APA Center for Workforce found out that over 50% of psychologists delivering health services are independent practitioners.
However, fresh graduates should not hurry to start their businesses until they are truly ready to start their own practice. Graduate school teaches people to be good clinicians but does not instill skills to run a private practice business. Experts recommend that those planning to start their practice should:
- Gain Experience
A job at an established group or community agency helps gain experience and ideas on running a business. It offers better preparation than setting up a private practice soon after school.
- Watch market trends
Studying geographic, economic, and social trends that align with psychology business interests is essential. For instance, psychologists specializing in children and families will get more clients by establishing their business in the suburbs as many people live here.
- Establish a niche
Practice is more successful for psychologists who specialize in serving populations they enjoy serving like couples or teenagers.
The practical option is to start by serving everyone, but shifting to specialty niches maximizes skills and generates better income.
- Develop a strong plan
A plan includes a mission statement, strategies to run the business, and persons to work with if a group practice is an option. Advice from experts in mental health law and taxes helps develop a good plan. It is also essential to consult practitioners already in business to improve the knowledge base.
- Market the practice
Practitioners who start their own practice should have a promotion strategy because not everyone knows they are good. Some ways to market your practice are giving free talks to communities and interacting with professionals who can refer clients.
- Be creative
A new practice develops faster when the owner is bold in trying new clients engaging ideas. For instance, free Wi-Fi and posters of movie stars or superheroes attract youthful clients and convey resilience.
Psychologists should also create more time to socialize forges a stronger bond with clients.
- Expand knowledge and enhance talents
Psychology practitioners become more successful by learning additional business skills and studying new practice areas. Extensive reading is one of the best ways to upgrade. Some even end up writing books to share discoveries.
Private practice does not end with seeing clients. The skills are also helpful for engagement in other related issues like writing books, conducting workshops, corporate retreats, or creating educational content for traditional and social media.
Money is not the only source of fulfillment for psychology practitioners, but those ready to start their own practice should charge a fee reflecting their worth and the local market. A healthy rate helps to foot the bills and motivates practitioners to provide the best service.