59 Transcript

Dr. Jeremy Sharp Transcripts Leave a Comment

[00:00:00] Hey y’all, welcome back to The Testing Psychologist podcast. This is episode #59 and Summer Sprint Series #3. If you haven’t checked out Summer Sprint #1 and #2, go back and listen to the past two episodes. I’m doing a little series on business development, visioning, and two other business topics to try to level up your practice a little bit.

Today in no 3, we’re going to be talking all about whether or not to hire an admin assistant or maybe a billing service. Spoiler. The answer is, do it*.

Before we jump in, also part of this summer series if you haven’t been listening, is an announcement every single episode. Today’s announcement, I’m also excited about, I don’t know what I’m most excited about. Last time I announced paperwork packets and the [00:01:00] psychometrist training manual. Today’s announcement is rolling out a men’s mastermind group with my good friend and colleague, John Clarke over at a Private Practice Workshop, rebranded to the John Clarke, which I’m still teasing him about.

Myself and John Clarke are going to be co-leading a men’s mastermind group for male mental health practitioners, psychologists, and therapists. It’s called the Legacy Project. We are so excited to put this together. It’s not testing specific obviously, but a lot of folks maybe don’t know that I led a men’s group for five years. I led a weekly men’s therapy group. I think that work is so powerful and it’s something that can be invaluable for men in this field.

So if you or anyone you know might be interested in [00:02:00] a men’s mental health mastermind group, check it out. You can check out the information and sign up or apply. We’re taking 6 guys to join this group. It’ll be online via Zoom. It’ll be a hot-seat model. You can get information there at thetestingpsychologist.com/legacy. And if you’re interested, you can apply. We’d love to have you.

All right. On to today’s episode about hiring admin staff.

All right. Jumping right into the topic of whether or not to hire admin staff. I teased in the beginning that the spoiler for this episode is yes, [00:03:00] yesterday, that’s when you should hire admin staff. I’m joking. There are two instances where it may not be totally appropriate, but in the vast majority of cases, I think that we wait way too long to hire admin staff.

The idea for this podcast came from a question in the Facebook group that specified how do I know if I have enough money to hire an admin person? And my answer to that is, I don’t think you can afford not to hire an admin person. Yes, we can get wrapped up in, Oh, do I have enough money to pay their salary? Is that going to drain my profit and so on and so forth? But here’s what I found with individuals who did not have admin staff. By admin staff, I mean a virtual assistant it could be an in-office person, it could be even an undergrad intern, but anyone who’s helping you [00:04:00] answer the phones, and then beyond that, making copies, mailing things, scheduling, scanning, so on and so forth.

The vast majority of us in solo practice, I was the very same way, miss a ton of phone calls when you’re in session because when you’re in solo practice, you spend most of your day in session and it’s hard to answer that phone. I would end up with a ton of voicemails and it was hard to call them back. And many times when I called people back, they had already found someone else. So there’s some good research out there around landing or closing or booking; a client if you can call back within a half hour of their message your likelihood of booking them greatly increases.

Even better than that, if you can have someone answering the phone, it’s going to skyrocket. [00:05:00] Even though we are specialists and hopefully there aren’t too many people doing what you do in your town, I think clients are still, there’s some degree of calling around trying to find someone. And if you answer that phone or have someone to answer that phone, the likelihood that you are going to get that client just by virtue of answering their phone call is really high.

So if you’re still worried about it, which is fair, I would have you default to our old friend, math. All you have to do is calculate the amount of money that you will make per client. So for an assessment, let’s say a full assessment, if you answer the phone, book that client, that’s, let’s say $1500 right there. So that client call is worth $1500.

How many hours of admin time will that pay for? Well, let’s put [00:06:00] it on the high end and say that you’re paying your admin $20 an hour. Some US-based virtual assistants are about $30 an hour. So right there, that gives you 50 to 70 hours a month of admin time just for one evaluation that they have booked. That’s fantastic.

