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Understanding What Numbers Matter In Your Practice With Kathryn Esquer

Understanding What Numbers Matter in Your Practice

“A lot of times I think we put too much emphasis on the art of building a private practice, but there is a lot of science behind it. A lot of this is predictable. We can have more control over the number of calls we get than we give ourselves credit for.”

~Kathryn Esquer

Meet Kathryn Esquer

Dr. Kathryn Esquer is a Licensed Psychologist, MBA graduate, and founder of the Teletherapist Network, the only private consultation community for the next generation of therapists. Kathryn is passionate about eliminating isolation and burnout in the field of mental health. By prioritizing connection and community, the Teletherapist Network brings together forward-thinking therapists to create unparalleled success in their clinical skills, professional businesses, and personal lives. 

In This Episode…

Do you dread events like the summer slump but feel like it’s out of your control? Are you leveraging key performance indicators (KPIs) to help your business yet? Kathryn explains the value of KPIs and breaks down the difference between leading and lagging KPIs that therapists can use to strengthen the financial aspects of their business.

Listen in to hear how, by tracking and understanding certain numbers in your private practice, you could significantly improve your business. During the episode, Kathryn and Linzy give you everything you need to get started tracking this valuable information in your own practice so that you can make more informed financial decisions. 

Connect with Kathryn Esquer

Check out the Teletherapist Network at http://www.teletherapistnetwork.com  

New members get $25 off when they join the Teletherapist Network using code NUTSANDBOLTS

You can also find them on Instagram @teletherapist.network 

Want to work with Linzy?

Are you a group practice owner who’s tired of feeling overwhelmed and stressed about your finances? – Do you feel like you’re doing all the work for none of the money and are tired of constantly worrying about your bank account?- Do you want to create a group practice that is financially stable, reflects your values, and takes good care of you and your team?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re going to want to hear all about the new cohort for my course Money Skills for Group Practice Owners!  This six-month course will take you from feeling like an overworked, stressed and underpaid group practice owner, to being the confident and empowered financial leader of your group practice.

To learn more about Money Skills for Group Practice Owners and apply click here.

Episode Transcript

Kathryn [00:00:05] A lot of times I think, you know, we put too much emphasis on the art of building a private practice, but there’s a lot of science behind it, right? A lot of this is predictable. We can have more control over the number of calls coming in than maybe we give ourselves credit for. 

Linzy [00:00:28] 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. So today’s episode is with guest Dr. Kathryn Esquer. She is a licensed psychologist. She’s an MBA graduate, which you’ll definitely hear coming through in our conversation today. And she’s the founder of the Teletherapist Network, which is a private consultation community for the next generation of therapists. She is passionate about eliminating isolation and burnout in the field of mental health and has made efforts to prevent that by prioritizing connection and community through the Teletherapist Network, which brings together forward thinking therapists to create unparalleled success and their clinical skills, professional businesses, and personal lives. So today, Kathryn and I dug into the important information and numbers to be looking at and understanding in your private practice. These are called KPIs or key performance indicators, which I know is a very business term. That may not be the most appealing. But really what it’s about is understanding the numbers that tell us how our business is doing, and that can also tell us what we need to do to see that what we need to see in our practices, whether it’s revenue or a certain number of clients. By understanding these numbers that Kathryn and I are going to dig into today, you’re able to actually have some more control over what’s happening in your private practice. We talk a little bit today about how private practice can sometimes feel like something that’s happening to us and that we don’t have control over things, like the summer slump. But Kathryn really asserts that we actually can do a lot more than we realize. And understanding some of those key numbers and the information of what’s happening in our practice is the way to offset those things that it can feel like just happen to us. Here’s my conversation with Dr. Kathryn Esquer. Kathryn, welcome to the podcast today. 

Kathryn [00:02:50] Thanks Linzy. 

Linzy [00:02:51] So, Kathryn, you and I had the pleasure of meeting pretty recently, like within the last month or two. 

Kathryn [00:02:57] Like last week. Time flies when you’re having fun, Linzy. 

Linzy [00:03:03] Because of Instagram. I think that’s how our we became aware of each other. And you run the Teletherapist Network. That is your gift to therapists. And can we just start by talking just a little bit about what that is, so folks kind of a sense of who you are and what you do? 

Kathryn [00:03:17] Sure. So I am actually a clinical psychologist in private practice. And during the pandemic, I was feeling professionally isolated. My house was full of people. So I wasn’t personally isolated. 

