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Preparing for the Unexpected in Your Private Practice with Mary Beth Simon

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 “The thing is that when something goes wrong, people do want to assist us. And if you have a team, they want to be there for you. Even if you have support people like accountants and bookkeepers, they do want to help you. They just need the tools to be able to support you.”

~Mary Beth Simon

Meet Mary Beth Simon

Mary Beth guides business owners to create contingency plans that prepare them and their teams for extended vacations or the unexpected, so the business can continue to run successfully in their absence. She founded Niche Partnership Consulting after seeing the turmoil that a lack of contingency planning can cause when a dear friend developed terminal cancer. Mary Beth is a national conference speaker, continuous learner and loves helping business owners find peace of mind since retiring from a 30+ year career at Vanguard. In her free time, she’s active in her local business community and loves being mom to her rescue dogs.

In this Episode...

Do you have contingency plans in place for your business? In this important conversation, guest Mary Beth Simon explains what it looks like for private practitioners to have contingency plans in place for their businesses. Mary Beth and Linzy discuss why it is wise for practice owners to have business contingency plans in place in addition to personal planning and how that process might look.

Mary Beth explains the four week process that her business uses to get practitioners ready with contingency plans for both their personal and professional affairs. She talks about how the business contingency plans can layer on top of the personal planning and how those plans can be a business asset in addition to a wise planning move in the case of the unexpected. 

Connect with Mary Beth

Get the FREE business contingency plan: https://nichepartnershipconsulting.net/linzy 

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FREE Money Momentum Challenge 

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In just 5-10 minutes each day, you’ll complete one small task that will help you move from money avoidance to financial clarity. And as a bonus for participating and completing the simple daily tasks, you’ll be entered into a draw to win daily prizes. Plus, one lucky therapist or health practitioner who completes the challenge will have a chance to win the grand prize of $500 cash!  

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Episode Transcript

Mary Beth [00:00:04] The thing is, when something goes wrong, people do want to assist us. And if you have a team, they want to be there for you. Even if you have support, people like accountants and bookkeepers. They do. They want to help you. They just need the tools to be able to support you. 

 

Linzy [00:00:29] Welcome to the Money Skills for Therapists podcast, where we answer this question How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills for Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. Today’s guest is Mary Beth. She guides business owners to create contingency plans that prepare them and their team for extended vacations or the unexpected so businesses can continue to run successfully in their absence. Today’s episode is a conversation about the things that we don’t like thinking about, which I think makes it very much on par with what we usually talk about here when we talk about money and those things that we don’t like thinking about is what if we get sick? What if we get injured? What if we need to step away to take care of somebody else in our life who gets sick or injured? Or what if we die? They’re not fun questions to think about, but I think we all know if we zoom out, that it’s worthwhile to start to put plans in place to make it possible for things to be taken care of if those things happened, when those things happen. The conversation with Mary Beth today really got my wheels turning, thinking about the importance of having a professional will, the importance of bringing other people into your business. So it’s not just all living in your head. And we get into how to actually make a contingency plan. What does a contingency plan actually look like? What is in it both for your personal life but also for your business? So if you have a hard time thinking about the what-ifs in your life and if you will want to have a plan in place so that your family and your clients are taken care of if you are not able to take care of them. This is going to be a great episode for you. Here’s my conversation with Mary Beth Simon. So Mary Beth, welcome to the podcast. 

 

Mary Beth [00:02:36] Thank you, Linzy. It’s a pleasure to be here with you. 

 

Linzy [00:02:39] I’m excited to have you here. And I’m excited partially because we’re going to talk about the things that people don’t like to talk and think about. 

 

Mary Beth [00:02:47] That is true. 

 

Linzy [00:02:47] Which I think is really important. Yes. Which I see is kind of part of, you know, the work that I’m trying to do in the world is get folks approaching and thinking about the inevitable things that we don’t like to think about. And you, I think, are on a similar mission with a slightly different focus. So mine is money, you know, yours is the hard stuff that happens in life. There’s contingency plans that we need. 

