Bio Elizabeth Perry, MS, CCC-SLP is STAG’s founder, director, and therapist on the team. Liz received her Bachelor of Art degree from UC Davis in 2010 and a Master of Science degree from Brigham Young University in 2012. Additionally, she received the Compton PES-L accent modification certification in 2013 and an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Specialist certification from Stockton University in 2020. Later in 2020, she was granted the Award for Continuing Education from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Her areas of specialty include corporate coaching in accent modification and acquisition, Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs), Autism Spectrum Disorder, and early intervention practices. When not with clients, Liz enjoys reading, traveling, and hanging out with her husband and five kids.
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What is your desired transformation(s) from this alternative journey?
There are several:
1. Promoting the acceptance and celebration of neurodiversity, as well as the inclusivity of neurodiverse populations, worldwide.
2. Helping to shift our field into a more holistic approach where we focus more on the whole person and whole family, rather than singular isolated skills.
3. Generation of more passive income through alternative revenue sources, such as teaching online classes.
4. Bringing speech therapy into places worldwide where services are generally unavailable.
What are some of the initial steps that you took to create your own private SLP practice?
While you don’t gain the skill set from working in a private practice, you get to know the owners if it’s a small enough company. Because you see that they’re just regular people just like you who may or may not have had any business training and background. So that’s the adequate training I think you really need, in order to start a business, to have some people who are also business owners who you can talk to and to support. But in terms of actually starting the business, I went on to RocketLawyer and incorporated at the time as a limited liability company because I didn’t know any better. We’re now an S-Corporation, but I chose a name and got a logo and a website, hung out my sign, and said, hey, here we are.
We’re on Yelp, and we got a couple of phone calls over the first month or two. It wasn’t a whole lot and I was looking at some additional payer sources at the time. Regional Center is an early intervention state-funded therapy helping organization throughout the state of California. It offers in-home therapy at no cost to families and you can become a vendor with them. After a six-month process, I went immediately to full-time because they had so many clients who needed it.
How have you managed your business growth?
I realized pretty quickly within the first year that I needed to have some kind of admin to help. So I hired an administrative assistant. She’s our regional center liaison coordinator and does our graphics. Then I took on a speech therapist just to see a couple of kiddos who I couldn’t get to. And she’s still with us as well, seeing a small handful of clients.
And then after that, I realized I really needed a CPA. I needed a small business lawyer who could answer a lot of questions for me. I needed someone who could handle insurance.
After transitioning my company from the LLC to the S corp I hired a billing specialist. The billing side was taking way too much time and I was unfamiliar with a lot of systems.
How did you know how to price?
I started back in 2016 well below the industry standard for hourly rates. I felt so uncomfortable with it and I think a lot of new business owners do feel uncomfortable setting rates. So every year I just raised rates to try to bring it up to the industry standard. Nowadays, we are well over the industry standard for what we charge, but no one seems to care. And part of that is our clientele. We have a lot of people coming in who they’re millionaires, billionaires. This helps to make it affordable for the people who can’t pay.
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