Ask Joe: What should I have set up when starting a private practice? | PoP 724

Image of Joe Sanok is captured. On this therapist podcast, Joe Sanok, podcaster, consultant and author, talk about what you should have to set up a private practice.

Why should you consider pursuing further certifications? What are the three essential foundations you need to create in your new practice? What does a successful marketing strategy look like for a new counseling business?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about what you need to have set up when starting your private practice.

Podcast Sponsor: Noble

A an image of Noble Health is captured. Noble Health is the podcast sponsor to Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

According to a scientific brief released by the World Health Organization, between 2020-2021, global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a massive 25%. As a mental health professional, you have likely seen the effects of the pandemic and events of the past few years on your clients.

With the great need for both anxiety and depression support in mind, our friends at Noble just launched Roadmaps on Anxiety and Depression that offers your clients the education and tools they need between sessions to begin to take the steps necessary to reduce their symptoms. Noble makes powerful therapy simple with their app that offers research-backed, automated, between-session support for clients, assessments, messaging, and more. Learn more and join for free at www.noble.health/Joe

In This Podcast

  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Clinical work

Marketing

At the very beginning of your new practice, you need to:

  • Define your business avatar
  • Build out your website and blog content
  • Create a content plan for each quarter

Once you get the website, then it’s picking or maybe two social media outlets to double down on. If your clients are on Facebook, go on Facebook… put a lot of effort into one or two social media outlets. (Joe Sanok)

  • Optimize your SEO
  • Network your practice in the community

Operations

In most states, this is going to be an LLC or PLLC, and in some states, they require an S Corp, so you want to make sure that you chat with a local attorney who understands your state’s laws. (Joe Sanok)

Get in touch with a good local attorney to discuss the logistics of launching a new practice.

Lay a solid foundation for your practice by registering it correctly from the get-go. This also helps you by creating a protective legal separation that distinguishes you from the practice so that you are both ensured.

  • Register your practice
  • Open a bank account for your practice
  • Get a separate debit or credit card for your practice
  • Install an EHR (Therapy Notes) and filing system
  • Set up a payment solution
  • Keep track of income and expenses (Quickbooks)
  • Layout your office space or optimize your online systems

Clinical work

Are you clear on which people are your ideal clients, and who you serve best within the community?

Be straightforward with who your ideal clients are so that you can hire the best-fit clinicians, and market your practice accordingly for success.

Are there skills that you can learn and certifications you can achieve that will help you to improve your clinical work and boost the services that you can offer to your clients?

To me, extra trainings are important for your own development. (Joe Sanok)

Grow your skills so that you can be the best therapist that you can be!

Useful Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Noble makes powerful therapy simple with their app that offers research-backed, automated, between-session support for clients, assessments, messaging, and more. Learn more and join for free at www.noble.health/Joe
  • Access FREE RESOURCES: Ready to take your practice to the next level?
  • One Year Practice Plan: This step-by-step walkthrough will show you every single step to go from no private practice to a thriving one in one year.
  • Sign up for Next Level Practice
  • Ask Joe: Submit your questions
  • Quickbooks: Keep track of your income and expenses
  • Swyft Filings: Form an LLC today
  • Therapy Notes: The Most Trusted EHR for Behavioral Health

