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Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Opening Up Your Private Practice

No gatekeeping here!

By: Melissa Tijerino

Finally! You now work for yourself, you are your own boss! Congratulations!!! There’s something so satisfying about being your own boss. Starting up your own private practice is one of the best decisions you could make, not only for yourself but for your community.. Isn’t that amazing?

Being able to choose who and when you see clients,

But before we pop the champagne, (if you roll that way) there’s still so much more to do!

In this blog post, we go over the Top 5 Mistakes Private Practice Owners make, essentially within the first year of starting up and how to avoid them!

Put Your Money Where Your Business Is

No literally.. Think you can start your private practice with only 100$? You might want to re-think that again! There’s a lot of notion of being able to invest in your business at a very low cost, while that isn’t necessarily impossible, it’s certainly not the most ideal route to take!

A great example of this is investing in a quality office space for your practice, one things for sure is that you don’t want to have a dim, dark and scary looking office space, whether you’re seeing clients in person or virtually, you want to make sure your space is bright and inviting

Choosing the right location is also super important! You want to make sure that your clients are comfortable with showing up to their sessions in a relatively safe and lively location rather than the sketchy part of town

Remember, what you put into your practice now will pay off in the future

Let’s go over some expenses you might acquire during the first year of opening your private practice,

  • Business Entity Formation (i.e. LLC)

  • Lease / Renting an Office Space

  • Office Utilities & Supplies

  • Office Equipment & Furnishings

  • Practice Management System

  • Marketing Costs

  • Accounting Costs

  • Liability Insurance

  • Health Insurance

  • Renter’s Insurance

  • Business Taxes

…. Just to name a few!

Don’t Overwork Yourself!

Trust me, I get it! Of course you want to be the best of the best, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice and neglect your self care!!

Most therapists will be ready to start seeing clients on a full-time basis. However, this is not something we recommend doing! As we mentioned above, you’ll need to assume a huge amount of financial responsibilities, most of the expenses you’ll have to pay for before you even meet your first client.

So what can you do? We recommend starting off on a part-time basis. This will also help you cut down significantly on costs if you decide to sublease an office space from another therapist on a part-time basis. BONUS: You’ll also cut down the cost of office supplies and furniture! A win-win if you ask me

Working part-time will also give you all the freedom and flexibility to work anywhere, while you gain the experience of running your own private practice

Not Having Enough Funds

Thinking about how you’ll make ends meet while starting up your business is very important to keep in mind while you’re doing all that fancy pen and bamboo paper shopping! (Trust me it’s not necessary)

Remember, you still need to eat, live, and finance your personal life while starting up your private practice. Many practice owners rely on credit cards to supplement their income until they can make money from their business. But the reality of it is, no one wants credit card debit!

The best way to avoid credit card debt is to save, save, save as soon as possible before you have your grand opening!

Our recommendation is to save up a year's worth of PERSONAL expenses. Calculate how much you spend on housing, food, entertainment, personal hygiene for a month's time, and multiply this by 12, this will give you a basic number on how much you should have saved by the time you’re ready to start your private practice!

Wrong Fees!

Again, here we are talking about money! It really is the root of all of this if you think about it. But we HAVE to discuss and go over HOW you’re going to make your income, I mean you have to survive to right?

We’ve talked about investing your money and tips to keep yourself afloat while starting up your practice. But why does no one mention choosing the wrong fees? This is so important!

You might be torn between not wanting to scare your potential clients away by charging high fees, but at the same time, you don’t want to sabotage your own financial freedom by offering unsustainably low fees

So what can you do?? Let’s give you some advice on how to price yourself right!

  • Compare Other Therapists in Your Area - This will give you a great understanding of the community standards of what those are willing to pay for their therapy services in their area

  • DO NOT LOWBALL YOURSELF! - It seems like everyone is on a mission to have the lowest rates, but no one wins or benefits from this! Marketing your skill to be ‘’Inexpensive’’ will do you no good. Trust me when I say people will pay big bucks for things such as reputation, convenience, and excellent customer service

  • Calculate Accordingly - In order to meet your financial obligations, you’ll need to calculate how many clients you should see in a month to meet those goals, this goes hand in hand with not lowballing yourself, because you can see 100+ clients a month, and still not reach your financial goals, but if your price is right, you’ll be exceeding your financial goals!


This is so important! Being consistent with every single area of your private practice will give your clients a sense of trust and confidence in your practice and the care they’re receiving. Knowing what works for you and sticking to specific processes and procedures with every client will take you far!

Charging the same fee’s and implementing the same ground rules for each client will be so much less confusing for YOU and your clients.

Need Help?

Starting up your own private practice is such an exciting moment in your career as a mental health professional.

However, in order to enjoy your private practice for years to come, you’ll want to implement all tips we mentioned above

Need more? We can help! At Growing Your Private Practice Virtually, this is what we specialize in, helping therapists such as yourself grow their private practice!

We can help you implement the appropriate process and procedures for your specific practice’s needs.

Schedule your consultation with me today! Let’s KEEP you on the path to success!

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1 Comment

Holly Keller
Holly Keller
Aug 17, 2022

These tips are super helpful! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I often need to be reminded that it is vital to invest in my private practice. I have struggled with decerning which expenses I should prioritize. I can say I have already made some mistakes on the list. I need to add a budget for my health insurance and marketing in my business plan.

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