WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
Anyone who is thinking of starting a private practice or who has started a practice and needs a bit more guidance or support to make it the successful and self-sustaining business of their dreams. This program will be just as useful for a graduate student wanting to plan for a career in private practice in the future as it is for professionals in private practice that need help defining the practice, building it up further, or creating a stronger business plan -- and everyone in between!
WHO IS PRESENTING:
Casey Limmer, MSW, LCSW
Owner and CEO, Gateway Wellness Associates and St. Louis DBT, LLC
Casey has owned her own successful private practice since 2012 following a long career in non-profit community mental health settings. Her practice now employs or contracts over 10 therapy professionals and served nearly 300 clients this year alone. She has managed clinical teams, developed fully funded social programing, taught clinical courses at Washington University in St. Louis and -- perhaps her most unique qualification for presenting this workshop -- has contributed to her parent's book, Understanding Business, the #1 business textbook in the country for well over 25 years. Not many social workers get a 24/7 infusion of business knowledge throughout their lives. Casey brings her unique experiences, her discoveries about the remarkable similarities between being an effective therapist and being a successful entrepreneur, and her highly engaging teaching style together to help wellness professionals of all sorts find their inner business titan.
This is a five month-long course that meets once a month. Sessions will be billed even if you do not attend as you are investing in a course, not five stand alone workshops.
- $10/session ($50 total for all sessions) for current renters at Gateway Wellness Associates (Registration required - seating is not guaranteed unless reserved)
- $50/session ($250 total for all sessions) for attendees who do not currently rent at Gateway Wellness Associates
- $40/session for students ($200 total for all sessions) -- valid student ID must be presented
Participants who attend all five two-hour sessions will receive 10 CEUs upon completion of the course. Enrollment is limited to 25 participants.
BENEFITS OF TAKING THIS COURSE:
- Change the mindset that keeps you from reaching your professional and financial goals
- Create a business plan that acts as a powerful intention rather than a stagnant or stuffy document
- Learn about all the things they did not teach you in graduate school like:
- How to set up and run a private practice
- How to find the clients you WANT to work with and how to help those clients find you
- How to set fees and collect them
- How to market your business
- How to network and build a referral base
- How to diversify your services, add stability to your income, and grow a sustainable practice
- And more!
- Create a network amongst fellow students in your graduate program
- Gain necessary support from your cohort
- Between sessions homework and online discussion forum for consistent support, motivation, and accountability
I CAN READ ABOUT THIS STUFF IN A BOOK, SO WHY DO I NEED THIS CLASS?
Reason #1 -- Did you know the #1 reason most private practices fail is because the practitioner feels isolated, alone and without support or guidance? By starting or strengthening your practice alongside others, you create a cohort of people to lean on, get support from, bounce ideas off of and who will hold you accountable to taking each next step.
Reason #2 -- The road to success is paved for you -- why take the dirt path? Trying to build a business without support, guidance, and know-how of those who came before you just creates more work, stress, and frustration for yourself. Casey will candidly talk about the first practice she started and what she learned when she failed at it. She can tell you how she put those lessons to use when building her second, far more successful venture.
I WAS THINKING ABOUT HIRING A BUSINESS COACH. HOW IS THIS A BETTER OPTION?
A business coach knows about businesses - that is usually true. However, they may not know about private practice, wellness service provision, or ethical standards specific to social work, counseling or other wellness professions. A typical session cost for a business coach, especially one well-versed in private practice averages $300 per hour and often is held over the phone or Skype. This course is not only more cost-effective, it provides the face-to-face connections that wellness professionals provide and are most comfortable with.
Participants will be divided into small work groups based on their business/practice goals and areas of specialty. This program is tailored to YOU, not the masses!
SESSION 1: NOVEMBER 6, 2017
MINDSET MAKEOVER: GETTING MENTALLY PREPARED TO BE A BUSINESS OWNER
Cogito, ergo sum -- I think, therefore I am. Did you know that research has found evidence that successful entrepreneurs have a very specific set of beliefs? How you think about your practice will shape your feelings about it, determine how well you weather the natural ups and downs of the marketplace and influence how you convey your passions for your work to others, thus setting you apart from the crowd and making others want to refer to you. Using therapeutic techniques many of us are familiar with, we will explore what cognitive and behavioral barriers may exist between you and your ideal practice. We will conduct an inventory of strengths and challenges regarding attitudes toward your business or future business and work toward creating a more entrepreneurial mindset.
