Many private practice therapists don't have a business plan or think of themselves as a "business owner." A private practice is a business and successful businesses have a plan to help guide their growth. Even if you've never taken a business course you already know how to write a business plan. Think of your private practice as a "client" in need of a clinical treatment plan. Here are some tips to transform your clinical assessment and treatment planning skills into a private practice business plan so you have a clear path to grow your practice.
Presenting problems and current complaints Identify current problems or weaknesses in the business aspect of your practice. Do you need more weekly client hours? Are you having difficulty collecting money in a timely manner? Do you have inconsistent billing practices? Are you barely breaking even because of high overhead?
Strengths and resources What personal strengths do you bring to your practice that will help you address the presenting problems? Do you have extensive referral network with physicians? Are you detail oriented when it comes to paperwork and billing? Are you a creative problem solver? Or maybe your an excellent writer. List your strengths.
Business history What events in your practice that have shaped your business practices? Did you have some rough patches where you weren't profitable that have left you feeling fearful and desperate for referrals? Have you experienced any kind of positive successes or painful experiences in the business end of your practice that haven't been resolved? Write them down.
Business support system Just as you'd assess for client support network, take a look at your business support system. Do you feel isolated? Are you using outdated computer software that makes billing tedious? Do you have some colleagues or business consultants that you can go to for professional consultation? Identify your current support network as well as areas where you could benefit from additional support.
Setting goals Identify 3 business related goals for your private practice. Break your goals into specific, measurable, timed objectives. Finally, add three action items to move you toward each practice goal. Remember, you know how to do this for clients, just shift your mindset to the goals of your business. Here's an example of a treatment plan for your business:
Goal: Reach 20 clients hours weekly.
Objective: Cultivate 3 consistent referral sources in the next 90 days.
Action 1: Set up practice website on wordpress.com to build online referrals by Nov 15.
Action 1: Send letters and business cards to all family practice doctors within 10 miles of my practice by end of this month.
Action 1: Contact a local TV news station to seek interview on how to successfully blend step-families by this Friday.
Now it's your turn to write a treatment plan for your private practice.