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Writing a Business Plan
While it may be tempting to put off, creating a business plan is an essential part of starting your own business. Plans and proposals should be put in a clear format making it easy for potential investors to understand. Because every company has a different goal and product or service to offer, there are business plan templates readily available to help you get on the right track. Many of these templates can be adapted for any company. In general, a business plan writing guide will recommend that the following sections be incorporated into your plan.
The executive summary is the first section that business plans open with, but is often the last section to actually be written as it’s the most difficult to write. The executive summary is a summary of the overall plan that highlights the key points and gives the reader an idea of what lies ahead in the document. It should include areas such as the business opportunity, target market, marketing and sales strategy, competition, the summary of the financial plan, staff members and a summary of how the plan will be implemented. This section needs to be extremely clear, concise and engaging as you don’t want the reader to push your hard work aside.
The company description follows the executive summary and should cover all the details about the company itself. For example, if you are writing a business plan for an internet café, you would want to include the name of the company, where the café would be located, who the main team members involved are and why, how large the company is, who the target market for the internet cafe is, what type of business structure the café is, such as LLC, sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, what the internet café business mission and vision statements are, and what the business’s short-term objectives are.
Services and Products
This is the exciting part of the plan where you get to explain what new and improved services or products you are offering. On top of describing the product or service itself, include in the plan what is currently in the market in this area, what problems there are in this area and how your product is the solution. For example, in a business plan for a food truck, perhaps there are numerous other food trucks in the area, but they are all fast –food style and unhealthy so, you want to introduce fast food that serves only organic and fresh ingredients every day. This is where you can also list your price points and future products or services you anticipate.
The market analysis section will take time to write and research as a lot of effort and research need to go into it. Here is where you have the opportunity to describe what trends are showing up, what the growth rate in this sector looks like, what the current size of this industry is and who your target audience is. A cleaning business plan, for example, may include how this sector has been growing by 10% every year due to an increase in large businesses being built in the city.
Organization and Management
Marketing and sales are the part of the business plan where you explain how you will attract and retain clients. How are you reaching your target customers and what incentives do you offer that will keep them coming back? For a dry cleaner business plan, perhaps if they refer customers, they will get 10% off their next visit. In addition, you may want to explain what needs to be done in order for the business to be profitable. This is a great way of showing that you are conscious about what clear steps need to be taken to make a business successful.
Financial Projections & Appendix
The financial business plan section can be a tricky one to write as it is based on projections. Usually what is included is the short-term projection, which is a year broken down by month and should include start-up permits, equipment, and licenses that are required. This is followed by a three-year projection broken down by year and many often write a five-year projection, but this does not need to be included in the business plan.
The appendix is the last section and contains all the supporting documents and/or required material. This often includes resumes of those involved in the company, letters of reference, product pictures and credit histories. Keep in mind that your business plan is always in development and should be adjusted regularly as your business grows and changes.
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Your Guide to Writing a Business Plan
If you’re starting a new business, then you need an effective plan. Not only does this enable you to plan your company, but it also gives potential clients an insight into how your business works. A business plan is also vital if you want to attract investors or secure a loan from the bank. Drafting a business plan is a complex process, but it doesn’t have to be. This guide will ensure you create a definite plan to impress investors and clients.
When creating your business plan, there are some essential elements you must include. The Executive Summary provides a description of your business, and what you hope to achieve. People usually write at least one page, but leave their Executive Summary until last.
You’ll also need to detail what your business offers and define your target audience. This makes it easier for people to see whether your company has a chance of succeeding. The opportunity section is also an excellent way for you to see what competitors offer and how you can create a USP to stand out from the competition.
Appealing to Investors
Every business that wants growth and prosperity must ensure they promote themselves to potential investors. Business plans aren’t just about what the business is, but who is part of it too. Detail your current team members and explain what they bring to the company. Investors want to know they’re making a wise investment.
Your current finances and financial forecast are also essential aspects of your business plan. Look at your products, how much you’re selling them for and what kind of profit margin you expect to gain. It’s also vital you detail your outgoings and look at how various economic situations could affect your finances.
Writing a Winning Executive Summary
There are problems in every market, and a successful business solves that problem. If you can show how you’ll be able to offer solutions in your business plan, you’ll appeal to investors. Choose your target audience based on research and ensure you show your research. There are many ways to conduct market research including defining SOMs, SAMs and TAMs.
TAM stands for Total Available Market and comprises everyone you want your product to reach. Your Segmented Addressable Market (SAM) is a specific portion of the market you’ll target. This is important because it shows you’re able to direct your product at the right people and not just everyone. Your SOM (Share of the Market) is what you feel you’ll gain with your product.
