5 principles your grad school didn’t teach you about being in business

By Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT

I wish ALL clinical grad school programs offered some sort of business class. Whether semester long or just a workshop. Is this because I think every therapist should go into business? No. Some therapists don’t want to and that is fine. But, I believe it is incredibly limiting to not offer transparency about ALL of the options.

You can work in an agency OR in a practice. You can work for the government. You can consult. You have a lot of options. I want you to know that.

With that being said, opening a practice is opening a business. I want to share with you 5 principles that will help conceptualize what will make it successful.

Therapy practices are businesses

First things first – your practice is a business. I find that when people flounder in private practice it is because they did not realize they would be responsible for more than seeing their clients each week.

Because we don’t talk about the idea of “business” in therapy school, we don’t look at our own practice as them. I also hypothesize that we don’t call them “businesses” because there is something more comfortable about calling them “practices”.

“I’m not a business person! I am a helper! A healer! But not a yucky business person!”

Stop right there. Yes. you. are.

Not the yucky part. Because business doesn’t need to be yucky. But, you are a business person.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way…

5 Principles of Business to Apply to Your Therapy Practice

When building a practice and thinking of it as a “business” and not just a fun hobby, you will want to have a framework to help you gauge direction and success. Knowing the 5 principles of business and how they can apply to your practice will help.

Principle of Vision

What is the vision you have for your practice? Write it down. Take a moment to consider where you want to be, what you want to provide, how you want to do it. This will ignite your creativity. It also provides purpose and direction. With a vision, it is easier to make decisions and progress even when times are tough.

Principle of Perception

How do people perceive you? What will potential clients think? Managing perception and making sure you provide the right image is everything.

Principle of Leadership

You are the practice. Even if it is a group practice. Think of some great group practices you know of – whether medical, dental, psychological, etc – the great ones have a great leader.

For instance, my dentist office has many wonderful dentists. I don’t see the “top kahuna” dentist. But, I know who he is.

It’s not only that you will be the “face” of the company. It is also important that you are able to provide energy, excitement, direction, and confidence.

Principle of Reputation

This shouldn’t be hard for therapists to maintain but it can be hard to build.

Reputation comes from your visibility in the community. Some of this is through word of mouth – previous clients sharing how much they loved working with you. Some of it will also be your own doing through networking and making yourself a presence.

Once you create a reputation, it should be easy to maintain. Therapists have integrity and are hard workers. And, if you are doing great work, people will continue to share their good experience.

Principle of Consistency

You must be consistent. Show up for clients, follow policies, maintain the same messages across the board. The more you are consistent the more people trust and respect you.

So, how do I even track this?

5 Principles of Business for Your Therapy Practice Self Evaluation

Work with me

Do you feel fired up about building or growing a private practice but have nowhere to start? I would love to help you get over the mindset that is blocking you, clear out the distractions so you can gain clarity, and provide you with methods to create a sustainable and profitable practice.

Within 2 years, I created a six figure practice. I’ve helped other therapists, just like you, create a practice that fit their style, is profitable, and is easy to maintain.

I’d like for you to have the freedom to be creative, do good work with your clients, AND make money.

You can sign up for a free discovery call. We will talk more about your practice goals to see if we are a good fit for each other. I think you’ll be a “yes” for me – want to see if I am a yes for you?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s