Common Issues When Starting a Private Practice

Here are some of the common issues that come along with your new practice:

Experience and Skills

A private practice is a business venture that requires experience and skills for it to work. Financial capital can start a business, but it’s the skills and experience that keep it running. From my perspective, taking on debt to launch a private practice is actually a really bad idea!

It is important to have a good idea of what running a private practice means before starting one. Honest self-assessment and awareness are essential, otherwise you may fall behind when something unexpected happens.


Being the owner of your own business means that you have to make it run yourself. At the start of the business venture, you may not have a lot of human resource for:

  • Maintenance
  • Payroll and paying yourself
  • Finance
  • Marketing, both online and offline
  • You will have to decide if you want to have W-2 or 1099 clinicians

Thus, you have to manage everything and anything by yourself to keep your private practice running. Even when you have employees to take care of certain tasks, you still have to manage them and make sure they are on task.

Many people find the idea of private practice tempting as it generates much income and influence, but they find the responsibilities overwhelming.

Business Trends

Being wise in business is important. You have to understand which months or seasons have the most clients and which have less to estimate the budgeting and staffing during that season. What are your clinician’s expectations regarding how many new clients you will generate for them?


Advertisement is also very important to any practice. Knowing how to tell people about your business can ensure a steady flow of customers and income. Also, the world of online business marketing is growing. If you don’t understand the basics, many companies are ready to take your money. If you don’t understand what questions to ask, it can be costly.

Business Taxes

Although you have a lot more income in private practice than as an employee, you still have to save to pay taxes for your business. Creating quarterly estimates and working with an accountant usually removes this worry.


Being in private practice means working alone and, as a result, the possibility of feeling isolated from other professionals in your field. Collaborating on projects is helpful.

After you weigh out all of these items, you might still be confused as to how to start or grow your private practice. That’s why this article: 7 Reasons 1/3 of private practices fail might be really helpful.

For now, I’m headed home and then back to the YMCA in the morning.

Business concept image available from Shutterstock

Common Issues When Starting a Private Practice

Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC

Joseph Sanok

Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC teaches consultants how to become better consultants through his website Joe also helps counselors with growing private practices through his website He also loves sailing and playing with his two daughters.


APA Reference
Sanok, J. (2015). Common Issues When Starting a Private Practice. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 3, 2020, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 13 Aug 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Aug 2015
Published on All rights reserved.