The Therapist’s Guide to Surviving Economic Uncertainty in 2023
Are you feeling anxious about this year’s economic landscape?
The financial uncertainty accompanying high inflation and fears of a recession can stress even the most stable therapist practice owner. But here’s the thing: there is hope. By implementing proactive strategies, you can build resilience in your therapy practice. You’ll not only survive but thrive in 2023.
In this blog, we share powerful tips to ensure your therapy practice remains solid and profitable despite potential turbulence. We’ll also explore how considered action can set you up for future success.
But first, let’s look at an important business benefit of your position as a therapist: Healthcare — including therapy — is what’s called a recession-proof profession. That is, it carries greater resistance to the effects of an economic decline.
Why is therapy considered recession-proof?
There are various ways that people can cut expenses when budgets are tight. Limiting non-essential spending means fewer takeouts and restaurant visits, a reduction in purchasing new clothes, and maybe a focus on less costly everyday choices.
But some expenses are the last to go. For many, therapy falls into this category, especially with the lingering trauma of our last few years and the stress, burnout, and uncertainty of our current economic, geopolitical, and global climate.
People need healthcare in good times and in bad.
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As we shared in our article, Trends in Therapy: What You Need to Know to Excel in 2023, we expect two particular areas to remain in high demand throughout 2023: stress management therapy and child therapy.
To repeat a staggering finding, the Stress in America Survey 2022 concluded, “More than a quarter of U.S. adults say they’re so stressed they can’t function.”
The survey results found that:
- 76% of adults said they were stressed about America’s future
- 64% worried about losing their fundamental rights
- 38% felt things were so dire that they had considered moving outside of the country
As most people can’t simply pack up and move away, and as the future arrives, regardless of our trepidation, therapy provides a necessary means to soothe tension and distress; to cope with life in taxing times.
Sadly, there are also incredible challenges facing the mental health of our children. Almost half of the younger generation reported feeling sad or hopeless. Mental illness is flourishing, and suicide-related behaviors are all too common. Seeking therapeutic support and treatment for children is an understandable and appropriate priority for many families.
This brings us to a key point: your expertise and services are desperately needed!
Keeping your doors open and succeeding in practice is important for your clients, their families, our communities, yourself, your family, your team, our nation, and our collective future. No pressure, then!
With this in mind, let’s discuss 7 tips to help you survive and thrive while enjoying the process. After all, allowing yourself to become burnout or overwhelmed won’t serve anyone.
1. Define and focus on your ideal client
Do you know who your ideal client is?
Many therapists believe that their target market is everyone. It’s not. You have a unique skill set, qualifications, background, and interest in helping people with certain needs or illnesses. For example, you might be best able and interested in supporting clients who need marriage counseling, addiction recovery, grief therapy, trauma support, or treatment for mental health disorders.
Understanding who your ideal client is — in great detail — will help you speak to, attract and care for those people.
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Getting this step right is critical. To learn more, listen to our podcast episode titled, Knowing Your Ideal Client & Strategically Mapping Out Your Time to Acquire Them.
2. Diversify your income streams
While treating clients might seem like the only way to “do what you do,” there are various ways to profit from your expertise. Ways that provide income diversification and greater security should you become unable to practice for any reason or your client numbers drop.
Consider creating and selling online courses, speaking engagements, and/or writing a book.
Online courses continue to increase in popularity, and once created, they can build a (mostly) passive income…
Speaking engagements can enhance your reputation while adding to your bottom line…
A value-filled book aimed at solving a gnawing problem faced by your ideal clients will establish your credibility, increase your bookings, help to secure well-paying speaking engagements and media features, and the sale of the book can propel your profits.
Check out our article, How Therapists Can Create Passive Income to discover how.
3. Network with other professionals
Do you currently spend time networking?
If not, it’s a great time to start. If so, keep going!
There are experts within your community who consult with your ideal clients on a daily or weekly basis. There are non-health-related businesses that also serve your following. Experts and businesses who can refer people to you.
Networking increases your chances of receiving referrals. And as you likely already know, clients who come to you via a recommendation are often of higher quality. More likely to listen, follow your advice, and attend their appointments as scheduled.