 

Mary Beth [00:03:09] Yeah. And the idea is to keep the money flowing. 

 

Linzy [00:03:12] Yeah, right, right, right. Okay. So we’re going to talk about- I talk about taxes, you talk about death and other things. So we’re going have a death and taxes conversation today. So folks listening. Take a breath, grab a warm drink. Let’s settle in to think about things that we don’t like to think about, but that are inevitable, or at least likely, which is that life happens. So, Mary Beth, you help folks think about contingency plans. So for the therapists who are listening, like what kind of contingency plans do they need to consider having in place? 

 

Mary Beth [00:03:42] Yeah. So I do a lot of work with therapists, so I can go pretty deep into some of the therapist concepts for contingency planning. So I always recommend that we start with a personal contingency plan and address the things about our legal and financial aspects just as a human being. Right? So that we’re talking about what happens to our family if something happens to us, what do they need to know? And then after the personal contingency plan is in place, then for business owners, the next step is to create a contingency plan for your business so that either someone who you trust professionally or personally will be able to step in and keep your business running if something happens to you, until you get back on your feet. Or know how to address what’s happening, how to understand your business, if you do die unexpectedly. Right? And then the third plan is called a Business Continuance Playbook, and that is about documenting the standard operating procedures – the SOPs – for your role as a business owner. Right. 

 

Linzy [00:05:01] So and just to, you know, really ground in the kinds of things we’re talking about, like what are the kinds of events that might happen that mean you need a contingency plan in place? 

 

Mary Beth [00:05:11] Yeah. So, I mean, one of the gifts of COVID was that it brought clarity to us about how people and business owners in particular can be fine and operating in their business one day and then hospitalized the next. Right. Especially, you know, in the early days of it. So, you know, anything can happen from the potential of having even a concussion where you can’t look at a computer, where you can’t read, you can’t be in a room with light, that kind of thing, something that will take time for that to heal. A car accident, an illness, you know, anything that would take you out of the game. All the way up to something that would take you out permanently. 

 

Linzy [00:06:04] So, like injury, illness, death, these are all things that we need to be- although we don’t like to think about them. And I think especially like, you know, for myself, like I’m a parent to a young child. So, like, these are things that are especially difficult and painful to think about, you know, when we’re I’m so relied on. But they’re the kinds of things that you can put a plan in place so at least you can mitigate some of the impact. 

 

Mary Beth [00:06:26] Yes. And the idea is that if something does happen that takes you out of the game temporarily, you want your business to be able to continue running. You want to continue getting paid, if that’s possible. You want bills to be paid so that things don’t go off the rails in a 2- to 4-week time period. Yes, that makes it even more difficult for you to come back into the business. 

 

Linzy [00:06:53] Totally. And what I think about, too, is if you do, I don’t know, have to be hospitalized. You- I mean, last week, my team, we had three different medical crises or emergencies in my team, just, you know, just being people in our early forties, I, you know, like I got injured and then my spouse had to go to hospital and then our other team member had to go to the hospital just like bizarre. But it’s like, that’s just life. What I think about too, is like if you have plans in place as you’re saying that like things are taken care of, even if you’re not in the business, you can actually rest and take care of yourself. You’re not worried about like, oh, God, there’s this thing that I had to do or there’s this bill that has to be paid or that only you can do because there’s no information for somebody else to be able to do it for you. 

 

Mary Beth [00:07:33] Yeah, and that’s such a great example because that really does happen. I have seen people in that position where they really they cannot rest. They cannot take care of themselves because of the worry that their family isn’t taking care of that. There isn’t enough information in place for someone to assist them. And the thing is, when something goes wrong, people do want to assist. 

 

Linzy [00:07:57] That’s true. That’s so true. 

 

Mary Beth [00:07:58]  And if you have a team, they want to be there for you. Even if you have support. People like accountants and bookkeepers, they do. They want to help you. They just need the tools to be able to support you. 

