Q: How much training and mentorship do franchisees receive?

A: Training and mentorship are bottomless!

Training starts with 2.5 days at Thriveworks headquarters. During this initial training, you’ll get Thriveworks 400+ page operations manual, and access to our franchise intranet that has literally thousands of pages of documents (that you will actually use, a lot!) and includes everything from print-on-demand rack cards, to employment contracts, to client intake paperwork.

After training, at least one person from Thriveworks HQ will travel to your office, to spend face-to-face time onsite with you and your team (there’s no cost to you for this. We pay our way, our hotel, etc.).

After that, you’ll have meetings by phone or video at least weekly with an experienced mentor. Weekly meetings will occur indefinitely, or until you opt for less frequent bi-weekly meetings (usually after about 6 month’s franchisees will move to bi-weekly meetings).

You will also have your mentor’s direct phone number, and can reach him/her anytime. You’ll also have access to Thriveworks in-house recruiters, HR professionals, marketers, billers, schedulers, healthcare execs, finance department, in house attorney…everyone! And you can contact any of them, anytime, if you have a question.

The first Friday of every month we have a live video training presentation, followed by a live Q&A videoconference. All franchisees are invited to this monthly training and discussion (It’s a lot of fun, actually. Not to be missed!).

Speaking of the franchise community, our franchisee discussion board is very active, with franchisees sharing experiences and asking questions, and just staying in touch with one another (most franchisees share their personal phone numbers too).

Also, every year we have an event at Thriveworks HQ called “Thrivestock.” This is a type of homecoming for franchisees, and a time to celebrate, learn, reconnect face-to-face with operations, and present and learn from one another. Did I mention celebrate?

Basically, as a Thriveworks franchisee you never have to feel on your own, because there are lots of people available for advice and mentorship.

Q: From 20,000 feet, why would I want to open a Thriveworks center?

A: A Thriveworks Center is a turn-key counseling and coaching practice, and the reasons to own one can be put into 2 buckets.

Bucket 1: Training and Mentorship, which is described in some depth under the question “How much training and mentorship do franchisees receive?”

Bucket 2: Robust Operations Systems and Technologies. Here are a just few things…

Scheduling: Most practices struggle to answer their phones. Even with a full-time receptionist, the hours of an active counseling office are usually 8am-9pm; one receptionist won’t be present during all hours. That’s not to mention vacations, sick time, PTO, and the fact that calls tend to come in waves, not drips. Calls get missed. Management gets overwhelmed. Turnover happens. Clients and counselors get frustrated. It’s a mess. Thriveworks has solved this with a state-of-the-art, professionally managed, HIPAA-compliant contact center. This isn’t an outsourced, overseas, contact center. It’s ours, build from scratch in Virginia, USA.

Medical Billing: Ever hear of the 80/20 rule? It applies to medical billing. 20% of insurance claims take 80% of the work. The problem is medical billing companies know this. If they get you 90% of the claims you file, they make 90% of their fee, but you go out of business (a 90% collection rate is death). At Thriveworks, we never wanted to build a medical billing company. But we did, and it’s fantastic. We beat industry standards on metric, after metric, after metric.

Credentialing: Need help getting on insurance panels? We have you covered, as we own the country’s leading medical credentialing company (aka: Credentialing.com).

Website: Search Knoxville counseling, Sandy Springs counseling, Grand Rapids counseling, Richmond counseling, Cambridge counseling, Charlottesville counseling, or anyplace we’ve been open for 6 months or more (there’s dozens of locations to choose from). You might find that we’re not just on the first page of Google, we’re number one, and in the maps, and with 5-stars next to our phone number!

Client Portal: Online booking of appointments, setup in a way that actually works!

Environment: Thriveworks centers are professionally designed for client comfort and enjoyment. Even the art on the walls is custom made for our centers.

Discounts: Our size has economy of scale! Franchisees enjoy serious discounts: from furniture at wholesale, to lower credit card processing rates, to discounts on an industry leading EMR/EHR, and more.