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

[JOE SANOK] This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 724. I’m Joe Sanok, your host, and welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. I am so glad that you are here today. Even that you may just be thinking about starting a private practice, blows my mind, so exciting. For me, starting a practice was absolutely life changing, so the idea of you even thinking about it or growing it, or maybe you’re a solo practitioner that wants to do it right is so exciting to join you on that journey. We have so many resources for you. We’ve got our free e-course, that’s all about starting a solo practice over at pillarsofpractice.com. We have our one year practice plan, which will walk you through starting a practice, and it’s just a $17 fee. You get a weekly email over at practiceofthepractice.com/plan. We’ve got Next Level Practice, our membership community. That’s on wait list right now. That’ll be opening up for our next cohort soon at practiceofthepractice.com/invite. Then we have tons of other membership services that help you grow group practice and, Group Practice Boss, things like that. So it’s just so awesome to be able to support practitioners as honestly, the push back on the mental health crisis in America and to help you grow an amazing practice. Today we’re talking about a question that I get all the time, and this is the last part in this five part series about starting a practice and really it’s, how should I have everything set up? It’s the big picture. What are the things that you need to be thinking about, looking at all of that as you’re starting a practice, all those different elements. So if you haven’t heard the previous four episodes, they’re really great episodes. Also, if you have your own questions that you want to go deeper on around starting, growing, scaling a practice, leaving, selling a practice, go over to practiceofthepractice.com/askjoe. We have a form right there where you can submit your question. If it’s selected, we’ll say your name on air. Ask your question. It’s a great way to have your particular question. Just be part of the content we create. We’re doing four episodes a week right now. LaToya’s been rocking out Fridays in May and we’re going to be just keep doing some awesome content for you. Also in the fall, we’ve got Killin’It Camp, which is the private practice conference. You’re going to hear more about that as we move into that. We’re at the time this recording’s still planning out where that’s going to be when that’s going to be how that’s going to look. So some really cool stuff coming up. We just try to support you as best as possible in your private practice. So there’s three main areas we’re going to talk about for you to think through logistically. Actually I made an infographic back in 2012, and it’s still applicable that walks through a lot of this. It’s available on our Pinterest page, which you may not have followed practice of the practice on Pinterest, but it’s been re-pinned and viewed over 500,000 times. This was something that I had the idea in the middle of the night. I literally wrote it down on a napkin. It’s just so cheesy that it’s a napkin. Then I went and designed it in word. I had no design skills. I’m so glad I put Practice of the Practice at the bottom of it, because it’s been repined so many times. It’s a great driver of traffic for us. But it really looks through your first year of private practice, quarter by quarter. What do you need to be doing in these three areas in the area of marketing, operations and clinical work, marketing, operations, clinical work. So let’s talk about first year marketing. In the very beginning, you’re going to want to define your business avatar, you’re going to want to build out your website, build out blog content, having a plan quarter by quarter to make sure that you get those marketing things out there in each quarter thinking through what’s that next step for me. Once you get the website, then it’s picking one, maybe two social media outlets to just double down on. If your clients are on Facebook, go on Facebook. If they’re on Instagram, go on Instagram. Really putting a lot of effort into one, maybe two social media outlets. Also working on your SEO maybe even hiring an SEO company to help you with your SEO, really focusing on that marketing. So over that first year we’re wanting to make sure that you’re connected, make sure that you’re networking, make sure that you have a plan quarter by quarter in regards to what that marketing looks like. In the previous Ask Joe episode, last Wednesday, I dug deep into the exact plans. So you’re going to want to follow that plan quarter by quarter. [NOBLE] According to a scientific brief released by the world health organization between 2020 and 2021 global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a massive 25%. As a mental health professional, you’ve likely seen the effects of the pandemic and events over the past few years on your clients. With the great need for both anxiety and depression support in mind, our friends at Noble just launched roadmaps on anxiety and depression that offers your clients, the education and tools they need between sessions to begin to take the steps necessary to reduce their symptoms. Noble makes powerful therapy simple with their app that offers research backed, automated between session support for clients, assessments, messaging and more. Learn more and join for free at www.noble.health/joe. Again, that’s www.noble.health/joe. [JOE SANOK] The next area that we want to look at is in regards to operations. So thinking through the basics of it. In most states, this is going to be an LLC or a PLLC. In some states they require an S-Corp. You want to make sure that you chat with a local attorney that understands your state’s laws file that type of business because you