57 Transcript

Dr. Jeremy Sharp Transcripts Leave a Comment

[00:00:00] Hey y’all, welcome to The Testing Psychologist podcast, episode 57, and Summer Sprint Series #1.

Hey, before we jump into it, I want to give you a heads-up that this is a big couple of weeks. I’ve been working on two different projects that I think will be cool and helpful for a lot of you out there. This is a teaser announcement, but stay tuned. I’m going to give updates in each of these Summer Sprint Series podcasts over the next few days or a week or so, and let you know what’s going on with these projects. So stay tuned.

All right, y’all. Welcome back. This is Dr. Jeremy Sharp. It’s been a little while since [00:01:00] I have released a podcast. Some of that was by design. Some of that was not. I’m not a person who typically prerecords a ton of podcasts to release them if I’m out of town. Sometimes I’ll do that, but not usually.

Our family had a little bit of a forced vacation here recently when our dishwasher leaked, flooded our floors, and ruined our hardwood floors on the first floor of our house. So we had to get out of the house for a little while and take an impromptu vacation, which turned out to be cool. I had a really good time with the kids up on the mountains here and then came back down to Denver and took them to a water park and the children’s museum. It was super fun.

I’m not usually a person that rolls well with changes. So this is a good practice for me to [00:02:00] get out of my comfort zone and go with it. So that was part of the absence of podcasts. I was out of town and doing a lot of work to make sure everything went well with our house repair. But I’m back.

Today is Summer Sprint Series #1. The Summer Sprint is a series of podcasts. It’s going to be 4 podcasts where I’m going to be talking about different aspects of the business to help get you on track for the fall and move your practice along to hopefully level up a little bit.

Today, the thing that I am talking about is establishing a little bit of a foundation and thinking about a loose business plan. I’ve gotten a lot of questions in the Facebook group about when to grow, when to expand, when to hire, and that kind of thing. So this is setting the foundation for [00:03:00] growth and trying to figure out if you do want to grow or not.

My good friend Maureen Werrbach from The Group Practice Exchange has a cool resource. It’s a flow chart to decide if growth is in your business plan or not. I’ll put that in the show notes and make sure that y’all can access that. It goes into a ton of detail about the decision-making process, but I’m going to do a little bit of an informal version of that here just to get you thinking about whether or not you want to grow, and if that is something that’s in your business plan or not.

When I think about business planning, I’m not talking about a lengthy document. I mean, some business plans can be super detailed and go into all the nuances with finances, growth, marketing, and whatnot. That’s not really what I’m talking about. I’m more talking about visioning, I suppose.

When I think about visioning, there are a few questions that I’d [00:04:00] like to try and answer. One is thinking about your practice in terms of the future. If you’re listening and if you’re interested, I’m guessing that you have maybe considered the idea of growth. It seems like a lot of you have.

To think about this, I like to do a little bit of informal visioning. So, I sit down and I start with a five-year vision. So if you think about your practice in five years, what is going on? Who’s in it? What are you doing? How much are you working? How much are you making? Where is it? All those sorts of questions are great to start to think about. Time flies. One thing that I’ve learned over the course of being in business for 10 years is that you have to start planning much earlier than you think to make things happen.

You might say to yourself, Oh, five years, that’s forever. How am I supposed to know? But that’s just two cycles of[00:05:00] hiring and maybe one lease agreement term. So it goes by fast. So think about where you see yourself in five years.

Then from there, I like to walk my way backward. And the next stop on that journey is thinking about three years. So what’s going on in three years? How is that different from where you’re at right now?

Once you’re at three years, we can start to zero in a bit on things that can change between now and then. So just start to get an idea of what’s happening for you three years down the road. Again, the same questions, how much are you working? How much are you making? What does your schedule look like? Who’s with you or not with you? Where are you at?

At that point, I think it’s safe to walk backward a little bit more and think about your one-year plan. This is where you can make some changes. One year [00:06:00] flashes by. So this is where you can start to zero in on what needs to happen to start moving forward. So, think about where are you in one year, where would you like to be, how much would you like to make, are you working the same as now, or would you like to work a little less or a little more, different clients, so on and so forth.

As you do those visioning exercises, you can step back and say okay, what are the consistencies here? What are the major changes from one year to three years to five years? And starts to get a picture of what needs to happen.

This process is I think borrowed from the book, The ONE Thing. The idea here is that you start with a really big goal and you start and you walk backward to a shorter-term goal and so on and so forth till you get to where you’re at right now. And you can say to yourself, [00:07:00] what is the one thing that I need to do to move forward to reach the next goal? And it clarifies things a little bit.

