Common Mistakes New Therapists In Business Make
Running your own therapy business isn’t always easy, and all sorts of things can go wrong. All you can do then is learn from your mistakes and change the way you do things so the same thing doesn’t happen again. Here is a list of some of the common mistakes new therapists starting out in business make. Hopefully, reading them will help prevent these things from happening to you.
Five Common New Therapy Business Mistakes
1. Not coming to the realisation that you are in business – It is so easy to get sidetracked and forget that this isn’t just a vocation any more and now, you’ve put in all the time and work and you’ve qualified! Of course helping clients is a passion but it’s not wrong to want to make a good income from the time and effort you’ve invested. Some new therapists actually feel bad about taking on paying clients but you are a professional and can bring real value and genuine help to your clients. You’re in business now and one core driver should be to make money as well as helping other people and making them happy. Basically, you need to have the mindset of a business owner and think in a whole different way.
2. Not keeping track of all your expenses – Since it’s so early on in your business career, it is incredibly easy to have the mindset that travel, computer usage, office space (even in your own home), internet usage and mobile phone calls are just things that happen and not a part of your expenses. As soon as you start working with paying clients, you are in business and you need to keep track of every single expense. Even if you might not believe that you will make the money back any time soon, it’s a good habit to get into as a new business owner. Writing everything down even makes you feel more like you own a business, so this helps in getting you in the correct mindset faster. It will help with taxes too.
3. Having too many worries about your competition – You always need to be aware of who your competition is, but you can’t be putting all of your focus and stress on this. You have other things to be concerned about to ensure the success of your new business. Instead of spending time stressing over the competition, spend that time on marketing your services and creating an angle to show how you differ. That will help you feel much more in control and also get you focused on the business development of your practice.
4. Waiting for customers to appear out of nowhere – Unlike the Kevin Costner movie, “Field Of Dreams”, its not a case of building your skills and experience and then knowing that your clients will come to you. No therapist is going to get clients through inertia. You have to make your business known by using advertisements, using the tools provided to you by social media, and talking to people. It isn’t enough to be great at what you do; you must get out there and make connections with people. In a nutshell, that’s all marketing is, making connections and creating awareness to generate paying clients.
Meet-ups and local advertisements are a great way to get your name and business out there. Engage in some public speaking, offer to write a therapy column for your local paper. Also important to note is that you cannot heavily rely on your action plan. Sometimes it pays off to venture outside the box and try new ways of advertising and letting people know about your business. We’ll be sharing some innovative marketing strategies in the future so do keep an eye out on the blog.
5. Not knowing how to price – Pricing your therapy services can be a tough skill to master. There is always the fear of being too high for the market and conversely, you don’t want to be at the lowest end of the scale as that does your skills an injustice and not everyone buys on price alone. Do some research online and ask any peers, mentors or colleagues about pricing models. It’s fine to be a little unsure when you first start out and it can be an unnerving experience telling a client your prices the first few time. Please, don’t fall into the automatic discount mode because you are thrilled to have those first clients. It’s a bad practice as clients will expect the discounts to continue and as a significant portion of your client base will initially come via word of mouth, you don’t want the expectation that the price will be XX amount when really, you need to be charging YY.
New Therapist – Final Thoughts
Starting a new business is daunting for anyone who has done it, it’s a heady blend of excitement and terror but everything will get easier with time. Try to avoid making these common mistakes and focus on what you do best, the therapy side and your business will be growing in no time. Remember you are rarely as alone as you might feel, reach out to others and just have a sanity check if you ever doubt yourself, its perfectly normal.