Starting a small business can be difficult. In fact, 50% of small businesses fail (close) within the first 5 years. That is not to say that "staying open" is a litmus of success. I have worked with many therapists who have been open past the 5 year mark whose practice is operating well below the poverty level.
To be successful in private practice, you need a steady stream of clients. You can have the most beautiful office, an amazing website, a great location, and fabulous skills to help people- but if nobody is calling... you do not have a viable business.
We received this question and I think it beautifully sums out the question on a LOT of therapist's minds when they start a private practice: "What marketing strategies seem to have the very fastest results? Put another way, what would be your top three recommendations for a private practice, solo practitioner business to be able to find let's say 5 new clients a week for a month so that at the end of the month you would be pretty much full up? if that seems like too many too fast, then you could scale your answer down to just a couple of new clients weekly, but reliably! I really appreciate you considering answering but on the surface it seems like a pretty ridiculous question!"
*Last updated 9/3/19
6 Figures in Private Practice. How much can you really make in private practice? What’s a therapist’s salary like when they own their own business?
6 figures sounds appealing.
In the marketing world it can mean success, a thriving business, or at the very least it conveys the sense of stability.
When I ask people joining bootcamp about their financial goals, I often hear "I want to make six figures."
My response is: Where did that number come from?
Donna specializes in Christian counseling, childhood sexual abuse, and pre-marital and marriage counseling in the San Diego area.
Your Experience with Bootcamp in one sentence: I went from overwhelmed to confident, clear and excited about a road map for my practice.
How were you feeling before you signed up for bootcamp?: Inadequate as a business owner. Struggling about fee setting. Keeping a small mindset for my business. Overwhelmed and ill-equipped.
The clock ticks past the hour and your client isn’t there. You wait. You stare at the couch (maybe contemplate taking a nap) and your anticipation builds. Are they not showing up for their appointment?
It happens. People miss appointments. Heck, I’ve missed appointments. For some practices it happens often and for others it is something they worry will happen. More often than not, the worry is because every late cancellation or no-show has been handled on a case by case basis and there are no processes in place.
Elizabeth specializes in complex trauma, PTSD, EMDR, adult survivors of narcissistic parents, adult survivors of parents with addiction, childhood emotional neglect, and mindfulness meditation and counseling in the Metro Detroit area.
Your Experience with Bootcamp in one sentence: Bootcamp helped me develop confidence, clarity, and courage.
How were you feeling before you signed up for bootcamp? : When I signed up for bootcamp, I was in solo practice and was worried I wasn't doing everything I needed to become successful. I was feeling alone in my business and wasn't sure who to reach out to or where to find information. When I decided to do Bootcamp, I was excited about the possibilities.
We are bringing back this top article because it has been one that so many have seen and we want to be sure you see as well, especially if you are considering joining Business School Bootcamp.
The path to building a private practice is rarely perfect. While most of you know that I was able to build a successful private pay private practice during the recession- many of you don't know all the ways I messed up. The truth is, I tend to look back on things in a glass half-full. Every mistake I made led me to a million great decisions and experiences. But, it still doesn't mean I didn't mess up.
Mistake #1: I didn't
Peg provides trauma and rape counseling in Boulder, CO. She helps girls and women, whose lives have been turned upside down, move from feeling broken or invisible to feeling powerful, in control and fully alive.
Your Experience with Bootcamp in one sentence: Bootcamp is how I starting with only clinical training and passion and built around it a full vision for my business, and a workable plan to implement that which turned into more than I could even dream when I started!
How were you feeling before you signed up for bootcamp? : Determined, but clueless. Capable but lost.
You’ve looked at all the options for growing your practice. You could work more hours and see clients yourself, add in group therapy work, intensives or some other service, you could add online streams of income or you could start adding clinicians to your private practice and begin expanding into a group therapy practice.
A group practice could be an amazing source of income for you now and in the future. A successful group practice doesn't just happen, it requires thoughtfulness, and great planning to ensure a healthy, happy transition. We want to help you explore the possibility of expanding into a group private practice and avoid some of the common missteps that people make.
We both started our private practices on a shoestring budget. Actually, that isn't really true. We started with absolutely no budget. Why? Miranda wasn't planning to start a private practice, and had no idea what I was doing. She had just quit my full time, benefitted job with the county after having my infant- sort of out of the blue. Kelly was just trying to see if she could muster the passion again for her work after being burned out at her county job. It was more of a test.
Get the top advice for building a private practice in 2019 from therapists across the country!
Ok... let's start by saying this: Private practice is not a get rich quick scheme. This article isn't about making 40k in 2 days, or being salesy, sketchy, or unethical in the name of building your private practice.
But, some of you are struggling financially. And that struggle is making it difficult or impossible to maintain being in private practice and working with the clients who desperately need you. Or, at the very least... not making a decent income is making you seriously question your life's work, or making you feel burnt out and exhausted and sucking the joy out of the work that you love. You might need to make some changes and some decisions to get money flowing in your practice in a more meaningful way. And let's be honest- you might need to happen relatively quickly.
“I thought I already knew everything and realized I don’t know anything.”
You know how to do therapy, but do you know how to create a practice that is right for you and your family? Adam, a clinical psychologist in Arizona shares how he built a part time practice with insurance and cash pay clients that allowed him to be present for his two small children and teach at the university. He created a great fit for himself and his clients.
