The saying goes “Whether you think you can, or think you cannot, you’re probably right.” CEO to CEO: Building an ABA Practice While Evading Doubts and Fear CEO to CEO: Building an ABA Practice While Evading Doubts and Fear
The saying is true not because people are so good at self-appraisal. The saying is true because of the high correlation between focus and expectation.
If you think you can, you are left with the straightforward adventure of wisely and diligently pursuing your goals. You are targeting success.
If you think you cannot, or give place to significant self-doubts or second-guessing, you are setting yourself up to stall out whenever a surprise or disappointment occurs—abandoning momentum just when you need it to carry you forward.
Having watched and helped many BCBAs launch practices, perhaps the greatest hurdle we see is a (typically unjustified) lack of confidence. Yes, there are many aspects to building a great practice, but for the most part, they are learned as you go.
Perhaps the most important moment for confidence is when making the sale. Fortunately for the BCBA, selling is easy because in most locales demand far outstrips supply. And even where it doesn’t, if you are properly credentialed and have openings for new clients, you are poised to receive them.
As a Hi-5 ABA franchisee, we have your back in so many ways! By the time you are ready to meet a new prospective client, you are incorporated, licensed, credentialed, have contracted with insurance, and our Clinical Consulting team is available to walk you through any questions you might have about presenting paperwork to the client, performing assessments, and/or obtaining authorizations for service.
Once you get a client signed up, you get to do what you know how to do—write a treatment plan, assign a tech to the case, schedule them to start pairing and begin training to execute your treatment plan. Rinse, repeat.
Momentum for growth rests in the business of establishing two “benches” simultaneously—one for clients (your “waitlist”) and the other for techs. As you learn to consistently work both sets of prospects at the same time, your practice can grow steadily and naturally.
Most of the time it’s tougher to hire the tech than it is to sign a client. Finding the tech typically involves advertising, phone screening, interviewing, application, background check, and for newbies completing a 40-hour RBT course. In some states, the tech must also become registered with the BACB by passing an exam. The whole process is typically 30-45 days. But a client can come onboard fast—the initial appointment and authorization are often accomplished within a week.
So prioritize building your tech bench. In the early days of ABC, we tried to have at least 15-20 techs in process all the time so that we had continuous openings for new clients. If you have a tech with an opening, you can broadcast that you have an opening for a new client—just the words a social worker wants to hear before referring someone to you.
Do you think you can? If not, why not? Are there simple solutions to your obstacles?
Once you experience success, that experience bolsters your confidence to repeat the experience. If you cannot find the experience in your own personal history, then take a look at someone else’s experience. We can skip a lot of indecision and uncertainty if we accept guidance from someone who has succeeded before and stay positive.
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