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
The Associated Press has published its latest update, which describes how police are preventing protesters from leaving the campus:
Hundreds of protesters in Hong Kong are trapped inside a university campus, with police firing rounds of teargas at them to stop them breaking through a cordon to escape the area.
Protesters stuck in Hong Kong Polytechnic University advanced on the police from outside the cordon, while others emerged from the campus. However, they faced teargas and in some places police swooped in to make arrests.
Hello, this is Sarah Marsh, taking over our live coverage of Hong Kong, where police and protesters have been clashing on the outskirts of the Polytechnic University. The latest images from chaotic scenes in and around the campus, which has become the site of the most prolonged and tense confrontation between police and demonstrators in more than five months of political unrest.
Dean Baquet decries abuse of journalists and defends not calling president racist
The executive editor of the New York Times has accused Donald Trump of putting his reporters‚Äô lives at risk by subjecting them to personal abuse and describing them as ‚Äúenemies of the people‚ÄĚ.
Dean Baquet, who has led the news outlet during one of the most tumultuous periods in its history, said the US president‚Äôs history of verbal attacks on journalists such as the New York Times‚Äôs political reporter Maggie Haberman was ‚Äúappalling‚ÄĚ and risked having serious consequences.
An investigation into the prime minister‚Äôs relationship with the US businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri will also review an affair that Boris Johnson failed to declare when he was mayor of London, the Guardian can reveal.
US president says potential Democratic rival is ‚Äėsomewhat better than that‚Äô and urges North Korean leader to agree nuclear deal
Donald Trump has come to the defence of one of his potential rivals for the presidency, telling North Korea its recent description of Joe Biden as a ‚Äúrabid dog‚ÄĚ that should be ‚Äúbeaten to death‚ÄĚ was a little unfair.
Trump‚Äôs criticism of Pyongyang ‚Äď albeit via a half-hearted endorsement of Biden‚Äôs character ‚Äď came amid attempts to resurrect stalled nuclear talks, with Trump imploring North Korea‚Äôs leader, Kim Jong-un, to ‚Äúget the deal done‚ÄĚ, and the US and South Korea agreeing to postpone an annual air force drill the North routinely condemns as a rehearsal for an invasion.
Lawyers for Epstein‚Äôs victims say they were ‚Äėalmost completely ignored‚Äô in interview
Prince Andrew is facing a transatlantic backlash over his extraordinary defence of his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein after lawyers who represent 10 of the billionaire predator‚Äôs victims branded the royal unrepentant and implausible and demanded that he speak to the FBI.
After the royal‚Äôs defiant Newsnight interview on Saturday triggered a disbelieving reaction from the public and the media, the prince was under growing pressure from critics in the UK and US on Sunday who demanded an apology for his conduct and said that his defence of his actions was simply not credible.
Even the prime minister has chopped the vegetable out of her official menu after monsoon caused Indian crop failure
Bangladesh has been forced to import planeloads of onions as the price of the cooking staple soared to record highs, an official said, with even the prime minister chopping the bulb from her menu.
The price of onions ‚Äď a sensitive subject in south Asia where shortages can trigger widespread discontent with political ramifications ‚Äď has climbed to eye-watering levels in Bangladesh since neighbouring India banned exports in late September after heavy monsoon rains reduced the crop.
Dan McGarry of the Daily Post told at Brisbane airport the Vanuatu immigration service had barred him from flying back to the island country
The media director of a Vanuatu newspaper whose visa renewal was refused this month has been barred from flying home to Vanuatu from Brisbane with his partner.
Dan McGarry, who has lived in Vanuatu for 16 years, applied to have his work permit renewed earlier this year but it was rejected. McGarry believes his visa was refused due to articles he had published about China‚Äôs influence in Vanuatu.
Experts say major parties must defend multiculturalism and put populist parties last on their how-to-vote cards
The major parties have been urged to put populist parties last on their how-to-vote cards and reject the myth of a ‚Äúhomogenous national identity‚ÄĚ in submissions to the Senate nationhood inquiry.
