LAUREL FAY, LCMFT
OPHER WAS CALM, REASSURING, AND EXPERIENCED HELP IN AN AREA WHERE I HAD ANXIETY AND NEED. HIS ADVICE SAVED ME AT LEAST $18,000…
I'm an LCMFT who has been in private practice for over 15 years, and I've enjoyed a successful and growing business which now includes associates and multiple offices. I can say with confidence that I'm a great therapist and connecting with people is my passion. However, the financial side of the business has never been my favorite aspect. Unfortunately, my anxiety about "crunching the numbers" related to the practice has in the past meant that I avoided doing things that were important for the growth of my business.
Recently, I was on the verge of signing a lease on a bigger office space when referrals slowed significantly for the first time since I began my private practice. I was stricken with doubt as to whether or not a new office was the right move for the business financially. I knew I needed help, but I had no idea where to go or who to ask. Enter Opher Ganel. Opher and his wife Risa (a fellow LCMFT with her own private practice) are dear friends, and I knew Opher was instrumental in helping facilitate Risa's practice success. So when Risa volunteered her husband's expertise with small business finance, I jumped at the chance. I figured even a few minutes of Opher's time might point me in the right direction, but I was still anxious - and dreading the "numbers" talk.
I needn't have worried. Opher was kind, thoughtful, insightful, and never judgmental. He validated my concerns and patiently walked me through several financial scenarios using simple data I shared. He made the complex simple and understandable, and his obvious expertise and confidence put me right at ease. He spent almost two hours on the phone with me, and was never rushed or impatient with my questions. At the end of our conversation, I had my answer: a new office was not a good move now, but a definite possibility in the future, when certain numbers change (and I know now what those are!). Opher's advice saved me at least $18,000, not to mention that it helped me avoid the effort and disruption of an unneeded move and the stress of dealing with a significant financial misstep. In addition, Opher suggested I spend more on marketing (thanks to him, I also now know exactly how much I spend to get a client in the door). In his summary and recommendations, he gave me action items based on my business data that I can see will help bring in more referrals.
The entire experience was a giant relief! Opher was for me exactly what I aim to be for my clients: calm, reassuring, and experienced help in an area where I had anxiety and need. I left our conversation feeling stronger and more in control, and it felt fantastic. The best part is that I now have a solid and knowledgeable financial business advisor on my "team," and I can consult with Opher as needed in the future... Now that he's launching his new service, “Business Consulting for Therapists and Counselors,” other therapists can too! I know many therapists who also struggle with business finances, data, and trying to understand what it all means. I truly believe that Opher's services will fill a much-needed gap for all therapists in private practice, whether well established, or just starting out. Thanks again, Opher and Risa!
TARA SIMPSON, PSYD
TALKING ABOUT BUSINESS PRACTICES WITH OPHER WAS INTERESTING, EXCITING, AND EMPOWERING. AFTER OUR MEETING I FELT A FOCUS AND OPTIMISM ABOUT MY ABILITY TO MAKE NEEDED CHANGES THAT WOULD NOT ONLY HELP MY BUSINESS SUCCEED, BUT ALSO MAKE ME FEEL LIKE A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OWNER.
When I reached out to Opher Ganel with questions and concerns about the financial aspect of my practice, I was reminded how daunting and overwhelming it can be to seek assistance. As a psychologist, clients present to my office on a regular basis with a problem they would like to change. Invariably, this involves helping them pull apart exactly what the issues are and empowering them to decipher what they themselves can do to change the situation. It takes energy and courage to decide to change a behavior, a thought, and/or a relationship. These aren't exactly easy conversations to have, and you have to have trust in the person whose help you're seeking that they can, in fact, help and that they will do so with a non-judgmental and caring approach.
After more than 10 years in private practice, I realized that the financial framework I had set up in 2005 no longer met the needs of my business. My background as a psychologist prepared me to provide effective care to my patients, but it didn't give me the proper tools to be a savvy business owner. My practice had grown and continues to expand each year, leading Opher to remark: "This is a good problem to have!" However, it was still a problem I needed to address. It was often easy to push the financial aspects of my business to the back burner due to the clinical demands that I allowed to be my main priority. I was also reluctant to admit (what I considered) my "cluelessness" in some business and financial considerations of private practice.
I had questions about effective strategies to prepare for paying my estimated taxes, and also wanted to explore the benefits and potential drawbacks of changing my sole proprietorship into an LLC or S-corp. From the start of our meeting, Opher was kind, understanding, and reassuring with his questions. He provided clear and comprehensive answers, and reassured me that all my concerns could be addressed with several options. As our conversation progressed, more and more questions came to mind that I hadn't even considered or thought of before. I realized to my surprise that talking about business practices with Opher was interesting, exciting, and empowering. After our meeting, I felt a focus and optimism about my ability to make needed changes that would not only help my business succeed, but also make me feel like a successful business owner.
RISA GANEL, LCMFT
AS I HAVE GROWN MY BUSINESS FROM ONE DAY A WEEK, TO RENTING A SUITE, TO BRINGING IN COLLEAGUES TO RENT SPACE, TO ADDING ASSOCIATES, TO HIRING AN ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT, TO BUYING AND BUILDING OUT OUR OWN OFFICE SUITE, HAVING OPHER AS MY CFO MADE EVERY COMPLEX FINANCIAL DECISION CLEAR. AND WHEN SOMETHING I WANTED TO DO WASN'T POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF THE NUMBERS, HE MADE THAT TOO CLEAR, ADDING WHAT WOULD MAKE IT POSSIBLE.
