3 Tips for SLP and OT's searching for schools to contract with.
Are you an SLP or OT that has decided you want to contract with schools as opposed to be employed by them?
This question--how do I find school contracts-- is HANDS DOWN the number 1 question that floods the TSN inbox.
And guess what?! It's August!
And guess what?! You still have time to make your dream a reality.
Let's do this thing!
First--for those of you who don't know me, my name's Elise. I'm the founder of The Therapist Support Network (TSN) and spend free time on my little hobby farm making therapy materials for the TSN Help Center AND supporting TSN members with obtaining and executing school contracts.
Within my school contracting journey, I also discovered that I have a passion for sales--the right kind, not the spammy kind. I love finding an entity with a need and offering a solution that they likely didn't know was available. It's like being a match maker daily and I train TSN members on this mindset.
BUT before you start making those calls and putting yourself out there, you have to know where to look!
This is the "lowest hanging fruit" of vacancy searches--the most likely to lead you to a school that is still looking PARTICULARLY if the listing is less than 30 days old. Job boards like Indeed, LinkedIn, or state-specific teaching boards can really support you in learning what districts still have vacancies.
I would NOT actually apply for these positions if you want to contract (I go into why in the TSN trainings I provide) --but instead would find the district special education director and call them regarding the vacancy.
RFP and Bid Listings
People--there is not enough space in this blog or energy in my fingers to go into depth of the different types of bids and how each district does them differently-- so I'm going to make this brief, although I know we are peeling off a lid to Pandora's box with this one.
An RFP is essentially a different way a district finds contract providers/companies. There's typically a "request for proposals or bids" posted with a deadline and this is where different contract companies (yep, that's you) can submit a bid to work with the district.
Searching for RFP listings for your desired area and then submitting a proposal can be a way to sell without getting on the phone.
I'm going to moonwalk away from this topic before we all get overwhelmed but know that if you do come across an RFP, the TSN has materials that can support you with a quick submission.
Ohhh Facebook groups--how we love you, how we hate you. The reality of Facebook groups is that they're an awesome way to reach a large amount of people in just one post. I'm also just realizing that may be the curse of Facebook groups, but I digress.
I have found school contracts through an alumni group and on state-specific SLP/OT pages. With this type of search, you're really looking for an SLP or OT that knows of a district or is working for a district that has a need and then getting a hold of the district through that relationship. Reaching out to a school through a "connection" is one of the least intimidating ways to approach a district, and an awesome way to dip your toe in with school contract searching!
Ultimately, to find a school contract, you have to start searching. You also have to start the journey of being comfortable saying you're looking to support districts in need through your business. You never know who in your social media space or alumni group knows of a district that is desperately trying to find someone to fill their needs!
NOW, are you worried about what to say once you find a vacancy? That's where I come in! I offer sales scripts, training, and other important documents (including editable school contracts) to support you with getting that school contract that you're dreaming of!
Check it out here: School Contractor Packet – Therapist Support Network (thetherapistsupportnetwork.com)