week, they could take on new clients if the sum of their scores falls below 15. While most part-time clinicians aim for between 15-18, and full-time clinicians would aim for around 24 points, these ranges can differ based on goals and priorities. 

Because clinicians have different degree levels, revenue streams, and overall priorities, our recommended score ranges may not work for everyone. It’s best to find a range that feels right for your practice. 

Download your Caseload Calculator here:

Tips for owning your schedule

You might enjoy a light workday, or a heavy one may be more your style. Either way, there are pros and cons for each side of the equation. Ultimately, the best gauge for determining how your caseload fits into your life will be you, but here are some tips to help you plan out a workable schedule.

  • Use a calendar to document responsibilities and practice management tasks, no matter how seemingly small or repetitive
  • Make sure highest-priority tasks are given highest-priority scheduling
  • Understand realistic time requirements to do different tasks in your practice
  • Allocate an appropriate amount of time to complete each task correctly and hold yourself accountable to the schedule
  • Schedule realistic time each week to complete the administrative work required to run your practice
  • Carve out time on your calendar for documentation work each week as that can be particularly time-consuming
  • Schedule time for billing and new client calls, if needed
  • Reallocate time to other practice tasks like marketing, etc. for weeks that don’t require the scheduled time
  • Identify when new clients are most likely to come in for initial visits, and block that time off for new clients only
  • Reserve after work slots for self-pay clients who prefer that time period
  • Schedule reminders to follow up on any workflow tasks started in a mobile platform

Achieving a work-life balance

Just like there are finite hours in the day, your mental bandwidth is also fixed. And sessions don’t end when the client leaves the room — your work on that session may have just started.

Your clients aren’t the only ones in your life who deserve your time and attention. At the very least, you have one other incredibly important person to take care of — you.

Money doesn’t grow on trees and there’s also no magical formula to add extra hours to your 24-hour day. There’s a good reason the term is work-life balance. 

There is a silver lining here — it’s your decision. As a private practitioner, you determine your hours and caseload. 

If the financial health of your practice concerns you, consider these resources for suggestions and solutions:

Get the admin help you need

A proven way to help manage the clients you have is to work with a quality EHR. Using a fully integrated platform will save time, which as a private practitioner is your most valuable resource.

Enjoy a free 30-day trial of SimplePractice  to see how its integration and flexibility lighten your administrative burden.

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GoFundMe Creates Small Business Relief Initiative for Companies Affected by Coronavirus

Image credit: VectorStory | Getty Images

Thousands, if not millions, of businesses across America have already been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. That’s why GoFundMe created its Coronavirus Small Business Relief Initiative, which the company claims “is intended to support our friends and neighbors at local businesses facing financial loss from the COVID-19 pandemic. Make a difference today by donating or starting a small business fundraiser.”

So, if you own a business, it might be time to set up a GoFundMe that can help. If you love a local company that’s struggling right now, you can check the website to see whether you can donate or whether you might be able to start a GoFundMe for that business. If you’re simply in a giving mood, here are three businesses asking for donations right now.

1. Seattle Hospitality Emergency Fund (Seattle)

“As we all come to terms with the health crisis here in Seattle,” write fundraising organizers Jessica Tousignant and Candace Whitney Morris, “our vibrant and essential hospitality industry workers are also staring down the possibility of economic catastrophe. Seattle hospitality workers currently have the ability to apply for full or partial unemployment, and our city is working to pass a ban on evictions during this time.”

This fund is intended for Seattle-based workers whose hours have been cut due to the crisis and are not otherwise being compensated. 

2. Lettuce Employee Emergency Relief Fund (Chicago)

“Instead of supporting us,” write Lettuce co-founders and siblings RJ, Jerrod and Molly Melman, who were previously featured on Entrepreneur. “We would prefer that you help support all of our amazing employees that need the most assistance during the crisis. Our team has set up The Lettuce Entertain You Employee Emergency Relief Fund to contribute to the financial support of our Lettuce team members during this national health emergency. Our family has set aside $1 million to get this fund started.” 

3. Miami Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (Miami)

This fund’s focus is, according to GoFundMe organizers Felix Bendersky and Soraya Kilgore, “raising awareness and funds to provide grants to full-time restaurant workers in Miami-Dade County who are dependent on hourly wages (plus many who rely on tips) to cover basic living expenses and provide for their families.”

