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Just Spoke to Someone with a Problem

HelpAndProsper

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So we're in the business of solving people's problems, right?

I'm posting this to gain feedback and maybe run with this idea while hopefully helping others to think in the FLane. I don't care if anyone wants to steal a business idea from here because there are countless opportunities out there similar to this...

After watching some Andy Black and reading MJ's TFLM, I figured I'd start talking to strangers.....

I frequently work in a local coffee shop while doing Web Development courses and building websites.

One woman is always in there and I know she is a mental health counselor. Today, I sat across from her and asked, "Hi, I'm trying to help a couple therapists build their practices. Can you tell me some of the biggest problems you have with your practice in general?".

She was very willing to talk and these are the main points she made:

- Many therapists don't want to bother doing the paperwork to get on Insurance Panels so they can get paid by client/patient's insurance plans. It's a pain to do the paperwork sometimes and learn the rules to get on Insurance Panels. So many therapists will just say "i only take cash". They need help navigating the rules to get signed up to Insurance Panels as a mental health provider.

- There is a new Mass Health Insurance law in Massachusetts where I live and now many clients won't have the mental health component on their insurance so they have to do some extra paperwork to get covered for therapy.

- She said many therapists get voicemails from clients and they don't even bother to call back the client and put them on a waiting list because their schedules are full. She said therapists lose future clients because they don't return these voicemails so the clients end up going elsewhere to get therapy in the future.

- She hates using email and is "bad" with IT processes so she uses a phone most of the time. She doesn't understand technology very well, software, etc. She said she hardly ever bothers to answer email.

These are 4 main problems I discovered today talking to one successful therapist who has a full practice. She gets a steady stream of referrals from Boston Public schools and a hospital.

I'm open to your suggestions!
 

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GoGetter24

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Actually sounds like a deficit in therapists. Key phrase there is "because their schedules are full". There's little point in streamlining lead conversion when the supply is already exhausted. Perhaps interview a few more of her ilk to get broader data. If the supply is only locally exhausted their prices are too low.
 
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HelpAndProsper

HelpAndProsper

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Apr 1, 2018
62
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118
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Boston
Actually sounds like a deficit in therapists. Key phrase there is "because their schedules are full". There's little point in streamlining lead conversion when the supply is already exhausted. Perhaps interview a few more of her ilk to get broader data. If the supply is only locally exhausted their prices are too low.
Yeah, she is one of the very successful ones......Other therapists have trouble finding enough clients. I know of one specifically who doesn't get enough clients.

But helping them navigate the insurance panel process in a "simple" way could be really good?
 

GoGetter24

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But helping them navigate the insurance panel process in a "simple" way could be really good?
Certainly could be, if it's a widely held pain, and you can come up with a system that leapfrogs that pain.

As a story, it's a common pain in universities that students have to sign up for classes at the start of semester. Students would sit on the website waiting for signup to open, so they could scramble to get the best times. However it was only the guy who made the "Vagrant" IT tool, who as a student, saw the opportunity. His SaaS that autofilled it ended up generating $500k a year while he was still at university. Just one university.

So yeah could certainly be monetized if you can make and market a genuine pain remover in that space.
 
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HelpAndProsper

HelpAndProsper

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Apr 1, 2018
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Boston
Certainly could be, if it's a widely held pain, and you can come up with a system that leapfrogs that pain.

As a story, it's a common pain in universities that students have to sign up for classes at the start of semester. Students would sit on the website waiting for signup to open, so they could scramble to get the best times. However it was only the guy who made the "Vagrant" IT tool, who as a student, saw the opportunity. His SaaS that autofilled it ended up generating $500k a year while he was still at university. Just one university.

So yeah could certainly be monetized if you can make and market a genuine pain remover in that space.
very cool example about the IT tool. I love JavaScript and I'm trying to create a small App as we speak and would love to create solutions like you mentioned.
 

Merging Left

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How do therapists generally find new clients? Referrals, I assume. Or Yelp.

Maybe you can develop a lead generation business to help therapists find new clients, since you mentioned that most have trouble filling all of their available times.

This could go hand-in-hand with offering a service to get them listed on the Insurance Panels, since most major insurance companies maintain directories of accepted practitioners.
 
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OP
HelpAndProsper

HelpAndProsper

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Apr 1, 2018
62
79
118
45
Boston
How do therapists generally find new clients? Referrals, I assume. Or Yelp.

Maybe you can develop a lead generation business to help therapists find new clients, since you mentioned that most have trouble filling all of their available times.

This could go hand-in-hand with offering a service to get them listed on the Insurance Panels, since most major insurance companies maintain directories of accepted practitioners.
Thank You! I will keep you posted ! Yes, I agree, I'm trying to create a simple web app that will walk them through the necessary forms. etc. to get on a Panel. As far as lead generation, I'm open to your ideas. In the past, I video recorded some interviews of therapists and was posting them online to a website I owned, but the labor of going out and interviewing tons of therapists is prohibitive so I'm working on more of the app/website dev aspect to try and help them.

I'm always open to more ideas! Thanks!
 

Late Bloomer

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When you're next both at the coffee shop, you could ask some follow up questions.

Suppose that a therapist had an office manager who could return all the calls, check emails, schedule clients who don't have a crisis issue so they are okay to wait a while, and most importantly, do all the insurance paperwork. Would that keep someone busy full time, or would it only be a part time job? How much would it cost to hire someone to do all of that?

Whatever she answers, use her own Freudian line back: "Hmmm, that's interesting. Tell me more about your paperwork!" ;-)

Go home and think about what it would take to develop an outsourced service that could handle all this for them. Reread MJ's story about turning the limos site into a lead generation service. Could you do that business model?

Then, back to the therapists. "Suppose that instead of your having to hire someone to do all that work, what if you could pay a flat rate of $x per new client for someone who took care of all the paperwork and technology for you?"
 
OP
OP
HelpAndProsper

HelpAndProsper

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Apr 1, 2018
62
79
118
45
Boston
When you're next both at the coffee shop, you could ask some follow up questions.

Suppose that a therapist had an office manager who could return all the calls, check emails, schedule clients who don't have a crisis issue so they are okay to wait a while, and most importantly, do all the insurance paperwork. Would that keep someone busy full time, or would it only be a part time job? How much would it cost to hire someone to do all of that?

Whatever she answers, use her own Freudian line back: "Hmmm, that's interesting. Tell me more about your paperwork!" ;-)

Go home and think about what it would take to develop an outsourced service that could handle all this for them. Reread MJ's story about turning the limos site into a lead generation service. Could you do that business model?

Then, back to the therapists. "Suppose that instead of your having to hire someone to do all that work, what if you could pay a flat rate of $x per new client for someone who took care of all the paperwork and technology for you?"
Excellent stuff!!!! Yes, I've been thinking along these lines for a while. I know a lot of therapists and at one time inquired about handling their billing, but I really like your idea of creating a package and making the fee a simple charger per customer that I book. Thank You! I will keep you posted.

Keep the ideas coming! I'm reading Unscripted as we speak and learning a ton. I've recently become proficient with JavaScript and can now create rudimentary web apps with some interactivity.

My background is mostly IT Project Management, IT Support.
 

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