You’ve been networking and marketing your tail off, and your hard work is paying off—you can barely fit another client in your week–you have a full counseling practice! You don’t want to turn anyone away, but there are only so many clients you can see in one day. So, how do you know when to stop taking new clients? Here’s an idea:
Calculate your ideal caseload. How many clients would be ideal for you to see in a week? Multiply that times the 4 weeks in a month; that’s the total number of spots you have available in a month. For example: you ideally would like to see 20 clients per week or 80 appointments each month. Plug in your clients to see how much space you have left. Tim comes weekly, so he takes up 4 spots; Susan comes every other week, so she takes 2. This is not an exact science, but it helps to give you a better idea about your availability.
You might be worried about turning business away. It’s a great problem to have! You can certainly start a waiting list. I have found it’s about 3-4 weeks after I’m full before I can take another client, but again, it’s not an exact science. It’s also good practice to offer referral options so that clients can get the services they need. This is where all your networking comes into play. You’ve been connecting with other therapists, so you have a trusty list of qualified therapists you can refer to. Allow the client to make the choice of being placed on a wait list or be referred to someone else.
Inevitably, there will be a dip in your caseload down the road. Let those therapists you’ve been referring out to know that you’re once again taking new clients. They will return the favor when they no longer have space for new clients. It’s all a community partnership.
And, don’t forget to celebrate and brag a little! This is a major accomplishment, and you deserve a pat on the back.