Did you know that launching a successful psychotherapy practice is easy and an incredibly low investment?
You have done most of the hard work already- you have gotten a master’s degree, hundreds of hours of supervision and gone to weeks worth of advanced training. You have already made the most significant financial investment in gaining this clinical expertise that is wanted and needed in the world.
Now you are ready to start your own private practice AKA create a business out of your passion for helping humans heal.
Starting a new private practice and being full in less than 6 months sounds exciting, but there can be some major fear and doubts along the way. Listen to Mollie's story today and get inspired!
In this podcast we discuss:
How the landscape of private practice community has changed
How community can eliminate the hierarchy of learning and be more collaborative
The importance of in person learning and relationship building
What is needed for success in a community
Why being in person is so valuable
Every time a training opportunity comes up, as a private practice owner, you have to decide if it is worth the time and energy. Let’s be honest, we are always growing and changing as clinicians, improving our skills. We could be learning all the time. We don’t know about you, but many conferences are boring. They are either too broad, or so niched they don’t apply.
Mercedes Samudio, LCSW is a bootcamper who is a thought leader in parenting. She saw a gap in education for therapists and decided to fill it with her Diversity in Parenting Conference. This is a conference that is reflective of the diversity in presenters and topics. But why a parenting conference? Because all of our clients have parents and to understand the diverse ways that families are formed and that children are raised helps us become better therapists to our clients.
Kimberly shares her experience as a clinician who has expanded into a group practice, moved to and from another state, is introverted, launched retreats and workshop and is passionate and fascinated by business and is using the lifetime access of Business School Bootcamp for Therapists.
Hilary is a psychologist specializing in perinatal issues. She shares in this interview how having a niche didn’t mean having to limit her services and now she has a practice that fits into her life and she is as full as she wants to be.
You recharge from being alone, away from groups of people or interacting with others. Your introversion is your greatest power. It is what allows you to connect deeply with others, to feel with your clients and to see the subtleties of the world around you. Yolanda shares this and more in her experience as a clinician who is introverted, who is HSP and who has built a group practice using Business School Bootcamp for Therapists.
When we first met Dr. Abi she was just getting her license and always knew that private practice was her path. Over the past few years she has grown into a group practice that serves the queer community in San Diego, integrating her expertise in spirituality and ADHD.
As part of our success stories blitz, we are sharing the story of Kayce. When we met her she had been in practice for several years and in her words, she was “winging it.”
Several years of taking insurance panels, taking whatever fee anyone was able to pay her and seeing anyone who gave her a call.
“Oh my gosh, I’m a business owner.” That was the realization that hit Nicol when we first met. She had an idea that she was ready to take into the world and it was anything but what she saw her peers doing.
Before joining bootcamp, Charlotte had a lot of questions. Honestly, it was more that she had a lot of guilt. She had been serving clients at an agency and loved her work there, but knew all along she wanted to be in private practice. She simply needed permission to build the practice that was right for her.
Josie had a flourishing practice in CA but when she moved to Utah and started fresh, she found what worked before just wasn’t working any longer. She had twins, lost her mom and found life demanding a new energy unlike ever before. Miranda and Josie talk about how bootcamp helped her move from sitting at a few clients to averaging 15 to 20 clients a week with a waitlist.
Be sure to listen for
The one thing she changed on her website that made the biggest difference
What specializing meant to her practice
What she had to let go of to move forward
And what makes Josie feel vulnerable about private practice
After working in community mental health for 3 years, Gabriel realized it wasn’t something he could sustain. He already had another successful business and he was ready to start another. But this time, he didn’t want it to be so challenging.
In this interview you will learn:
How to ditch googling for answers and get a structured plan
Why you might delay opportunity and growth at times
How to create a win win for yourself, your family and your clients
You have a checklist of things you need to get done to keep the engine of your practice humming along. You are so focused on getting that phone ringing because every time it does, it makes you feel a little bit more confident and secure that you know what you are doing.
Diana joined bootcamp after she had started her practice and had just left her full time job. She had one of those - “I have to make this work” kind of moments. She had some of her marketing in place, she had the website but she was overwhelmed.
There are many different successful private practice models. Today we talk to Lisa Savage about her model of melding private practice with school based mental health. Learn how much revenue she brings in (it will blow your mind), how much of that actually becomes profit (a way less mind-blowing number), and the best things she did to become a successful business owner today!
10 years ago when Kelly and I started helping therapists grow private practices there was next to no information online. Everything was behind membership sites or required expensive coaching to access. In the last 10 years the resources for therapists in private practices have exploded!
In one sense we are SO happy about that! We LOVE that therapists can access so much great content anytime they need it. But now, what we are hearing from therapists is that they are getting TOO much information. They need to discern what information makes sense for them and their unique practices.
I’ve never met Dr. T in person but I feel like we’ve known each other for a long time because of our connection online. She does some amazing work around social media ethics in private practice in addition to her private practice work and consultation work for therapists.
Lauran is a counselor in Orlando, FL who cares deeply about people having powerful, transformational experiences in counseling.
She is a self-professed wounded healer who came to psychotherapy as a second career after being a school teacher for many years. Listen to the podcast below for a little snippet of her story.
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