Are you thinking about starting a private practice? Starting and running a small business is no small thing. Are there signs that you may be a future therapy practice owner?
I have the privilege of talking to practice owners from all over. There are some constants when it comes to owning a successful private practice.
I also have the opportunity to consult with practice owners who have made some mistakes. I have made my fair share too. Many of these mistakes were avoidable. This is why I created the Start a Therapy Practice website, podcast, book and The Academy of Private Practice.
Below are the skills and characteristics of a future practice owner:
1. Someone in your family is a business owner.
This is especially true if your parents are business owners.
2. People seek you out for answers to their questions and for advice in general.
This indicates that people trust your opinion. They think you have some special knowledge.
3. You have a strong desire to help people, but you are not a fan of regulations.
Sure, you already have the desire to help people. It’s one of the main reasons you became a therapist. Recently you have realized that government institutions and companies are wasting your time. Regulations impede good people like yourself from helping more people. If you owned a practice you could avoid some of these time wasting rules.
4. You have the heart of a servant.
This is a little different than wanting to help people. If you have the heart of a servant you want to help everyone, not just those who are customers or clients. You want to serve your employees too. You also want to serve those who have no way to return the favor.
You want to do most of the work and take little of the credit. Have you ever been around someone who will tell others how great another person is? They build people up. They want that person to shine and get the credit. People who have the heart of a servant are liked by everyone. People want to do business and work for with this type of person.
5. You have good social skills.
Let’s face it, people today have a harder time dealing with and interacting with others. Blame it on the technology, social media, school, whatever. It doesn’t matter what the cause is. IIWII is the acronym for “It Is What It Is” which looks like “2W2”. Those with good people skills have an advantage in the business world. I am not talking about being salesy. I am talking about being liked and trusted.
6. You don’t mind working hard, for days on end, for months even to accomplish a goal.
You can go on little sleep and still keep a positive attitude. When it appears your efforts are getting you no where you keep going. We live in a right now society. People want instant results. Owning a business is tough and the results are rarely instant. Can you grind it out?
7. You have a good support system.
When I started my private practice my wife was my private practice. We were in a great position because she was a stay at home mom who happened to be an OT. She could answer the phone and talk the language of therapy. She could be my front office help and charm anyone that walked through the door much better than I could. This doesn’t mean you have to be in the same position as I was, but do you have an advantageous situation?
8. You take direction and criticism well.
Not only take it, do you seek out direction and criticism? Can you accept someone telling you that you are doing it wrong? Can you accept someone telling you that you messed up big time? Can you see that someone else is doing the task better and make major changes to your style? Can you take it when a client tells you that your therapy is no good and that your business stinks?
You will not please all of the people all of the time. You are going to make mistakes and some of them will be big. You are going to get your feelings hurt. Can you take it, learn from it and grow because of it?
9. Are you decent with money?
Notice I didn’t say good with money. Few of us are good with money, but are you decent? You can’t be over your head in debt and think that starting a business will help you pay off your loans.
You will need to crunch numbers and run a spreadsheet. You need to be willing to sacrifice. Others are going to have material goods that you can’t have. That new car? You may have to drive a clunker for a while especially in the beginning of business ownership.
The book Profit First by Mike Michalowicz is a good read for any business owner.
As far as money goes I refer you back to point number 8.
10. You know you can do it better.
You have worked for others and you know that you can provide a better product. I am not talking about being arrogant. I am saying that you can see what others don’t see and have solutions to what they are doing wrong.
I would love to know what you think are some signs that a person may be a future practice owner. Leave them in the comments below.
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