This is an important announcement: Do not skip this step.
Everyone that I have known to build a private practice that is sustainable, profitable, and fulfilling but a lot of effort into this first step. They didn’t jump ahead. They didn’t take out massive loans to buy expensive furniture and lease the perfect office space. They spent a lot of time learning about business and being in business before creating a more high risk situation.
Here are the important tasks to consider during Phase 1:
Setting up your business:
- Choosing whether to be an LLC, DBA, or S Corp.
- Picking a name.
- Filing with your state/city.
- Creating systems for filing and keeping track of income & expenses.
- Buying a website domain.
- Building your website.
- Opening a bank account for your business.
- Deciding how you will accept payment (will you use credit card? Do you accept checks?
- Figuring out your schedule.
- Learning how to market, online especially.
- Getting malpractice insurance.
- Finding office space.
- Furnishing office space with the basics.
- Getting business cards.
- Getting any signage that you need.
- Creating paperwork four your clients.
- Getting in touch with a good lawyer and a good accountant.
- Connecting with other therapists that have done this before.
- Talking to a coach or mentor that can help you understand business.
- Building relationships in your community.
- Having a professional photo taken.
- Creating an email address.
- Getting a phone number
And, here are some things that you need to get used to in Phase 1:
- Your policies – do you like them? Are they working?
- How to budget
- How to pay taxes the right way
- How to schedule in a way that does not create burn out.
- How to ask for your fee and collect your fee
- How to market yourself and be visible
- How to maintain records and paperwork
- How to deal with “headache situations” in a professional manner.
- How to describe your style of therapy.
- How to let people know how they will benefit from you.
- How to create a work and life balance.
Phase 1 is so important because it gives you the space and grace to learn! And, beginning a practice is a huge learning curve. There are so many things that you won’t anticipate and it is better to come up against them when you are in a low risk situation. By this, I mean low overhead, low responsibility towards others. You don’t want to hire employees only to find that you don’t have the referrals to send them. You don’t want to hire a receptionist if you can’t make payroll. In fact, you don’t want to have a payroll until you have gotten used to budgeting and managing your bank account.
Once you have gotten your “sea legs” in this phase, you will begin to energetically and naturally move into Phase 2.
Article by Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT
Elizabeth built a 6 figure practice with $12 in her pocket in less than two years. She believes that you can too! If you would like help creating a blueprint for your practice and overcoming mindset blocks, set up your free discovery call here.