Linzy [00:03:27] No. 

Kathryn [00:03:28] But professionally I didn’t have people to connect with. So I created the Teletherapist Network. So we’ve been around coming up here on two years and we are a private consultation community for therapists both in telehealth and also we have a lot of members who practice in-person but don’t have people, other therapists, to consult with. So we all know we can’t practice therapy in isolation. 

Linzy [00:03:48] No. 

Kathryn [00:03:49] Part of our ethics code. So we try and make it easy and affordable for clinicians to find consultation groups and meet their peers. 

Linzy [00:03:56] Great. So you’re connecting therapists in a quiet, kind of thoughtful way? I don’t know if quiet is the word you go for, but that’s a very positive thing to me. The word quiet because it’s like curated. 

Kathryn [00:04:07] Purposeful. Purposeful. 

Linzy [00:04:08] Yes, yes, purposeful. 

Kathryn [00:04:09] It designed it so that so we’re not on Facebook, we’re not on social media. It’s a private community away from social media. Because what I wanted in my life is somewhere I could go purposefully, log in, fill out my professional connection cup, and get out and get on with my life and my family. Like not get dings throughout the day. Like totally get there, get to fill my cup and move on with my day. So it’s not supposed to be a shiny object. 

Linzy [00:04:32] Yes. Yes. And something I find too, sometimes about like Facebook as a platform, is there’s so much blurriness between personal and professional that sometimes it does- it’s not the best place to actually have professional conversations like it’s a little bit of a messy space. And so it seems to be very much ‘you get what you’re paying for’. You get in, you get the information. There’s no other noise. You don’t learn about somebody’s dinner or their divorce. And you get out and you go on with your day. 

Kathryn [00:04:56] Absolutely. 

Linzy [00:04:58] So today, when we were talking about, you know, what you wanted to spend our time digging into on the podcast, you came up with a word that is near and dear to my heart, but probably not super familiar for a lot of therapists and health practitioners listening, which is KPIs. 

Kathryn [00:05:14] Yeah. Key performance indicators. 

Linzy [00:05:15] Yes. So Kathryn, to get us started, what are key performance indicators? 

Kathryn [00:05:20] Yeah. So KPIs or key performance indicators are basically a measurable value that tells you how well are you meeting your practice goals? I mean, generally speaking, they’re business objectives, but we’re going to talk about them in terms of practice goals. Are you meeting them, are you not? It’s a measurable, identifiable value. And this is something we- I did a lot of. I actually have a business degree. I have an MBA in addition to the Psy.D. And so I really love blending both my business education and consulting experience with like private practice and helping people succeed and thrive in private practice and beyond. 

Linzy [00:05:55] Right. 

Kathryn [00:05:56] I mean, you can have KPIs for your whole life, too. I love I love key performance indicators, right? Like a family, you have KPIs. So I think that it’s not talked about enough in the general private practice world. 

Linzy [00:06:10] So KPIs they turn what’s happening in your business into numbers that then you can understand. Are those numbers on track? Are they what you need them to be? Or are you off track? 

Kathryn [00:06:19] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:06:20] Which I mean, immediately, you know, of course when I hear that, I’m like, oh, numbers, numbers are clear, you know, because it takes something that can feel, I think a lot of times as therapists, because we’re such emotional beings and often have such rich inner worlds, we could have a lot of stories about what’s happening. Your business, does it feel good? Does it not feel good? But sometimes there’s actually information that could be extracted that will actually tell us if something is working or not. That might actually give us a very different perspective than how we feel about what’s going on. 

Kathryn [00:06:49] Yeah, like the thing I was thinking about as I was getting ready for this episode was what’s an identifiable use of KPIs? And the thing that pops in my head is everyone talks about the summer slump, right? Of therapists. 

Linzy [00:07:00] Yes. 

Kathryn [00:07:00] Everyone talks about how people go on vacation. They don’t come in. And we all feel it, like no one debates that. Everyone knows it’s a thing. We all have more cancellations, more no shows, and people take breaks during the summer. Right. But I’ve never heard anyone talk about actual numbers going into or coming out of the summer. Like, so we all feel that it’s happening, just feel it in our business. But what are the KPIs? What’s actually showing us that it’s happening or not? Right. Yeah. So I thought that the summer slump was a great example of a situation where we can use KPIs. 

