Do you have a business plan?
Clinicians write treatment plans all the time but when you ask about a business plan they have no idea where to start or why one is important. Do you have a business plan for your private Practice? A business plan can be easy.
What is a business you may be saying? A business plan is a basic vision of your business. Think of a business plan like a treatment you do in therapy. It an assessment of where your business is right now. It’s also like a treatment plan as guides your intervention within your business, think goals. The business plan does not have to be formal but each of you should have one in place if you are in private practice or you are wanting to be. I would take an hour or two and sit down and really think about how you want your business to be. This type of writing does not have to be formal enough to be present to a bank for a bank loan. However, it should be written down after you have spent some time figuring out a vision for your business. This is where you get to dream and dream big.
The Basic Business Plan Should Include:
- Why: Why are you a therapist? Why are you providing your services?
- Who: Do you want to serve, the type of clients you enjoy working with; those you don’t enjoy working with. Remember we can’t serve everyone nor should we try.
- What: Services do you want to include; are you the best couple’s therapist or are groups your thing? Do you teach or have other income streams that you will bring into your business (Which might have positive tax benefits). Think about what you or your team provide to your clients; it could be as simple as individual therapy, couple, family or maybe a psychoeducational class like parenting or grief and loss support group.
- Where: The location of your business will it be home based business or an actual building, sharing an office with several other therapists or will you share the rent of one room with another therapist? If you are in a building does the facility fit your business needs? Are you in a professional building or a strip mall? Is the building big enough to fit your needs (ample parking or waiting room space)? How many treatments rooms or group rooms do you need? Will you be adding therapists and interns to your practice?
- When: When will you start your business or if you have one started when will you add more services, clients or maybe treatment rooms. Maybe you want to add supervision or another therapist to your practice.
- Resources: Who in your area do you refer to? Who are your referral sources (You should be able to name at least 5)? What staff do you need to make this happen? A virtual assistant, office assistant, biller or answering service? What do you need to make this business work for you instead of you working for it?
- Marketing: What is your plan? Will you include Social media and if so what ones? Blogging, networking, insurance or not all have to be addressed.
- Goals: Take where you are now and where you want to be in say 3 months, 6 months or next year. We can’t get to a place if we do not have any idea of where we are going.
I would try to project out at least two years, however, three would be optimal. Then review your plan yearly. Ask yourself how close am I to my goals. Do you need to make more money? How many clients did you serve? Do you need to purchase health insurance? Did you take enough vacation? How is your social media plan working? Did you write your blogs consistently? Grade yourself, did some tasks fall off your radar and or not get done at all? Did you complete other tasks that were not in your plan incorporate those into your updated business plan?
Having a vision in the form of a business plan will make you more successful as a business owner. There is something exciting about seeing all of your wonderful accomplishment over the year that is motivating. Keep the business plan simple at first you can always make it more detailed along the way. If you would like a startup business plan template here is a great one from SCORE. If you need additional help in building your private practice contact me and let’s create your dream practice.
Sheralyn (Sherry) Shockey-Pope, LMFT © 2017 All Rights Reserved