The Private Practice Membership Model

Now that you have reflected on WHY you want to grow your practice, let’s explore HOW you grow your business.

Don’t know your WHY yet? That is okay! Click here to read my last article that helps you question your growth and be in alignment with your vision.

There are many ways to grow a practice.

There are many ways to grow a private practice and each comes with pros and cons of growth. Knowing the reason you want to grow will help you to explore the best option for yourself. In this post, I am going to explore a popular option – the group membership.

Option #1: A Group Membership

Practices that run as group “memberships” essentially rent the right to be a part of the practice. This means, that each clinician in the practice is their OWN business owner but they are offered office space, referrals, and your marketing expertise when they pay to be a “member” with you.

You do not have to write them a check for their work because they keep all of the money they make. They pay you a set “membership fee” each month, instead.

This is different than subletting because you are providing MORE than just the space. You are providing everything the therapist needs in order to come in and see client. They rely on you to market for them, keep the waiting area stocked, and manage the office spaces. You might also include other perks, like free workshops or consultations.

Because they are paying you a premium to be a part of your practice, it’s important you only do this model if you are confident in your ability to give them referrals. They will be paying you MORE than it would cost them to sublet somewhere else. Make it worth they while.

Pros:
-You already have the office space so you get to fill it with amazing people
-Low overhead
-You don’t have to track how much money they are making
-You don’t have to do payroll or withhold taxes
-You have a reliable amount of income each month

Cons:
-You won’t see financial growth from their success. You can market them and get them ideal clients and totally fill their caseload and still only make the amount from the membership
-It might be hard to build a cohesive community because each person is their own business person
-High turnover due to people filling up their caseload and then deciding they can do the same thing for themselves.

You might want this model if…

You might want to grow your practice using this model if you want to grow to allow yourself to do LESS in office work. When you do this model you don’t have to do as much administratively. You won’t be writing them checks or having employee meetings. It’s also a great model if you want the clinicians to be able to grow their own businesses and their own income and you don’t want to be involved with how well they are doing financially.

What are your thoughts about this business model? Let me know in the comments below!


Elizabeth Earnshaw is the owner of two businesses – a thriving private practice in Center City, Philadelphia and an online school that offers psychoeducation and therapist training programs. She is passionate about helping therapists to create a thriving career so they can live abundant lives. To read more about her, click here.

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