Accounting for Psychologists Newsletter #18
Welcome to the Accountant for Psychologists January Newsletter
I hope you had a relaxing holiday break.
This month I’m focusing on productivity and efficiency with goals, goal setting and the importance of processes.
Important dates for tax
|21 January 2024
|Monthly BAS lodgement due date
28 January 2024
|Make quarter 2, 2022–23 super guarantee contributions to funds by this date.
21 February 2024
Lodge and pay January 2023 monthly business activity statement.
The start of a New Year is a great time to reflect on where you would like to your business to go and to set goals for the year ahead.
Benefits of Goal Setting
Goal setting is a powerful tool for driving success and growth in a psychology business. Beyond the personal, and professional, satisfaction of achieving a goal there are many other benefits. Setting goals helps clarify the purpose and direction of your psychology business and provides motivation and focus for you and your team. When faced with choices, having established goals allows you to assess which options align best with your long-term vision and objectives and makes decision-making more effective. .
How to set goals for a psychology business
If you're starting a new practice or planning to grow an existing one, the following steps can guide you in establishing clear and achievable goals for your psychology business:
Clarify Your Vision
Clearly articulate the vision of your psychology business. What impact do you want to make? Whom do you aim to serve? Having a clear sense of purpose will help you align your goals with your overall vision.
Define Short-Term and Long-Term Objectives:
Distinguish between short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals could include increasing client appointments, expanding your client base, or implementing a new therapeutic approach. I’m a big advocate of setting 90 day goals. A great deal can be accomplished in that time and it’s not so long that you lose focus and forget what your goals actually were.
Long-term goals may involve opening additional locations, establishing partnerships, or becoming a recognized expert in a specific area.
Identify Specific and Measurable Outcomes:
Ensure that your goals are specific and measurable. Instead of a vague goal like "increase revenue," specify the target percentage increase you aim to achieve. For example, "Increase monthly revenue by 10% within the next 90 days."
Goals to Consider setting
- Set financial goals such as revenue targets, profit margins, or expense reduction goals that align with your business objectives.
Client Acquisition and Retention:
- Outline goals related to client acquisition and retention. This could involve setting a target number of new clients per month, decreasing cancellations, and implementing strategies to increase client referrals.
- Establish goals for your own professional development and that of your team.
Marketing and Branding:
- Define goals for your marketing such as increasing your online presence or enhancing your visibility within the community.
- Focus on improving operational efficiency by setting goals related to streamlined processes, reduced wait times for clients, or implementing technology solutions to enhance administrative tasks.
- Set goals for community engagement and involvement. This might include organizing workshops, participating in local events, or collaborating with other healthcare professionals to enhance your practice's visibility.
Monitor and Evaluate your Progress:
- Goal-setting is an ongoing process. Regularly monitor and evaluate your progress and recognise that goals may need to be flexible to adapt to changes in circumstances and celebrate when you achieve a goal, whether it’s large or small.
As a DIY home renovator I have to say I make a pretty good accountant! If I’m brutally honest I have to say, it’s really not my field of expertise! Last Thursday I felt pretty good as I looked at the gleaming white doors along the hallway of my home. I’d just spent the better part of two days painting them. I proudly showed my handiwork to my friend who gently ran a finger nail over the surface, leaving an area clear of paint. “Did you use undercoat?”, they asked. It seems there’s a lot more preparation involved in painting a door than I thought. Now that I’ve gotten over my disappointment, and hired a professional to do it properly, reflecting on the situation it’s a good metaphor for a psychology business.
First, there’s knowledge. Clearly, I lacked painting knowledge and instead of seeking out advice from professionals I just rushed in without researching. Just like in business. There’s a wealth of business knowledge to tap in to. From professional business advisors, to books, to mentors and reputable websites and videos.
Then there’s process. There is a step by step method to correctly paint a door. I know that now. Following the steps of a process gives a consistent outcome and ensures all elements of the task have been fulfilled no matter who does it. It’s the same in business.
Setting up a process to fulfill a task and then grouping the processes to become a system means that things will be done consistently. Next time you’re doing a task that often comes up, note down the steps. If you’re answering the phone to a new client, note the steps. This will become a template to be checked and refined until you’ve nailed the best way to make the client feel welcome, get the information you need and book them in for an appointment. Each task from ordering more stationary, to doing the books each month can be noted and a template made. These tasks, especially those where there is interaction with clients, set the tone for your business. And rather than becoming robotic, your way of doing things is how the task will be done in the future in your business.
To get you started here are some processes that a small psychology business should consider implementing:
- Client Intake Process: Develop a systematic process for onboarding new clients. This includes gathering necessary information, conducting initial assessments, and setting expectations for therapy or counseling services.
- Appointment Scheduling and Management: Implement an organized system for scheduling client appointments, sending reminders, and managing cancellations. This can include using scheduling software to streamline the process.
- Therapy or Counseling Sessions: Think about things that could be standardised about a session such as the session duration and legal and ethical requirements such as client confidentiality. If you practice via telehealth set up processes for establishing the connection, and ensuring confidentiality.
- Documentation and Record-Keeping: Develop a secure and organized system for maintaining client records and session notes.
- Billing and Invoicing: Create a transparent and efficient process for billing clients, including setting fees, invoicing, and managing payments.
- Professional Development and Training Supervision and Consultation: Implement processes for ongoing professional development and training for therapists and staff. If applicable, establish processes for supervision and consultation among therapists within the organization.
- Marketing: Develop a marketing strategy and processes for reaching potential clients. This may include online presence, community outreach, and collaborations with other healthcare professionals.
- Emergency Response and Crisis Management: Create protocols for handling emergencies or crises that may arise..
If you’d like to discuss any aspect of your business, I offer a business coaching service for psychologists. Email me or give me a call and we’ll make a time to talk things through. Helping businesses improve is what we’re all about.
Hope you have a great start to the year
Fairuz and the Accountant for Psychologist Team
“Sorted” provides practical information and easy to use worksheets and checklists to help you become financially well organised in each of the eight key areas of personal finance:
- Personal Budgeting
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