Maximizing Your School Contracting Business: 3 Paths to Success

Apr 23, 2024

As a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), Occupational Therapist (OT), or Physical Therapist (PT), the opportunity to directly contract with schools offers a pathway to elevate your business and achieve professional fulfillment. However, the journey isn't a one-size-fits-all, and that's actually one of my favorite things about contracting! 

Here are three strategic directions to take your contracting business:

1. Stay Intentionally Small For some contractors, staying intentionally small is the key to success, fulfillment, and burnout recovery. This approach involves finding contracts that align closely with your needs and goals. Whether it's addressing caseload overflow, supporting rural districts, or embracing virtual contracts, the focus is on quality over quantity. By maintaining a manageable workload and setting some contractual boundaries, you can provide personalized attention to each contract, ensuring beautiful outcomes for both you and the schools you serve.

2. Grow DEEP Alternatively, you may choose to grow deep by focusing on a select few districts or even one district with multiple needs. This strategy is ideal for private practice owners aiming to scale their business to a six-figure level while diversifying revenue streams. By forging strong partnerships with districts and addressing various service needs within a concentrated area, you can establish yourself as a go-to provider for your region. Examples include contracting with districts to fulfill multiple roles or serving several local districts with their therapy needs.

3. Grow WIDE For ambitious contractors with a vision for expansion, growing wide is the key to building a seven-figure staffing agency targeting multiple disciplines across multiple states. This business model is tailored for those who wish to specialize in school contracting and make it their primary focus. It requires a streamlined, strategic, and consistent sales approach, with the goal of adding full-time equivalent (FTE) positions every school year. By leveraging technology, networking, and a strategic sales approach, you can scale your business exponentially while making a significant impact on education nationwide. Better yet--you can provide therapists with a wonderful place to work. 

One thing I recommend is starting small as a direct contractor and gradually scaling your business.  With most school contracts being annual, you have the freedom to assess your capacity, refine your processes, and build relationships with schools before taking on larger commitments. This phased approach allows you to gain valuable experience, establish a strong reputation, and fine-tune your services to meet the evolving needs of your clients.

Whichever path you choose this year, remember that by aligning your business strategy with your passion, professional needs, and expertise, you can thrive AND make a lasting difference in the lives of those you serve.

Need support with starting or growing your contracting business?  Check out my resources that are designed to give you AFFORDABLE tools to make your contracting dreams a reality.

❤️ Elise