The first quarter of 2019 ends on Sunday. You might’ve finished your taxes for 2018. Now is the time where you might be taking a deeper look at your financial plans and seeing that you need to make some real changes if you are to have the life and financial stability that you need.
Is Private Practice a Good Option in 2019?
It can be scary to even consider that you could have a private practice that truly meets your needs with insurance constant changes, threats of recessions around the world, and lots of statistics saying that most private practices close within five years . As someone who has talked to literally thousands of therapists from around the world, I am here to share that therapists are creating successful private practices every day.
What Separates the Private Practices that Succeed from Those that Fail?
Vision, planning, and foundation. The private practices that are sustainable and that work long-term are those that get clear about makes sense for them, they plan for it, and they set a solid foundation and learn how to be a business owner. A private practice is a business. It isn’t “just” a private practice. It is a business, with business taxes, responsibilities, and liabilities to contend with. Therapists that succeed long-term get comfortable with money, profit and loss reports, marketing, and regularly reassessing and making adjustments.
But what about Practices that Explode Overnight without Planning?
A small percentage of therapists grow quickly, almost overnight. You talk to these therapists and they tell you that they don’t know what they did; it grew quickly, they didn’t need to market, and they’ve struggled to keep up with demand. On the surface it looks like magic – and can make you wonder if there is something wrong with you if you aren’t growing quickly – or it can give you unrealistic expectations that you could grow as quickly. Dig deeper and you will often find that the foundation of the business isn’t solid. A business plan was never developed, there is no savings for vacation or retirement, and the business owners don’t know what they did so they don’t have a plan or things in place if the tide of referrals shift.
Without a Solid Foundation You Will Feel Anxious and At Risk
When I started my private practice, I was taking over the office from a kind and passionate private practice therapist who was closing down her business. She had been thriving in private practice making a great income for years and, seemingly overnight, she couldn’t sustain her private practice overnight. What happened? She had relied on one particular insurance company for referrals and reimbursement, and when they stopped reimbursing for outside services, her business didn’t pivot quickly enough to survive.
Learning Business Benefits Your Clients
We work with therapists on building the foundation of their businesses, and they are always so surprised on how taking time to work on the foundation of their business, marketing, and finances has a positive impact on the clinical outcomes of their clients. It doesn’t have to be either/or. A great business plan is one that takes great care of you and leaves you feeling solid to do good, sustainable work with your clients and your community for the long-haul. You get to create a solid container and foundation that can be there for your clients.
Successful Therapists are Struggling Too
The truth is, the biggest problem I find for my private coaching clients in private practice is that once they set the solid foundation, they can’t keep up with demand. Finding good therapists to hire and work with is hard, and they constantly have a long client waiting list, or they are referring clients out left and right. They have new problems they weren’t expecting, and they have to make changes and pivot to manage the tide of referrals. Would they say it is worth it? Absolutely!
Is Private Practice is a Good Investment?
The question is, are you a good investment? You don’t know what will happen with law changes, funding of governmental programs, or whether your employee will or won’t be able to cash your paycheck at the end of the day. Many of us have been conditioned to think that we are more secure being employed by others. Sometimes that is true, but often, in today’s climate it isn’t. I’ve found that investing in my own business, skill set, and confidence has provided not just for my financial stability in the here and now, but also confidence about my financial future. I know that I have the skills to shift and change as needed.
Where do you start in setting a solid foundation?
There are free trainings for therapists who want to grow, launch, or revamp private therapy practices. There is even a Business School Bootcamp for Therapists that is like getting an MBA specifically geared toward therapists. There is help out there to show you how to build your solid foundation and create success in private practice in 2019. Looking for stories of inspiration? Check out this podcast with therapists who share their private practice success stories.
What are your questions or fears about private practice? Ask or comment below and let us help direct you and give you real information so you can make informed decisions!
The truth is, if you have been thinking about opening a private practice, there is likely no better time. You can keep waiting until next year… or you can make a plan, implement it, and have the practice you truly desire by next year!