5 Things to do when your therapy practice is slow
When I teach my Nuts and Bolts of Private Practice one of the things I talk a bit about is managing your practice anxiety. No matter how long you have been in practice there will be ebbs and flows. Sometimes those ebbs will feel really scary and overwhelming and send you messages like “Oh my. I am going to have to go back and get a real job again.” It is important that we practice not from a place of fear but instead a place of peace. If we allow ourselves to get fearful about our practices that will lead to making decisions out of that fear. Those decisions tend to be bad. We accept a client out of desperation rather than because they are one of our ideal clients. Almost always there will be regret later. So here are 5 suggestions to cope.
- Put it into perspective. It can be helpful to track weekly client counts and keep that to refer back to over time. We have a way of forgetting that we have been through certain experiences before. Going back and looking at a spreadsheet of income and number can calm that thought and remind us that we have been through it before.
- Consider using the time to relax. I know it feels counter intuitive to relax when our practice is struggling. However, fighting the struggle doesn’t help. Using the time to take care of things around the house or increasing self-care can help energize you for the clients that will come.
- Up your networking. You should be regularly reaching out to other therapists and care providers and have a coffee date. But most of us don’t do this well. Especially when business is good. When business is slow it is a good time to get it in gear and make a bunch of coffee dates.
- Take care of some of the back office tasks. Is your shredding up to date? Does your office need a refresh? All of your forms copied? Blogs written? Take care of all of those tasks. You will feel a sense of accomplishment even if you aren’t getting paid for the tasks.
- Do one marketing thing that is out of your comfort zone. If you are an introvert this means doing something that involves contact with other humans. If you are an extrovert perhaps it is writing a blog post. Think about one of those things you have been putting off forever and take care of it. In order to build successful practices, we need to push ourselves sometimes. When things are slow is a good time to do this.