Let’s talk about what I like to call the popping point in practice building.
See there is this moment when you first start out in building your practice that the only thing on your mind is “How can I get enough clients?”
“How can I get enough clients to leave this full time job?”
“How can I get enough to leave the agency that I am working for behind?”
“How can I get enough clients to comfortably take a two week vacation and not worry about my ongoing overhead costs?”
It’s like, I’ve set up the infrastructure to build this practice, now it’s time to fill it…and if all goes well…that is exactly what you do. You fill your practice to the point where another new and beautiful problem starts to creep up. Slowly you get to the point that clients are calling and the day is full and you have clients back to back and you have so many clients back to back that you are at the point where you are about to burst. You are seeing so many clients a week that you can’t see anymore clients…but the calls keep on coming. You have done such a great job of creating momentum in your practice…the marketing engine is rolling and churning new clients towards you constantly. Eventually you find yourself at capacity. But even then,the engine does not slow down.
Most folks find themselves asking, “How am I going to handle all of this growth I have created?”
Some people solve it by creating a wait list…and that might work for you as the practice owner, but where does that leave those clients that need support right away? Others say…”you know what I’ll do…I will expand my hours, I will just see more clients until I get over the hump”. The only thing is the hump is broader than you think. You may have actually created a new normal in your business and will not see the volume decrease significantly if you keep doing what you are doing.
The truth is you can solve this beautiful problem one of two ways.
Prune One solution is to begin pruning your practice, just like you would a bonsai tree. Small, strategic cuts that allow you to siphon some of the air out of this balloon. It starts with getting very clear about what kinds of clients you want to see and which insurance companies you most enjoy working with. You can become more selective with your niche and fine tune it further to only working with a smaller section of clients. As for the overflow, you can connect begin to network with other providers in the area and send some of the overflow to other practices.
Repot You can welcome that sense of increase and growth and repot your practice by making the big leap from solo to a group. Now..I know that is scary..I am not going to say that this was an easy shift to make. It means you are responsible for the financial well-being of other. It means you are not going to be the one seeing every client that comes in the practice how can you truly attest to the quality of what is going on if you are not there. Its scary because now instead of just managing yourself and your own process, you have to build out systems and infrastructure to create processes that work for others as well. But if you are up for the challenge, it can be so very worth it. You can build something that will have an even broader impact on the clients, the community and the clinicians in your area that are looking to provide services but don’t want the stress and additional work of managing the overhead.
Either route you choose, I just want to encourage you to see what is happening as a sign of growth and embrace it. Be empowered to make the choice that feels right for you…Are we pruning the bonsai or are we repotting into larger plant that has even more room to grow?