Linzy [00:07:32] Right? Yeah. So let’s dig into that. Like I guess first of all, what would be some of the KPIs for us to be paying attention to? The summer slump is a great one because I totally agree. Yeah. And that’s I mean, that goes exactly back to what I was just thinking and saying a moment ago of like there’s such weight around the summer. Like, Oh, people aren’t coming, but it’s like, in your week, is it actually four people who are canceling or is it ten? Is it half your caseload? Is it a quarter? Is it three quarters? We know emotionally it’s difficult. But what that actually means in terms of numbers, most people don’t know. So that sounds like one. That would be one thing that you could measure. What else should we or could we be measuring in terms of KPIs in our businesses? 

Kathryn [00:08:09] Yeah, so I think it’s important to delay between leading and lagging KPIs because they serve two different purposes. So the first thing is a lagging KPI, which is basically a snapshot of an actual performance within our private practice. That’s what most people think of when they think KPIs, like how much revenue did I bring in this month’s revenue for the month of May? Number of clients, the number of clinical hours worked. These are snapshots of something that is a performance of our business. But the thing that’s more difficult, I shouldn’t say more difficult, probably more difficult to think of to measure are the leading KPIs. So leading KPIs are these measurable factors that start to indicate we’re going on a particular trend. They come before the actual performance, right? So when we think about leading KPIs, we would think about what trends are happening before the summer slump that indicate we’re probably going to have a dip in revenue or a dip in number of of clients seen, right. So some leading KPIs are like the number of interest calls. We should always be tracking that, right? That’s a leading KPI because we should know our conversion rates, which is another KPI. How many interest calls do we have to take before we get one client out of ten calls? Do we get one client? Do we get two clients? We get five clients? And what’s our average intake process like? How many clients, after an intake, come back? How how many sessions do they typically have? Right. These are all things that we could be tracking and perhaps the summer slump, sure, maybe some people are just not seeking out therapy as much. And maybe it’s also about a lot of people start therapy at the beginning of the year and maybe our average length of retention for a client, we on average, we discharge clients after 4 to 6 months. That’s also timing around the summer slump. And those are two very separate things that you could be accounting for leading into the summer months. 

Linzy [00:10:00] Right. So those leading KPIs, those leading key performance indicators, they tell us kind of like what’s coming down the road, right? So if it’s like meh and suddenly you’re getting no client inquiries, that’s going to tell you that if you don’t change that, you’re about to have a big drop because you have folks actually drop off. You’ve got nobody new coming in the door to fill those spots. And that’s even before the summer has started that that trend is starting to show itself. 

Kathryn [00:10:25] Yes, these leading KPIs are where, in my opinion, the real gold is because you can alter that trajectory. Spending more time making networking calls. Another KPI you could be looking at is – and this is something that I started tracking – is how much time do I spend networking, how many hours a month do I spend networking versus how many new clients are referred to me? You can actually come up with a number that if I spend 5 hours a month networking on average, I get a return of five new clients a month, 1 to 1. But you can you can really put a price tag on those times spent networking with other clinicians. 

Linzy [00:11:05] Yeah I can hear your MBA shining through right now by the way. 

Kathryn [00:11:09] I get so passionate about this and haven’t used it in so long. 

Linzy [00:11:12] Yes, I don’t want to get ahead of us, but it’s very clear to me why that would be so helpful. So maybe, you know, let’s dig into that piece a little bit. If folks are listening, they’re like Kathryn, like, I’m not a tracker. 

Kathryn [00:11:25] Oh, I know. 

Linzy [00:11:26] I don’t even track my finances. Why would I track networking hours? What would be your response? Why is it worth it for us to, first of all, identify what we want to track and actually put in the energy?  

Kathryn [00:11:37] Yeah, I mean I can completely relate to that. Even with the Teletherapist Network. Like it took me a long time to actually start tracking KPIs because I didn’t want to look. I didn’t want to see.

Linzy [00:11:47] Oh I’ve been there. 

Kathryn [00:11:48] Our old friend avoidance popping its head. 

Linzy [00:11:50] Oh yes. 

Kathryn [00:11:50] And so I can completely relate to that avoidance. And I think that we as therapists know very well that we avoid things due to some of our own internal scripts. Right, and some of our own internal assumptions or beliefs about ourselves. And so really identifying the resistance obviously is number one, right? Like why don’t I want to look at how many clients I get in a month? Why don’t I want to track that? Like what- how does that make me feel? So this is a therapist question. You know, does it make me feel like I’m less than? Does it make me feel like I’m falling short? But the more we look at it, the less scarier it feels. As we all know. The more we look at it. 

