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How to Start a Private Practice on the Side

There’s a lot that goes into building a private practice. To help make the process easier, SimplePractice teamed up with some private practice owners to create this comprehensive guide on how to start a private practice.

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Let’s start with the essentials. In order to legally, ethically, and functionally start a private practice, you need some fundamentals in place. These include things like a business name, structure, and license, a HIPAA-compliant email, and a business phone number. You’ll also need a business bank account and a website to market your practice. 

Building a private practice can get lonely, and having a community you can turn to for support and guidance is crucial. There’s a lot you can learn about how to start a business from other entrepreneurs. Joining an entrepreneur group will provide you with the support and accountability you need. 

Your friends and family may not understand the stress of running a practice. Having a like-minded community can give you comfort and people to vent to who just get it. If you join a group with many different kinds of professionals, you’ll also be able to learn tips on how to run your business from totally different perspectives. You’ll also be inspired by the amazing things they do that you might never have imagined without their insight and expertise. 

Another critical step in building a private practice is deciding who your ideal clients are. When you first open your practice, it’s easy to feel pressured to fill your schedule with appointments right away, but taking on every client can actually backfire. 

Finding clients to work with isn’t just about clients choosing you—you also have to choose them. If you want to provide the best results, you need to be the right fit. When you’re not the right fit, it can result in extra work, poor results, and bad reviews for your new practice. 

To avoid these pitfalls, make sure that when you’re building your private practice, you niche down and focus on a particular specialty. If you’re not sure what niche is right for you, begin by thinking about all the clients that you’ve worked with over the years, including in your rotations, at previous jobs, ones you’re currently working with, or the clients you really loved and felt good about helping. 

After you’ve determined your ideal client, the next step in starting a private practice, you have to find your private practice setting. You have a lot of choices, including clients’ homes, your home, a traditional office, or telehealth. Think about how the requirements of each space will work with your business and therapeutic techniques before choosing a setting. 

There’s no one right way to bill in your private practice, but there are some considerations for insurance vs. private pay. Think about the demographic makeup of your area, and what your competition does. Also consider things like how much time you want to devote to marketing, or if the insurance panel you want to be on is open to new providers. 

One of the benefits to accepting insurance is you get a steady stream of clients. If you need to market your own practice, there are a couple additional things to consider. First, ask yourself—are you an introvert or an extrovert? Depending on your answer, there are different tactics to help you grow your private practice based on your personality type. 

If you’re more introverted, you may work better in one-on-one settings. Create a list of professionals in your area that work with your ideal client. Then send an email introducing yourself and inviting them to meet up to learn more about their professional experience and practice. 

If you’re more of an extrovert, you should still reach out to individuals in your area, but you should also think about giving lectures or hosting meet-ups for professionals in your area. 

Download this free ebook today to learn more about how to start a private practice.

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