How to Seamlessly Transition From Group to Solo Practice
You’ve poured your heart and soul into caring for your patients in a group practice. But there’s something gnawing at your innards. It whispers, “It’s time.” You are ready to embrace the challenges and rewards of starting your own practice… Or are you?
As with all big decisions, there are pros and cons, necessary preparations, and supposed and surprising expectations. Let’s break these down before we share our position: That now is the right time for many therapists to back themselves and take the solo practice plunge.
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Pros versus cons
If you’re not an avid list writer, now is the time to take up the habit. The pros and cons will guide your decision. When it comes to starting a private practice, there are plenty of considerations. While not exhaustive, this list will help you to begin. Add to it. Insert points relevant to your personality, hopes, and fears that would hold you back, at least at this point.
- Complete autonomy!
- Setting your schedule
- The potential for higher income
- Selecting your staff
- Deciding on your pricing and payment systems and structures
- Personalizing your decor
- Determining your ideal mix of face-to-face, online, individual, and group sessions
- Choosing to work with specific clients or conditions, or not
- Claim expenses against your tax
- Picking your ideal location
- Responsibility for marketing (this is absolutely a pro because when you learn how you can leap ahead by bounds. And it’s not as hard as you think *more on this soon*)
- Complete autonomy! (Yes, it’s both a pro and a con)
- Fluctuating income
- Loss of stability
- No ready-made support
- Business savvy must be learned
- You might feel isolated
- Greater risk
You’re ready to begin. How do you prepare?
You’ve thoroughly considered the pros and cons. You’re ready to jump, but where do you start?
Decide on your path and ideal practice
A strongly planned path is key. For most therapists, stepping into private practice is, in part, about taking greater control in life. Keep this in mind from the beginning. Develop mission and value statements. Decide on your ideal client rather than leaving your future to the hands of fate. Consciously choose your vibe (serious or light, straight-laced or quirky), and then implement steps to manifest it. Complete a business plan. The process will clarify the path.
Ask those who have walked before you
Speak to fellow professionals who’ve successfully navigated the transition from group to solo practice. Ask detailed questions and take copious notes. Seek guidance about important tasks that must be ticked off and ask for their best advice – the things they did right and the pitfalls to avoid.
Invest in your skills and yourself
Invest in business skills, an entrepreneurial mindset, creating networks within your community, and learning the key art of self-promotion. Being a practice owner is an entirely different beast from working in a group practice; everything is in your hands.
Tick off the legal aspects
Ensure privacy protection. Get licenses, insurance, and taxation sorted. Being above board legally matters. It can be the difference between a wonderful future or spell trouble.
Determine if you want staff
Decide on whether to hire staff. Will you go it alone initially? If so, at what point will you add a team? Would you prefer (and can you afford) to have help from the get-go? Or might an outsourcer fill the gaps? Do the math and listen to your heart!
Set your policies
How long with your consultations be? What will you charge? What variations might apply? For example, will you offer discounts for the elderly, children, the unemployed, or render a reduction for multiple sessions paid for at one time? What will your cancellation policy be? When and why will you refer? What forms will you use?
Market your practice!
The harsh truth is the well-peddled saying, “If you build it, they will come” is a lie. The best therapists can remain slow, while lower-quality professionals with great marketing skills and resources flourish.
While it might initially sound counterintuitive, heartfelt marketing is a gift to your potential and current clients.
Imagine someone has struggled with clinical depression for years. The darkness negatively impacts their relationships, physical health, and ability to work, plan, and experience a life worth living. This is your specialty. You’ve helped countless clients to reclaim joy and life. It is imperative, then, that you shine your light brightly so others can find you and begin their journey to wellness. If they don’t, they either continue to suffer, find a lesser therapy or therapist, or worse. You MUST market authentically and comprehensively.
Looking for more super-charged marketing tips?
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to Market Your Private Practice!
How do you market well?
Decide on your niche or niches
Who are you best suited to help, and who do you most love to serve? Imagine you have heart trouble. Would you consult with a cardiologist or a physiotherapist? You need a professional with specific expertise, right?
Now, consider your tribe. Who exactly are they? What exactly do they need? When you know, you can speak to their desires and pain points directly, in their language. You will become known as the expert in that field. This will attract your ideal clientele, referrals from other therapists, and allow you to raise your prices and build a waitlist if you wish.