Linzy [00:12:25] Yeah, that exposure makes you realize that you don’t die. When you look at that, you’re okay. 

Kathryn [00:12:29] Yeah. Yeah, I think one of the most underutilized KPIs for therapists is cost of acquisition. How much time or money does it take to attract a new client? Lots of us today have directory profiles for x number of dollars a month. Or we spend 2 hours a month networking. Or we send out five different referral letters a month. But, you know, understanding how much time and money it takes to attract a new client, especially for premium fee practices, is really important because take this example. If we spend $100 a month in ads, which might seem like a lot to some, $100 a month in advertising or marketing, and we get one new client, that’s actually a great conversion rate if your price for your first session is 250, right. That’s actually a great, great cost of acquisition. You pay $100 to get 150 back for the first session. And then if your average retention is ten sessions, you know, that’s $2500 that that client is on average – obviously, we have to be clinically ethical and not keep, you know, obviously – but on the average, we can expect them to stay for about ten sessions, that you pay $100 for cost of acquisition and you get a $2500 return. That’s a great like we should be spending more money on marketing and more time, more of our hourly time to be networking and getting those high, high price point referrals. 

Linzy [00:13:57] Right. Yeah. What I’m hearing, though, is if we don’t actually know those numbers, we can’t know if we’re making an investment. Right? Like, oh, is that $100 of marketing worth it? If you’re getting no leads, then no, it’s the wrong place, but. 

Kathryn [00:14:08] Right. 

Linzy [00:14:09] Yeah, because what I’m hearing in that is understanding too, by knowing kind of your average, your average amount that folks say an average is always an average. Some people might be two sessions and some might be 55. Right? So somewhere in the middle of all of your clients behaviors, there is an average we can aim for, by understanding that, you get how much it’s worth to do what you need to do to get that one client, whether it’s like networking, lunch with a colleague, whether it’s a Psychology Today ad, appearing in front of like a community group. You know how much it’s worth it for you to do those activities. 

Kathryn [00:14:40] Like a $250 lunch for a physician’s office to get consistent stream of referrals, that’s nothing, right? And I think therapists, generally speaking, I think it’s difficult for us, given the amount of time and money we invest into ourselves, into our education, and into the risk of of starting going out on our own and our private practice. I think it’s difficult to spend that money when we don’t see an immediate or a definite 100% chance of return. Right. So we buy that lunch, which seems like a lot, but the chances are you’re probably going to get some better referrals. 

Linzy [00:15:10] Yes. Yeah. And what I’m hearing is if you’re tracking, you’re going to know if it’s worth it. 

Kathryn [00:15:13] Yes. 

Linzy [00:15:14] Right. So let’s get into ‘the how’. I’m a big fan of the how. How do we track those KPIs in our practice so we actually know what’s happening? 

Kathryn [00:15:24] I’m a big fan of free Google Sheets. I think that most therapists out there probably already use Google Workspace, even if it’s just for a backup compliant video platform, but definitely take advantage of that. Google Sheets. It’s an easy way that you can have up on your desktop that you can easily track number of calls in and number of calls out. Google Sheets has a I think it’s called Google interface sheets interface. I forget what it’s called, but they have a really great way to visualize. You can you can start pulling the numbers and visualizing graphs and pivot tables and charts over time. So I really think Google Sheets is a great way. And if you keep it up on your desktop, you know, when you log into therapy notes or simple practice, whatever EHR you use, you log in to your Google sheets that has all of your metrics on there and you can just keep track as it goes. It’s a great way to keep it, remind, keep it fresh, keep it in your brain and make sure you track those. And to start off, I would really encourage people to track number of incoming calls. Absolutely. Number of new clients, number of sessions the client has gone through when they discharge. So you can start getting some very basic KPIs. What’s the average session retention? What’s the average number of calls I get a month to number of new clients? And then once you start seeing the correlation between number of calls and new clients, then you could start thinking, All right, so I get ten calls a month and I get two new clients. How do I get 20 calls a month? So I get four new clients? Yes. What can I do to increase those referrals? Right. So you can kind of work backwards in terms of starting, you know, where the money is and then working backwards to how many eyes you need to get or how many calls you need to get to get that conversion rate. 

Linzy [00:17:01] Because there’s an equation there, right? It’s like if you want to have three new clients a month, you realize it takes you ten calls to get three clients and you need to be putting yourself out there enough to get ten calls a month. 

