Category: Managing Your Practice

How Well is Your Practice Performing?

How do you know you’re earning enough to pay your bills? You may remember that this was a question I addressed some weeks ago, when I showed you how to calculate the Break Even Point for your practice. (You can read the article here.)

Calculating the Break Even Point gives you an idea of the number of clients you need to see in order to cover your costs. Or if you work a consistent number of hours, it tells you how much you need to charge for each hour you work.Closeup portrait of cute young business woman smiling

So, having calculated your Break Even Point, and you know what you need to do, then what?

Well, the break even point is what’s known as a Key Performance Indicator or KPI. In other words, it’s used to help you keep track of how you’re doing in your practice, financially speaking, without having to go to the trouble of preparing regular financial accounts. You find one figure that tells you whether you’re roughly on track or not and use that as a bench mark. KPIs vary from business to business, and from practice to practice. They may be stated as we have already seen, in terms of clients, time or money. Read more

Running A Therapy Practice from Your Home

chairsYou’re setting up in practice, or thinking of changing your therapy rooms. You have a spare room at home which is currently gathering dust and junk, why not use that?

There are some obvious advantages. There’s no rent to pay. You can save on travel time and costs. If a client cancels or changes their appointment at short notice, you can be more flexible, and it’s easy to use the time productively. The room is your own to do with what you want, when you want, so you can organise it to suit yourself. Seems like a no brainer? Well maybe. But before you take the leap there may be a couple of things you need to think about.

Probably the biggest thing to think about is the loss of your privacy and freedom within your own home. In order to have an appropriate environment for clients, you will probably want to keep those areas that are visible to clients clean and clutter free. If you have children or teenagers this may be more of a challenge for you, than for those who are the sole occupiers of their home. Read more

SWOTting Your Therapy Practice

You’ll probably have heard the term SWOT Analysis. The acronym stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It’s a commonly used management tool for identifying where your practice is, and helping you to identify priorities and strategies. Sounds a bit over the top for a therapy practice? Maybe, or maybe not.

Often, when talking to therapists, I hear a lot about the blocks and obstacles that may be in the way of them moving their practice on. I’m not denying that these obstacles may well exist. Often, however, I hear quite a slanted perspective. Doing a SWOT analysis, which asks you to look not just at the threats and weaknesses, but also the strengths and opportunities, can help you to highlight positive aspects of your practice that that you may not have considered.

In order to see how this might work, let’s have a look at a SWOT analysis for a fictional practice, “Soft Shoulder, Counselling & Psychotherapy,” a two therapist practice in a small country town. Read more

Managing Your Personal Cash Flow

I’ve written before on the subject of cash flow management, but it’s so important that it’s worth writing about again. The work in a therapy practice can come and go, sometimes with little warning, so it helps to have some strategies in place to help to manage your own finances. Here are a few tips to help you: Read more

Core Skills for Running a Therapy Practice

Ever wonder if you’re cut out for this business of running a therapy practice? If so, you’re not alone. Most of us received little or no training in how to set up or run a professional practice. If you’re lucky, skills and knowledge you gained before training will stand to you now. Here are some of the skills you might find you need in order to run a successful professional practice:binoculars Read more

Time to Get those Figures in Order!

It’s that time of year again, when those green forms from the Revenue appear in the letter box, and you promise yourself that this time next year it will be a different story. This time next year, you’ll have found a way of keeping track of your practice finances, so that you’re not facing a climb up Mount Everest in order to meet the submission deadline of 31st October.

Except that, this year, the deadline isn’t the 31st October, unless you plan on calculating your own tax liability. This year, for the first time, there may be a penalty for not calculating your own tax liability, unless you submit your return by 31st August 2014. Read more

How Should I Structure My Therapy Practice?

It’s probably not a question you’ve considered, but what structure do you see your business of therapy taking, sole trade, partnership or company? Most therapy practice are sole practices, ie one person practising on their own. A much smaller number operate as partnerships, and still fewer as limited liability companies.partnership

In legal terms, the main difference between these choices relates to what happens in the event of insolvency (ie, if you go broke!) In a sole trade, the individual is personally liable for all the debts of the business, so if a sole practice goes bankrupt, the practitioner may be in danger of losing their home,  (even if they did not practice from it,) or any other personal assets they may have, such as a car, shares or bank accounts. However, a sole trade means you get to make all the decisions on your terms, in your own time. You’re not accountable to anyone but yourself! Read More about practice structures

5 Strategies for Having a Stress Free Practice

“Work would be great if it weren’t for the clients” was something I heard regularly in my former occupation as an accountant. It was said tongue in cheek, but really spoke to a truth about the ambivalence that many feel about their work, and not just in accountancy. We’d like it to be easy and stress free, where often it’s anything but!

Often it’s not the clients that make the practice of therapy or counselling so difficult, but the other challenges that may keep us awake at night, such as financial struggles, administrative challenges, relationship issues and so on.

There are ways to make running your practice a bit easier on you, and here are 5 strategies that I find useful:

More about strategies for a stress free practice here

Starting a Therapy Practice – a Ten Point Plan

ray
Ray Pembroke is a Chartered Accountant and Partner in Pembroke & Pembroke Chartered Accountants, 15 Ormonde Road, Kilkenny
Tel: 056 7762027 email: ray@pembrokes.eu
The Firm specialises in dealing with the affairs of Medical Doctors and related Para-Medical Practitioners.
Ray says: “The initial meeting with us is always free, and, we would be pleased to advise how we might be of assistance to you with your Practice”

Ray Pembroke, Chartered Accountant, of Pembroke & Pembroke, Kilkenny, has some sage advice for those starting their own practice:

“So you have decided to set up as a Self Employed Therapist.  In order that you can build a successful and viable Practice I would recommend that you follow this 10 Point Plan:-

Read Ray’s Ten Point Plan here

The Importance of Intention

“Nature abhors a vacuum” I was taught in one of my first science classes. Whether you’re talking about air rushing in to fill the empty space, or how other people’s goals and intentions can fill up the space in our lives, it’s true.

Nothing gets done without there first being an intention. My big indulgence in life is spending time with friends and family, often away from home because I like to travel too. People often say to me, “Oh, you’re off again,” or “You’re great to organise that.” But it doesn’t happen by accident.sun

Read more about the importance of intention