 

Linzy [00:08:11] Right. So you know something about folks listening right now, like many, many of the people listening to this podcast are probably solo practitioners where it’s like just them in their business. They might not even have an administrator and maybe they have an accountant that they see once in a while. Like for those folks where it’s really just them and their clients, that’s kind of who’s, you know, around. How can they ensure that their clients would be taken care of if they have to be absent or, or even if if they pass away? Like how do you leave a contingency plan for a business that’s really just you? 

 

Mary Beth [00:08:43] Okay, so let’s start with something that would be more common. So let’s say that there was an illness that took a solo practitioner out of the business for a couple of weeks. In that scenario, to be prepared, you might want to create some type of an agreement with another solo practitioner therapist where you could support each other in the event of an emergency. So have someone who is authorized to contact your clients in the event of your absence, or even just to say someone will reach out to reschedule you at a later date just to have that communication with your client so that they’re not left hanging and that the person who is out of the practice can get some rest and take care of what they need to take care of. So approaching your contingency planning as a way of collaborating with another solo practitioner is one idea that may work. Since you have the credentials, the authority to support that other practitioner. When it goes into a more extreme case where a solo practitioner may die. In that situation, it’s important for therapists to have a professional will and a professional power of attorney. 

 

Linzy [00:10:16] Okay, Yeah. 

 

Mary Beth [00:10:17] And this can be difficult to find attorneys who are familiar with creating them. Okay, So it’s a concept that started in California. 

 

Linzy [00:10:29] Not surprising.  

 

Mary Beth [00:10:32] And then some attorneys across the country are familiar with what that means. So from the professional will perspective, this person would be authorized to take on your clients to access client records or to do the transition for the clients. And then from the power of attorney perspective, they would be authorized to potentially do some financial work in your business, you know, work with your bank accounts, communicate with your accountant to keep things moving, as well as to have access to your clients and their information. 

 

Linzy [00:11:12] Right. Okay. So that would actually be a will that you would have drawn up where you, you know, you’ve named your person, your power of attorney. And it sounds like that would also be a colleague. Right? So this would be the more. 

 

Mary Beth [00:11:24] Yes, it needs to be somebody who is licensed and- 

 

Linzy [00:11:28] Authorized 

 

Mary Beth [00:11:29] Authorized. Yeah. 

 

Linzy [00:11:30] And something I think about with that, too, is that’s such a gift to leave your clients. I mean, this is true of a will, too. Like I’ve gone through the personal will process twice. The first time it was not complicated because I had no kids and, you know, we didn’t we didn’t have like a lot. It was more just making sure that we had a plan in place. It was very simple. The second time was very complicated because we have some complexity in our family’s finances and like really thinking through how you want it to look if you die is not comfortable, but it does really feel like this beautiful legacy to leave your family. And what I’m hearing here is like, this is an opportunity to leave a legacy like that for your clients in the case that you die because that will also be traumatic for your clients. 

 

Mary Beth [00:12:11] It can be, yeah. You know, like how many therapists have clients who have been with them for years or decades?  

 

Linzy [00:12:19] Yes. Yes. Right. 

 

Mary Beth [00:12:20] Even if it’s not constant. Right. You’ve had that connection over the years and they come in and out as they need you and they rely on you as a resource. Yes. And so, Linzy, as you’re talking about creating your personal will, ideally this professional will is something that sits, you know, on top of your personal estate plan. So you start with that foundation of your personal estate plan, depending on how your business has set up, what type of way that it is registered, right, You have to have that incorporated into your personal estate plan and then create your professional will on top of that. 

 

Linzy [00:13:02] Okay. Yeah, because what I hear there is like, you’re leaving somebody to take care of the business pieces, but also take care of your clients. Right. To, like, inform them of what’s happened and help make sure they get an appropriate referral, whether that is that person themself who maybe does similar work to you, who can take them on, or whether that person helps to do a warm referral to somebody else? 

 

Mary Beth [00:13:22] Yes. 

