As 2017 draws to a close, we wanted to share the most commonly volunteered pieces of advice often heard during discussions about starting your own practice. Starting your own business is no easy feat and there is no magical list that’s going to change that for you unfortunately. Instead, we decided to put together a helpful little list of helpful thoughts to help you digest what you’ve got ahead of you. This list is just a compilation of good sound advice that our own clients often offer up while describing their journey into the world of running their own practices.
1. Find a mentor that can help show you the ropes.
Network Network Network! This is by far the one tip that gets repeated the most when it comes to launching your practice. There is no substitute for learning from somebody that’s been down this road before. Learn from the mistakes of your predecessors and examine what you could do differently.
Finding a mentor (a good one) can be tricky, but luckily there are many resources for connecting with professionals in your community. Take to the web or take to the streets to find practice owners with valuable insights and maybe even more importantly a business friendship that could prove to be invaluable.
2. Remember this is a business
Being an entrepreneur is a lot of work, there’s just no way around it. Be prepared to deal with every facet of your business no matter how big or small. Expect constant stops and starts as you get sidetracked with all kinds of decisions that you never could have anticipated.
Be smart with your money. As you slowly start to build up your clientele, make sure you are exercising your best judgement when it comes to controlling your costs. If you’re not good with money, make a conscious effort to get better and by all means find help if you need it. Find freebies wherever and whenever they present themselves.
3. Get your marketing hat on.
You’re not just promoting yourself, you’re promoting your brand. Nobody is going to evangelize your business louder than you can. Get comfortable with the art of self-promotion and solicitaton, it’s an essential part of growing your brand. There is an abundance of free information on marketing your practice and maintaining your marketing presence. Take advantage of all of those resources such as blogs, podcasts, vlogs, and books.
4. Embrace technology.
Make technology work for you. Learning new things is always a challenge, but learn to embrace change and you’ll get better at adapting to new technology. Software for counselors such as TherapyZen provide an invaluable method of streamlining and organizing your business processes. Efficiency is an essential factor to keeping your business lean and operating smoothly. Don’t get left behind by holding on to obsolete methods of doing things that will slow you down.
5. Don’t be afraid of failure.
Fail fast and fail often is a saying often used in the software world, but it applies to any type of business. Failures are teaching moments that force you to step back and evaluate your decisions leading up to that point. Go into this knowing that you are going to make mistakes and you’ll be much better prepared to handle them when they do. Don’t over analyze everything which will leave you in a state of paralysis. Keep moving forward no matter what and recognize those teaching moments as they occur.
“Imagine where you’d be today if you started a year ago…”