Your Dream Practice Step Up

Four Essential Stages for Business Success

For the past several weeks I’ve written about what you will most likely experience when starting your small business. I call it Your Dream Practice Roadmap. It’s a roadmap to guide your journey towards owning your own practice.

In previous blog posts I covered the first two stages: Stage One: Set Up and Stage Two: Start Up. You won’t necessarily go through all the stages in sequence. You might find yourself working in a couple of stages at once. You may go back to clarify a previous stage once you’ve gained practical experience.

It’s my hope that my Dream Practice Roadmap will help you from spinning your wheels and getting stuck in a dead end. Now let’s take a look at Stage Three: Step Up

Stage Three: Step Up

This is the stage where you are consistently making a profit. At last all your hard work and persistence is starting to pay off. It’s a great feeling. It is awesome doing the work you love, having clients who appreciate your work and being paid fairly.

At the same time you may still have another job on the side to make ends meet. You begin to wonder if you can step it up and do this full time.

A lot of growth needs to happen in this stage to produce a steady source of income. You’ll face several important decisions and you’ll want to make those decisions based upon reliable information.

To determine the viability of your practice you’ll need reliable metrics.

Tracking the right business numbers is essential for long-term sustainability. You have been gathering and analyzing customer feedback and sales data all along in the previous stages.

Key metrics will help you determine if you are going to bootstrap your practice or borrow money. You will analyze your fees against the cost of treatment. Your metrics will help you determine if you need to pivot your business, adapt your practice or add offerings to your core professional services.

In this stage you explore different services based upon lots of ongoing conversations with ideal clients. You evolve your uniquely valuable service by improving or reducing features. You experiment with different options to find the service/market fit that feels right to you.

You strengthen connections with other professionals who are regularly referring clients to you. You begin to feel the strain of running the whole business and begin to think about hiring someone or adding a partner.

The main focus of this stage is to grow your revenue to a previously determined number that will sustain your personal and professional livelihood. You may have to repeat your analysis for several months or years depending upon the market and your ideal number.

Road Signs of Stage Three: Less but Better

Working hard is important, but more effort does not automatically mean more results. I encourage you to adopt a less-but-better approach to your practice.

You may have a hard time getting comfortable with the less-but-better concept, especially if working more has paid off for you in the past. When we have been rewarded for doing more, we fall into the trap of doing more and more and more. Yet at a certain point for all of us, doing more leads to a plateau in our growth, and possibly a dip.

 During this stage you need say no to many good opportunities in order to pursue the truly great ones.

If you want to grow your business, you will have to embrace tradeoffs. By definition saying yes to the best opportunity requires saying no to others. As painful as it can be, forcing yourself to analyze your options and choose your best strategy will significantly increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.

Instead of thinking about “What am I giving up?” focus on “What am I going big on?” This one subtle change in your thinking can have a far-reaching effect on your life and business.

Dead Ends of Stage Three: No Space

Entrepreneurs are movers and shakers. Usually during the step-up phase they are on the go from morning until night, day after day. There is a danger at this stage to never slow down, to fall into the trap of trying to do it all.

Instead of choosing one option, you’ll try to do both. Everything starts to blur together and it becomes difficult to distinguish the important from the inconsequential. It is very tempting to react to the latest trend or jump on the bandwagon of the newest business success if you don’t take time to think.

It is critical in this stage to create space to breathe and take time to think. In order to innovate and grow you need a way to escape the noise.

In our time-hungry society you’ll need to regularly create space in your schedule to look back, look inside and look forward. Uninterrupted space enables you to reflect upon client feedback, explore different options and look at the big picture.

It is important in the growth phase to stop moving and to analyze your practice metrics. Confront yourself with the numbers that tell you what is really working and what is not.

Space allows you to think about your calling and your long-term vision. It gives you permission to examine your actions to see if you are heading in the direction you want to go. There will be many course corrections and iterations along your journey.

Taking time to regularly assess your progress and your direction is key to enjoying the journey.




I believe in the power of therapists and small business to change healthcare, society and more importantly patient’s health. I believe therapists should lessen their dependency on physician referrals and large corporations. That’s why I’ve written a book. I want to inspire you and help you stay true to your calling while doing the work you love.

 The launch date for On Fire: Ignite Your Passion with a Cash Therapy Practice is September 8th the Tuesday after Labor Day.  If you order the book before September 8th then I’ll send you some really cool bonuses that will help you get even more out of the book. Just click this link to learn more. On Fire!

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