My husband always says that the work I do as a Marriage and Family Therapist has a significant impact and helps change the world in a way that his work as a physicist just doesn't. He has always held what I do in the highest regard and gives me credit for things that, well, I just can't give to myself.
Yes, he is my husband so you may be thinking "Of course she'd say that!" However, you all know the complexity of marital relationships, how easy it is to argue over money, and how being in business with a spouse is often a double whammy to maintaining the longevity, let alone happiness, of a marriage!
Numbers, finances, spreadsheets, these are all like such a foreign language to me that even the most basic tasks, like balancing my checkbook, make me anxious. If it weren't for one of my girlfriends, I would never have survived my statistics class in grad school. I wish I'd known Opher then too! It's not that I can't learn the more complex stuff, it's simply not where my energy is best used. It drains me and leaves my head spinning. Opher is fluent in the language of numbers and finances, and more importantly, he can translate that complex language into something I can readily understand. He is a master at translating and communicating. With Opher, I have never felt ashamed over my confusion with numbers. His unending and unwavering patience (and I've tested it more than once!) knows no bounds (even when I mess up his carefully laid out spreadsheets for the bazillionth time!), and his guidance has helped free me to do the clinical work I love.
When I started my practice, I was terrified to take on the cost of renting office space for even one day a week. I feared I'd be putting our household finances at risk. Opher showed me how the numbers made it possible and eased my fear, allowing me to take on the challenge with confidence. Every step of the way, as I have grown my business from that one day a week, to renting a suite of offices, to bringing in colleagues to rent space from me, to adding associates to my practice, to hiring an administrative assistant, to buying and building out our own office suite, having him as my CFO made every complex financial decision clear. And when something I wanted to do wasn't possible because of the numbers, Opher made that too clear, adding what would make it possible.
I encouraged Opher to create this service for all of you, so that his talents could impact the lives of more clinicians and through you, more individuals, couples, and families. Every woman should be so lucky to have a husband like Opher, and every small business owner should be so lucky to have a CFO like him. I won't share my husband with you :-) but I encourage you to add him to your practice's team. That way, when your eyes glaze over thinking about the finances of your business, or when you're ready to take on the next stage of growth, you won't have to worry because he'll be there to untangle it all and guide you to an informed, financially sound decision with all of the compassion and patience he has always given me. (Love you babe ;-).
SHERI T. BROWN, MS, MSW, LCPC
PRESIDENT, KAIROS MOMENTS, LLC
IF YOU’RE A COUNSELOR WHO UNDERSTANDS THAT TO ENSURE SUCCESS YOU MUST MERGE PASSION AND EXPERIENCE WITH A “BUSINESS MINDSET,” THIS INVALUABLE RESOURCE IS FOR YOU!
Throughout the development and operation of my counseling practice, I've pursued with intention conversations with other therapists about lessons learned on how to attract clients, emerging trends in psychotherapy, case consultations, and CEU opportunities – the emphasis being on how to be a phenomenal clinician – while keeping an eye on the business bank account to ensure my expenses are covered. Frankly, I'd given little attention to what it takes to establish a business-minded infrastructure to ensure the longstanding success of a private practice.
Opher Ganel's workshop, "Running the Business of Your Therapy Practice," pushed my thinking in this area, reminding me that in addition to being a passionate counselor, I must understand "the business" of changing lives, and attend to important yet often overlooked matters that are necessary to establish a healthy solo private practice. Opher addresses factors critical to solo practitioners, such as the total cost of bringing in clients and providing therapy; how to develop a business budget; best fit space solutions; how to market the practice and set rates; and how to plug those elusive money leaks.
I strongly recommend Opher's course on "Running the Business of Your Therapy Practice." Whether you're thinking about starting a practice, or if you’re already several years in. If you’re a counselor who, like myself, understands that to ensure success you must merge passion and experience with a "business mindset,” this invaluable resource is for you!
Rachel Mahoney Rengifo, PhD
Not only was Opher extremely kind and generous, he provided me with so many different perspectives on my practice and areas to consider. I walked away from our conversation feeling motivated and empowered. Suddenly, topics that felt daunting made sense and were manageable.
I first heard Opher Ganel on a podcast episode of “Selling the Couch.” I was drawn to his kind manner, and his astute perception that therapists struggle with fee setting and business management. Finally, here was someone who offered guidance on topics that felt so necessary yet overwhelming to tackle.
Using Opher's thorough worksheet on fee setting, I then followed up with a phone consultation. Not only was Opher extremely kind and generous, he provided me with so many different perspectives on my practice and areas to consider. I walked away from our conversation feeling motivated and empowered. Suddenly, topics that felt daunting made sense and were manageable.
In my opinion, as a solo practitioner, investing in Opher's consultation and educational programs is investing in your financial future. His tools and insights help lay a strong foundation for business growth. I'm looking forward to working with him again and utilizing all of the tools he provides.
Rachel Eddins, LPC
Owner, Eddins Counseling Group
Opher’s financial analysis was thorough and helpful in multiple ways, including identifying target percentages for expenses, and pointing out budget areas to cut and areas to increase. Highly recommend!
I own a successful group practice, but am always interested in learning how I might make it more successful, and verifying I'm running it in the best way I can. Opher Ganel's business budget sanity check seemed like a great opportunity to do just that. Opher’s financial analysis was thorough and helpful in multiple ways, including identifying target percentages for expenses, and pointing out budget areas to cut and areas to increase. He is obviously skilled in numbers and budget analysis and provides a thoughtful analysis to getting to your practice goals. Highly recommend!