A few months ago, I wrote The Therapist's Brief Guid to Generosity and Pricing in Business. When I sent the article to my email subscribers, I asked them "What is your #1 struggle with pricing?"
I received several responses.
I realized, through these conversations with readers, how pertinent the topic of pricing is for therapists at any stage of business. As a result, I decided to share readers' questions, along with my responses, here on the blog. I hope you find them helpful as you continue to craft your pricing policy.
In this post, I'm including only the essential components of the questions and responses, and they have been edited for clarity.
I am super into the idea of offering packages moving forward, but I have a question that I wonder if you have any insight to . . .
For packages, do you find it helpful to offer them to all clients, always? Like clients can purchase one package after another? Or do you limit them? I can't see any *con* to allowing clients to continuously purchase packages, except for maybe the full fee is never being paid - but it does help ensure income for short term.
I, personally, never restricted the number of packages clients could purchase; however, I understand why some therapists offer packages as a one-time option.
As you've said, packages tend to be beneficial for both clients and therapists. And, yes, one of the main perks for therapists is having a guaranteed income up front.
Pricing is very personal, but that's a good thing, because you can tailor your pricing and services to your needs and goals.
Setting an Hourly Fee
I am not certain what I’m worth. I’m just starting my practice and have 12 years experience, but am not sure what a good price point is.
Let me offer these tips:
- It helps to do research on what others charge in your geographical area.
- Compare your results on pricing with your expertise, as well as your area of specialty.
- Set a target annual income, and calculate your hourly pricing based on this figure.
- Consider your goals. For example, if your main goal is to accrue hours for licensure, you may want more hours at a lower fee than less hours at a higher fee.
- Remember, ultimately, you decide what you're worth.
The good news is, you can always adjust your prices!
Cancellations--when to charge , when not to charge. I work with children, so there can be many reasons to cancel beyond being sick, such as school events, parents sick, work conflict, sports, tests . . . What to do?
Yes. Setting and sticking to a cancellation policy can be challenging.
I recommend a cancellation policy that's relevant to your clients. In this case, parents would agree to the policy for anything that isn't an emergency. It can also be helpful to move to a 48 hour cancellation policy, if your population seems to cancel often. It's up to you if you consider illness an emergency. Also, the other examples are typically known ahead of time--sports, events, and so forth.
In my experience, it's usually my issue with holding the boundary. When I show my clients I mean business, they typically follow my policy. It can be tricky, and it takes time to develop comfort and consistency with a new policy.
Am I the Only One?
Thank you so much posting this article! These are the kind of topics that are hard to discuss and as a therapist in the making, you wonder "Am I the only one with these concerns?"
Absolutely not! These concerns grow and evolve with us!
I'll leave you with this quote, by Tony Gaskin, that is as relevant in business as it is in relationships:
“You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.”
Let me know in the comments below:
- Which question resonates for you the most at this point in your career?
- What is your #1 struggle with pricing? Submit your question, and I'll add it to this post.
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