Private Practice Success: 10 Essentials for Starting a Practice
As a counselor, therapist or healing professional (massage therapist,
physiotherapist, alternative health practitioner, etc.) it is quite likely that you did not chose your profession because you wanted to be a business person. As a result, it can be challenging to go into business for yourself and be successful. Taking time to prepare and plan as you build your private practice will help you avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes. Below are ten areas to address to help ensure your success.
1. Get Your Life in Excellent Shape
Counselors, therapists and healing professionals know that our personal lives affect
our professional lives, yet many who are struggling to market a private practice fail
to take this into account. Look at all aspects of your life and determine what seems
to be working for you and what needs to change. Determine any activities you need
to reduce or eliminate in order to have the time and energy to market your practice.
Examine your lifestyle and personal work habits and see where improvement needs
to be made. The more your life is on order, the more time and energy you will have
for marketing and building a practice.
2. Develop a Financial Plan
Before you start your private practice, assess your financial situation and make a
financial plan. Make sure you have funds from other sources until your practice
becomes established. Do not put your self in a position where you are desperate to
secure clients in order to pay your bills. Potential clients may sense your
desperation and may not be eager to hire you. Feeling secure financially will allow
you to market and build your practice with greater confidence and ease.
3. Know that You Are a Business Owner
It is essential that you start seeing yourself as a business owner if you haven't made
this mind-shift already. You must pay careful attention to all aspects of your
business--your revenue and expenses, how you spend your time, methods of
attracting clients, and developing operating systems that allow your business to run
4. Develop a Vision for Your Practice
It's difficult to get somewhere if you don't know where you are going. Develop a
detailed vision of what you want your priavte practice to look like in 6 months, 1
year and 5 years and write it down. How many clients do you want to have? What
days and hours do you want to work? How much income do you need/want? The
more clarity and specificity you have, the more likely you will turn your vision into
5. Develop at Least One Specialization
Helping and healing professionals new to private practice often fear that if they are
too narrow in the type of services they offer, they will rule out many other potential
clients. The opposite is actually more often true as people tend to want to hire
specialists. The more targeted you are in marketing your practice, the more you will
stand out from others and become known for your expertise. In addition, it's easier
to market your practice to a particular group if you know where to find them.
6. Determine Any Negative Attitudes and Fears You Have About Marketing
Many counselors, therapists, and healing professionals are uncomfortable with the
marketing aspect of being in private practice. They see their role as to be there for
others and not to promote themselves. Our repeated exposure to negative and
manipulative types of marketing further contributes to the belief that marketing
ourselves is somehow inappropriate. Any negative attitudes and fears you have
about marketing a practice need to be eliminated. You can and should find ways to
market with integrity and authenticity. Be proud of your services and have
confidence that you have something to offer people that they need and want.
7. Develop a Marketing Plan
In order to market your private practice successfully you must have an integrated
marketing plan. One of the most common mistakes helping and healing
professionals make is trying a few methods of marketing your practice haphazardly,
and when the results are not immediate, they erroneously assume the techniques
don't work. Flourishing private practices are frequently built upon a number of
marketing strategies that work together over time. To market effectively you must
make yourself repeatedly visible to potential clients and referral sources so that they
get to know and trust you.
8. Choose Marketing Methods That Excite You
Take some time to explore and develop marketing methods that suit your unique
talents and interests. There are numerous ways to promote your practice. To get
ideas, read books, take courses, ask other professionals how they built their
practices, or hire a marketing consultant or coach. Marketing can be an enjoyable
and creative process that provides a balance to the work you do with your clients.
Find a way to take pleasure in this aspect of your business and you will be more
motivated to do it.
9. Make a Commitment To Build Your Practice
Typically it can take anywhere from 1-3+ years to build a full practice. Exactly how
long will depend on several factors including the size of your current network, how
effectively you market, the demand for your area of expertise, and how much time
you spend developing your practice. Make a commitment to take action steps on a
regular basis. It's best if you set aside a specific amount of time on a weekly basis
for marketing your practice, and try to stick to this schedule even when you become
discouraged or become tempted to allow other things to take priority.
