4 Tips For Starting A Thriving Therapy Practice In 2023
There are few endeavors that can be as exciting and rewarding as your own thriving therapy practice. No matter what subset of therapy practices you focus on, or the range of services you offer, you can be assured that there is plenty of demand to go around.
That being said, however, getting started with your practice is no easy task, especially given the substantial overheads involved. As with most businesses, it would take at least three years to breakeven, with plenty of uncertainties, and struggles in the midst.
Even if you have experience in your respective field, getting your practice up and running involves a learning curve. In this article, we cover some tried and tested tips, and best practices that veterans in this space swear-by, which you can use as a roadmap to shorten the curve by at least a few months
1. Develop A Business Plan
Your practice is a business, and you would do well to treat it as one. On the same lines, it is essential to get started with a business plan before you open the doors for your first set of patients.
A business plan essentially includes your broader goals, visions, and mission statements, that help guide the products, services, and solutions that you plan to offer patients. Following this, you can move onto the revenue and cash flow projections, to determine how long it would take to break even, and the capital required to keep the lights on until then.
2. Build Your Online Presence
For most therapists, walk-ins are a thing of the past, with a majority of new leads and patients coming from the internet. As a result, having a robust online presence is key in attracting individuals who might require your services.
As always, a website, a brandable domain, and basic SEO should get the ball rolling, but the most effective source of new leads are sites such as Yelp and Google Local Listings, among others. Building and maintaining a presence on these sites is a different ball game altogether, involving reputation management, seeking testimonials, citations, and more.
3. Embrace Technology
The role of technology in a mental health practice goes beyond marketing and lead generation, with more value set to be unlocked in the backend. This includes the use of electronic health record solutions to handle patient information securely, along with telemedicine, and teletherapy tools to reach a much wider audience.
Healthcare practices are further weighed down by administrative bloat, creating inefficiencies and higher overheads. Much of this pertains to billing and raising claims with insurers, but even here a robust software for coding and invoicing can make things fairly straightforward, allowing practitioners to focus on patients, instead of billing and bookkeeping.
4. Network With Other Professionals
Even with a robust online lead generation system, never underestimate the role of traditional methods of marketing and getting the word out there. Most patients still look for referrals from their GP or psychiatrists before selecting a therapist, making it prudent to build relationships with other practitioners in your field.
The best way to go about this is by attending industry conferences, trade shows, workshops, and seminars. Apart from this, the simple cold outreach too can work wonders, provided that you manage to sell yourself effectively.
Building a thriving mental health practice involves consistently going above and beyond for your patients over a number of years. Over time, your reputation will start to precede you, such that patients consider traveling for hours just to attend your session and be in your presence.
There are no shortcuts in this field, and the above mentioned tips and practices should only help enable you to deliver value to your patients, without being weighed down by other tedious aspects of running a therapist practice.