How To Banish Summer Slump In a Therapy Business
How To Survive The Summer As A Therapist
I'm going to cover what a slump is and how you need to approach it differently if you want to avoid it. If you want to know how to start your therapy business in the summer, this piece is for you. If you are trying to figure out how to keep clients from leaving, this will help. If you just want a shift in your marketing strategy, don't worry, there will be something for you as well.
It might seem like the slowing down of your business is inevitable and that marketing your services might be a waste of your energy, but I'm here to show you how you can revamp your therapy business during these slower months. For many therapists, the summer months can be tough, confusing, and even anxiety-provoking. But when you put in the work and follow-through, those feelings go away. I've got a few tips for you if you're finding yourself feeling stuck at the moment with your therapy business because of summertime blues.
preparing for the slow months
June is moving fast and so are your clients' summer plans, kids' activities, and traveling. People tend to be doing more things and this puts them in a different mindset. And while mental health issues don't usually go away during the summer, people's lifestyles can drastically change. Your clients might have less free time to see a therapist or simply less money to invest in their mental health. It's up to you to understand what goes on in their lives so you can serve their needs better.
Proactively communicating with your clients about the possible changes in their schedules can help you avoid surprises like sudden gaps in your schedule. Here's how you can start preparing yourself for the potential changes in your schedule:
Start asking your clients if they're planning to keep seeing you during the summer months before the summer starts. This way you can show your clients that you're thinking ahead and know that some changes in their schedule will occur. People on the client side don't always know how to approach this topic and will appreciate it if you start this conversation.
If your clients are not sure about their availability, ask what you could do to make it easier for them to see you. Again, this courtesy question shows that you care and that you're providing good "customer service" to your clients.
Try to really understand what may prevent them from keeping an appointment with you. You may discover that the obstacle is financial because people spend more money on vacations and summer activities. Or, you may find out that it's a scheduling issue. Whatever it is, it will be beneficial for you to know the reason for your own peace of mind.
Think about a solution to this possible obstacle. In some cases, a simple solution can help you keep seeing your clients in the future. You could schedule a future appointment in September and thus retain your client. Similarly, you may find that adjusting your schedule can keep your client for the summer.
Reflect on how you can adjust your schedule or diversify your services. If you're back to seeing clients in the office, you may want to offer teletherapy sessions again or less frequent "check-in" sessions during the summer. The important thing is not to lose touch with your clients and their needs. But you may also discover that it's a natural conclusion in certain clients' therapy and the summer will give you an opportunity to conclude your relationship organically and free your schedule for new clients.
How to use your summer for business advantage
For therapists who are just starting a private practice, summer is a great way to prepare for launching your business. These slower months can work to your advantage in getting your ducks in a row, like incorporating your business, building a brand and a website, and working on attracting new clients.
But even if you're not a beginner and you've been in private practice for a while, a slower summer is a great opportunity to work on your business. One of the ways you can use this time to your advantage is by revisiting your marketing strategy. So many therapists can't find the time to update their websites and online directory listings throughout the year. Planning for this work in the summer will help you stay proactive and reduce the stress you'll feel from seeing less clients.
Another way to reduce your summer slump is to go after a completely different type of client than you usually see. Some populations are experiencing seasonal mental health challenges. For example, studies suggest that heat can cause depression in people who work outside or who are biologically more prone to summer depression. Taking the time to analyze which audience from this population you can serve may help you attract a completely new type of client.
If you need help figuring out who this potential client may be, you can create a new Ideal Client Profile for summer only. These new clients may turn into long-term relationships for you and help you naturally grow your business.
planning for the busy time of the year
Just like the summer will slow down your client work, the coming fall will increase it. In fact, the last quarter of the year will probably be your busiest as it will be marked by holidays, seasonal changes, and a new school year.
Taking the summertime to plan for the Fall will help you reduce potential burnout and get a better grasp on your future finances. You can start by acknowledging that your practice will have a full schedule again and get your marketing ready for that.
If you've been thinking about setting new goals, raising your fees, working fewer weekly hours, and automating your non-billable work, now's the time to work on that. You can dedicate your time to:
Looking at your competition and working on building a stronger brand for your practice.
Research the right business tools that make your life easier and help you simplify your work and business management.
Figuring out how you can supplement your income with additional revenue streams.
Working with a coach or a freelancer on improving your online presence and your website.
Taking professional courses, writing, and doing creative work that will strengthen your authority in the mental health field.
You don't have to accept the summer slump as an inevitable fact of life. You will be surprised at how spending the time thinking about what you can do instead, will give you new ideas to spend your summer months. And even though I outlined multiple ways on how you can use this time to build and improve your therapy business, you can also just take this time to rest and recharge.
After all, summers can be filled with enjoyable activities that will help you relax and take the load off. Intentionally preparing yourself for this slower season can actually help you stress less and enjoy your time with family and friends.
I hope you enjoyed this article about banishing your summer slump from your therapy business.
Now I’d like to hear from you: Which strategy from today’s post are you going to try first?
Are you going to talk to your client about their summer plans? Or start focusing on improving your online presence?
Let me know by leaving a quick comment below right now.