One thing built into this is that we’re not hiring, I’m not saying you have to hire an admin full-time. If you’re a solo practitioner, I would say, go in the direction of a virtual assistant. It can be through a virtual assistant company like Virtual Staff Finder. I love them. Could be through the Productive Therapist, which is run by an acquaintance of mine and colleague here, Uriah Guilford who’s a therapist himself, and trains his VAs how to work for therapists.

So there are a couple of options, but the trick with a VA is that you are not paying for [00:07:00] full-time service. You are just paying for the amount of time they are spending on the phone with your clients. So that could be 7 minutes here, 3 minutes there, 8 minutes here. That time adds up certainly, but it’s not full-time. So you don’t have to leap in with a $4000 a month salary for an admin staff. So like I said, $1500 per eval, you’re going to get 50 to 70 hours of virtual assistant time. And that honestly, should last you two months at least when you’re starting out or if you have a solo practice. So I think it’s totally worth it.

Then you can think of it on the flip side, if you lose that money, then obviously, that’s not a good thing. And the likelihood is that that person is going to book you way more than one client every other month. So I think it’s totally worth it.

[00:08:00] The other side of this in terms of admin support is I think about in-office tasks. I’m a big fan of undergraduate interns for this kind of thing. If you live by a university, that’s a great resource. Many universities will have undergraduate classes where they have to do an internship and they can interview, you’ll have a pool to pick from and you can have undergraduate interns do these tasks around the office.

And you can, of course, enrich that experience as much as you would like for them, but they can do those easy things like mailing and faxing. They may even be able to sit at your front desk, greet clients, and check them in and things like that. So a big fan of that. Otherwise, I think about billing as a resource for your practice.

So again, when you’re first starting, I think that it is [00:09:00] valuable to have a billing service, especially if you take insurance. So, if you take insurance, they can do so much for you for a relatively low fee. The billing company we use, Practice Solutions, I will link to that in the show notes, Practice Solutions charges 5%. I know that we get in this mindset of not wanting to give up profit when we’re on our own, but 5% for a huge amount of time spent on the phone with insurance companies is super valuable. So I’ll think about a billing service.

If you don’t take insurance and you are just totally on top of getting your cash payments on the date of service, that’s fantastic. Maybe you don’t need a billing service. But if you do take insurance or you’re not so great about collecting payment from people, then a billing service can be really helpful.

Just to recap, [00:10:00] do you have the money to hire an admin or a billing company? My answer is yes, except in some very rare scenarios. That scenario I think is when you get to be a bigger practice and 5% of your revenue is enough to hire a full-time in-house billing person. So that would be, revenue certainly upwards of $60, 000 a month. So unless you’re there, I would think about it. Outsource, whatever you can. Those people are going to be far less expensive than you are. You are not going to pay any admin support staff $100, $150, or $200 an hour. So stop doing it yourself. You can afford it.

All right, y’all. We did it. Summer Sprint #3, should you hire admin or billing support? [00:11:00] Yes. Most of the time.

Thanks for listening as always. Like I announced at the beginning of the podcast, I’m rolling out a men’s mastermind group with my good friend, John Clarke, who is an amazing facilitator, wise beyond his years. I’m excited about it. We’re going to co-lead a men’s therapist mastermind group starting in August.

I’ll add the link in the show notes to sign up or apply. We’re taking six guys to join this group and explore business, health, family, and relationship legacy. It’s called the Legacy Project. It’s going to be powerful. So if you or anybody you know might be interested, head over to thetestingpsychologist.com/legacy, and you can get more information.

If you are interested in more testing-specific help, I am happy to work with you or [00:12:00] figure out if it would be good to work with you. So you can go to thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting and we can book a complimentary 20-minute phone call and talk about whether coaching is right for you.

If you are looking to grow your practice, start your practice, or make your practice thrive, any of those things, I’m happy to talk with you and see if coaching is the right fit. If it’s not, I will point you in the right direction. I promise.

Thanks for listening. The summer Sprint is coming to an end with the next episode. I will have another announcement. It’s going to be the availability of the paperwork packet. So listen for that. There’s going to be a discount code for podcast listeners. Y’all get first access to the paperwork packets. So definitely tune in if you are interested in that.

All right. Talk to you next time.

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