Two academic experts, Glenn Kefford and Duncan McDonnell, have warned the inquiry that Australia may have avoided outbreaks of populism only because of poor leadership on the extreme right. Major universities have called for transparent and independent decision-making in government as a cure for voter disillusionment.
Three decades after the Berlin Wall fell, the crossing is a mess of souvenir shops and fast-food restaurants ‚Äď and time is running out to change things
It was the most famous border crossing in the Berlin Wall, the official gateway for allied diplomats, military personnel and foreigners to enter communist East Berlin by road.
And in 1961, Checkpoint Charlie seized the world‚Äôs attention when a diplomatic spat about allied forces‚Äô freedom to travel in East Berlin quickly escalated and saw Soviet and American tanks squaring up to one another. The world watched aghast, fearful of a third world war, as a formidable flock of superpower tanks rolled towards the border, standing just 100 yards apart.
Restaurants offering fixed-price three-course men√ļs have been a cornerstone of the country‚Äôs urban life for decades, but tourism, shorter lunch breaks and gentrification have put them under threat. What will it take to fight back?
Food is at the heart of Spanish culture. From social life to business deals, everything revolves around food ‚Äď above all, lunch. How did Mariano Rajoy, then prime minister, react last year when faced with an unprecedented vote of no confidence? He went to lunch. For eight hours.
The three-course men√ļ del d√≠a has been the cornerstone of Spanish cuisine and social life for generations. Consequently, the restaurants serving these men√ļs ‚Äď generally low on aesthetics and high on value for money ‚Äď have been a feature of the urban landscape. Now, though, their existence is threatened by a combination of rising rents, changing tastes and working hours, tourism and gentrification.
While hi-tech cosmopolitan centres like Milan flourish financially and culturally, former industrial towns continue to decline
Night-time haunts go in and out of fashion, but the Bar Basso in Milan, which opened in 1967, remains one of the city‚Äôs most venerable social institutions. Embodying a very Milanese combination of stylish prosperity and tasteful design, it is a favourite destination for the area‚Äôs creative elite and the discreetly wealthy.
Tucked away in a corner, Pierluigi Dialuce is explaining why, if a political nightmare unfolds in the rest of Italy, the city he has made his home will be able to cope.
The director and actor talks about his near-death experience, becoming vegan and the star-studded reboot of the film that first made him famous 25 years ago
In February last year, Kevin Smith performed 90 minutes of standup for a TV special, padded back to the green room and started to worry that the joint he had smoked before the show was too strong. He was sweaty and nauseous, which was not entirely out of the ordinary. But after he lay down on the tile floor and vomited, he was rushed to hospital, where a doctor broke the news that Smith was having a massive heart attack.
Smith stayed calm. Honestly, he tells me, as we talk at his Hollywood Hills home, he was still stoned. On learning that he might die, he says: ‚ÄúI was like: ‚ÄėI‚Äôm going to make peace with this right away.‚Äô You did way more than you ever set out to do, you got to do some cool shit, and if it‚Äôs done, it‚Äôs done.‚ÄĚ
The country‚Äôs traditional powerhouses on the centre-left and the centre-right face a moment of reckoning
Postwar German politics has a reputation for being moderate, consensual and a touch on the dull side. But there have been moments of high drama. In November 1959, for example, the Social Democratic party (SPD) abandoned its historic ambition to replace capitalism with socialism, dropped the Marxist account of class struggle and began to pitch itself as a broad-based Volkspartei (people‚Äôs party). History vindicated the decision. For the next 50 years or so, the SPD vied for power with the country‚Äôs other great political force, the CDU (and its CSU Bavarian ally), as both parties regularly achieved a vote share of over 40%.
Famed for their practice of big-tent politics, what the CDU and SPD would give for such numbers now. The agonies of Brexit and the rise of rightwing populism have claimed the political limelight around Europe. But those looking for clues to the continent‚Äôs future would do well to watch Germany closely over the coming weeks.
