hange of pace? Starting a private practice in counseling could be your next move. The only immediate problem is that you might not know how to run your counseling practice. You likely aren’t familiar with the business process from locating an office space to outfitting your office to successfully marketing it.
Starting a private practice can be a trying time, but nothing can replace knowing that your business and, by extension, you have helped make a difference in someone’s life. You can easily learn how to start a private practice by following a simple guide. By following our checklist or starting a private practice in counseling checklist of your own, you will assuredly soon be ready to undertake your next venture.
Related: Re-Imagining Office Space and Work-Life After COVID-19
Create Your Business Plan
When considering how to start a private practice and, more specifically, a counseling practice having a clear and well-thought-out business plan is essential for success. Let’s look at a few critical topics to consider when mapping out your business plan.
What Costs Will Be Involved When Starting A Therapy Private Practice?
One of the highest costs you will incur before even starting a therapy private practice is the cost of your degree to become a private practice therapist. Often a degree is going to set you back roughly $75000. Assuming you already have your degree, then the actual costs of starting private practice counseling and developing a practice aren’t as excessive as you may think. Below find listed a few of the expenses that you should consider.
- The location and the cost of renting an office space, especially post COVID19, or costs involved when working from home.
- The average cost of utilities.
- The expected cost of advertising and marketing, both online and via traditional advertising routes.
- Find out the cost of running a website and social media ads.
- Initial and continued cost of liability insurance.
- Look at the costs involved with obtaining and renewing a business license.
- Cost of equipment and maintenance of equipment
- Consider the costs involved if you are renting office furniture and decor solutions.
- If you need help and want to hire staff or a second therapist, then this is an additional cost to consider.
How Do Counseling Practices Make Money?
Another aspect to consider when outlining your business plan is to find out how a counseling practice makes money. When starting a private practice counseling checklist, it’s important to include who your target market is. If you’re a private practice therapist, you could be looking at starting a therapy private practice for families. Therefore families would be your target market.
You will have to consider how much you want to charge, and you will usually set this price based on the area you’re operating in and the competition you have. Once establishing your fees, you will need to charge a family a fixed fee per session. Additionally, you will also need to decide if you will allow third-party insurance to cover the cost of some client’s sessions.
When figuring out how much profit you will make, it comes down to mathematical equations. What your fees are minus the expenses that you have to pay. Starting a private practice in counseling is an attractive career to consider as the profit margins can be high.
Give Your Counseling Practice A Name
Arguably the most essential step when starting a private practice in counseling is to give your business a name. The process of choosing a name when you start a private practice can be challenging. You will need to consider a few points.
- Consider if you are going to operate as a sole proprietor.
- When registering a business name on a website, you will have to check if the web domain availability.
- Decide on your name for social media and if it is going to be the same across all platforms.
- Check your state’s business records and federal and state trademark records to see if the name that you want for your counseling practice is available.
Decide On The Type Of Office Space You Want
Once you have started doing your research on how to start a counseling private practice, you will discover that the type of office space you have is and how it is designed makes a difference. Clients want to feel safe and welcomed when going to a private practice therapist for private practice counseling. That’s why it’s vital to remember the following:
- The office space must be safe and secure to ensure clients will want to stay for their appointment and keep coming back to the establishment.
- Buy or hire comfortable office furniture and have some decorations that are welcoming like plants and water features.
- The various office technological equipment that you will require, such as internet access and telephones.
- Consider the level and type of security equipment that you will need to have installed. The safety of your patients is your number one priority.
- Decide if you want a co-working office space.
- Consider a tailored office space to increase workplace productivity and the family therapy business’s overall appeal.
If you’re looking for some innovative ideas on tailored office space for your family therapy business, then check out TailoredSpace.
When Starting A Private Practice Counseling Checklist, Consider The Various Legal and Tax Requirements
When looking at how to start a counseling private practice as a private practice therapist, it’s vital to keep in mind the various tax and legal requirements. Every state has its own rules and regulations when governing businesses. Importantly note and consider the following when looking into how to start a counseling private practice.
- Research if you, as a private practice therapist, need a business license.
- Find malpractice and professional liability insurance that is best suited to your needs.
- Find out relevant information regarding state and local zoning laws that could hinder you from conducting private practice counseling.
- Form the type of legal entity you want to be, such as an LLC or corporation.
- Apply for an EIN so that you can register for taxes.
- Register for the appropriate state and federal taxes as you won’t be starting a private practice before you do this.
Related: 15 Office Decor Ideas To Supercharge Your Workspace
Marketing and Funding your Family Therapy Business
There are two crucial aspects you should keep in mind when learning how to start a private practice. These two aspects are marketing and funding, and they are vital to a business’s success.
Consider Marketing When Starting A Private Practice
If you want your counseling practice to succeed and continue to grow in years to come, then you need a solid marketing strategy in place. Consider the following recommendations:
- Set up a marketing station in your office or have an area dedicated to only conducting marketing work. This will help you focus, and your family therapy business will reap the rewards.
- Sign up and join insurance provider panels. By doing this, you are getting your business name out there, as you will be listed on the insurer’s provider network. More people will find your business and potentially go to you for the service because you allow payments directly from insurers.
- Network with other therapists. Networking is an avenue for free marketing; not only will you be able to seek advice, but you will also gain potential clients from other therapists.
- Consider starting a blog as another avenue for marketing your counseling practice.
- Engage in forums; the more questions you answer online, the greater your online presence. This, in turn, will get you the attention your business needs.
- Invest in quality social media marketing campaigns and Google ad campaigns.
- Have professional business cards made.
- Be sure always to provide an excellent counseling service as this will get people talking and word of mouth marketing is often the best type of marketing.
Look At Funding Options
Starting a private practice in counseling can be costly, and you may not have the funds available upfront for the initial outlay. You should look into different funding options available to you for your family therapy business.
- Approach a banking institution and apply for a traditional loan or business loan. To help you receive these types of loans, it would be to your benefit to have previously taken out and paid back a loan.
- Use your credit cards or open up a line of credit if you need short term capital.
- Apply for a grant or governmental funding.
- Consider applying for a US small business association loan.
Are you looking for more information regarding tailored marketing stations or some information on government and private funding solutions? Contact TailoredSpace to find out more.
That’s The Checklist!
Now you know what to do when starting a therapy private practice. The checklist will help you during the process of founding your own family therapy business. Remember that along with marketing and funding, the presentation of how your office space looks is just as important. As long as you remember the important points of this checklist, your business is sure to succeed.
Related: Resources for California Businesses – government & private assistance