Set your marketing goals
By setting realistic marketing goals, you determine your destination. Once established, this provides a measure to gauge the success of your marketing efforts and the best avenues to include in the mix.
For example, if you wish to see 30 new patients by the end of the first quarter, the required approach will be vastly different from seeing 30 new patients by the end of the second week. While the marketing methods will be disparate, your goal will enable you to track your success.
Set up the marketing essentials
You must incorporate a range of approaches. Marketing is not a one-trick pony. You do not want to place all your eggs in one basket, lest a working method founders and you’re left without new clients.
The form of marketing you choose depends, in part, on the money you have…
Setting up funnels, hiring an advertising agency, issuing regular press releases, being featured on TV and radio – all of this can be incredibly effective. But, they’re highly costly. So, what is the bare minimum required?
In this day and age, the lack of a website screams unprofessional and antiquated. It does not matter if this is true; perception is paramount. In addition, if you lack this fundamental, people will have difficulty finding you.
According to TrialFacts, “83% of adult internet users search online for health information.” With the past year’s unprecedented challenges, Google searches have reportedly included self-care, breathing exercises, relaxation, and virtual meditation. Makes sense, right? When a problem arises, the ease and privacy of the internet acts as a non-confronting first port of call.
So, a well-crafted, value-packed article hosted on your website that solves a reader’s burning question builds rapport. This acts as an impetus to search the site further. This, then, raises the possibility of securing a booking.
At Brighter Vision, we specialize in creating proven websites, specifically for therapists, designed to attract and convert visitors into new clients.
An email list
Keeping in contact with your tribe is essential. An email list enables you to build a relationship further, deliver value, offer appointments, sell products, and more. Potential clients can sign up through an opt-in on your website, again making a website critical.
Social media platforms are free and simple to set up and use. Opt for regular posts, ensure prompt, insightful interaction, and be genuine and interesting.
To learn how to set up your social media, visit our resource, How to Setup Social Media Pages for Your Private Practice.
Our article, Best Practices for Therapist Marketing on Social Media, will step you through how to get your social media right.
Want to shortcut your social success and learn how to make the process simpler and faster? Our complimentary two-part webinar series, Social Media Marketing Made Easy: How to Use Social Genie to Market Your Practice explains how our unique tool, SocialGenie, is designed to do just that.
Ready to ramp up your Social Media Marketing?
Find out how Social Genie can help you!
As Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” You must always craft and work a marketing plan.
What to expect when you start your own practice?
A learning curve. As with any new venture, there is much to absorb. You’ll need to understand details that you could previously ignore without peril. Logistics, contracts, business needs, financial intricacies, self-worth…
But challenges are where learning lies and the possibility for exponential growth hides.
Starting your own practice is different for everyone and depends on a multitude of factors. When you ask those who’ve walked before you, remember to enquire about this too.
Why is now the right time to transition from group to solo practice?
There are many reasons. Two, though, loom large: Massive client need and the opportunity to reach a broader market.
COVID-19 has exacerbated mental illness. Increased levels of anxiety, stress, and depression are commonplace. Many people are struggling. Your expertise is desperately needed and so the opportunity is great.
A broader market
Research conducted by Deloitte found that “COVID-19 is accelerating the adoption and use of virtual health channels. Since the onset of the pandemic, the percentage of consumers using virtual visits increased from 15% to 19% from 2019 to the beginning of 2020, and then jumped to 28% in April 2020.” This means that, where previously you were location bound, telehealth is becoming an accepted way of conducting consultations. The world is your oyster.
If you’ve considered starting your own private practice… If you’ve put it off as the timing wasn’t right… If you’ve not yet been ready to commit… There has never been a better time than now.
Your expertise is in dire need. Demand is high. Acceptance of telehealth is at an all-time high. Technology now enables possibilities that weren’t previously possible. Marketing is learnable and affordable…
If you’re ready to jump, we’re ready to help.
Want the beautiful therapist website you deserve? Then you’re in the perfect place.
Brighter Vision is the ultimate marketing package for therapists, centered around the best therapist website you’ve ever had. Fill out the form below to learn more about our team of professionals who can’t wait to help your practice grow like never before 🙂