 

Linzy [00:13:23] Yeah. Yeah. That’s a very powerful thing to put in place. And with this Mary Beth, like in your experience, what are some of the things that hold therapists back from doing this work and putting these plans in place? 

 

Mary Beth [00:13:35] Yeah, So I would say, especially for solo practice therapists, it’s this question that we just talked about. You know, it’s just me and the practice. There is no one- that feeling of there are no other options, right? So opening your mind to the possibilities of what- how that question can be answered and that challenge can be solved. And then on the other hand, if you have a large group practice, then sometimes therapists might feel like it’s so complex. Nobody can be my second in command because it’s so complex. And in that scenario, I suggest that you might want to create more of a board of directors approach to your business where you might have one person who you trust with all of the information and access to the finances, and then potentially have some supporting actors around that individual who are able to do maybe accounting or bookkeeping work or clinical work and make recommendations to that key decision maker, right? 

 

Linzy [00:14:49] Yes, yes, yes. 

 

Mary Beth [00:14:50] So those are you know, that who is my second in command is a big question. And the other thing that holds therapists back and people in general back is that we don’t want to go here. We don’t want to think about, you know, at especially at a young age with children, the possibility that we may, you know, we could die early or something like that. We just don’t want to think about it. What I would suggest is when you think about the complexity of your life and your business, just think about somebody needing to navigate that without you there. 

 

Linzy [00:15:31] Yes. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. That’s kind of like a tangled ball of yarn to leave behind for somebody else who does not- is not you and is not in your brain. And you know, something that I’m thinking about as you’re talking is like the therapist so often just as kind of a type of human – often people I find who are in in therapy and health practitioners too, but definitely mental health clinicians – often they’re used to being caretakers and they’re used to being the one who’s responsible, and they’re used to being the one like, No, no, only I can do this. This is my job. And what I’m hearing is like, that story can show up at the solo practice level, where it’s like, but there’s nobody else. It’s like literally only me. But it also show up at the group practice level where like, but it’s so complicated, nobody else can do it. Right. And what I’m hearing is like, we need to push past that story that nobody else can do it. But also we need to actually set it up so somebody else can do it. 

 

Mary Beth [00:16:20] Yeah. 

 

Linzy [00:16:20] Right. That’s part of the plan is like we are actually making a map for somebody else because there are other competent folks around us. We’re not the only competent person in the world, you know, but you can use those skills that you have to make it so that everything’s okay, even if you’re not able to run the show. 

 

Mary Beth [00:16:37] Exactly. And that the key to creating a really solid plan is to go as far into like a challenging area as possible. Right? So it’s, you know, I die suddenly and somebody needs to be able to do this. Who doesn’t do this on a regular basis. Right. But most often, this plan will most likely be used for intermittent disruptions in your life and your business. So often when I’m working with a therapist or a client, something will happen in the family that pulls the business owner or their spouse out of the picture to take care of somebody else for a period of time. That happens so frequently. And so you need your resources around you so that you can get that assistance that that you need. 

 

Linzy [00:17:34] Absolutely. Yeah. And you know what to think about, too. Is that also having a plan like that in place means that you get to be present with whatever that is, right? Like if you have a parent who falls ill or if your child is hospitalized or, you know, all these things we don’t like thinking about. But that do happen. You know, you just get to again, just be doing that. You don’t have to be worrying about, oh, was this person informed that I can’t make the session? And was like, oh, there was this loop that had to be closed off. Like, you just got to be in whatever role you’re playing in whatever situation or and just be in your own life and not have to be worrying about all these loose ends that nobody else can tie off. 

 

Mary Beth [00:18:10] Yeah, that’s exactly it. 

 

Linzy [00:18:11] Yeah. Yeah. So what is the process then, for creating contingency plans? How do we do this? 

