I began to develop many skills, right out of college, that later assisted me in starting a private practice and opening a brick and mortar clinic. I did not develop these skills for this direct purpose, but without them I would have failed miserably. Here are some of the more important skills that you will want to begin developing now in order to be an independent therapist or start a private practice in the future:
Time Management Goals
Using time wisely is my number one tip for you. You can’t become successful if you are wasting your valuable time and filling it with non-essential tasks.
Drastically reduce your wasted time on Facebook, Pinterest and other time sucking Internet sites. This will leave more time for you to learn how to start a private practice from this website and others.
Drastically reduce your wasted time watching t.v. Consider canceling cable or satellite.
Create a schedule for your day and stick to it. (I can’t tell you enough how much this helps me accomplish my goals!). Right now, track your wasted time. And then correct it. I use Google calendar.
Working hard in the beginning will reap benefits later.
Wake up a little earlier in the morning (in 15 minute increments) so you can spend fresh morning time 1) exercising and 2) reading and learning about private practice.
Make time for exercise in the morning. This has helped me stay positive and given me a jump start in fresh thinking. Running a private practice can be stressful at times if you let it. I decided long ago that the day to day tasks of being a therapist and running a clinic should not be the hardest physical activity that I do each day, and it has paid off tremendously.
Building Business Goals
No degree needed.
Make some business cards for yourself. You don’t need a business yet to have a business card. I use the Office Depot website.
Learn and start using Excel. It is not hard. Even kids use it, so you can too. There are some great YouTube tutorials to assist you.
Learn and start using Evernote. Check out the “Taking Control: The Organizing Podcast”. Evernote has a great blog .
Check out Amazon’s bestselling books in the business and entrepreneur categories and check them out from the library.
Surveying the Competition Goals
Be smart and choose a good location.
Check out your area and nearby towns to see if there is a need for a new therapy practice or clinic. Don’t ignore small and rural communities.
Learn who the competition is and how they operate. Create a Google Alert on your competition’s company name and owner/director’s name to learn from them.
Learn who all the doctors are in your desired area, and create a spreadsheet with their information. Be sure to list their practice name, individual name, phone, fax, website and a place for your comments. Create a Google Alert for important people and businesses.
Join your national and state association (ASHA, APTA, AOTA).
Start connecting on Linkedin. Look for ‘private practice therapy groups’.
Other Smart Goals
Visit or call other therapy practices outside of your chosen area, and ask if you can spend a few minutes with the owner. Ask for suggestions and resources. Exchange business cards and send out a thank you card when you get home.
Look for opportunities to give a presentation or man a booth at conferences related to your practice. Keep the information in a spreadsheet. Create a calendar alert to remind you of reoccurring conferences. Examples are new business expos, school functions, teacher conferences, hospital and community functions, and health fairs.
Although it can be done, be very aware of the pitfalls in starting a practice with someone else. I suggest that this is probably 90% fatal to either a friendship, business, or both.
Starting a private practice will empower you to become the best therapist you can be and help you grow as a person in ways you cannot imagine.