Kathryn [00:17:10] And what does it take you to get ten calls? Maybe it takes you two networking events or $50 in Google ads or something like that. What does it take? So knowing that a lot of times I think, you know, we put too much emphasis on the art of building a private practice, but there’s a lot of science behind it, right? A lot of this is predictable. We can have more control over the number of calls coming in than maybe we give ourselves credit for. 

Linzy [00:17:32] For sure. Yeah. And the other piece of it that it brings to mind for me, and this is in my business, we use KPIs a lot for our online business. In fact, every Monday we kick off our week with our KPI meeting where we have this like massive complex spreadsheet that my spouse who works with me has. It’s really become a little overly complex. But to really understand, okay, what’s happening here, what’s happening here, what’s happening here? And part of what we have there is benchmarks. So there are certain numbers that we want to see. Like we want to see, for instance, like if folks watch our masterclass, there’s a certain amount of folks that we expect will buy off of that. And if we see that that number starts to drop, we know there’s something wrong. I’m curious, Kathryn, do you see that opportunity in private practice as well? Like, how much do we try to improve our KPIs when we identify them versus how much should we just kind of work with them as they are? Like, if I see that I’m only converting one out of ten client calls, how much do you think I should, like, accept that that’s the case? How do I know what that KPI should be? You know what I mean? Like where something needs to be fixed versus where does something just give us information? 

Kathryn [00:18:31] I think that it depends on a lot of different factors. Obviously, the market you’re in and of the sources of your referrals, I think a really good way to get those benchmarks, which is what we’re talking about here. How do I know if this is good or bad? How do I know if this KPI is good or bad? How do I know if I have to improve it or if this is excellent? Is really having that network of of peers to be able to talk about these really vulnerable- having these vulnerable conversations with being able to ask them like, hey, let’s do this together. I don’t know where my numbers are at, where ar yours at. Let’s do this together. Let’s improve together because different markets, different areas, different cities are going to have very different conversion rates. And different- you know, not all referrals are good referrals, right. So you have people perhaps on maybe the massive directories who mass email a dozen or so therapists, but then the warm handoffs from a fellow colleague, that’s going to be a higher quality referral, right? 

Linzy [00:19:25] Yes. 

Kathryn [00:19:25] So understanding what types of referrals you’re getting and what those specific ones are are going to give you a good indicator on what you should be looking for and comparing them, talking to your friends, again, trusted peers about what they’re seeing in their markets as well. KPIs are so different across all industries and when I think industries in private practice, I think geographic locations and also specialties. If you are a very niched down therapist, you’re going to have lower interest calls or referral rates, but they’re going to most likely be a higher conversion rate, right. So it depends on a lot of different pressures. 

Linzy [00:20:02] And it’s interesting because as you’re saying that, like, I’m thinking about my business now, like Money Nuts & Bolts and teaching Money Skills For Therapists since this is what I’m now doing all the time. And we have found that like since we’re very specific, it’s a very specific person we’re talking to, we’re not going to get a whole bunch of people coming into our world because like, first of all, you have to be a therapist or health practitioner, then you have to like have some struggles with money. You have to want, you know, to work on that, right? So there’s a whole bunch of kind of qualifiers that need to happen. But by the time those folks do connect with us, there’s a much likely higher chance that they’re going to want to work together because they’re like, You’re who I’m looking for. And it’s the exact same if you’re a very niched practice, right? Like if you are like you specialize in like CBT for dog walkers, you know, you’re not going to get a thousand inquiries. But those dog walkers that find you are like, Oh my God, I’ve been looking for you my whole life and you’re going to convert at a much higher rate. So that makes a lot of sense to me what you’re saying there.  

Kathryn [00:20:54] And you can also tie in a time cost to this. How much time do you devote to attracting new clients for each new client you got? Right? So say you take ten interest calls at 30 minutes each, right? Goodness of fit calls. And you only get one client. That’s a pretty low conversion rate for a pretty high cost. Right. 5 hours of your time. So having that niche can actually help you spend- make the cost of acquisition, especially in terms of your time, lower. 

Linzy [00:21:23] Right. Okay. So to kind of like summarize for folks who are listening and they’re like taking notes and they’re like, how do I do this? So your suggestion for getting started would be having a Google sheets. 

Kathryn [00:21:33] Absolutely. It’s free, easy peasy. 

