Guest blog by Jodie Mainstone – Mainstone Counselling.
Having been a psychotherapist for many years I finally took the plunge in 2016 fully into private practice…
Never could I have predicted what a steep learning curve it would be. Suddenly, I had to be not just a therapist but an administrator, accountant, marketer and a whole list of other job titles. Initially I did this all myself but as I got busier and busier, I felt like I was doing multiple jobs on top of being a wife and mother and was just exhausted. The thing is when you run your own business and decide to outsource some of the work, you really have to trust that person to do it and get it right. I was nervous at first, but I would never not have a VA now.
Freeing Up Time
Initially I wanted to outsource my bookkeeping and invoicing as these were areas I had the least expertise in and took up the most of my time to process. Kim took all my receipts and my notebook and created a spreadsheet template for my business accounts. I very quickly realised how competent she was and slowly but surely off loaded more and more work as my practice grew.
Kim has digitalised my practice to ensure GDPR compliance and ensure I can get hold of any information pertinent to my business or my clients quickly and easily. Gaining trust and letting go takes time and hiring the right VA that understands your business is essential.
Growing the Role
Calling her my practice manager would be a more accurate title these days. Hiring Kim has allowed me to refocus on just delivering therapy and also given me some much needed time back in my life to be with my family and have some time for myself. Kim saves me multiple hours every week.
Not only is it the time saving but to be honest things like spreadsheets are just not “my thing”! Never have I met anyone who loves a spreadsheet as much as Kim does! Being in private practice can also be solitary and whilst Kim obviously doesn’t get involved in client work it just feels like a little team, less lonely and someone to share the load with.
I honestly think the only disadvantage of about having a VA is cost if you don’t have that much work. However, if you are relatively busy, costs are super reasonable when you redirect those hours to therapy hours instead of admin hours and the importance of having self-care or family time is just priceless.