Bendersky and Kilgore say they want to provide “$250 grants to as many qualifying grantees as possible with 100% of donations (less GoFundMe standard fees) going directly to those affected.” 

These businesses are, of course, just the tip of the iceberg: there are already more than 100,000 entries in the GoFundMe Coronavirus Small Business Relief Initiative. Take a look here to find the rest.

Reference Link:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/348238

How To Promote Your Business

Written by  Kayla Carmicheal

Okay, okay, I’ll admit it — to waste time, I start a Google search query and let the suggestions do the rest, hoping to fall into a rabbit hole of interesting facts.

For instance, today’s lucky search query was “How many businesses”, and I ended up going with “…does Shaq own” (let’s just say, I was shocked to see the result.)

Here’s what I figured out: Shaquille O’Neal is the joint owner of over 150 Five Guys restaurants, 17 Auntie Annie’s Pretzels restaurants, over 100 car washes, 40 fitness centers, a mall, a movie theater, and a few Vegas nightclubs.

With over 30 million businesses just in the United States (and 300 owned by Shaq alone), it’s easy to slip into panic mode if you work for a small start-up. How are you supposed to attract customers when there’s so much competition?

You might feel like you’re constantly throwing darts at the wall and seeing what sticks in the realm of business promotion. Or, perhaps you’ve hit a plateau with traffic and you’re wondering how you can boost lead generation.

Let’s talk about how to promote your business.

How to Promote Your Business

  1. Craft a brand image to stick out among the crowd.
  2. Know your audience and what they respond to.
  3. Start using social media to expand your reach.
  4. Make use of an email marketing strategy.
  5. Engage with your audience to build community.
  6. Optimize your content to get found.

Regardless of the motivation, we’ve provided some tools and tips to help you reach new customers and expand brand awareness. In the next section, we’re going to provide some tips you can use to promote your business.

1. Craft a brand image to stick out among the crowd.

Seth Godin once said, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

Essentially, a brand image is your identifier — how you stick in the heads of the public. It’s constructed from your business values, how you sell, and the feelings you want to evoke when customers interact with your products.

A brand identity is what your audience recognizes is unique to your business — whether it be reputation, a tagline, a logo, or a product. These factors work together to create your brand’s holistic identity.

For example, if you think about one of your favorite businesses, you can identify things about it, right? How the products make you feel, what the logo looks like, why you’re a customer, and what the business’s purpose is.

Take Spotify, a company with a strong brand identity. When I think of Spotify, I think of their green logo, their accessibility as a streaming service, how the audio quality keeps me a loyal customer, and their tagline: “Music for everyone.”

To create brand identity, think about how you want to create credibility, establish your business in your industry, and incorporate your mission into all your communication materials. You can use marketing tools like HubSpot’s branding resources to help you along the way.

Brand identity helps you stay in the mind of customers. If they forget, for instance, your company name, they can still identify you by different factors of your identity, like your logo.

2. Know your audience and what they respond to.

Having a good idea of your audience helps you identify their desires and challenges. Also, knowing your audience establishes brand loyalty and makes them more likely to be an advocate of your brand to others.

To find your audience, start by creating a buyer persona, if you don’t have one. Buyer personas are fictionalized versions of your ideal customer that identifies their challenges and desires. Additionally, you can look over data you’ve collected to gain a more holistic idea of how your audience responds to your business so far.

With tools like HubSpot’s marketing software, you can create surveys, segment your audience, and monitor the feedback and comments customers are leaving, all in one place. This keeps your data accessible, automated, and accurate.

Creating content with your customers in mind delights them, and delighted customers love to share their favorite brands with the world, promoting your business through word of mouth marketing. That starts with knowing your audience.

3. Start using social media to expand your reach.

I’ve found most of my current favorite brands on social media — and it’s usually from stumbling upon a post or tweet that makes me feel connected to the brand.

Social media marketing is important to include in promotion efforts because it’s how you can interact with your audience. Additionally, you can boost brand awareness, monitor competitor strategy and identify what works for them, and generate leads. If you don’t have a social media account, it’s a good idea to make one as soon as possible.