Creative Technologies: Wouldn’t it be great if after a client’s first session he/she got a text where he/she could provide immediate feedback, and even rate his/her experience? It sounds like a fantasy. We have that. And a whole lot more.

These are just some of the reasons Thriveworks is such a fast-growing franchise concept!

Q: How is Thriveworks different from other counseling practices?

A: At Thriveworks centers, we’re focused on providing the best possible customer service, and making sure clients recieve exceptional clinical care. Not to sound arrogant, but we don’t know anyone who even comes close. On the clinical side, we recruit the best clinicians we can find, and then help them to exceed their own expectations though excellent professional development and clinical supervision. On the customer service side, over 97% of sessions begin on time or early, calls to our offices are answered in under a minute (even in the evenings, even on weekends), our offices are custom designed for client comfort, and the list goes on and on.

Q: Do you use EHR/EMR (Electronic Health Records / Electronic Medical Records)?

A: We do. We utilize an excellent HIPAA-compliant EHR/EMR system that integrates clinical notes, medical billing, and patient payments, and scheduling. It’s both robust and simple to use and learn.

Q: What do you look for in a franchisee?

A: When meeting with a prospective franchisee, we want to learn what his/her goals are for both business and clinical practice. We want to make sure the Thriveworks model is a good fit for him/her, and that he/she is a good fit to own/operate a Thriveworks center. For example, if someone is wanting to open a solo-practice, a Thriveworks franchise isn’t a good fit as Thriveworks centers typically have 5-10 providers (and sometimes more).

Business management and clinical experience (ideally holding a license in the mental health field) are both desirable, but not always necessary. We believe the most important characteristics of a new franchisee are coach-ability, curiosity, and a positive attitude.

Becoming a franchisee means joining the Thriveworks tribe! We’re going to be working together, and journeying together, for years to come, so we’re looking for persons we want to join with us on that journey.

Q: How long does it take to open a Thriveworks location?

A: The time it takes to open a new Thriveworks center, in large part, depends on the operator of the center and the area where the center will open. There’s a lot to be done—from setting up business accounts and payroll, to hiring and onboarding clinicians. Typically, a new center can open and start offering services about 90 days after initial franchisee training. One of the steps in opening a practice that takes the most time is finding an office space that meets Thriveworks’ high quality standards, and waiting for the space to be prepared, or “built out,” in a way that best suits the needs of your new practice.

Q: What are the steps to becoming a franchisee?

A: While the steps to becoming a franchisee can vary slightly case-by-case, here’s how the process of becoming a franchisee typically goes.

  1. A prospective franchisee completes our Request for Consideration (RFC), emails us, or dials us for a brief initial phone call.
  2. We get to know the prospective franchisee, his/her goals and expectations. At the same time, the prospective franchisee asks any questions he/she has about Thriveworks, and/or franchise opportunities. If the prospective franchisee hasn’t completed the RFC at this point, we’ll ask him/her to complete and submit the document.
  3. After the RFC is completed, a second phone call or videoconference is scheduled.
  4. At the conclusion of the second call, we might schedule a time for the prospective franchisee to visit our corporate office (also known as a “discovery day”). During his/her visit, the prospective franchisee can explore an active Thriveworks counseling center, and also meet with our vast support teams including: scheduling, billing, human resources, clinical recruiting, marketing, web/tech, accounting/finance, franchisee mentorship and growth, and others. The prospective franchisee can tour our entire facility and ask any new or remaining questions he/she might have.
  5. Next, we might send the prospective franchisee our Federal Disclosure Document (FDD). This document is about 100 pages (every U.S. franchise is required to have and FDD). It addresses many details including costs associated with opening a Thriveworks center, and the legal terms of our Franchise Agreement. We will typically issue an FDD when a prospective franchisee is ready to print and read it in its entirety. The prospective franchisee is also encouraged to have a lawyer review the document.
  6. During the next call, the prospective franchisee can ask any questions they might have about the content of the FDD, or any new questions they might have about Thriveworks. It’s at this time that a prospective franchisee will typically know if he/she is ready to become an official Thriveworks franchisee.
  7. At this point, a prospective franchisee might ask to speak to other Thriveworks franchisees. We will help setup introductions with any current franchisees the prospective would like to talk with. These calls usually take about an hour each.
  8. With the prospective franchisees nod, we send him/her the final paperwork. He/she signs and returns the paperwork along with the initial franchise fee.
  9. The prospective franchisee attends training at Thriveworks HQ, and upon completion of training they are officially a Thriveworks franchisee!