10. Get Support
Because you will be primarily working alone, you may feel isolated and discouraged
at times. It's important to have people and resources you can access for support.
Most successful people have consistently had other people helping them. Whether
you get expert guidance from a professional business coach or consultant, or get
help from your colleagues and friends, getting support, guidance and feedback on
your ideas and goals is essential. The more support you get, the greater your
chances of success with your private practice.
Many professionals who are having difficulty building their private practices tell me
the reason they can't get clients is either because there is too much competition or
because of tight economic times. While it may be true that competition for clients
has increased and that financial resources are limited for many people, there will
always be those professionals in your particular field who do have a full practice.
Competition is not going to go away and you have you don't have control over the
economy. You need to find a way to develop and sustain a private practice in spite
of these apparent obstacles. If you act on the above ten guidelines on a consistent
basis, you should have a thriving practice within a few years. Be persistent, believe
in yourself, learn from your mistakes, and most importantly, get out there and
market your practice.
Juliet assists helping and healing professionals (coaches, therapists, counselors,
massage therapists, chiropractors, etc.) who are struggling to build their practices.
She helps her clients overcome resistances to marketing, learn no or low-cost
marketing strategies, create compelling promotional materials, and write effective
A graduate of both Coach U, The Institute for Life Coach Training and member of
The School of Coaching, Juliet has been a practicing coach for almost 7 years. Juliet
is also the Director of the Canadian Office of The Institute for Life Coach Training, a
training program for therapists wanting to become coaches. She is former member
of the founding board of the Vancouver Chapter of the International Coaching
Federation (ICF) and a current member of the ICF and Coachville.
Juliet can be reached through her website at: www.julietaustin.com">http://www.julietaustin.com or
through her marketing blog at www.marketingaprivatepractice.com">http://www.marketingaprivatepractice.com
A leading Labour critic of Jeremy Corbyn, the former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, has said a majority of the party‚Äôs Scottish MPs and MSPs now backed a second EU referendum.
Speaking at a People‚Äôs Vote press conference in Edinburgh, Dugdale suggested there was deepening opposition amongst backbenchers to Corbyn‚Äôs stance on Brexit, even amongst those who are otherwise loyal to his leadership.
When young people are fighting for action on climate change, it is time to come together for the future, not divide. The Tory party‚Äôs failed solutions represent a dead end. We must do nothing to let them off the hook.
I believe there‚Äôs a majority of Labour MSPs in the parliament who would back a final say [on Brexit] but crucially over the weekend you saw a big development in the Scottish parliamentary Labour group with Paul Sweeney saying he would back having a final say.
That means a majority of Scottish Labour MPs back it too so the momentum towards a people‚Äôs vote is growing in the Labour party and as a consequence I think the likelihood of a people‚Äôs vote across the country is also increasing. I have never been more optimistic about a people‚Äôs vote taking place than I am today.
Appearing on the BBC‚Äôs Politics Live programme today, Smith appeared to talk about people being a ‚Äúfunny tinge‚ÄĚ. ‚ÄúThe recent history of the party I‚Äôve just left suggested it‚Äôs not just about being black or a funny tin ... you know, a different... from the BAME community,‚ÄĚ she said.
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Dressed in an apron and checkered headscarf, Kramp-Karrenbauer cracked jokes about December‚Äôs CDU leadership election, the fight banning diesel vehicles and political dysfunction in Berlin in front of a crowd of more than a thousand people.
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Victor Gevers, of the non-profit group GDI.Foundation, which supports an open internet, discovered an unsecured database online that contained the name, sex, ethnicity, ID number, birth date and employer of residents in China‚Äôs western province of Xinjiang.
European People‚Äôs party and Socialists & Democrats have run parliament for 40 years
The ‚Äúgrand coalition‚ÄĚ of centre-right and centre-left that has run the European parliament for 40 years is set to lose its majority for the first time following elections in May, according to the institution‚Äôs internal forecasts.
The centre-right European People‚Äôs party and centre-left Socialists & Democrats have long called the shots in the EU parliament, but polls suggest the two big groups will win only 45% of seats, down from 53%.
