7 Vital Steps To Start A Private Practice (& Grow It Long-Term)

At some point or another, many therapists and clinicians consider opening their own private practice. It offers more than a few benefits, and gives them the chance to spread their wings. There’s almost no reason why they shouldn’t.

While there are inevitable risks that come with this, if you start a private practice the right way, these could be relatively minimal.

That all means knowing what you’re doing. Though you could be great with clients, there’ll be more than a few other factors to focus on when you’re opening a practice. Thankfully, this shouldn’t have to be as overwhelming as you’d think.

With the right steps, there should be far less to worry about than you’d think.

Why Start A Private Practice?

Before diving in, it’s worth looking at why you should start a private practice in the first place. For many people, it’s simply because they want to have a practice they can call their own. Outside of that, there are more than a few reasons why you could be tempted.

It offers more than a few benefits to your therapeutic career, making it worth diving into each of them. Some of the more notable are:

  • Having More Autonomy – As the owner of your own practice, you get to decide how everything’s done. You’ll have much more autonomy over every facet of the practice. If you believe things at your old practice can be done better, then this is your time to actually do it better.
  • Creating An Ideal Work Culture – Speaking of autonomy, you’ll be able to create a work culture that helps you, and any employees, thrive. It could end up being a much better work environment than the ones you’ve already worked in. There’s no reason why you can’t make it an improvement.
  • Helping You Learn – While you would’ve done a lot of learning when getting your certifications and degrees, running a private practice forces you to learn even more. Much of this is unrelated to what happens between you and your clients. It’s focused on the business side of things more than others.
  • Increasing Job Security – As long as you’re running your practice well, you shouldn’t need to worry about job security. You’re not going to fire yourself, after all. You’ll be in a much better position to be worry-free when it comes to your job. For many budding entrepreneurs, this is the most appealing reason to start.
  • Improving The Financial Side – Though you mightn’t have become a therapist for the finances, it can still be an incentive for starting off your practice. As the owner, you should earn more than you did in your previous roles, especially if you’re the only therapist there. You wouldn’t have a portion of the income going to someone above you, after all.

These could be more than enough to persuade you to start a private practice. For everything to go well – and to actually see these benefits – you’ll need to know what you’re doing, though.

This feels overwhelming, and even borderline impossible, when you’re first starting off. With some perseverance and the right steps, however, it could be easier than you’d think. Seven of these stand out because of how much they’ll help with the process.

It’s worth taking a dive into each of them.

Start A Private Practice: 7 Steps To Take

7 Vital Steps To Start A Private Practice (& Grow It Long-Term)

1. Define A Niche

There’s a decent chance you specialized in a certain type of therapy when you were getting your qualifications. As natural as that is, it can have quite a significant difference on your private practice. You could need to define a niche for yourself, and focusing on your specialty could be the right way to go.

It lets you focus your efforts on getting clients best suited to your specialization. Since there’s a reason why you focused on this from the start, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t keep focusing on it with your private practice. Do this from the start.

2. Review Regulatory Requirements

You’ll already know there are plenty of regulatory requirements involved in dealing with your clients. You should be well-versed in them and make sure you’re on the right side of the legalities. As obvious as these requirements are, what’s easy to overlook is there are plenty of business-related ones to look after too.

Spend some time looking into all of the possible laws and requirements that will affect your practice. Since they could have significant consequences on the practice itself, they should be one of the areas you spend the most time on at the start. You’ve no reason not to.

3. Develop A Business Plan

While you’ll usually want to start a private practice because you want to help clients, you shouldn’t overlook the fact that it’s a business. There’ll be more than a few areas you’ll need to think about when you’re doing that. Make sure you focus on them from the start, which is where a business plan comes in.

With this, you can figure out every facet of your private practice business. Though this can be a complicated area to figure out, it’s also one of the most important. It gives you the exact steps you need for your private practice to succeed long-term.

4. Invest In Your Tools

You’ll need more than a few tools when you’re running your practice, and it’s worth investing in these early. There could be more than a few of these to look into, and you might even know about a few of them already. An occupational therapy EMR might be one of the more obvious, but there are more than you might think.

Don’t overlook the business side of things, which will take up quite a bit of your day. Accounting software and similar options could help you a lot more than you’d think. At a minimum, they should take a lot of time and effort out of the non-client focused areas, letting you focus more on actually working with your clients.

5. Look After Your Finances

Running a private practice costs money, and you’ll have to balance this with the income you’re generating from clients. While you’ll already know that, what you’ll need to be prepared for are the costs of starting your practice, which will come without almost any income from clients at the start.

These will be the costs of actually starting things off, like getting an office and investing in equipment. Make sure you look after your finances properly from the start. Spend a while before you start a private practice getting your finances in order. Understand what your costs will be, and make sure you’ve set aside enough to cover them for a while.

6. Develop An Onboarding Process

At some point, you’ll get clients coming in through the door. Even if you already have some existing clients, you’ll likely need to start bringing in some new ones. One of the key parts of this is having an onboarding process. It’s often one of the more overlooked parts of starting a private practice, but it needs to be done.

This process helps you and your new clients to get on the same page and establish goals for their time with you. The first therapy session with them could be a part of this, but there’s also getting documentation in order before that. Getting insurance information and similar factors will be a part of this, and they could be essential components.

7. Market Your Practice

Before you can start onboarding clients, you’ll need to  get them in the door in the first place. You’ll have to spend a decent amount of time advertising your practice so people are aware it exists in the first place. While this takes time and effort, there are more than a few ways you can get it done.

Focus on local marketing if you really want to see an impact. Locals will be your main – if not only – client base, so these are the ones you should focus on most. Though clients could trickle in at first, you’ll see more and more come in once you’ve put some time and effort into it. There’s no reason not to.

Start A Private Practice: Wrapping Up

If you want to own a private practice, you’ll need to be willing to put the time and effort into it. While this can feel overwhelming at first, it could be easier than you’d think. You’ll just need to know how to start a private practice the right way.

There’ll be a decent bit of work and effort involved, but the benefits can be more than worth it. You’ll spread your wings and even do more good for your clients.

The right steps help to set you up properly, and they’ll even let you focus on your clients once everything’s been set up. While you’ll have more areas to look after when you’re running it yourself, this gets easier in time.

There’s no reason not to give it a go and put the effort into it.

FG Editorial Team
The Founder's Guide Team - Asian Associates with dynamic elements out to make a change.Thank you for visiting our site! If you do have any questions or inquiry, feel free to contact us through our links and please don't forget to follow our social media accounts. It would be our pleasure to help you in any way we can. Always Remember: "Proceed to Succeed". Hoping to hear from you soon!