Linzy [00:21:35] And the key things that they should. You would suggest that they start by tracking. I think the first was the number of inquiry calls. 

Kathryn [00:21:41] Number of new clients. 

Linzy [00:21:42] Mm hmm. 

Kathryn [00:21:43] Number of clients discharged in a month. 

Linzy [00:21:46] Mm. 

Kathryn [00:21:47] I’ll give you I’ll give you a little bit of a list here. And then with each discharge client, what’s the average number of sessions? So this might take a couple of months as you continue to discharge to get a really accurate average number of sessions. Right. Consider sample size. You also want to be tracking the number of clinical hours you put in a month. So how many hours did you work? Really, the clinical hours and then your your revenue, obviously. So you can tie that back. There’s a lot of different KPIs out there financially that are quick and easy numbers like, you know, your operating expense, what’s the percentage of that to your revenue and whatnot. But the in terms of marketing and attracting new clients, I think these are the really low hanging fruit that you can begin to track so that you can start to see, okay, x number of calls equals X number of new clients. How do I increase those calls? How do I get quality referrals? 

Linzy [00:22:35] Yes. Yeah. And to make this really explicitly about money, you and I know this is all about money because this is about, you know, how your business is functioning and your ability to kind of control your revenue, let’s, let’s dig into it a little bit more. If somebody is listening, they’re like, I’m still not sure if this is worth it financially. Why is it worth our time to do spreadsheets if maybe we don’t really like spreadsheets and we don’t want to? 

Kathryn [00:22:58] Well, that’s it. That’s a juicy question. Why is it worth our time? Well, I assume that the worthiness of our time, we can put a dollar amount on that. Right. So even then, you could have a KPI for how much time do I spend tracking versus what? How have I been able to grow my revenue? Odds are, is that when you start looking, knowledge is power. We all know this, right? We have a knowledge of what how we bring in money and what brings us in more money that is going to allow us to start tailoring our time to the things that bring in the revenue right to the to the tasks that bring in the revenue as opposed to the feeling of what we think we should be doing. Right. So I think that there is – I haven’t done it – but you can absolutely assign a time, a value on our time and our time spent tracking KPI. I think it’s going to bring in more money than it spent you in time. 

Linzy [00:23:52] Absolutely. And something that makes me think about is it really is you sinking into that role of like the leader of your business or CEO, you know, kind of money boss thinking where probably it’s actually not going to take that much of your time. But it’s time where you’re being thoughtful and analytical and zooming out on your business. Right. And so it might actually take you only an hour to go back through your last few months and compile this data just going through like your call records. How many calls did I get? How many new clients who left? How long did they stay? And I know for me too, I used Jane App, which is a clinic management software which is really popular in Canada. And they actually gave me some of these metrics. They would actually tell me my average amount of sessions per client, like they were running that number for me all the time. Right. So sometimes these numbers are actually like maybe more on hand than we realize too. But by me taking an hour of my time to set it up and then maybe another 15 or 20 minutes every week, I’m able to make strategic decisions rather than kind of flailing a little bit in the dark about what is actually making a difference in my business. And it sounds like you’d actually able to get ahead of things, too, if you identify in May, like, oh, shoot, I’ve had a huge drop in my inquiry calls and I know that every month I have about five clients finish up. Yeah. If I don’t do something to up my inquiry calls, I’m about to be in like a desert in August. So you’re able to be thoughtful and strategic because you’ve taken what is not a lot of time, but you’ve put thought into your numbers. 

Kathryn [00:25:18] Absolutely. And like you said, working ahead is the key here. This is giving you info about what is true, what is likely to come. We should say it’s not guaranteed, obviously. Pandemic has taught us that. 

Linzy [00:25:29] Yes. 

Kathryn [00:25:30] But what is likely to come in the future and not only tell you what’s likely to come, but it also gives you the steps to change that course, right? It gives you the steps of, okay, if this drops, here’s how I can increase this number. Here’s how. These are the steps I could do to make this number likely to increase, which would increase the following number. You can see the chain of events. 

Linzy [00:25:50] Yes, yes. It’s empowering people to see that. Right. And I think sometimes as therapists, too, because most therapists don’t have an MBA and didn’t come into private practice because they’re like, you know what, I love business, right? And so often I think therapists and health practitioners, we experience our practices, which are businesses, as something that’s happening to us. 

Kathryn [00:26:11] Yes,. 