 

Mary Beth [00:18:18] Yes. So the only reason that we don’t already have them in place is that we don’t know the process. Right? For each plan, it takes about four weeks to create each plan. So as I mentioned before, typically I’d like to start with the people with their personal contingency plan. And the first thing is to gather all of the important documents together. So for your personal contingency plan, this includes things like a statement for each bank account that you have for your personal life. Okay, let’s put the business aside, information about the beneficiaries that you have on all of your accounts. So that’s typically your investment accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance. Things change in life and people often forget to change their beneficiaries. And then other people who are friends and family will be shocked at who inherits what because the beneficiary never went back and updated. So information about your cable internet, copies of every card that you carry in your wallet, copies of your passport, TSA access, anything like that, any of your certificates that are legal, professional or religious. So like birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates for anybody, and, you know, parents who have passed anything like that. So you get all of this information together, all of your legal documents. The first week is collecting all of this information, and then the second week is organizing it. Now I create binders for my clients, but everybody can do this on their own as well. And so organizing it in sections in the binders. The other part that happens during the personal contingency plan process is clients are asked to adopt a password management system. I like LastPass, but if it is done in paper, like handwritten passwords, I provide people with a password book that’s flexible and they can add sections and paper to it, depending on needing to expand it or contract the size of it. So passwords are a big part of the contingency planning process. And so we usually talk about that in the very beginning because that can be a big change for people. 

 

Linzy [00:20:53] Yeah, And you know, we now all have, I don’t know, like 2000 apps and websites that have all different passwords and they force us to update passwords randomly. It’s kind of a new problem, right, That didn’t exist 40 years ago when people needed support or passed away. 

 

Mary Beth [00:21:10] This is the thing, like our digital life is- can be a burden to somebody who is trying to navigate what’s going on with us. So that’s something that’s worthwhile for everyone to consider. Whether you would be able to get yourself into a- like commit yourself to a password management system and get those who depend on you and you depend on in your personal life to adopt the same system. 

 

Linzy [00:21:40] Yes. Yes, yes. Yes. Okay. 

 

Mary Beth [00:21:43] One thing I like about LastPass is that you can name an emergency contact who will have automatic access if you don’t deny it within a certain period of time that you set up in the system. 

 

Linzy [00:21:56] So someone else can get in. Yeah, if that needs to happen. That’s nice. Yeah, that’s nice. 

 

Mary Beth [00:22:01] Which is a beautiful thing. 

 

Linzy [00:22:01]  Yes, absolutely. Okay, so gathering together all this information, I think is where we were talking about in the process. Yeah. And then what happens after that? 

 

Mary Beth [00:22:11] So then we’ve gathered all of the information and then it’s time to review and assess the current state. So when we look at bank accounts, then it’s how are they registered? Who has authorization to act on their bank account? 

 

Linzy [00:22:30] Yeah. 

 

Mary Beth [00:22:30] In some investment accounts you can name a trusted contact who can call in, ask questions. They can’t close the account, they can’t liquidate the account, anything like that. But they would be able to work with with the company and get information on it. Then you may also want to consider when you’re looking at things like bank accounts, do you need to give power of attorney to someone else or do you want to add somebody as another owner on the bank account? 

 

Linzy [00:23:03] Right. Okay. 

 

Mary Beth [00:23:05] Yeah. So for example, like you may have opened a bank account under your own name, but now years later, you decide, Well, actually, my spouse should be on there with me too, right now so that they don’t have to enact power of attorney in order to get access. 

 

Linzy [00:23:21] Yes. Yeah. And that is something that I have heard and encountered, like as my grandparents aged and passed away, like having the account set up so it’s easy for someone else to access in case. Yeah, because it can be very complicated. There can be quite a delay for people to access the money if you’re the sole bank account holder. 

 

Mary Beth [00:23:41] Right. And then so to keep in mind, power of attorney is a factor while you’re alive, while the principal is alive. And then the will comes into play when the principal is deceased. So power of attorney is only a factor while you’re alive. And then the same thing when we look at credit cards, does anyone need to be added as an account manager on the credit card? So sometimes we get confused because one person in the household gets the credit card and gets a copy of the card or an additional card for somebody else. And we think, Oh, well, that’s my credit card account. But it’s only the person who initially applied for the credit card. Okay. So you may want the person who was not the principal on the credit card account to have account manager status, where they can call up, they can have conversations with the credit card company, report fraud, report something stolen, but they cannot close the account without providing a death certificate. 

