Updated: Feb 15, 2022
Starting your own private practice is not for all therapists or life coaches, but many at some point have given the idea some consideration. It provides many things that an employed therapist position is unable to offer. If you start your private practice alongside your regular job, you can have the best of both worlds.
There are some important aspects of any business that need to be dealt with effectively in order for your practice to become successful.
Take care of these things to help create the success you want for your practice:
1. Enjoy what you do - determine the clients and focus for your practice that helps you stay energized. If you find yourself NOT enjoying what you do, find out what it is you don’t enjoy and either fix it, forget it, change it, or get someone else to do it.
● If you don’t enjoy what you do, it’s just a matter of time before you quit.
● This is not like a job where someone is telling you what to do and how to do it. ALL the choices are yours when you run your own practice. Choose a different strategy, make a decision, take action, and move on.
2. Watch your overhead costs. The lower your overhead the quicker you get into profit. Each month carefully look over your expenses and assess your income.
3. Charge the maximum amount the market will accept. Take a look at PsychologyToday to figure out the rates in your area. Consider starting at a rate that is on the lower side of the market and then every 6 months increase your rate until you are at the highest level of the market. Each year have a modest $5-$10 increase each year for existing clients. Every other business does it. Taxes go up. Overhead goes up. Rent goes up, and so should your rates/prices.
4. Be both persistent and consistent. Whatever you do, always be consistent and persistent.
● For example, obtain a system that will text or email client reminders.
● If you take 30 minutes between appointments for lunch on the run, always take 30 minutes.
● If you tell clients that bookings run from Wed to Saturday, always book on those days. Be consistent. Don’t allow clients to encroach on your free time.
● ALWAYS be persistent. If you follow up with anyone for anything, like a bank, clients, suppliers, IRS office, or whatever, be PERSISTENT. Keep at it until it is resolved to your satisfaction. Don’t let things slide. They have a habit of accumulating.
Bottom line is: the tighter you run the practice, the better service you’ll provide, the more satisfied clients you’ll attract, the more profit you’ll make, and the more fun and free time you’ll have. Plus, you’ll enjoy more satisfaction and fulfilment.
If you’re running your practice alongside your regular job, it’s important to create and maintain a routine to ensure that your practice doesn’t interfere with your job and vice-versa.
The business doesn’t have to be huge to become meaningful. If you could make a modest $250 a week profit, working part-time, that would be an extra $1000 a month into the household budget. Would that make a difference for you and your household? Of course!
It’s not always the case, but oftentimes you can grow a small practice and eventually allow you to quit your full-time job. If that is something that might interest you over time, it will benefit you to begin with the end in mind.
What’s most important is not to get everything right, but to get started. You can adjust and adapt as you go, but most important of all is just to GET GOING. You’ll be glad you did!