3 Mistakes You Can Avoid In Private Practice
Written by Christoffer Nettelbladt on March 24, 2020
This article aims to enlighten you on 3 very common mistakes when starting and growing a private practice and how you can avoid them.

"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting."
- Buddha

In search of the truth about how to start, operate and grow a private practice many practitioners have made many mistakes, but the only true failure would be not to analyse, iterate and test again until truth is found.

This scientific method of hypothesise - test - iterate and repeat until perfection is the method I use for everything professionally and personally.

There is however a way to speed up this process and not having to start every hypothesis from zero, and that is to learn and implement wisdom from past mistakes of those that came before us. 

In this article I will share the "Big Three" that seem to be timeless and always relevant. 

It's time to reveal the big three...

  • Not implementing systems and workflows with the envisioned practice in mind
  • Not taking an entrepreneurial approach towards the practice
  • Not Investing in one self and the practice

Number 1 - Not implementing systems and workflows with the envisioned practice in mind

During early stages there will seemingly be a lot of time tend to the processes. such as providing handouts, scheduling appointments and attracting new clients. This is exactly why this is the time to plan for the envisioned practice when clients come in abundance and there is a full caseload. 

By then there must be structure, systems and processes implemented to effectively handle the daily workflow while keeping client results the main thing, instead of drowning in "busy work" that does nothing for client results or your income.

When growth and scaling actually take place you DON'T want to find yourself in a position where your routines break. 
If they are already honed refined and dialed in, then you will be prepared for the increasing workflow and are able to focus attention towards the newly found clients results instead of managing the chaotic busy work that is piling up.

So will you for example do manual scheduling yourself, or by staff? Or should you implement a scheduling system that handles it day and night 24/7 and even pushes the appointment to the google calendar for both you and the client and send notifications to remind you of the upcoming appointment?

How much time every week will you spend on client attraction and client conversion? 
How much time will you spend on service delivery towards existing clients?

Will you do your own books, or will you have an accountant?

Will you set of a set time every day to respond to emails, or will you react to every single one as they come in?

When and how will you keep track on your key numbers that make or break the practice?

At the beginning of a practice or early stages of growth these things may seem small by themselves, but add it all up over a year and there will either be a great amount of time and energy saved or poured down into unstructured busy work.

And when you do find yourself in the envisioned practice with a full private-pay caseload you realise that now there is basically no time for a restructure because by now, things just need to get done.

Number 2 - Not taking an entrepreneurial approach towards the practice

It is very common to be educated and experienced in the service delivery part of being a therapist in private practice but have little to no experience or training in marketing and sales.

Being client driven and very good at helping the clients is of course at the very core of running a practice.
However, people must be able to find you and you must be good at converting those in need of your particular help.

Hanging a sign on the door, launching a new shiny website and passing out business cards and asking doctors for referrals and then retreat to hope that someone will find it is not the way to go.

This is a very passive, outdated and untraceable approach towards attracting potential clients.

Those who are regularly filling their caseloads with private-paying clients have an active marketing strategy that with consistency and predictability bring in new clients all year around.

Clients will go looking for therapy sure, but if you have not made it easy for your ideal clients to find you, they won't and they will end up in someone else's caseload. Not necessarily because they provide a better service than you, but because they where easy to find when they went looking and they had a compelling message that instantly resonated with their specific situation.

It is indeed up to people to find a therapist they resonate with, but it is up to you to make sure that your ideal clients find you and feel that you are the therapist for them. 

Number 3 - Not Investing in one self and the practice

This is a surprisingly major one.
The journey towards becoming a therapist and learning the service delivery have taken thousands of hours and cost tens of thousands and in some cases even up to hundred thousand dollars. When it comes to the marketing and sales that wasn't covered in this training, it is surprisingly common to not follow a proven system for this, but rather wing it in hope of success.  

I've talked to a lot of therapists but I've never met with a single one that would wing it when it comes to the service delivery, and no one that would try scuba-diving after googling the safety instructions.

Insurance-pay caseloads is one thing because then there is a steady stream of incoming clients. For private-pay caseloads however it boils down to having a reliable, predictable and traceable marketing strategy.

Every client result is a result of the potency of the service delivery, and the number of appointments in the calendar is a result of the potency of the marketing strategy in place.

Fundamentally new clients wont know you or your website exists, if they can't find you.

If you’d like to enjoy a practice with a full and steady private-pay caseload. One that can serve clients remotely, click here to book a call with me and I will personally tell you how. 

Let Us Help You Build & Grow Your Private Practice Into A Wildly Profitable Business. By Teaching You The Methodology & Skills Required
To Grow A Private Thriving Practice In The 21st Century.

Christoffer Nettelbladt

Christoffer Nettelblad helps people start & grow their private practice using online methods while making it simple to understand.
If you're interested in starting your own practice or grow your existing one, then you should definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.
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