Donald Trump returned to the attack against Andrew McCabe on Monday, in response to an interview in which the former deputy FBI director discussed his new book and made claims damaging to the president.
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Sitting on the tarmac at Punta Cana international airport in the Dominican Republic, the private plane was set to take off for an overnight flight to Saint-Tropez in France when police swooped.
Inside the aircraft, a Dassault Falcon 50, officers found four Frenchmen ‚Äď two pilots and two passengers ‚Äď along with 680 kilos of cocaine, with an estimated street value of ‚ā¨20 (¬£17.5m), in 26 battered suitcases.
Hans Leo Maes captures the bridges and stairways that link up the hilly, population-dense city
Hong Kong is known for its flashing lights, neon signs and high-rise skylines. But the architect and photographer Hans Leo Maes documents an alternative side ‚Äď the city‚Äôs interconnecting staircases and bridges.
‚ÄúThe extreme population density in Hong Kong means [structures] are stacked and linked by stairs, often external and very visible,‚ÄĚ Maes says.
There‚Äôs a whole new craze in east Africa, fuelled by secondhand inline skates ‚Äď and a desire to unite
Photos and story by Duncan Moore
Nairobi‚Äôs traffic congestion is notorious. Minibuses known as matatus battle for space with cars, motorbikes and hand-drawn carts, causing excruciating gridlock.
Through this automotive battleground dart the daring members of the Kenyan city‚Äôs inline skating community, deftly weaving between moving vehicles, holding on to buses for speed and jumping over potholes.
Idea of topping municipal plant in Copenhagen with urban ski resort won accolades for Danish architecture firm
It might be the first waste incinerator the neighbours actually want next door. The shop at the foot of the Amager Bakke waste-to-energy project in Copenhagen is packed with families desperate to be among the first to try its unique selling point: the ski slope on the roof.
‚ÄúI live so close by that I could follow the development,‚ÄĚ says Ole Fredslund, who lives in neighbouring Amager, as he helped his sons Felix and Victor strap on their boots as the slope opened its lifts for the first time on Tuesday. ‚ÄúI guess 90% of the focus is on the fact that there‚Äôs a skiing hill coming, so in a way it‚Äôs very clever. Everybody talks about the ski hill to be, not the waste plant to be.‚ÄĚ
Russian agent allegedly in Bulgaria when Emilian Gebrev poisoned in 2015 and in UK when Skripals attacked
The first sign that something was wrong with Emilian Gebrev was an itchy, bloodshot eye after a dinner in April 2015. The next day he had strange visions of flashing lasers, followed by uncontrollable vomiting. As friends rushed him to hospital, everything went black and he slipped into a coma.
Communities clash over natural resources as arrivals from South Sudan and DRC plunder environment for fuel and construction
The cutting down of millions of trees has sparked angry clashes in parts of Uganda between local people and refugees who have been fleeing conflict in neighbouring South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The timber is being used for house construction, fuel and to make charcoal. In the north and west of the country, where an estimated 1.1 million refugees are living, massive deforestation is drawing protests by local communities.
Mike Pezzullo admits department faced ‚Äėurgent‚Äô circumstances when deal done with little known firm Paladin
The head of the department of home affairs concedes bureaucrats awarded a controversial $423m contract to Paladin to provide services on Manus Island because of an ‚Äúurgent‚ÄĚ set of circumstances, but Mike Pezzullo denies he was ‚Äúdesperate‚ÄĚ.
Officials from the home affairs department told estimates on Monday they were, in essence, forced to conduct a closed tender process for the contract because the government of Papua New Guinea advised the then Turnbull government in July it could not provide services it had signalled it would provide because it had entered a caretaker period.
Analysis of community where 73% of residents contracted Zika in 2015 offers new clues about epidemic
Scientists studying the 2015 Zika outbreak in Brazil have discovered that people previously exposed to dengue may have been protected from the virus.
Three-quarters of the inhabitants of a favela in the country‚Äôs north-east caught the mosquito-borne Zika virus during the epidemic. The outbreak left more than 3,000 babies across Brazil with microcephaly, a birth defect caused by mothers catching the virus during pregnancy.
