Starting a Counseling Practice Part 3: Your Business Plan

Starting a Counseling Practice Part 3: Your Business Plan

The four little words that strike fear into the hearts of therapists “Create a Business Plan.” We’ve already talked about how we’ve found that less than 15% of therapists in private practice report having a business plan, and how that negatively impacts them.

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Faith & Private Practice

Faith & Private Practice

Faith Based Counseling: Culturally Competent or Unethical?

Treatment plan for client with mild depression and anxiety symptoms.

Short term goals: Instill hope for the future. Identify maladaptive beliefs that exacerbate depression and anxiety symptoms. Replace maladaptive beliefs with more true beliefs. Client will be able to practice emotional management skills inside and outside of times of stress. Client will expand support network and reach out for support more frequently. 

Interventions: Cognitive behavioral therapy including bibliotherapy, journaling, affirmation work, and practicing forms of meditation in and out of session. Encourage and support pro-community behaviors and reaching out to support networks. 

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Personal Crisis in Private Practice

Personal Crisis in Private Practice

*Trigger warning. This article discusses miscarriage so if that is something that feels hard to read, please stop here.

This month, I was fortunate to be a part of a Love Your Partner Series with Robyn D'Angelo. (You can sign up here for the entire amazing series!) She asked me to share about how to love your partner through a miscarriage. This is the first time I have gone "public" with my story but after my own personal work through my grief, I am finding it helpful not only for me but for others to open up about my journey.

The reason I have chosen to write about it here is because while we share so much about building a practice, we haven't discussed a whole lot about what to do when your own life is in crisis and you are still trying to run a business. 

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LIVE Mini Bootcamp: Week 8

This is the final training in the mini-bootcamp! We had a lot of fun at the launch party with some amazing giveaways! If you found value in the trainings this summer and are ready to interview for bootcamp, click here!

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LIVE Mini Bootcamp: Week 1

This is the start of our live Mini Bootcamp. We are so excited to have you join us! Here's what you need to do.

1) Watch the video

2) Download and Complete your Vision Checklist

3) Comment below and introduce yourself, where you are from and the 1 thing you are going to do to move closer to your vision

4) Share this page with a friend!

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Return on Investment Calculator for Therapists

Return on Investment Calculator for Therapists

Therapists I have something important to tell you. You have limits. You only have so much time, energy, and money. Even more alarming? That time, energy, and money not only has to run a successful business- it also has to fund a happy life! There are VERY few great therapists who lead miserable, burned out lives! 

Return on Investment for Therapists

Today we are going to talk about return on investment. I want to teach you how this silly "business-ey" term could change your life. And no, not just make you more money- but change your life. 

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Starting a Counseling Practice - A Beginner's Guide

Starting a Counseling Practice - A Beginner's Guide

"Give me anything you can to help me start my private practice."

Every week we receive emails from therapists asking about how to get started in their practices. There is great value in getting information from someone who has been there and done that. Yet, we all have our own unique journey. What works for one person, may not work for another. This is why we created a 10 part series that was featured on Pro Psych Central. It is a great compliment to our free trainings and most articles come with a free download to help you integrate what is taught.

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Financial Planning in Private Practice

Financial Planning in Private Practice

Maybe you have your tax planning, retirement, disability coverage and cash flow all figured out. But if you don't, this is for you. This is to encourage you to start learning, even in baby steps. I (Kelly) used to find this stuff intimidating. So I've reached out for support and every year, it gets better. I don't feel so fearful and I know what is currently going on in my business while I am reaching new personal and professional financial goals. 

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5 Reasons Why You Should Join Bootcamp

5 Reasons Why You Should Join Bootcamp

You may have thought about joining our bootcamp or this might be the first time you have heard of it. You can learn more about it here.

So I wanted to breakdown the top 5 reason why you should consider bootcamp.

5. Start Now. We give immediate access to an initial consult script and jumpstart modules so you can start working on your practice immediately. 

4. Current Training. Every round of bootcamp (twice a year) parts of the trainings are up dated to stay current and relevant with what is going on in the business and marketing world. 

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Why Your Therapy Practice Needs a Business Plan

Therapists you need a business plan for your psychotherapy practice

Therapists you need a business plan for your psychotherapy practice

Your private practice is a calling, something you were meant to do. We get it. But, did you know that even churches have business plans? They might call them launch plans, but they are still a business plan. 

Why does a therapy practice need a business plan? 

The same reason you need a budget and a plan at home. Because it takes income to buy food, pay rent, send kids to college, and to live. Your therapy practice can only help people if the doors stay open. 

But I don't need to make a lot of money in my therapy practice. 

I talk to therapists who are relying on their spouse's income and insurance benefits. Their spouse is, in many cases, actually supplementing therapy services for the community. Which would be fine if you were starting a non-profit.

If you are starting a private psychotherapy practice, it is considered a for-profit venture. And, if  you don't make a profit after a few years- the IRS can determine that your work is actually a "hobby" and disallow any write-offs. 

What if life changes? 

People die. Jobs are lost. The work we do is hard. The cost of going to inspiring trainings, getting ongoing supervision or consultation (even after getting licensed), and taking time off is high. Whether you decide to save your profits, give them to charity, or buy a beautiful handbag is your business.

In today's world, it makes sense to have a back-up plan. Just because you don't have to make money in your business doesn't mean you shouldn't. It doesn't mean you should devalue your work, training, expertise, and the profession by charging a rate that doesn't match the expenses of the business or the expertise of the provider. 

What is a Private Practice Business Plan? 

It is a document that outlines how many clients you are going to see, your expenses for the year, your marketing plan, and projects your annual income. It outlines this for the next 3-5 years, and shows the rate of projected growth over that period of time. It includes an analysis of the clients you will serve, the competition in your area, how your services are different, your services and the pricing structure. It includes a mission statement, and so much more. 

Why don't most therapists have business plans? 

We were not taught how to develop business plans. When we ask colleagues how to start private practices, many of them stumbled through the process- so we replicate what they did. Unfortunately, just because someone is "busy" or "full" doesn't mean they have a profitable private practice. You can have a busy, full practice that is barely scraping by, or that isn't making any profit at all! 

Your clients want you to be around.

I know you are not going into private practice willy nilly- this is a big decision! While many of your clients may only work with you for a few months, some of your clients are signing on for intense work that may take years. They are trusting that, if it is within your power, you will be around to complete it with them. 

Life happens, you may have to move our close your practice for a variety of reasons. Not being able to pay the rent should never be one of them! 

Looking for a template to follow? Here is a great business plan creator from the Small Business Administration. 

Want something that is more therapy specific? Consider finding out a bit more about our upcoming Business School Bootcamp. We dig into business planning and help you start the process to reduce the overwhelm! 

Whatever you do, if your private practice isn't where you want or need it to be, reach out and ask for help! There are great programs through Julie Hanks, Casey Truffo, Juliet Austin, Becky Degrossa, Joe Sanok. There are free podcasts, webinars, blogs, and so many people out there! There are so many people cheering you on and rooting for you to be successful! Go out there and be great!