 

Linzy [00:24:49] Okay. 

 

Mary Beth [00:24:50] The other things that we want in there is like we want to make sure that the will and guardianship documents, power of attorney, medical power of attorney is all up to date. So those documents are not set it and forget it, as you were talking about earlier. Yeah. So as life changes, it’s important to either go back to that attorney or find another attorney who you can develop a long term relationship with to review your documents. Let’s say like every five years or any time that there is a significant change, a birth, a death, anything like that. 

 

Linzy [00:25:28] Right. 

 

Mary Beth [00:25:29] And the other thing that we would have in there is medical history. I’ve created a one page medical history inventory that makes it easier for people who want to help us are going to be there to support us, to have access to our critical information, medications, doctors, all of that kind of information. Social media handles. Who has access to your social media? Who is permitted to turn it off or you know? And what do you want? What are your intentions? 

 

Linzy [00:26:03] Yeah. Which again, this is like a whole new area, you know, with the Internet age that we live in. Yeah. And this is something that I’ve seen people encountered when there’s been, like a sudden death in their family is like, would that person have wanted their Facebook to live on? Would they have wanted their Facebook closed? Either way, they couldn’t access it. So yeah, I think those questions of like, yeah, what do we want our digital footprint to be once we’ve died? 

 

Mary Beth [00:26:26] Exactly. Yeah, exactly. So these are the things that we talk through and you know that people have an opportunity to make decisions about it. All the information about your vehicles, you know, all of your titles, all that information, how things are registered there, would all go into it, a Social Security statement. So it’s a best practice to check your Social Security statement on an annual basis just to make sure that there’s no fraud and your will and your power of attorney, so all that information is there. So it’s a lot. 

 

Linzy [00:27:00] It’s a lot. It is. Yeah. Yeah. And for folks listening, like, if we think about doing all those things at once, it would be like very overwhelming. Right. And I know sometimes, like, you know, folks that I work with, I see this with with money where it’s like when you haven’t done something for a long time, it can be very tempting to just want to, like, do it all in like catch up. But I’m hearing for you, this is like a four week process. 

 

Mary Beth [00:27:22] Yes, it’s a four week process for each plan. And so the best way to approach it is to approach it like a project. And you may not want to do them consecutively, right? You may want to say, okay, this month looks good to do a four week sprint in for my personal life, and then in three months I’ll do a four week sprint for my business, right? 

 

Linzy [00:27:49] Yes. Yeah. So pace yourself as you’re working. Exactly. Yeah, exactly. And I’m hearing, like the personal is the foundation. Do that first and then business. You build on top of that. 

 

Mary Beth [00:28:00] And really once, I mean, there can be some resistance to even beginning this. But once you start and you are, you know well along your way in the personal contingency plan, the business contingency plan goes a lot more smoothly. 

 

Linzy [00:28:15] Yeah, I’m sure it really flows because that that you’ve you’ve already done a lot of like the hard thinking about just what you want. And I’m sure that once you built that muscle, you can naturally apply that to your business. 

 

Mary Beth [00:28:27] Exactly. 

 

Linzy [00:28:27] Would be a lot easier. 

 

Mary Beth [00:28:29] So next you go into the business contingency plan and there’s there are some similarities. But when we talk about bank accounts here, a lot of therapy clients follow profit first. So it’s important to have narratives about your bank accounts, about how you use profit first, about the way that you move money to which accounts for what purpose. This is super informative for anybody who is your second in command. Yes, this includes your business and liability insurance information about your business credit cards. We create an inventory of devices and hardware, and it asserts memberships and subscriptions. So that is an Excel spreadsheet with all of that information, which is super helpful. One, if you want to assess your expenses. 

 

Linzy [00:29:26] Yeah, Yeah, right. Yeah, it would certainly serve that function. If you made that list, you might see some things that maybe don’t belong there anymore. 

