Should I start a Private Practice?
Awesome therapists often feel stifled working within agencies and non-profits.
Private practice offers the most freedom, flexibility, and truthfully the most income potential. At the same time, it can be terrifying for therapists to move into self-employment.
Opening a Private Practice
Opening up a private practice is in reality launching a small business. There is risk involved. However, most therapists I meet who put energy into learning and utilizing sound marketing strategies find that the income is MUCH better than when they worked as an employee.
First steps you should take when opening a private practice:
#1. Before you start worrying about nitty gritty details- sit down and develop a life and business vision that makes sense for you personally. Watch the free replay of our business vision training for therapists. it is an excellent resource in your startup check list!
#2. Use that life vision to create a business plan. A business plan projects (guesses) on what the expenses may be, projects (guesses) on tax payments, health insurance, etc. looks at how many clients can be expected to come in each month- and develops a fee and marketing plan based on that information. Check out the free training on How to set fees in private practice. This will help you create a startup that is designed to be profitable!
#3. Private practice marketing is invaluable when launching your business. If people don't know who you exist, how can they come and get helped by you? A website and making it findable are integral in today's world, but there are things you can do to get your name out and start getting referrals ASAP! Hint: Letters and flyers are never as impactful as personal contact and personal connection! Take the free Website 101 e-course for therapists here.
#4. Private practice marketing isn't just about business cards and flyers. Truth be told, you can make 6 figures without a single business card! Want to really make an impression? Grab your phone, put their information directly in, and sent a personal thank you note after meeting them. If it is an awesome connection- set a calendar item to follow-up in a few months to reconnect. Because truly, isn't really about people knowing you and trusting that you will take good care of people?
#5. Start building a list of contacts and connections as soon as you have an inkling that you want to open a private practice. You don't need an office space, or a NPI number, or an EIN number to start building a great network of contacts. If you are planning on launching a private practice next year and you focused on building 50 new connections (who agreed to be on a newsletter) per month- you would have 600 people to announce your grand opening to next year. If even 1% of those people had someone to refer to you in the first 3 months of practice- that would be 6 referrals to your private practice!
#6. Have fun and follow your passion. Yes, there are some nitty gritty business tasks we must do to be successful. However, you have to tap into the joy and passion that makes doing the dirty work worth it. Why are baby's so cute? Otherwise we would NEVER change those nasty diapers. Make sure your are constantly checking back in with your awesome, inspiring vision and letting it give you a smile.
These are just a few tips for starting a private practice and getting your private practice marketing on track. Check out the free private practice trainings and get informed as you start up your psychotherapy practice!