Starting a private practice

5 Ways to Save Big When Starting a New Private Practice

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Starting a private practice DOES take a financial investment, so it’s important to plan carefully. The good news is that you can start a private practice for much less than it would take other businesses to launch.

I recently read an article on Forbes entitled, “Starting a Business with $15K? You Can Do It, But You Need to Stay Focused“.

I immediately laughed when I saw that. I didn’t have anywhere near $15,000 to start either my private practice, or my current business. Imagine what a luxury it would be to have $15,000 to start your practice. Imagine what a luxury it would be to even have $5,000 to start your practice. Most of us would LOVE to have an extra $5,000 hanging around to invest in our businesses.

That certainly wasn’t the reality for me, and I’m guessing it’s not the reality for you either. I think I had about $500 available, and that probably required me maxing out my credit cards to get there. When you are starting on a shoestring budget, you have to be very strategic about how and where you spend your money.

If you are just starting out in private practice, it’s not just the money you need to be watching. In fact, I’ve created a checklist with the 20 things you MUST do to set yourself up for success in private practice. To grab a copy of it FREE, click here:

Click Here to Download your FREE NEW PRACTICE CHECKLIST. 

Here are my top five tips for minimizing your startup costs when you open your new practice:

    1. Look for shared office space. Not many new therapists realize this, but most private practices have availability that they are willing to rent out at reasonable rates. For instance, when I was in private practice, I worked Tues, Wed, and Thu. That left my beautifully furnished, upscale office sitting empty Mon, Fri, and Sat. I was always happy to rent it out by the hour or by the day to help a therapist get established in practice.Look around your area, connect with established practitioners, and you’ll be amazed at how many offices are out there. Voila! No big investment for security deposit, first and last month’s rent, and no cost to furnish it! It’s truly a win-win arrangement.

 

  • Skip the advertising. You won’t build your practice on fancy ads in glossy magazines. Sorry, I know that’s not what you want to hear. But advertising is a big expense, and it requires a lot of costly testing. I worked with a client several years ago who signed up for a $2,500 advertising package to launch her private practice and didn’t get a single client out of it. Sadly, she’s not alone in this.Most counselors and therapists experiment with advertising when they are first starting out. The problem with this is that you haven’t figured out your marketing message yet. And spending money on advertising without an effective marketing message is a complete waste of money. Instead, when you are starting a private practice, you should focus on crafting and clarifying an effective marketing message. You do that by talking to people and seeing how they respond.

 

 

  • Use Social Media as your Website. A good website is going to cost you several thousand dollars to set up. And while you can attract clients through your website, it’s also very difficult for a new therapist to get listed on the first few pages of Google. If you have several thousand dollars to design and build a website, go for it. But if you are strapped for cash, take advantage of the all the FREE tools online: Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn are the places to start.Google+ is essential for a new business because it gets you listed in the local search results. Facebook is essential because it’s where your clients are, and where they will go to look for you.  LinkedIn is essential because it will connect you with other professionals and offers you a FREE blogging platform.

 

 

  • Take advantage of free offers for directory listings. Many online therapy directories will offer new private practices a free trial of their services. One of them even offers up to six months free! Take advantage of this, and use it wisely. Fill out your profile completely, and test the way your profile is written. Try one profile for a month, then re-write it, and test that for the next month. Compare your results, and try to improve even more for the next month. This is free publicity while you work on crafting your ideal marketing message.

 

 

  • Determine if incorporation is necessary for you. Incorporating your business offers some legal protections for you personally and professionally. It can also be expensive when you’re first starting out. Some accountants will tell their clients that it isn’t necessary to form a corporation when first launching a private practice. Check with your accountant to see if that is an appropriate choice for you. (YES! You do need an accountant, this is essential to any new private practice.)

 

 

While there are many ways to save when starting your private practice, I’ve also seen many therapists and counselors try to save money by figuring this all out on their own. This is actually one of the most expensive mistakes you can make. While this is YOUR business, you do need to develop your business skills, and you need a team around you to support you in that. This can save you thousands of dollars and years of frustration. If you’d like to get more specifics on all the steps necessary to launch your practice, click here to download your FREE copy of my Launching a New Private Practice checklist.

Click Here to Download your FREE NEW PRACTICE CHECKLIST.