 

Mary Beth [00:29:34] Exactly. And then for your devices and hardware, it’s great for insurance purposes. If anything were lost, stolen or anything like that. Health insurance administration, if you have a group practice or a larger business, some therapists have insurance contracts. So we include an inventory of that lease agreements or any rentals, loan documents, payroll information, if that were to apply. And then your professional will on power of attorney retirement plan information for you or your group practice. Again, social media handles, who has access, taxes, information about your federal and tax I.D. letters and local and state registrations. Utilities, Utilities are very much like credit cards where you might want to add an account manager who can have conversations with the companies. And then vendor contracts, business associate agreements and information about your website and who are the contacts and resources for them. 

 

Linzy [00:30:51] Yeah. And you had mentioned earlier, too, about, you know, the idea of having a SOP – standard operating procedures. How much does that overlap this list? Like how much could have good, I suppose, replace some of the need to list these things or how much do you see them as like two separate projects? 

 

Mary Beth [00:31:07] Yeah. So there are times where it can seem like there is some overlap. So for example, with Health Insurance Administration, you may have – or payroll – you may have SOPs documented for that. So in their business contingency plan, it’s really just highlight information. So for payroll, like we use gusto, you know, whatever other information, if there is another resort, you know, who in the practice is in charge of payroll? What is the frequency? Just like high level information. And then when we get into the business continuance playbook, that’s where we either make sure that SOPs are already documented or we do the document. I do the documentation. Yeah. The client. Okay. 

 

Linzy [00:31:56] Yeah. Yeah. And that’s the continuance. So that’s the assumption that somebody is going to keep running the business. Yes. So especially group practice, this would obviously apply. Somebody else is able to step in and keep running the business in your absence or in your death. 

 

Mary Beth [00:32:09] Yeah. So like for group practices, they’re often looking at it being a sellable asset. We talk through, is there anybody on the radar who you think now would have interest in it? Who, you know, has interest in it at this point? That may change, of course, in the future. But yeah. 

 

Linzy [00:32:29] Yeah. And in that case, like I mean, that’s an interesting piece because it’s like, okay, let’s see. I know somebody is interested in maybe buying my group. How do I fit them in then to the continuance plan? Because I don’t know, maybe, as you say, maybe they won’t be interested if I become unable to work or if I pass away. How do those things fit together? 

 

Mary Beth [00:32:48] Yeah. So it is worthwhile to have those conversations just talking through. I mean, that person may have a role in the whole second in command structure and B, you know, you may want to inform them that you are putting this plan in place. Yeah. And as part of the planning process, I’m also considering longer term whether I’m here or I’m not. You know, would you want to be part of the succession plan? Right. Some therapists who I’m working with, you know, they do see on the horizon that, you know, in 5 to 10 years they would like to get out of the business. Yeah. And then I would say that your business contingency plan and your business continuance playbook are part of your sellable assets. 

 

Linzy [00:33:39] Yeah. Yeah. 

 

Mary Beth [00:33:40] Right. Because how many businesses would just love the opportunity to get the business owner, SOPs.  

 

Linzy [00:33:49] Yes. By creating this, you’re. I mean, what I’m thinking about, too, is you’re also just building your business structure. So rebuilding your business is not just you. It’s not just in your head. Right. Like it’s something else that somebody else could actually step in and run. It exists outside of your brain. And I think, you know, what we talked about earlier. So often therapists, we think that we’re the only people who can do it. And most of it does live inside of our brain. Right. We haven’t recorded it anywhere, which means that we only we can do it because we haven’t actually made it. So anybody else could access that information. So getting it out of your head helps with your contingency plan, but it also gives you a business that you might be able to sell. 

 

Mary Beth [00:34:23] That’s right. And we gain so much perspective by taking a step back and looking at our business. No matter what line of work you’re in, it always generates ideas for how to do, how to simplify, how to do things differently. Yeah. 

