8 Things Successful Group Practice Owners Have In Common

By Maureen Werrbach, LCPC on October 31, 2018
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Have you ever wondered what makes a group practice successful?

This is one of the most common questions I get when coaching new and established group practice owners. I’ve worked with and talked to thousands of group practice owners from around the globe and found some common threads among the owners of large, successful practices.

Here are 8 things we have in common.


1. We Delegate

We knew we couldn’t do it all. And the sooner we figured that out, the sooner our businesses began to flourish. We delegate billing, answering phones, payroll, supervision, social media management, marketing, and more. Delegation is one of the hallmarks of a successful businessperson.

2. We Have (Streamlined) Systems in Place

The larger your group practice, the more vital it is to have systems set up. A group practice without systems in place will look and feel chaotic to both the clinicians and clients. Systems you should streamline include: the client journey (from initial call to termination); the group practice workflow; administrative and clinical responsibilities (i.e., who does what within the practice); billing through an EHR; and reception (scheduling new clients and notifying them of benefit details).

3. We Have Multiple People in Leadership Positions

Going back to point #1, we can’t do it all and we know it. When we lift others into leadership positions, it not only offers us support as practice owners, but it also provides opportunities for clinicians and staff members to grow within the practice.

4. We Facilitate and Promote Feedback Between Management and Staff

Although it’s a bit more difficult and something most people have to work on, the most successful group practice owners often have high clinician retention. Part of the reason is that we encourage our staff to provide us with feedback, and we take that feedback seriously. We don’t only offer them feedback, but we expect it from them first. That is how you build trust within your business.

5. We Manage Business Finances Effectively

Although this seems obvious, many group practice owners operate their business finances from a “pay my clinicians, pay my bills, take what’s left over” perspective. Doing this not only hinders your business’ growth, but is also anxiety-provoking. Successful group practice owners have a financial system in place, using money management techniques like Profit First or You Need a Budget.

6. We Have a Business Plan

We know what steps to take next in our group practices because we have a business plan laid out. We don’t make decisions that aren’t fully thought out or based in desperation. We’ve taken the time needed to look at our group practices holistically and make purposeful decisions.

7. We Have a Business Brand

We have consistency. Consistency in color, words, marketing materials, and office decor. We have a mission, vision, and values that are interwoven into our brand, so clients and clinicians know what to expect and can come to know, like, and trust us.

8. We Spend Time on Business Growth

We’ve delegated enough in our businesses that most of our time is spent on designing a group practice that fits our business vision and plan. We aren’t caught in a never-ending cycle of seeing 20+ clients, managing staff, emailing, supervising, emailing some more, supervising some more, and putting out fires. We have dedicated, ample time to look at key metrics in our group practice and make practical and purposeful decisions that help grow our businesses.

Tracking is a crucial component of business growth because it lets you know what to do more of, what to do less of, and what to do next. I track intake calls (how many come in, how many are scheduled, and how many show up to the first session), clinician retention rates, monthly revenue, average session rates, and where referrals come from. This helps me know what needs to be fixed, updated, or changed, and tells me what things I need to look into more deeply.

Now that you know what successful group practice owners have in common, what things are you needing to focus on?

* The content of this post is intended to serve as general advice and information. It is not to be taken as legal advice and may not account for all rules and regulations in every jurisdiction. For legal advice, please contact an attorney.

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