A radical experiment to genetically modify a strain of mosquito in order to stop them breeding malaria-carrying daughters is one of the latest efforts to tackle the deadly scourge of malaria
At 6.30am five-year-old Osman Balama and his mother reach the state hospital of Bobo-Dioulasso, the second-largest city in Burkina Faso. He hasn‚Äôt been feeling well for a few days and his mother is worried that he has contracted malaria. The waiting room is already full of mothers and grandmothers with young children on their laps, all with the same tired look as Osman.
‚ÄúThe rainy season has started,‚ÄĚ says Sami Palm, head of the clinic. ‚ÄúThat means more mosquitos. I‚Äôm certain that almost everyone here has malaria.‚ÄĚ
The Cuban government is planning a jubilee week as the capital city celebrates the anniversary of its birth, with hundreds of events at restored monuments and historic sites, a visit from the Spanish royal family and fireworks over the Malecon seaside promenade. Archive photographs show how much, and how little, the capital has changed
The Revolution Museum, which was inaugurated in 1920 as the presidential palace, before becoming a museum in 1974
Most Asian markets rise after China‚Äôs rate cut, as investors await further news on trade
Here in London, there is little corporate news this morning. There is a warning from IQE, which makes semiconductor wafers for chips used in Apple products and for Asian customers in Taiwan and Singapore. It has warned on annual revenues for the second time in less than five months, sending its shares down 21% to 52.1p.
IQE has experienced very challenging market conditions in 2019. Shortfalls in revenue relate predominantly to two major customers.
The local economy has been hit by the protests, which have continued for months. The Hong Kong government warned on Friday that the city‚Äôs economy could shrink by 1.3% this year ‚Äď the first annual recession since 2009.
Charity regulator takes action against Aussie Farms, who Scott Morrison called ‚Äėgrubs‚Äô following on-farm protests
Animal activist group Aussie Farms ‚Äď the organisation that published farm details for vegan protesters and consumers ‚Äď has had its charity status revoked.
The charity regulator, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, announced on Monday that it had revoked the organisation‚Äôs charity status following an investigation sparked by federal government complaints.
‚ÄúI wanted to create a project to promote African cultures to change the image the Western media have of Africa: hunger, poverty and wars,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI wanted to show a different and positive side.‚ÄĚ
Discrimination against girls is still entrenched in the laws of many African countries. Shocking examples are easy to find
I love my job, but it can be pretty depressing. I‚Äôve spent the past year researching and writing the first-ever continental report of the routine, blatant discrimination suffered by African girls.
The fact that girls and women are treated as inferior citizens is hardly news, except that this report reveals the extent to which gender discrimination is frequently state-sanctioned ‚Äď embedded into the laws, policies and practices of many African nations. We‚Äôre talking about legal, institutional discrimination with its roots in a deeply gendered and patriarchal society. We are also talking about the denial of respect for the dignity of the African girl.
Study of chicken egg samples reveals presence of dangerous chemical compounds around areas where waste is dumped
Plastic waste exports to south-east Asia have been implicated in extreme levels of toxins entering the human food chain in Indonesia.
A new study that sampled chicken eggs around sites in the country where plastic waste accumulates identified alarming levels of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls long recognised as extremely injurious to human health.
Toppling of Bolivian president reignites movement to remove leftist ally Nicol√°s Maduro
Venezuela‚Äôs flagging opposition movement has hit the streets for its first major protests in months, as leaders sought to reignite their campaign to force Nicol√°s Maduro from power after his leftist ally Evo Morales was toppled in Bolivia.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets on Saturday morning in towns and cities across the crisis-stricken south American country, hoping the dramatic sea change in Bolivian politics might portend similar change in Venezuela.
How poignant that Behrouz was freed from Australia‚Äôs grip and welcomed by Christchurch, a city that knows prejudice only too well
Today our world is a little freer, a little fairer, and a little more hopeful. Today, one less innocent man is incarcerated in Australia‚Äôs detention camp on Manus Island, guilty only of seeking refuge from persecution. Behrouz Boochani was no ordinary detainee. The Iranian Kurdish journalist and author became the voice of Manus detainees, and with it the persistent conscience of us all as we learned of the atrocities committed by the Australian government on its remote Pacific island detention camps.