want a separate entity from yourself. You want that legal separation so that people can’t sue you personally for the things you’re doing within the business. You’re going to have a bank account in that, business name, you’re going to have a credit card most likely in that business’s name or at least a debit card. Maybe you’re anti-credit and credit cards and Dave Ramsey, whatever, do whatever you want, it’s your business. Then you’re going to want to have that link in to a QuickBooks account so you keep track of all those expenses. Even recently I purchased a vacation rental and we’re in the middle of fixing it up s there’s a lot of expenses there. So keeping track of the furniture I’m buying for that, the painting fees, all those different things. I can take all that off of the income, the money that comes in. So making sure that you’re keeping track of that and doing a good job with that. That’s going to all kick into QuickBooks. Just use the small book or the small business one that’s like 12 bucks a month. I feel like I set up an affiliate link for that. I think it’s practiceofthepractice.com/quickbooks. We do have practiceofthepractice.com/llc. Swift Filing is a great company that will help you with filing your legal paperwork in your state. We’re not attorneys, we’re not accountants. Just speaking from personal experience. My attorney makes me say that all the time. Then after you get some of those logistical things you’re going to want to look at, how do you get paid? Are you billing insurance? You’re going to definitely want some sort of EHR like Therapy Notes where you’re walking through that you’re keeping track of it. You may even have a biller that’s billing the insurance companies that may be a great investment so that you’re not having to do all that billing. Maybe you do want to do the billing making sure that that money then flows in through the account and is kept track of, setting up that payment solution whether that’s through a therapy notes or through some separate system and then making sure you’re keeping track of that and then looking at your office. Do you want to have an actual office? Are you doing it virtually? Where are you doing the actual therapy? So we get the money things set up. We get the business and legal things set up, we get the office and the operations, getting the phone numbers set up, all of those things. Then as you continue to move through it all to then evaluate do I like these systems? Are they working for me? Are they not working for me? Then the last area we want to look at is in regards to clinical, making sure that who you’re trying to serve, the specialty area, growing in those clinical skills, finding those areas that you want to improve, extra trainings. To me, extra trainings are important for your own development. Clients, for the most part could give a rip. They don’t need to see more letters after your name. They assume that you are a professional because you are a professional but there are a handful of things that really can help your business. So being EMDR-certified and going through that process in almost every community, there’s not enough EMDR therapists. Going through the Gottman training or EFT or other things like that, where you’re growing in your skills, because you want to, you want to feel like a solid clinician, that’s a great reason to go through it. If you’re doing it just because you think it’s going to attract more clients in most situations, it’s really not going to. They’re not going to care that much, that you spent two years getting EMDR-certified. But there may be areas that you find what, I’m getting a lot of people asking for these types of referrals and that’s not something I offer yet. Do I want to do that? Do I want to hire someone in-house that can become a clinician with me to do it? What do I want to do in regards to that? So that can be a really helpful thing as well. Also with your clinical seeing what you’re less interested in. Just because you started working with a certain population doesn’t mean you have to. That’s always a bummer for clients when you stopped taking referrals around a specific niche, but it’s your business. It’s your life. Life is too short to work with the type of clients you don’t want to work with. Over my career, I have moved in and out of many different things. I still remember when I sold my supervision business, where I was supervising 16 different clinicians. We had group supervision and some individual. These were folks that specifically wanted to work with me. I sold it to another supervisor and I recognized that doing supervision, this was primarily at night once a month, we would meet for four and a half hours. That was a long night and I just wanted to be with my kids. Sometimes we outgrow a certain specialties in certain times of day that we can serve people. So if you’re mostly helping kids, it can be really hard to not see them after school. But if that’s what you want to do, if you want to only see kids during the day, that’s your choice, that’s your business. It may work. It may not work. So figuring out clinically what’s shifting, what’s changing and continuing to explore all those different things. Coming up with that big picture plan of your marketing, your operations and your clinical, it’s going to help you rock out your first year of private practice. We could not do this show without our sponsors and Noble has some really exciting news to share where they’re adding over 50,000 mental health professionals to their platform. Right now you can sign up totally for free over at www.noble.health/joe. Again, that’s noble.health/joe. Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an amazing day. I’ll talk to you soon. Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the producers, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

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