In the midst of Venezuela‚Äôs spiralling economic crisis, Natalia and fellow members of a Chavista collective have stepped in to take over production at a local bakery, La Minka. Authorities had suspended operations when the owners were accused of overpricing their loaves and hoarding flour. In March 2017, with the tacit support of the government, the collective began selling affordable bread. This is the story of their fight to safeguard the bakery‚Äôs future and keep the Chavista dream alive
I had to gain the confidence that always seemed to come naturally to my partner to release my inner handywoman
Last year my partner and I moved into a new house. The whole exercise was exhilarating ‚Äď finally, a place we owned ‚Äď but it also unearthed in me a desperation, a deep frustration. For a long time I‚Äôve wanted to be someone who fixes things, builds things, someone who is capable in practical day-to-day tasks. I own tools, I have ideas and I tinker with my surroundings, but I‚Äôve never felt completely at ease in the tasks that various men in my life seem to take on with no backward glance.
In our just-built house there were so many jobs to do with drills, hammers, caulking guns. My drive to learn by doing was offset by disorientation and self-doubt. I wanted to begin improving our house, but I didn‚Äôt know what sort of screws I needed for the curtain rod brackets, or whether I could just drill straight into the plasterboard. My partner, a man, didn‚Äôt have much more experience in these things than I did, but approached the situation with a confidence and bluster that only confused me more.
Cardinals around the world are joining the pope at a forum on tackling abuse. But only radical reform can solve the crisis
When the first meeting in the Vatican of cardinals from around the world to discuss clerical sexual abuse was announced, hopes were high among Catholics. Finally, it seemed, the courageous, mould-breaking Pope Francis was going to force through root-and-branch reforms to tackle the scandal that has done such damage to the reputation of the institution he leads.
Yet even before 180 cardinals assemble on Thursday in Rome for this unprecedented four-day summit, the chance of such prayers being answered is looking increasingly remote. The Vatican press office has been downplaying the event as simply an opportunity to remind senior clerics of the patchy efforts that global Catholicism has made this past quarter of a century to address the thousands upon thousands of cases of priests molesting, abusing and traumatising children in their care.
From Russia to Turkey and Iraq, the rout of the caliphate brings new political considerations and shifting alliances
The collapse of the Isis caliphate‚Äôs last stronghold in Syria is sending shockwaves across the region, changing the calculations of the major powers as they jockey for advantage. Triumphalism in Washington, Moscow and Damascus risks obscuring the human cost of a ‚Äúvictory‚ÄĚ that may quickly prove transitory.
Of immediate concern is the fate of civilians, mainly women and children, displaced from formerly Isis-controlled areas where many were held against their will. The independent International Rescue Committee says up to 4,000 people are fleeing towards the al-Hawl refugee camp in north-east Syria.
Since 1992, more than 11,500 Colombians have been killed or injured by landmines, a legacy of more than 50 years of internal conflict. Many impoverished amputees without access to the healthcare system have resorted to making homemade prosthetics from wood, leather, metal and plastic bottles
The US vice-president rebuked European powers over Iran and Venezuela on Saturday, in a renewed attack on traditional US allies, rejecting a call by Germany‚Äôs chancellor to include Russia in global cooperation efforts. Describing the results of Donald Trump‚Äôs presidency as 'remarkable' and 'extraordinary', Pence told senior European and Asian officials that the European Union should follow the US in quitting the Iran nuclear deal and recognising the head of Venezuela‚Äôs congress, Juan Guaid√≥, as president
A man opened fire on Friday in a warehouse in Aurora, Illinois, an hour's drive west of Chicago. The shooter, identified as 45-year-old Gary Martin, was an employee at the industrial complex in Aurora. He also wounded five police officers before he was shot dead
Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to secure extra funding for his wall at the US-Mexico border. Trump‚Äôs decision came after weeks of wrangling over his campaign promise, which led to a record 35-day partial government shutdown, damaging his approval rating.
Residents of a coalmining region in Siberia have been posting online videos showing entire streets and districts covered in toxic black snow that critics say highlight a man-made ecological catastrophe in which British industry is compliant.
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