The Business of Starting a Private Practice

 

Meet this week’s Customer Spotlight, JaNaè Taylor! Hear about her transition from a college counseling center to private practice, and also her top tips for getting sh*t done!

 

Hi JaNaè! Tell us about your journey.

A year ago, I couldn’t have envisioned where I find myself today. I entered the field spending the most of my time doing collegiate mental health. Ultimately I thought I would spend my career being an administrator for a college counseling center. What I learned after some time is that I enjoyed the clinical work, but I struggled with the restraints of that environment. After learning more about private practice from a colleague, I walked away from the academic setting feeling as though this may be an attainable goal. I’ve always had a passion for mental health advocacy within the Black community and felt like this was an opportune time to make that leap.

I opened my practice in July 2015 at which time I spent the summer learning the business of starting a practice. I began seeing my first clients within the practice in August 2015, part time. I managed a full-time job while building my caseload until June 2016. So far I’ve been in full-time private practice for 3 months! There is a constant learning curve and what I find as the biggest challenge is marketing to my intended audience (the Black community) in a way that makes therapy approachable and relatable. I’m in a space where I am beginning to see the fruits of my labor which makes me feel very excited to take more steps with my practice beyond the therapy room (e.g. blogs, webinars, and podcasts).

What’s your favorite part of being in private practice?

I have three favorite parts: setting my own schedule (I’m not a morning person); successfully filing a claim (this is a business, after all); and being in complete control of my identity as a businessperson and mental health professional.

The idea of being an entrepreneur is something that I never thought I could be. With all my mental health training, I didn’t see how it came into play with my job as a therapist! After getting started with my private practice, it occurred to me that I didn’t need to work under an institution, and could absolutely do it on my own. And that’s awesome!

I’m learning more about how to be an entrepreneur every day. I’ve joined some Facebook groups since there’s some great advice that floats around in them. I had this realization that I don’t need to do everything myself! I can rely on things like SimplePractice (which takes care of LOTS of things!), and I also have an accountant… Which takes a load off my shoulders. Luckily there are other people out there who specialize in different things relevant to my practice, and that’s the magic of outsourcing.

Top 3 tips for getting sh*t done:

1. Structure: I set aside time to handle my administrative tasks and a separate time for my clinical tasks
2. Flexibility: If a task takes longer than expected, I shift my timetable to accommodate the rest of my workload.
3. Forgiveness: If I’m not able to accomplish all that I hoped for, I work to not be too hard on myself for falling short of my goal. I practice forgiveness should that happen and sometimes the solution is creating a more realistic goal for myself.

How do you use SP in your day to day & how has it helped your practice overall?

I use SP to help me stay organized in my daily tasks, to manage my clinical duties, and also to keep my clients informed about their appointments. I have the app on my phone, tablet, and I use the website on my laptop constantly! To have all the tools in one space takes away so much worry.

What SimplePractice feature can you not live without?

Again I have trouble picking one thing! I appreciate the reminders about outstanding tasks, it’s rewarding to watch them disappear as I manage those items. Secondly, the insights bar graph! As a new practice, being able to see growth and trends from month to month helps tremendously with my motivation.

SimplePractice Insights helps me see my practice grow and gives me the motivation to continue on my path. I check my income often and with Insights, I can see where I am and what I need to do in order to achieve my definition of a full practice! It helps me in my own thinking about how to plan for the future of my practice.

JaNaè Taylor

Do you have any words of wisdom for people aiming for success in private practice?

I encourage everyone to find a community of others in private practice. There have been so many unexpected questions, challenges, and successes, and you need a space to channel those things.

To close, what’s your vision for your practice?

My mission is to provide culturally-sensitive services tailored to the unique needs of every client. I specialize in providing individual, family, and couples counseling services to the Black community. Specifically, my clients are Black women and men seeking healthy relationships with themselves and others as they work towards building healthy families in the midst of healing from race-related traumas.

 

Learn more about JaNaè here: wwww.taylorcounselingconsultingservices.com

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