Linzy [00:26:12] Happening to us. We don’t feel empowered or like we have control over what’s happening. And what I’m hearing with this is this is a shift into you understanding the trends, understand what’s happening and seeing where you can actually take actions. 

Kathryn [00:26:25] Absolutely. 

Linzy [00:26:25] That would change the course of what is happening because you’re actually taking stock and then you can make decisions and do things to change the outcome. And as you say, we don’t have ultimate control like we can never control all of our clients staying or magically conjure up 50 inquiry calls. But we certainly know what some of the things that we can do to bump things in that direction, but only if we actually have the information in front of us. 

Kathryn [00:26:48] Yeah. And I would encourage anyone listening to you to start tracking them, even if you don’t – if you feel overwhelmed by going backwards, start checking from this point forward. Ideally you get, you know, six months of data, but start tracking from this point forward and see how it goes. I think it’s really, really empowering, like you said, because the summer slump doesn’t happen- we all feel like it happens to us and there’s nothing we can do about it, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. There are clients out there, right. And so when we know that this trend is on the forefront, we can be taking the steps to mitigate it in terms of our business. 

Linzy [00:27:19] Ahh. Thanks, Kathryn. Tell us a little bit more- first of all, I wanted you to talk a little bit more about the Teletherapist Network and how folks can find that or get a taste of that. 

Kathryn [00:27:31] So I’m there all day, every day, so come on and join me. I would talk your ear off with KPIs, despite what this podcast is about, it is not about practice building, although we do support clinicians in practice building with referrals and some master classes. Linzy was just on with an awesome Q&A session about finances and private practice. But we mainly support clinicians in preventing isolation and burnout through consultation groups, making sure we’re delivering clinical our clinical services are up to par and that we’re not missing anything. Identifying those blindspots.

Linzy [00:28:02] Yes, yes. Which we all have.

Kathryn [00:28:03] So you can find us. Exactly. I found like three today. You can find us at WWW dot Teletherapist Network dot com or you can find us on Instagram app Teletherapist dot Network and I would love for any of you listening to try us out and join us, see if our close knit community is for you. And we’d love to give you $25 off your first subscription with the code NUTSANDBOLTS all one word. So hopefully you can you can join us there. 

Linzy [00:28:35] So it sounds like a great way to try it out. Yeah, I got the discount code and we’ll put all of those links and the code in the show notes for this episode. So you jump over there on your phone or on your computer to get those links. Thank you, Kathryn, for sharing that offer to our listeners. Yeah, absolutely. And thank you for coming on and talking about KPIs and numbers with me today. I really enjoyed it. 

Kathryn [00:28:53] I loved it, any time. Any time you need the the business, the numbers end of private practice. I am so your girl. Love it.

Linzy [00:29:00] Awesome. Thank you. In my conversation with Kathryn, it really sticks out to me how, you know, knowledge is power. Like she said, it can be so tempting for us to not want to look at certain numbers. And I have definitely been there at different stages of my business as I’ve been scared or as Kathryn says, you know, if there’s the possibility of stories coming up like I’m failing or this isn’t working, it makes it really hard for us to look at what’s happening. Right. Because it triggers all of those thoughts and feelings and it’s just a terrible experience. But on the other hand, by actually looking at and understanding, first of all, you know what matters, what are those? As in KPI, speak lead indicators and leg indicators. Lead indicators are things like how many calls are coming in, how many of those folks are converting? And then the lag indicators, how much are you making? Right. That’s what happens later as a result of those early things, by understanding those things and what is normal for you and your practice and your your niche, then you actually have the information and power to do something, to improve things, to take actions that are going to set you up, to have the amount of clients that you want to have and ultimately have the revenue that you need to have to get paid. Well, at the end of day, this all comes back to how well our practices are doing and taking care of our practices so that our practice can pay us well and take care of us. And we continue to be well in doing the work that we do that can be very demanding work. So it’s that knowledge is power piece taking the time to settle in and spend what might only be half an hour or an hour to start to get yourself acquainted with your KPIs might give you some really helpful, interesting information that will allow you to make more informed, more strategic decisions in your private practice, regardless of what level you are or how new or how many decades you’ve been in your private practice. If you would like to hear more from me, you can follow me on Instagram at Money Nuts & Bolts. I am sharing free, practical and emotional money content on there all the time. And if you are enjoying the podcast, please jump over to Apple Podcasts and leave me a review. It is the best way for other therapists and health practitioners to find the podcast. Thanks for listening today. 

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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