 

Linzy [00:34:41] And I think, you know, something that I would be curious about, too, is when people do this process, do you see this ever leading to people reassessing like what they’re doing now, not just in terms of processes, but like, yeah, like I something bad could happen to me. I find for me when I ever I do that kind of reflecting, it does get me thinking like, okay, am I actually living the life I want to live right now? 

 

Mary Beth [00:35:00] Well, that’s wonderful. I mean, I do see with group practice owners that they’re like, Well, there is this other thing that I would like to do, or with solo therapists who are like, Well, I’d really like to expand into coaching as well. So adding another piece to the business, you know, if they feel like the unknowns are tackled in their existing business, it does kind of open up the space for them to consider adding or changing their business in some way. 

 

Linzy [00:35:34] That’s so parallel to my experience, Mary Beth, with like helping folks with financial foundations, which is, you know, very much adjacent to what we’re talking about here is like once you have your finances clear and you’re in your solo practice or in your group practice, once you’ve got clarity and you’ve got a good foundation, then you do get to grow or change or expand off of that base, right? But when we don’t have that base under our feet, whether it’s like the foundational financial systems in pieces or as you’re talking about like these contingency pieces that like what if pieces when they’re not taken care of, it does take a lot of our bandwidth. I think it takes a lot of our like worry and anxiety like we feel when we’re not on solid ground. 

 

Mary Beth [00:36:14] Yeah, absolutely. Even if that’s not something that we can’t put our finger on that we can’t put words to. Once you start working on this and you start to tackle it, it does create a sense of security that you have that cover, that everybody who depends on you, that they are going to be okay because you put this plan in place. 

 

Linzy [00:36:39] Oh, I love that. So, Mary Beth, for folks who are interested in learning more about you, interested in learning more about contingency planning, where can they find you and what do you have for them? 

 

Mary Beth [00:36:50] Yeah, so I created a free business contingency plan for your audience. Cool. Yeah. So they can go to nichepartnershipconsulting.net/linzy. And in that you’ll see narratives for the for the bank accounts and the credit cards. And there is a 12 question checklist that will help you get started with creating your business contingency plan. There’s other free resources on the website that you’re welcome to check out as well and active on LinkedIn. If anybody wants to connect with me, they’re wonderful. 

 

Linzy [00:37:27] That is a very exciting I’m going to go get that that freebie for myself. 

 

Mary Beth [00:37:33] Yeah. Yes, please do. 

 

Linzy [00:37:35] Thank you so much, Mary Beth, for joining me today. This is a really thought provoking conversation. 

 

Mary Beth [00:37:40] It was great to be with you, Linzy. Thank you for having me. 

 

Linzy [00:37:56] This conversation with Mary Beth has certainly inspired me to get my professional will and contingency plan in place. I have done the work, as I mentioned, around my personal will, although I have not completed my personal contingency plan. I do have a great book called I’m Dead Now What? Where you can fill in all of these things, think through how you want things to look, and help people find all the important information if suddenly you die or if you’re ill. Really, really helpful to think about just putting these things in place now. While we’re well and we’re able to. And what a gift that is for your future self. If you find yourself in one of these situations for your family, but also for your clients. You know, I’ve heard so many people make mention of a therapist dying, their therapist dying and then never finding somebody else. Right. And we can’t guarantee, of course, that our clients will want to work with whoever we have as our executor on our professional. Well, that colleague, that trusted colleague that we bring in. But think of how much better it is for your clients to hear about your death from somebody else who is a skilled professional who can hold the space for them on a phone call, you know, giving them the news and then letting them know that they can either see them themselves or work to connect them with somebody else who would be a good fit. What a gift to leave your clients if you know the worst were to happen. So really, lots to think about after this conversation with Mary Beth today. You can follow me on Instagram at @moneynutsandbolts. If you want some free money content there we’re always doing the practical and emotional pieces that we like to do. And if you’re enjoying the podcast, I’d really appreciate if you can be a review on Apple Podcasts. It is the best way for other therapists and health practitioners to find me and to be part of these conversations. Thanks for listening today. 

 

Picture of Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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