How poignant that he was finally freed to visit Christchurch, a city that knows only too well the violence and suffering borne of prejudice. A city that wrapped its arms so warmly around its refugee community after a terror attack just seven months ago, to heal their wounds and stand for inclusion. Behrouz has said that Christchurch has taught the world about kindness this year. He is also quick to note that the prejudice that leads to violence against refugees is the same that underpins policies allowing cruel treatment of them by governments such as Australia‚Äôs. For him, the plight of refugees and displaced persons across the globe right now is connected to the fear-mongering politics of Donald Trump and Scott Morrison.
Beyond the tussle between Democrat Adam Schiff and Republican Devin Nunes is the big question ‚Äď will party interest reign supreme?
The battle for American hearts and minds in the unfolding impeachment drama is, at its core, a battle between two very different California congressmen.
In the red corner is Devin Nunes, a Republican former dairy farmer from the state‚Äôs agricultural Central Valley, who long ago threw his lot in with Fox News talking-point orthodoxy and has never hesitated to defend Donald Trump, no matter how much the rest of the political establishment ‚Äď and the factual record ‚Äď was arrayed against him.
The mosque attacks rocked New Zealand but good deeds and generosity will help keep us together
The day of 15 March 2019 will stay with me forever. I was working in my bedroom, listening to radio and drawing. The on-air chat and music was interrupted as news of a shooting at a mosque in Christchurch began to filter through. How could this possibly be happening in our quiet little island tucked away at the bottom of the world?
I brushed it off as some sort of mistake, until news of a shooting at a second mosque emerged minutes later. While witnesses and locals reported the horror that had just unfolded, I scrolled online looking for some sort of explanation, a way to make sense of it ‚Äď and found everyone was lost for words as I was.
Police deployed water cannon against protesters in Hong Kong on Sunday, in some cases using blue-dyed water laced with pepper spray. Teargas was also fired in an attempt to drive people away from the streets outside Polytechnic University. Protesters who occupied several university campuses last week have largely retreated, but hardliners have fortified themselves inside the campus and are refusing to leave
Chinese soldiers stationed in Hong Kong came out to clear streets on Saturday, which protesters had strewn with debris to slow down any police advances while they had been on the campus. People's Liberation Army soldiers joined the cleanup outside Hong Kong Baptist University, the site of clashes earlier in the week. They can only be deployed to help with disaster relief or to maintain public order if requested by the local government. The controversial move threatens to escalate already high tensions in the Chinese territory
The second day of impeachment hearings featured compelling testimony from Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine who was sacked by Trump. Yovanovitch evidence drew links between corrupt elements in Ukraine and the Trump administration's push to force her from her post. She said she was 'shocked and devastated' by Trump's personal attacks on her. As she spoke, Donald Trump attacked her on Twitter, prompting the Democrat chair of the hearing, Adam Schiff, to read the tweets to Yovanovitch in real time. 'The effect is intimidating,' she said, as Democrats accused the president of witness intimidation on a day of high political drama
The US president has denied that attacks directed at the former US ambassador to Ukraine, as she testified in the second day of impeachment hearings, amounted to witness intimidation. ‚ÄėEverywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,‚Äô Trump wrote in tweets which were dramatically read aloud to Yovanovitch at the hearing. Democrats immediately accused Trump of attempting to intimidate a witness.
Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee, read out a tweet by Donald Trump disparaging Marie Yovanovitch as the former US ambassador to Ukraine testified to the president's impeachment hearing. When Schiff asked whether she thought the tweet was intended to intimidate her, Yovanovitch replied: 'I can‚Äôt speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating.'
Schiff replied: 'I want to let you know, ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously.'
At least two people have died and several more have been injured in a shooting at Saugus high school in Santa Clarita, California, on Thursday. Footage showed sheriff's deputies swarming the school and lines of students being escorted away
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