You might’ve already made some social media accounts, but are unsure of how to use them to promote your business. Keep in mind that different platforms are best for different business goals.

For example, Twitter’s audience is primarily millennials, impacts both B2B and B2C industries, and is best for customer service. Alternatively, LinkedIn has an older audience (working professionals), impacts the B2B industry, and is best for fostering professional relationships and developing business goals.

By knowing this information, ideally you’re able to correctly identify how each social network can help you achieve one subset of your overall marketing goals and reach your intended audience(s) on whichever platforms they prefer.

To organize your business goals, identify how you want social media to accomplish promoting your business and build a strategy to help.

Contents of a social media strategy should include unique content, a schedule, data collection, and determining which platforms you’ll focus on.

Once you find your audience on social media and cater to their interests with your content, you can engage with them on a personal level and begin to build your community. If you’re confused about how to do that, visit our crash course on social media marketing.

4. Make use of an email marketing strategy.

An email marketing strategy can be a vehicle for promoting exciting things about your brand to segmented audiences that have shown an interest in your brand. Email marketing shares (and gets the word out about) content your audience will see as valuable, such as exclusive offers, discount codes, and pre-sales for new products.

Similarly, on the lead-building side, email marketing can invite potential subscribers to exchange their information on a form to obtain valuable content, like an ebook for free. Then, you can nurture those leads by sending delightful content that helps your audience achieve their goals.

How do you get started preparing an email marketing strategy? The easiest way is to use a content management system (CMS) with tools that help you build and monitor email lists. For example, HubSpot’s email marketing software allows users to create and manage lists. 

5. Engage with your audience to build community.

Engaging with your audience is one of the most effective ways to do audience research. What better way to know what makes your audience tick than to ask them?

Audience engagement can give you fruitful insights into how to make campaigns that will serve as effective promotion, while making your prospects feel connected to your brand.

There are a myriad of ways you can go about engaging with audiences. If you’ve been answering comments, asking questions that invite participation, and re-posting user-generated content on social media, you’re already off to a great start. These tactics can get you into the groove of communicating with audiences in a way that resonates with them.

You can also encourage email subscribers to leave a net promoter score of your business so you can spot ways to improve upon the customer experience, and ultimately lead to satisfied customers recommending your service to a friend.

In a similar fashion, try engaging with your industry to promote your business. Writing a guest post for a competitor’s blog and plugging your business is a great way to grow your audience.

And for those who don’t have stage fright, hosting a webinar about an industry topic or speaking at a local university about your career boosts your credibility and generates leads. (Remember LinkedIn — networking on the platform can help you find industry professionals and university contacts).

6. Optimize your content to get found.

Search engine optimization (SEO), in a nutshell, helps your business’s content get found on Google. Optimizing your website for search can bring it out of a traffic plateau and generate leads.

A great thing about SEO is that there are things you can do right now to improve it. For instance, one tactic you can do to improve SEO is adding alt text to images. Alt-text is a short description that tells Google what’s going on in the image.

Developing a robust SEO strategy is key to making sure your business is being found by the right audiences. For instance, if your business develops sales software, you want to be on the search engine results page (SERP) for those searching “sales software”.

SEO isn’t a quick fix to promote your business. It does take time to target keywords, create CTAs, and aim for featured snippets. Even so, optimizing content has a huge payoff. Plus, it’s 2020 — there’s SEO software tools to help you begin the process.

If you’re short on time but want a larger overview of SEO, (and how HubSpot learned to master it), check out these 13 critical SEO tips.

Strategies to promote your business are in reach, and with proper planning and execution, you can expand your reach to larger audiences. Not every business needs a Shaq in order to thrive — just patience, knowledge about your business and audience, and consistency.

Remember that not every success story is an overnight one. Your business grows over time, and so will your audience if you’re approaching them in the right way. I can’t wait for your business to be the one I fall in love with next.

Business Networking Mistakes to Avoid

Many entrepreneurs rightly see networking as a vital part of business-building – but of course, we sometimes get it wrong!

When I started my own business I knew I’d need to maximize my networking in order to achieve the growth I needed. In the process I made mistakes that I’ve learned from.  Let me share the hard-won lessons with you!

