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Top 5 Things to Know BEFORE Starting your Private Practice

You're officially licensed and ready to start seeing clients, now where do you begin? It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of starting to work with new clients that you forget some of the essential basics that need to be done to start your private practice. Over the years of helping others build their own private practices I have combined the top 5 things that my clients are saying helped them start their business.

Tip #1: Test the waters.

Start part-time with just a few clients. Perhaps rent out office space from another therapist just one or two days a week. Get a feel for what it's like to have your own private practice, what it’s like to set your own hours and be your own boss. You may decide that this isn’t for you, and that is okay. It’s better to realize it now than when you have a full caseload.

Tip #2: Know your specialty AND your competition.

Ask yourself these 3 important questions:

· Do you have a specialty that would sustain a private practice?

· Are there therapists in the area with the same specialty?

· Is there room for you to grow a private practice with your specialty and how would the surrounding competition affect you?

These are some questions that are good to ask yourself before becoming a full-time Private Practice.

Tip #3: Build relationships.

Other therapists in the area do not have to necessarily be your competition. In fact, it’s best to get to know the other therapists in the area and what they specialize in. If your specialty is anxiety and depression and you find a therapist that specializes in eating disorders, you may be able to become referral sources for each other. Reach out to local pediatric doctor's offices and local schools if you specialize in Child therapy. If you specialize in anxiety, reach out to the local Gastrologist. Building relationships is key to creating a successful Private Practice.

Tip #4: Find your Brand and make a presence.

So, what is branding? Branding is all about personalizing YOUR practice. It honestly isn't as scary as it sounds. Create a logo and create a color theme and just stick to it. How do I "make a presence"? Simply have an active blog, social media pages, and an e-mail newsletter. Be active with blogging, keep up with your social media sites and be consistent with your email newsletters. Start to build your database and you're following from the start. Before you know it, you'll have a face to your business online with an outreach that can help sustain your private practice.

Tip #5: Surround yourself with the best.

In order to succeed in the private practice world, you need to make sure you set yourself up for success. That means getting support from the very beginning. Do the research and get the best phone system to answer calls, the most effective electronic health record system to organize your client, and perhaps even think about hiring a virtual assistant to help with the mundane daily tasks that need to be kept up to date to keep your practice afloat. It’s important to get assistance from the start so you don’t burn yourself out. Lastly, make sure you leave enough time for self-care, so you can helping others effectively.

Starting your own private practice can be intimidating, so start slow and grow your private practice into your dream job.

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