5 Things You Can Do NOW To Drastically Increase Your Chances For Success

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...

A Solid Foundation For Your Private Pay Private Practice

Being in private practice, you probably find yourself too often worrying about where your next client will come from.  The whole process of getting enough clients seems random and out of control.  And when you decide to focus on finding more private pay clients, the thought of filling your book seems even more scary and overwhelming. You know they’re out there, but you just don’t know where to look or how to start getting those private-pay clients through the door. In general, if you want to get clients, you’ve got to get noticed.  People need to know why you are the best option for them.  All of your marketing must answer the BIG question – “Why, given all of my choices (including doing nothing at all), should I do business with YOU?” The message you send in your marketing will be much more efficient and effective when you are “rock solid” about 3 critical things. Who you are, and what you do. When people ask what you do, don’t answer with your job title or description.  Be prepared to give them the information they need, to know if you are for them.  Tell them whom you serve and what BIG result people get when they work with you. Here is an example:  “I help people with panic disorder take their lives back from their anxiety so they can live their best lives”.  People who hear this from you immediately know if you are what they need Why you do it. You can reinforce and clarify your message by letting people know what you stand for, and why you get up in...

If You’re In Private Practice, You’re in Sales

 If you want to own a successful private practice, you must learn to sell.  Learning to sell doesn’t mean getting people to buy used cars or encyclopedias.  Learning to sell means that you get good at helping your customer (referrer) understand and overcome fear. Many therapists are very uncomfortable with the whole idea of selling.  Somehow it doesn’t quite feel ethical or professional to them.  I think the word “sell” seems like just another 4-letter word – something we should avoid.  It’s just a word. Think about it this way – if you believe that you are truly meant to help others, you have a responsibility to let them know that you are there for them.  You might be the best therapist in the world, but if those who need you don’t know whom you are, where to find you, or how to do business with you, you can’t help them. So, from a business perspective (acknowledging that your desire to help others is very important to you), consider the following lessons when it comes to getting more clients for your private practice. Most people have a fear of buying:  people like to buy, but they hate to be sold! Your conversations and stories should help people to understand that you have benefits they want and need so they will want to BUY from you When you hear “no” from your prospective clients or prospective referrers, it is very rarely a “no” because they don’t want to do business with you. It shouldn’t end there.  For both of your sakes, you need to better understand their true objections, and then help them...

Making Online Therapy Work For You

Are you still “on the fence” when it comes to integrating Online Therapy into your private practice?  Although the topic itself can be somewhat controversial (from a theoretical perspective), just the idea of doing it might be compelling and yet somewhat overwhelming at the same time. Here are just a few of the advantages associated with providing Online Therapy as one service you provide within your private practice: You can provide services for those who could not otherwise have access to you You can expand your market to your entire state of licensure, instead of your local area You will have an option for clients who may call at the last minute to cancel because of childcare issues, car problems, or work commitments You don’t have to lose a day to inclement weather or when you are not able to get into the office for whatever reason You can work from home or when you are away, if you like First, you’ll need to find out the laws and ethics of Online Therapy (or tele mental health) for your state and your discipline.  These parameters are ever changing, so keep up with any new rules as they are set forth.  Know when and where you are able to provide online services.  Find out the definition of Online Therapy in your state — Can you just use the phone or do you need to be face-to-face, online?  Does the initial assessment have to be face–to-face in the office, or can you do that online as well?  Can you provide Online Therapy for someone who is a resident of the state...

Here’s Where You’ll Find Your Ideal Clients!

When I’m coaching counselors on how to build successful private practices, the number one question I hear is:  “Where/How will I find enough clients?”  The fear of hanging out your shingle and sitting in your office waiting for the phone to ring weighs heavy on the hearts of many of the brave souls who are venturing out on their own. Once you’ve chosen a target market (or two), you can now take the biggest, and potentially the most important step in growing your business.  You are now able to identify the “Gatekeepers” of your target market. Gatekeepers are those folks who have access to, and influence over your target market.  They are able to send you lots of referrals; they are able to get you in front of a lot of your potential clients; or they are able to help you build your credibility in the eyes of your target market. Here are 5 steps for how to identify the Gatekeepers of YOUR target market, and utilize them when you are building your practice… Determine where your target market “hangs out”. What do they read; what websites do they visit; with what other professionals in the community do they have contact/relationships? Do some research and make a list of these people/places/sites who are the Gatekeepers Create a plan of action. Break down the list into manageable pieces.  Consider how you will reach out to the people on the short list – i.e. phone, email, or snail mail.  Set up a calendar of when you will reach out, and when you will follow up with each of these outreach efforts...