Q: Have any Thriveworks centers gone out of business?

A: Nope! We’ve never had a center close down. In fact, many of our franchisees have doubled the size of their centers, or opened a second location—and some are on location 3 or 4!

Q: Is it unrealistic to think that someday I could own 4 or 5 locations?

A: Not at all! Many of our operators have expanded to multiple locations (it’s a happy day when someone who was nervous about opening his/her first location is confidently opening their second!). We’ll want to work with you to make sure your first location is healthy and stable before you open your second—or 3rd, 4th, or 5th…

Q: I’m not ready to move forward right now, but I’m worried someone will take the territory I want. Is there a way to reserve a territory?

A: Sorry, not at this time. Currently, we’re focusing on helping franchisees develop and grow new territories.

Q: Do Thriveworks centers practice a specific counseling method?

A: Yes and no. We have an overarching positive philosophy of care, and we’re focused making certain that clients who choose Thriveworks receive both excellent customer services and excellent clinical care. That said, Thriveworks providers use the counseling methodologies in which they were professionally trained and licensed. With this, one clinician might use cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), while another might work from more of a family systems approach.

Q: Do Thriveworks centers have persons available for medication management?

A: Yes. A number of our locations have at least one Psychiatrist or Nurse Practitioner for medication management.

Q: How am I going to convince counselors to work at my center?

A: Thriveworks is successful because our system creates a desirable option for clients to receive counseling or coaching, and because we’ve created a system where providers are supported, respected, compensated very competitively, and have advancement opportunities. The Thriveworks approach to staffing is to hire the best clinicians we can find, and then provide them with the careers they dreamed of when they were in graduate school. During training, we’ll show you how to use the Thriveworks model to provide highly competitive employment opportunities to your staff.

Q: What does it cost to run a Thriveworks office?

A: A Thriveworks office can be much more efficient and have substantially lower operation costs compared to what might be considered a “traditional” therapy office. For example, while a traditional office might employ fulltime office staff including a receptionist, scheduler and a medical biller, Thriveworks centers don’t require such staff because services are provided from our administrative HQ in Virginia. This means a practice isn’t beleaguered with expensive salaries from day one, and the actual office space a Thriveworks center needs to operate is smaller. This, and other efficiencies, make the “burn rate” (what it costs to run a practice on day one) very low. Our FDD (Federal Disclosure Documents) provides exact numbers and cost ranges.

Q: Do you help me choose a territory and a physical location?

A: Yes we do! Choosing a location for your practice is an important decision. We can help you in the selection of a protected territory. In addition, we’ll provide lots of consulting around selecting an office space that will help your practice to retain providers, deliver quality services, and meet Thriveworks high quality standards. In addition, we partner with a major national real estate firm that can also assist you in your office search.

Q: Can I speak with existing franchisees?

A: Of course! An important part of your due diligence process will be speaking with existing franchisees in various stages of growth. Our franchisees are typically very generous with their time when speaking with new potential franchisees. That said, we get many inquiries from new prospective franchisees, so–to respect the time of our existing franchisees–this step is typically reserved for prospective franchisees who have completed our RFC, reviewed the FDD, and are in the later stages of the vetting process. However, when the time comes, prospective franchisees can speak to any (or every) current Thriveworks franchisee.