How To Start Your Own Private Practice

How To Start Your Own Private Practice

Ready to branch out on your own? Your own private practice can be a fulfilling and financially beneficial work environment, but getting started isn’t easy. You need to make sure you have everything in place to maintain a healthy practice before you can get to greeting your first client.

In this guide, we’ve explored the steps you need to take to start your own private practice.

How To Start Your Own Private Practice

Want to start your own practice? Follow these steps to success, and avoid common stumbling blocks.

1. Be Clear With Your Intentions

The first step to setting up a private practice is being clear about why you want to start your own private practice. Is it purely financial? Are you excited to be your own boss? Would a private practice be a more fulfilling work environment?

Understand your intentions, so you can start a business that will work for you.

2. Create A Business Plan

At this stage, your business plan is more of a rough outline than a clear set of instructions. The business plan should cover the basics of the practice, including location and client list, and help you build a budget.

The business plan should help you set the boundaries of your practice. By creating this document, even if some of the details are lacking, you can begin to direct your choices to meet your overall needs.

3. Decide Between Insurance And Private Pay

Before advancing any further, you need to decide if you want to accept insurance, private pay, or both. All options have advantages and disadvantages, so think carefully about what will benefit you.

It’s essential to consider the type of client in the area of your practice. You might prefer private pay, but it won’t work if your potential client base chooses insurance.

The type of practice will also affect which payment method works for you. If you have a niche specialization, then you’re more likely to find clients willing to pay privately. For a broad practice, accepting insurance is often the better choice.

4. Create A Budget

Having decided how you’ll get paid, you can start to craft a budget. Be willing to ask yourself the tough questions, and be honest with your answers. The financial aspect of starting your own small business is rarely fun, but avoiding the reality can have far-reaching ramifications.

Consider all the common expenses you expect to encounter. This includes utilities, marketing, insurance, and software. Consider the one-time costs (such as furniture) and the recurring costs (such as rent).

5. Choose A Name And A Brand

Branding is when your business will start to feel real, and you can begin your marketing efforts.

The first thing to decide is a name. With so many clients now starting their search for a therapist online, your name and branding are essential for building a caseload. You need a brand that’s easy to search for, clear in what it’s advertising, and reflects your practice.

You also need to check if the name is available. You must be able to incorporate your brand name and have an available web domain to register.

How To Start Your Own Private Practice

6. Find An Office Space

There is a lot to think about when it comes to choosing an office space, so this isn’t a step you can’t rush through. Ideally, your practice will be operating from this same location for many years.

The perfect office space needs to be easy to access, with plenty of room for parking. You need to have a waiting space for clients to sit, and a comfortable office that supports sharing. Think about the potential for expansion. If the business grows, will the office space be able to keep up?

7. Consult A Lawyer And An Accountant

For improved legal protection, consider registering your private practice as an LLC or a PLLC. By filing as an LLC, you gain some protection for your personal finances should someone file a legal action against the practice.

A lawyer can provide you with the guidelines for registering a healthcare business in your state. You also need to register for an Employee Identification Number (EIN) and a National Provider Identifier (NPI).

An EIN allows you to open a business bank account, which is important for keeping your personal and professional spending separate.

It is possible to incorporate your private practice, apply for your EIN, and prepare both legally and financially for starting a private practice without consulting a lawyer or accountant. However, these third-party helpers can ensure you’re doing the best for your business.

8. Start A Business Bank Account

Once you’ve received your EIN, you can begin setting up your business bank account. This will keep your personal finances and your business expenses separate.

With the bank account established, start tracking your incomings and outgoings. You can do this using free services such as Google Sheets, but there are benefits to investing in accounting software.

Start tracking your expenses immediately. There are plenty of upfront costs associated with opening a private practice, and you want to ensure they’re all accounted for.

9. Choose EHR And Practice Management Software

Everything is online nowadays, and your private practice needs to keep up with the trend. Business management software, sometimes known as EHR software, is a vital part of the modern practice.

There are many management software tools available, so take the time to research which will work for you. You might prefer a basic tool, which will provide small assistance while granting you more control. Or you might prefer something more complex that will take care of admin (for a price).

10. Set Up Your Essential Paperwork

By this stage, you should be just about ready to start meeting clients. But before you can greet your first client, you need to have the day-to-day paperwork in place. This includes informed consent, mandatory disclosure, and record retention.

You also need to have everything ready to accept payment. Visualize the process of meeting a client, and sort out anything that you’ll need to have on hand.

11. Start Marketing

With everything else in place, it’s time to start attracting your clients! Make sure you have a functional website to greet online searchers while networking to create personal contacts.

Final Thoughts

Building your own private practice can be intimidating, and you can expect a few bumps in the road. But by following this guide, you can ensure you’ve taken care of every aspect of starting your own private practice.

Scroll to Top