The Business of Practice blog series is where is where I share thoughts, ideas, and resources about the business of private practice. Thank you for stopping by and I look forward to helping you turn your practice development dreams in to small business reality.
In the last post I shared a bit about my experience with creating my paperwork and getting some of the logistics of the practice in order. In today’s post I share my experience with figuring how to handle money & marketing my new practice.
Money & Marketing
The parts that made me most nervous about my new practice where figuring out money and marketing. I started my practice as private-pay only. I did a lot of research and spoke with other area clinicians to make sure I was charging fees that were appropriate. I also decided up front that I wanted to accept credit cards, cash, and checks to make it easy for clients to pay for services. I also made sure to detail my financial policies in my paperwork. I wanted my clients to be clear about how this was handled and avoid any surprises.
Marketing was a completely different story. To be honest, this is probably still one of the most challenging aspects of the practice for me. You might think be thinking, “Why would I need to market?” “Clients will just come to me because they need help right?” Well, think again. Yes, clients come to you because they need help, but why should they choose you over another provider? What can you offer them that’s a better fit for their needs than someone else? We are in a different era now, where even as clinicians we need to think about these things. Not every therapist is a good therapist. How can you make yourself and services stand out above the rest?
My story was that I signed-up for an online listserve that I was advised ranks high in google searches. I also did some letter writing to area physicians and churches to introduce myself and my practice. Now I’m going to be very honest; my letter writing didn’t yield any fruit. I think it’s simply because that particular marketing method wasn’t the right fit for me. The listserve I joined has been a great investment because clients have been able to find me. When it comes to marketing it’s not about trying to make somebody buy something they don’t want. Instead it’s about letting your potential clients know you’re there and how you can help them.
There were some other odds and ends like getting a business phone number, business bank account, and a po box, but that’s pretty much it! In January 2011, I opened doors to my practice and within that first week, I saw my first client!
Do You Have Questions?
Have you been thinking about starting a private practice, but have questions about how to get started? Please share your questions in the comments section below and I’ll be happy to answer them on the free upcoming Q & A call.
Ways to Connect
I want to invite you to RSVP for the free Private Practice Development Q & A tele-seminar, where I will be answering your questions about how to get started in private practice. The tele-seminar will be held on April 17, 2015 from 12-1 PM (EDT). Even if you are unable to attend the call live it’s important to sign-up, as a recording of the call will be provided to everyone who has registered.
Have you been thinking about building a private practice but feel like you would benefit from some additional support and guidance? Click here to learn about how private practice development coaching can help.