SESSION 2: DECEMBER 4, 2017
WHO ARE YOU AND WHY SHOULD PEOPLE PAY MONEY TO SEE YOU?
You know how we therapists are always telling people that they should learn about themselves and love themselves before others can really get to know and love them? Well, that goes for you and your business too. This session, we will be discussing your identity and that of your business. We will cover the issue of choosing to market with a specialization or as a generalist. We will discuss the pros and cons of each and begin to develop a business plan or vision that will eventually help define who you are as a business owner and how to make your practice stand out from the rest. This session, you will also identify trends in your area of interest and begin to incorporate those niche areas into your marketing.
SESSION 3: JANUARY 15, 2018
NETWORKING AND MARKETING YOURSELF (A.K.A. BUILDING A SUPPORT NETWORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS)
Most wellness professionals are amazing at caring for others and encourage others to share their best selves, their strengths and good qualities, with the world. But when is the last time you heard a social worker toot her own horn by telling you about all the lives she helped pull out of poverty? How many counselors do you know of who can willingly (without blushing) talk about the countless people who have stopped engaging in self-destructive behaviors because of the assistance he provided? For many of us, it is not in our nature to self-promote, but with networking and marketing being all about self-promotion, how do we uphold both our values of humility and worth? This can be done! This month, we will be talking about ways to communicate your professional value while preserving your personal values.
SESSION 4: FEBRUARY 5, 2018
FACING THE FEAR OF FINANCES!
Accounting, fee-setting, budgets, billing, collection, profitability . . . Many wellness professionals, after reading these words, are either on the verge of a panic attack or retreat into the “happy place” in their head where the only thing they have to do in their private practice is what they do best – see clients and help them live as happier, healthier versions of themselves. This session, we will be facing our fears and doing some non-evasive in-vivo exposure to practice-management.
This session, two facilitators will help you face your fears and find your footing in finances. Two experts for the price of one -- Look at you, already making smart financial decisions!
Casey Limmer will be doing some non-evasive in-vivo exposure to practice-management, by helping you:
- Figure out how to set your fees
- Have "the talk" with clients about payments
- Find profitable ways to add services to your practice
Leslie Greenman, author of “Dating our Money: A Women’s Guide to Confidence with Money and Men” will get us thinking about:
- Creating a financial action plan for saving in 2018
- Planning for retirement when, as small business owners, we don’t have the luxury of a 401k plan or matching programs
- How can we find money to save where there seems to be no money at the end of the month?
SESSION 5: MARCH 5, 2018
SMOOTH "SALE-ING": A STRENGTHS-BASED APPROACH TO BUSINESS
Cultivating your business means doing an honest assessment of what is going well and using your strengths to fortify those aspects that you would like to see improvement in. This session, we will be doing the always-popular strengths assessment on yourself and your business:
- Take credit for what has been going well.
- Put forth your ideas for growth goals.
- Identify trends in your area that are potentially untapped resources.
- Deal with competition in a way that strengthens you instead of depletes you.
- Reaffirm your balanced commitment to profitability and self-care (in other words, learn how to give yourself time off without feeling bad about it!)
- Share tons of solutions to common practice-building problems (like how to attract more ideal full-fee clients.)
- Learn when to streamline those parts of the practice that are better left to someone else (i.e. billing, scheduling, intakes…)
- Discuss ways of diversifying your practice and adding services to protect it from inevitable downturns in the market and protect yourself from becoming disenchanted with your business.
This session, we will be talking about how to prepare for weathering the ups and downs in your business and what to do when things start to slow. This includes risk reduction, creating economies of scale, watching for trends, attaining key certifications, and adding other services like coaching, training, or mentoring to your practice as a way of making it stronger and more risk resilient. Other topics of practice strengthening we will cover include:
- Attitude adjustments – send compassion to the practice when frustrations run high
- Business plan adjustments – changes in the marketplace may mean changes in business practice (insurance paneling, increasing targeted marketing, looking at trends, adding specializations)
- Relationship adjustments – when is it time to add another advisor or get rid of one who doesn’t get you?