CASE STUDY: How a therapist started an online practice part time and went full time a year later by outsourcing the tech side of their business.

CASE STUDY: How a therapist started an online practice part time and went full time a year later by outsourcing the tech side of their business.

Are you ready to leave your group practice but feel overwhelmed by the nuts and bolts of running a private practice? Dr. Jamie Howard, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, was in the same boat. After years of working as a therapist in many capacities, she had a specific desire to serve veterans and their family members, but no time or brain space to learn the back-end of running a practice and business. By delegating the technical side of her practice, she was able to start a private practice part time which became her full time gig a year later. 

Her story proves that hard work, long term thinking, and taking the time to start right can pave the way for a thriving, money-making private practice (both online and in an office).

How we met

Jamie was concerned with long term growth from the get-go. She was not looking for a fast and easy way to start an online private practice. She was looking for the best way to start an online private practice that could shift and grow to support her dreams of having a brick-and-mortar practice.

Being a proud military wife, joyful mother of two, and working full time, made finding a resource, or system, that Jamie could outsource the back-end of her practice a priority. While the desire to start a private practice and fulfill her calling was bursting in her heart, there was not enough time in a her day to learn the tech side of things. She also knew that her plans to one day offer group coaching, as well as open a brick-and-mortar building, would require a scalable system.

Instead of bootstrapping her practice (getting by with all the free resources), Jamie was out to start right. So, she worked full time and kept a lookout for the right program to help her get her practice off the ground. When her friend, Dr. Amber Lyda, connected her with iTherapy, three features stood out to her:

  1. Customizable packages
  2. High quality support for both the therapist and their clients
  3. HIPAA compliant video features for group sessions

The price was also right. When Jamie did the cost breakdown, this is what she said, “If you think about it, starting a business with an overhead of less than $200 a month is almost unimaginable. And if I do one family session a month, I cover the entire cost!”.

Because Jamie felt confident that iTherapy would support her as she served clients and as her business grew, becoming an iTherapy provider was a no-brainer. She joined in late 2018. By January 2019, she officially opened for business!

The solid + scalable system we built together

Jamie said, “iTherapy made starting a practice so easy. So many things you sign up for send you a welcome email with links to all the stuff you now have access to. Not iTherapy. They hold your hand every step of the way. They even host live videos walking you through everything so that you feel well trained and confident navigating the systems needed to run your business efficiently.”

Even now, with a growing practice, Jamie says that she calls with problems and questions and gets a quick response. Because iTherapy goes above and beyond to provide tech support to both her and her clients, she’s able to spend more time and energy marketing her practice and serving more clients. 

For example, when Jamie stepped out of her day job to pursue her private practice full time, she also brought on a student therapist. That’s when Jamie worked with iTherapy to upgrade her package so that she could create a student profile. This feature allows Jamie to set student rates, assign projects, limit access (to protect sensitive information and stay HIPAA compliant), and review notes. She said, “Even though it was a crazy time, iTherapy made the transition seamless for my student therapist and kept me looking professional.” iTherapy made it possible to expand Jamie’s capacity to serve clients during what could have been a very stressful time.

Recently, Jamie opened a brick-and-mortar facility, and guess what? All the systems Jamie used for her online practice are the same systems she’s using for her brick-and-mortar practice. But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves…

The results

Let’s recap Jamie’s timeline:

  • 2018 – working full time, joined iTherapy, getting all the pieces together
  • January 2019 – started her online private practice part time 
  • January 2020 – left full time job working about 20 hours a week
  • June 2020 (at the time of writing and recording) – a full caseload of clients, opened a brick-and-mortar practice, added an Intern to her team

In two years, Jamie was able to start an online practice, leave her full time job, and open a brick-and-mortar practice as well. I think we can all agree that that’s incredible growth! But get this, Jamie said, “I’m able to manage everything just fine within iTherapy.” 

Even with all this tremendous growth, Jamie has been able to stay sane and organized using the same support system she started with. She hasn’t had to put anything on hold as she moved all her data from a free system to a more elaborate system that allowed her to have additional practitioners. All that said, she didn’t even skip a beat during COVID-19.

Your turn

If you’re looking for a system, or program, to help you handle the back-end of your practice, take Jamie’s advice (which is the advice she followed for herself): “Know where you want to go. Then, find something that can get you from where you are now to where you want to be.” 

If what you need is a solid and scalable system that is HIPAA compliant and grants you access to a hands-on support team, schedule a call here to see that we’ve got all the pieces you’re looking for.  

Who’s ready to outsource the tech side of their practice so that they can focus on marketing and serving more clients?

June 24, 2020 / iTherapy Blog

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