The new year is here, and along with it the ubiquitous, time-honored resolutions to lose weight, get in shape, read a great novel, volunteer more, and stash away more in your piggy bank. This year, why not take a novel approach by incorporating your resolutions in your business practice.
As we are already fast approaching the end of January, now is the time to set your professional business goals for the year. Start by taking stock: what worked for you last year, what didn't, and what can you change? Turn your resolutions into a reality by making a plan that makes sense for your practice. Here are a few ideas to help you make 2014 the best year to date for your practice:
- Start your day happy.Waking up with a smile can kick start your day and make everything at the office more manageable. First, get rid of that shocking buzzer alarm and replace it with a favorite morning wake up song. Next, when your alarm song goes off at 6am, don't jump out of bed just yet. Enjoy the song while you remain in bed with your eyes closed, letting the music wake you up slowly. If you have an extra 5 minutes, let the song repeat while you relax before rolling out of bed. Adopt these 2 small, but blissful, changes to your morning routine, and you may be amazed at the impact on your attitude and approach to the day.
- Focus on ONE new way to way to attract clients. Building a thriving practice often means mastering creative ways to attract new clients. Running a practice, however, means that your time is extremely limited. Make the most of your time by focusing your efforts on opening up only one new marketing channel that you have been wanting to try.
- Overcome writer's block. If you are already hosting your own blog, send out a monthly newsletter, or if you are active on social media platforms with a Facebook business page, Twitter, or LinkedIn, consider a thematic approach to writing. Before sitting down to type a new entry, look at your calendar and match your topic with the upcoming national holiday or monthly theme that is right around the corner. For example, January is a month full of resolutions. Focusing on popular topics, like weight loss, overcoming addictions, and healthier eating habits, may be just the type of article or post that your clients (and prospective clients) will stop to read. They may even find it engaging enough to repost it, share it, pin it, and re-tweet it, ultimately spreading your message for you.
- Get organized. Find creative ways to organize your office, paperwork, files, schedule, client appointment reminders, and anything else that needs organizing. There are so many tools available that can help you accomplish this goal. Having 15 different ways to organize 15 different tasks is daunting. Putting everything in 1 place results in organization, and renders peace of mind. For example, if you take insurance, consider processing those claims electronically from one place, and eliminate the need to visit multiple websites submitting claims to various insurance payers, or addressing CMS-1500 forms for numerous mailings. Research web-based therapist practice management software to determine which provides the best tools to organize your practice, including a systemized intake process for a paperless office, a scheduling platform, automated reminders, insurance processing capabilities, a client accounting interface, digitized client records, and integrated credit card processing.
- Find apps that make your life easier. Working on the go is not a foreign concept when you own or manage a practice. Using phone apps can help you get things done when you don't have access to your office computer. Apps for Facebook, Twitter , Linked In, Pinterest, and other social media are available for your smartphone. If you market on more than one social media site, add HootSuite to manage them all in one place. Expensify, rated as the "Best Business Travel App" by Business Insider, helps you track your business expenses and mileage. You can even take a picture of a receipt and store it on your Expensify account instead of keeping paper receipts which end up rolling around your car or overstuffing your wallet.
- Verify insurance coverage. If you accept insurance, you may have already discovered some major changes to the 2014 coverage for some of your clients. Reviewing deductibles and verifying co-payments of those insurance clients could save you headaches and costly collection problems in the future.
Also in this issue: COMING SOON: New Therapist Directory
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