Yes – You Really Do Need a Business Plan for Your Private Practice

This article is Part 1 in my series on how to write a business plan for your speech therapy private practice.

In this article I’m going to convince you that you need to write a business plan and then in Part 2 I’m going to show you how to write a business plan for your private therapy practice.

Writing a speech pathology private practice business plan will help you envision the future as well as the steps needed to reach your goals.

Getting the following aspects of your practice down on paper will help you achieve your goals:

Develop a Vision
Think about what your practice will be like when it’s up and running. 

What will your daily life be like? Will you have your own office space or see private clients in their homes? What kinds of patients will you treat? What does your private therapy business look like?

Conduct Market Research
Is there a high need for your services in your area or the types of services you provide? Perhaps there are many private schools in your area that don’t offer therapy services. Or maybe you know that the predominant health insurance company in your area doesn’t cover a certain disorder.

Analyze Your Competition
Pretend you’re a patient looking for services to help you figure out who your competition is. 

Who are the other clinicians practicing in your area? What are their specialties? Try to find out how much they charge and what kind of reputation do they have. You can find this out through a Google search, perhaps making some calls and asking around.

Set Financial Goals
Set bench marks for yourself in terms of how much money you want/need to make and base your hourly rate off of that.

How many billable time slots do you have available and how many clients will you need to take on to reach your goals? 

Remember that you’ll need to include expenses in your calculations (office space is expensive- if you’re planning to rent space- you’ll need to see a lot of patients!)

Create a Marketing Plan
Many therapists are afraid to market themselves. 

Marketing is not bad or dirty! You need to focus on building relationships with other professionals who will refer to you as well as getting your name out to the public. 

You might want to focus on developing your website, sending out postcards, doing some guest speaking engagements or free screenings to help build your client-base.

Here’s the deal with a business plan:
You need to write one.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re asking for money or not, showing it to anyone or just doing it for yourself: it’s a great exercise in building a firm foundation for your business and future success.

Just do it; it’s not that bad.

Better yet- I’m going to teach you how to write a speech pathology practice business plan next week. 

Stay tuned  🙂

Jena H. Casbon, MS CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and private practice consultant. She started her own speech therapy private practice in 2006. She is the founder of The Independent Clinician and author of The Guide to Private Patients and The Guide to Creating a Web Presence for Your Private Practice. Since 2008, she has helped thousands of clinicians get the flexibility, income and freedom they desire from starting their own private speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy practices. 

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