Every therapist wants to know how to get consistent results, consistent clients, consistent referrals, consistent revenue…
and yet many do not take the time to be consistent.
“Like begets like”, meaning if you are consistent you will receive consistent results, and the key to giving and receiving consistency is to start with a solid foundation.
Why should you focus on building a private practice with a solid foundation?
Well, remember the story of the 3 Little Pigs?
House of Straw. House of Sticks. House of Bricks.
We learned pretty early on that it was a wise choice to build a house of bricks because with a solid foundation your home could withstand the wear and tear of life’s version of the big bad wolf.
The same applies to your practice.
If your private practice is built on an unstable foundation it will not stand the test of time, last through the highs and lows, ebbs and flows, slumps and swells.
Here are 4 components to building a solid foundation, so that you can set yourself up to give and receive the consistency that you need in order to keep the private practice you worked so hard to build.
Set Realistic Goals
Sure, we could rely on the famous SMART Goal approach (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) however, have you tried creating a SWOT, NOISE, or SOAR analysis?
If you’ve created a business plan, you may be familiar with these terms and if you haven’t created a business plan, don’t worry, it’s not too late to create one.
My favorite resource for free business plan templates can be found at score.org
Side Note: When I was a medical social worker, SCORE helped me start a business plan and several years later when I was ready to launch my private practice my attorney and financial advisor reviewed it and gave me the green light to move forward with my full-time solo private practice.
If you want me to break down these 3 analytic approaches to goal setting and show you how to apply them to a full-time private practice, pop a comment below or send me a note, and I’ll put your request in the queue.
Even when you create realistic goals, you have to match them with realistic expectations.
For instance, you could have the goal of having a 6-figure practice, but are you clear on what it will take to get there?
Have Realistic Expectations
If you planted an apple seed today, would you expect to have apples tomorrow?
Nope, you sure wouldn’t.
You would however expect to plant the seed in fertile soil during the growing season, water the seed, give it adequate sunlight, pull weeds, protect the plant from pests, predators and extreme temperatures over a significant period of time BEFORE you could have a fully matured tree that would create enough apples for you to eat.
Well, the same approach applies to marketing. sales. running a business.
You can’t expect to publish a handful of social media posts, schedule a few networking meetings, or be featured in a few publications and expect your inbox to be forever flooded with client inquiries.
Contrary to popular belief, marketing, sales, and being in business is about building and maintaining relationships and clicks, likes, shares, follows, and subscribes, are not random occurrences, these are actions completed by people.
As a therapist you know that building rapport and cultivating relationships with people takes time, and so keep in mind that in order to have a thriving private practice, you have to plant a lot of seeds AND nurture them in order to reap the fruits of your labor.
If the plant metaphors are working for you, stick around and subscribe to my newsletter because I use tons of verbal illustrations to explain the business side of private practice because I believe just because being an entrepreneur is challenging doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.
Know Your Values
I recently answered this question on TikTok “Is it possible to have a private practice and have different values?”
TLDR – figuring out your values is important
Many therapists will skip the step of figuring out their values because on its surface it seems “hippy dippy” and they don’t see the connection to how this will help them book more clients.
Fun Fact: According to SmallBizTrends, 76% of 18 – 34-year-olds, 66% of 35-54-year-olds, and 55% of the 55+ year olds group like it when CEOs of companies speak out on issues they care for.
Yep, caring about values is not just a GenZ and Millennial thing, it’s a people thing.
And remember, when you're building relationships with people, your Know, Like, and Trust factor determines whether your ideal client feels inspired to say “yes” to working with you or not.
Know Your Numbers
Anytime someone says, but I’m a [insert label here], I’m not good at math, my heart breaks because all I hear is “I’m selling myself short.”
You don’t have to use self-deprecation to showcase what you don’t know yet.
There are so many tech tools out there that will crunch numbers for you, leaving you with the important job of looking at the numbers and knowing how to interpret them.
And knowing your numbers is not just about the money, it’s also about the metrics, because you won’t know if you’ve achieved your goals unless you know what to look for.
In our Marketing ABCs and Business Buzzwords, they call numbers, data, metrics… KPIs or Key Performance Indicators. That’s just a fancy way of saying, which variables are going to help you get closer to your goal
For example, if you have the goal of increasing your show-up rate for your therapy consultations, a KPI to review could be how many times your client inquiry form was submitted.
Let’s sum this all up, shall we?
Is there a lot that goes into running a private practice? Absolutely. Anyone who says otherwise is lying to you.
Will everyone’s private practice look the same? Sure won’t because we’re all coming to private practice for different reasons, with different resources, and unique motivations.
Are there key fundamentals to running a sustainable private practice? You betcha and we’ve covered one of them today.
Consistency is Key.
And without it, prepare yourself to have a big bad wolf, or two, to come knocking on your private practice door.
Want to learn how to consistently market your private practice? Join the hundreds of therapists that are committed to learning how to ethically blend their clinical skills with entrepreneurship without burning out and subscribe to my weekly newsletter – where you’ll receive transparent and curated guidance and more delivered to your inbox.