How do you measure the success of your therapy business?

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A discussion with a therapist friend prompted me to think about how we measure the success of our independent therapy practices. There seems to be a tacit assumption, here in the UK, that as independent therapists we’re aiming to grow our practices, hire a team of therapists, and that more (employees and clients) is best.

My five year (and ten year!) plan doesn’t involve employing other therapists, working lots more hours or making lots more money. So what other metrics do we have for measuring progress with our businesses?

When I try and visualise a successful outcome for my business, I’m interested to notice that my mind is drawn first to how I will be feeling, when I’ve reached my business goals. I will be calm, not frazzled, I will enjoy my client work which will be challenging and rewarding, not frustrating and overwelming. I will be supported by, and support, a group of like minded colleagues.

So if someone were to record a documentary film, a day in the life of my therapy business when I’d reached my goals, what would the camera show? Me smiling and relaxed – my shoulders would be low. I’d have breakfast, and coffee, with my family, before I left for work. High energy sessions with happy children, and me feeding back to parents the progress their child was making. On my computer screen my caseload would show throughput, there would be no waiting list, as soon as I finished up with one child, a new family (who I was excited to work with) would enquire. I’d eat a healthy lunch, while reading a relevant research paper, and get home with energy to spare to play with my son before bed time.

Not quite what you tend to see written in a business plan! (Although I also have financial targets that I need to meet.) I’m interested in other ways (besides money) that we measure success, and other goals that we strive for.

Let me know how you measure your own success, what does it look like for you?

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