We can go into more detail with that perhaps on a separate podcast, but for today, I want to get you thinking about where you’re going to be a little way down the road and then walk that back and see how that translates to what you’re doing right now.

So a little bit of visioning, I think, if we’re talking about growth we have to think about if growth would even be helpful or if it’s needed. So I would think about why you want to grow, certainly. Then I would also jump into analyzing the market a little bit.

I believe most of the time it’s an if you build it, they will come kind of thing. However, the exception to that is hiring. I don’t think you should hire people unless you have a demand for the service that they are going to [00:08:00] provide. So that’s the first part here is doing a little bit of market research. Look around and figure out, is there a need in your community for the services you’d like to offer?

One way to know that is if you have a waitlist. Another way is if you are booked significantly far out pretty consistently. When I say consistently, I think that we’re looking at at least a six-month cycle where your waitlist or how far out you’re booking remains about the same just to account for the ups and downs in practice. A year would be preferable, but I think six months is doable. So if you know that you’ve consistently been booked out for 3, 4, 5, or 6 months, that’s a pretty good sign that there’s going to be business for someone you bring on.

Another visioning piece or thing to think through is how would you market these new clinicians. [00:09:00] Sometimes when we’re in solo practice, we can build a practice pretty easily by word of mouth, but when you start to bring folks on, you might have to do a little bit of marketing. So make sure that you have the means and the knowledge to do that. 

I’ve done several podcasts on marketing so you could certainly look at those, and there are some other resources out there that can help as well. Lots of general marketing resources.

The third thing you might think about is do you have office space for anyone that you might hire. This is something that can get overlooked. You could get excited and start to bring folks on and then realize that you need space, especially for testing. You’ll need At least one really big office where you can fit a testing desk and a conversation space or 2 smaller offices. Some folks that I’ve worked with have a 3-office suite where they have two [00:10:00] conversational offices and then a shared room that’s dedicated just to testing. There are lots of ways to do that, but you want to make sure to think through that. Do you have the space for your new hires?

A final piece that you want to think about in this business planning/visioning is if you take insurance, you need to plan pretty far ahead in the future. Any new hire that you bring on is going to take let’s say, a conservative estimate would be about six months from start to finish to credential with an insurance panel. So you need to have a plan for what to do with them in the meantime. Maybe they do reduce cost sliding scale cash evals. You can perhaps bill technician codes or psychometrist codes and let them just do testing and make some money that way while they’re getting paneled for themselves. But that’s one thing to think about too. You’ll need to plan about six months to allow time for insurance credentialing.

[00:11:00] So quick-hitting, fast tips on visioning and thinking about whether growth is in your business plan. Just to recap you want to:

1. Figure out if this is even jives with who you are and what you want to do.

2. Sit down and think about where you’re at five years from now, three years from now, one year from now, and then walk that back to what are some things, what’s one thing, what’re two things that you could maybe start working on right now to move you toward those goals.

3. The third thing that you want to think about is some specific questions. Is there a need for the services you’re going to offer? How would you market those services if you need to? And do you have office space for anyone that you might bring on?

4. With the bonus tip of planning way down the road if you need to insurance credential.

[00:12:00] Thanks for listening again. This will be a series of quick episodes offering a few tips here and there to move the needle forward with some of your business plans.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of the episode, this is the first in the Summer Sprint Series and I have some big things coming up. So stay tuned. I’m going to announce one thing in each of these Summer Sprint Podcasts. So stay tuned, listen to each of them, and check out those announcements that are coming up. I have two cool things that I think y’all will love.

In the meantime, if you are thinking about starting a testing practice, you need to grow the practice that you already have, or maybe you’re looking to expand, I would love to help you out with that. You can go to the website, thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting [00:13:00] and learn all about coaching and what that might look like with me. I would love to help you out. If you have questions, we can set up a free phone call. We’ll talk for about 20 minutes, with no obligation at all, and figure out if consulting is right for you.

Last but not least, if you haven’t joined the Facebook group yet, we would love to have you. It’s The Testing Psychologist Community on Facebook. We’ve got about let me see, 1100 or 1200 people now talking about testing, business, case consultation, all sorts of good stuff. So if you haven’t joined us there, please do; The Testing Psychologist Community on Facebook.

I will talk with y’all in two days with the next episode of the Summer Sprint Series. Next episode we are going to be talking about where to find good hires. Once you’ve decided where you want to hire people, we’ll be [00:14:00] talking about where to find them.

Y’all take care. Enjoy the summer. Talk to you soon.

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