You’ll either succeed in your private practice… or you won’t. According to Bloomberg, 80% of entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within 18 months. I’ve read in Inc.com that 97% of small businesses fail within 10 years.
These statistics are staggering. They provoke the kind of fear that often leads to people quitting before they even start. How many clinicians do you know that dream or talk about starting a private practice for years and years and ultimately do nothing about it?
It takes courage to venture out and do your own thing. It’s my personal experience (in my own 23+ year practice and the successful practices of hundreds of my coaching clients) that you can not only survive, but also THRIVE in your private practice, if you do the right things.
So, the question is: What Are The Right Things? What strategies will give you the edge and help you move forward toward success?
Here are 5 ways you can position yourself for success in your business. This list is certainly not exhaustive (by any stretch), but these things can put you in the fast lane when it comes to getting noticed, getting more clients and referrals, and making more money in your private practice.
- Raise the stakes
- Set your goals and talk about them with important people in your life. Sharing your plans with others (especially others who care about you and those who are farther along than you) gives you a built-in system of accountability — one that can increase your follow-through and provide you with inspiration and support along the way. It’s said that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. I agree. Surround yourself with people who are: positive and encouraging; more successful and/or experienced; and those who will get excited for and with you
- Stand for something
- No one remembers a “generalist”. If you want to get noticed you must identify whom you serve, what you do, and why you are the best choice. People want to know you are passionate and committed to helping them. They want to know why you do what you do, and your answer must come from that genuine place deep within, if they are to believe you and invest in you
- Speak their language
- People do need to know what you have to offer (your “features”), but they’ll only hear it if you present your features in terms of “benefits” to them. Take the time to become intimately aware of the deepest needs, unrelenting desires, and biggest problems of your potential clients or referrers. Only then can you get their attention by letting them know you really “get” them — by giving them information that resonates with them
- Don’t be shy
- If you believe that you are truly meant to serve certain people, then it is your RESPONSIBILITY to let them know that you are there as a valuable resource. Calling on referrers and reaching out to potential clients isn’t a bother — it doesn’t have to feel sleazy or “salesy”. You might be the best therapist in the world, but if people don’t know about you, you cannot help them
- Commit for the long-haul
- Referral relationships grow over time. People will only do business with you to the extent they trust you. Imagine the reluctance you’d feel to refer important friends/clients/patients to someone you don’t know! Find ways to reach out and nurture growing relationships over time. The more potential clients and referrers get to know about you and your work, the more credible you will seem and the more likely they will trust you enough to do business with you
There are plenty of things you can do to succeed in your private practice. The most important question I can ask you in this process is: What are you willing to do, to get what you say you want?
Deb Legge, PhD CRC LMHC
Dr. Deb Legge is known internationally as the Private Practice Mentor. Over the past 21 years she has taught thousands of therapists how to build thriving practices, using the same proven strategies she uses to attract more private pay clients. She has released a FREE training called: “The Essentials of Private Pay”. You can access this training absolutely FREE for a limited-time, by visiting: http://rapid-referrals.com/privatepay