Failing to practice your pitch:
A pitch that goes on and on will bore you listener and lose them.

Work on a snappy pitch that describes what you do and what you offer, in 10 words or less.  Add a personal relatable story about how what you do has made a difference for someone, and what you are looking for from your networking colleagues.  Your aim is to grab their interest and encourage them to want to approach you to know more, and for them to know who they can refer to you.

Get feedback beforehand on your content and delivery from colleagues you trust, and practice, practice, practice to ensure you don’t overrun the time you are given.

Failing to rein in your pushiness:
The line between passion and pushiness is a fine one.  Listen to others, be polite, friendly, approachable, and do share your passion because people will buy into that. Avoid being evangelical and desperate as this definitely turn people off.

Underselling yourself and your business:

Unfortunately, lots of people will try and get you to discount or give away your product/service for free. Big Mistake!

Counter this by researching the market rate, knowing your value and what added value you bring, and respecting yourself. Stick to your guns regarding price, and they will appreciate you.  If they don’t, move on and find someone who does – don’t compromise on your worth.

Sharing your negativity:

It’s important to accept that your networking colleagues are simply not interested in your business problems. No one wants to hear that your business is struggling – and no one wants to buy from a struggling business.

Not showing interest in others:
When you approach other networkers, show genuine interest in them and what they do before even mentioning what you do.  Ask after them, find out what they are up to, how you can help them….  And then, by remembering little details they’ve told you, like a pitch they’ve gone for, or where they’ve been on holiday, and mentioning it the next time you’re in contact, or even sending them a Facebook or LinkedIn message on their birthday, you build rapport and connection.  Because without connection, they will quite simply never buy from you or refer you. It takes time – but the payoff makes it worthwhile.

On the other hand, do share the lessons you’ve learned along the way, and ask for advice, as this will help you become relatable and build connection.

Failing to follow up:
It’s up to you to make contact after connecting, and arrange a coffee and chat to get to know each other better and discover how you can support one other.

Connections are made at the network meeting, relationships are built outside of it.  Get their permission to go on your mailing list, invite them into your Facebook group, connect with them on LinkedIn.  These are all ways for them to remember you and for you to remain at the forefront of their mind when they are ready to buy your product/service or refer you.  Remember, “the fortune’s in the follow up.”

Delivering an average service:
There’s probably lots of people or companies doing what you do, so why should they buy from you and not your competitor? 

What differentiates you from everyone else out there?  What’s your unique selling point (USP)? 

What makes you stand out from the crowd? 

Alongside building relationships, you need to go above and beyond with your customer service and deliver real value. This will make you memorable. And don’t be afraid to ask them for a testimonial for your website and at the next networking meeting!

In summary:  Putting relationships first and business second will help you make the most of your long-term networking.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sue Fish is from Toastmasters International, a non-profit educational organisation that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the organisation’s membership exceeds 352,000 in more than 16,400 clubs in 141 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds become more confident in front of an audience. There are more than 300 clubs in the UK and Ireland with over 7,500 members.

To find your local club: www.toastmasters.org  

Follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.

[Tonight] How These 4 Top-Earners Create Instant Profits! 

I wanted to make sure you heard about the training that’s happening TONIGHT @ 9PM EST

4 of the top home business leaders are coming out, for one special night… to show YOU how they create surges of cashflow in their businesses.

Money you can earn and spend THIS WEEK!  

These are people in the trenches, doing it every single day, and they hold the secrets we want to know. 

Register below now while you still can! 

= => http://sremeikis.weeklymarketingwebinars.org/

Here’s some of what they’ll reveal…

* How even a brand new person with very little knowledge or skill-set can still get paid today… we’ll prove it!

* The ‘Quick Cash Fundamentals’ that allow top earners to create surges of cashflow whenever you want.

* 4 Top Earners EXPOSE their best money making secrets so you can get in profit as early as this week!

* Exactly what we’d do if we were BRAND NEW with no audience… and had to earn an extra $500 this week.

* And much more! 

If you want money now (instead of 3 to 5 years down the road) that you can use to pay your bills today…

Then this is where you need to be…

= => http://sremeikis.weeklymarketingwebinars.org/

See ya Tonight! 

Sharon R. 😉