Networking is about creating professional, mutually beneficial relationships that serve clients well.
Opening a Private Practice?
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To learn how to embrace networking for practice growth, read our insightful article, 8 Tips to Reach Private Practice Success with Networking.
4. Be disciplined
Two key disciplines can support you in these unsettled times; financial sensibleness and marketing. They may seem contradictory, but they’re not.
Firstly, as they say, cash flow is king. It’s the basis of a flourishing business. The money that comes in and goes out of a business is necessary for day-to-day operations and long-term growth. Without cash flow, you can’t pay your bills, invest in new opportunities, or handle unexpected expenses.
Use this current economic climate as an opportunity. A point at which to stop and reassess. Take an honest look at your financial situation and your cash flow. Set a budget. Then stay disciplined with your spending.
Secondly, be dedicated to your marketing plan. Effective marketing, including through recessions, can explode practice growth. When you have a positive return on investment (ROI), you can do and achieve things other practices cannot.
When economic stress bites, business owners often cut marketing, falsely believing it is a non-essential expense. This is a grave mistake. Instead, become especially disciplined. Strictly implement a considered and agile marketing plan and work to improve your ROI. As we’ve discussed, the need is there. This year could be the one that positively transforms your business and your life.
5. Stay informed
Stay informed about the latest local, state, and national economic and professional news and developments. This allows you to pivot promptly when needed and benefit from opportunities. This information can help you to:
- Stay ahead of the competition: Staying informed about market trends, new technologies, and industry developments can help you remain competitive and identify new growth opportunities.
- Make better decisions: Accessing accurate and up-to-date information can help you manage your business, allocate resources (including marketing), and pursue new opportunities.
- Comply with regulations: You need to stay informed about laws and regulations that may affect your biz, such as employment laws, tax laws, and health and safety regulations.
- Benefit from opportunities: Staying informed about government programs and initiatives can help you benefit from opportunities for funding, training, and other forms of support.
- Predict and adapt to changes: By keeping track of industry trends, the economy, and the market, you may predict and adapt to changes and plan accordingly. This may help you minimize the impact of uncertainty.
- Build stronger relationships: Staying informed about the needs and concerns of your clients, fellow business owners, and employees can help you build stronger relationships.
6. Invest in yourself
We believe this is always a good option! Especially when it’s a targeted investment.
By taking courses, gaining further qualifications, and learning new skills that will aid you in the long run, you can secure greater control of your near- and long-term future.
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Before you dive into something new, ask yourself these questions…
- How will this *particular thing* help?
- Is there an unmet need in my community? What course or skill would help me to fill that need?
- Is there a qualification that once held, could increase my income?
- What don’t I know that is holding me back? For example, what marketing skills — maybe email copy, blog post writing, or video production — would enable me to boost my reach and build rapport more effectively with my potential clients?
- Will I enjoy it?
Also, invest in your well-being. You are your most important asset and deserve to stay happy and healthy!
7. Invest in your business
Your business is (likely) the entity that pays your bills, keeps a roof over you and your family’s heads, and provides for your lifestyle. Yet, it can be tempting to ignore its needs in trying times.
But there are investments your business needs to flourish. For example, a suitable and affordable premise, employee development, a system that carefully tracks cash flow management, and technology to improve efficiency. The platform and tech required to conduct telehealth consults are a no-brainer, as telehealth is another trend we expect to continue its upward trajectory this year.
Prioritizing your marketing can increase visibility and drive revenue. A great website, a HIPAA-compliant email service, a social media creation and scheduling tool, and the right analytics dashboard — so you know what is working and what’s not — are crucial business investments in trying times. Now is not the time to hide your light under a bushel!
2023 may bring economic uncertainty and the possibility of a recession. But you are in the right profession to flourish. Your skills and expertise are greatly needed. The trends are in your favor. So, plan well. Implement your strategies. And look after yourself. You can make this year the best you’ve had so far!
Want the beautiful therapist website you deserve? Then you’re in the perfect place.
Brighter Vision is the ultimate marketing package for therapists, centered around the best therapist website you’ve ever had. Fill out the form below to learn more about our team of professionals who can’t wait to help your practice grow like never before 🙂