How to Determine Pricing
Pricing your product is one of the most challenging things you’ll have to do. There are many things to consider, such as how much it’s worth and making sure you don’t charge unrealistically. Many new businesses believe undercharging is the best way to go, but doing this can undermine your company’s authority and cause fewer people to be interested in investing.
Market-based pricing involves looking at your competitors and evaluating their prices. Which company has the most customers? How does their pricing match others? These are all vital aspects you should consider. Remember, customers expect quality and a fair price, so make sure you combine the two.
Investors and banks want to know that you’ve considered what the future will hold for your company. When you write your business plan, be sure to take into account how you see the company growing, what you’ll do to ensure it thrives and that you understand the potential risks. Banks and investors want to know that you can build a business and are aware of the obstacles you’ll have to overcome.
Starting your own business doesn’t have to be difficult. If you ensure you produce a robust business plan, it can be an exciting process. Your business is part of your future, so start by outlining your goals and look forward to seeing results.
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Counseling Private Practice Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Counseling Practice Business Plan
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 500 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their counseling private practices. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a counseling private practice business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your counseling private practice as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
If you’re looking to start a counseling private practice, or grow your existing counseling private practice, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your counseling private practice in order to improve your chances of success. Your business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.
Sources of Funding for Counseling Private Practices
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a counseling private practice are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for counseling private practices.
How To Write a Business Plan For a Counseling Private Practice
If you want to start a counseling private practice or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Below are links to each section of your counseling private practice business plan template:
Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of counseling private practice you are operating and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a counseling private practice that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of counseling private practices?
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the counseling private practice industry. Discuss the type of counseling private practice you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company analysis, you will detail the type of counseling private practice you are operating.
For example, your counseling private practice might specialize in one of the following divisions:
- Clinical psychology : this type of counseling private practice assesses, diagnoses, treats, and prevents mental disorders. Specialization within clinical psychology may focus on areas such as neuropsychology, geropsychology, child psychology, etc.
- Industrial-organizational psychology: this type of counseling private practice specializes in applying the principles of psychology to the workplace, to assist with a range of HR issues such as employee retention or productivity.
- Marriage and family therapy: this type of counseling private practice is licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within the context of marriage, couples, and family systems.
- Social work: this type of counseling private practice includes services such as individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and child and family counseling.
In addition to explaining the type of private practice you will operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to question such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of patients served, number of cases with positive outcomes, reaching X number of clients served, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the counseling private practice industry.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the counseling private practice industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends.
The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your private practice business plan:
- How big is the counseling private practice industry (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your counseling private practice ? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The customer analysis section of your counseling practice business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments: individuals, schools, families, and corporations.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of private practice you operate. Clearly, individuals would respond to different marketing promotions than corporations, for example.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.
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Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.
Direct competitors are other counseling private practices.
Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes psychiatrists, other healthcare providers, or members of the clergy. You need to mention such competition as well.
With regards to direct competition, you want to describe the other counseling private practices with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be counseling private practices located very close to your location.
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:
- What types of customers do they serve?
- What type of counseling private practice are they?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide options for the uninsured?
- Will you provide services that your competitors don’t offer?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a private practice, your marketing plan should include the following:
Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of counseling private practice company that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, will you provide psychodynamic therapy, behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, or integrative therapy?
Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the services you offer and their prices.
Place : Place refers to the location of your counseling private practice company. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your counseling private practice located in a busy retail district, a business district, a standalone office, etc. Discuss how your location might be the ideal location for your customers.
Promotions : The final part of your counseling private practice marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Advertising in local papers and magazines
- Reaching out to websites
- Social media marketing
- Local radio advertising
While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your counseling private practice, including answering calls, planning and providing therapy sessions, billing insurance and/or patients, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to book your Xth session, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your counseling private practice to a new city.
To demonstrate your private practice’s ability to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.
Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing counseling private practices. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing a counseling private practice or successfully running a small medical practice.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.
Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you see 5 patients per day, and/or offer group therapy sessions? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance Sheets : Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your counseling private practice, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a private practice:
- Cost of computer software.
- Cost of furniture and supplies
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Taxes and permits
- Legal expenses
Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office location lease or a list of insurance plans you accept.
Putting together a business plan for your private practice is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the counseling private practice industry, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful private practice .
Counseling Private Practice Business Plan FAQs
What is the easiest way to complete my counseling private practice business plan.
Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your business plan.
What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of private practice you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a private practice that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of private practices?
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Counseling Private Practice Business Plan Template [Updated 2023]
Counseling private practice business plan template.
If you want to start a counseling private practice or expand your current counseling practice, you need a business plan.
The following Counseling Private Practice business plan template gives you the key elements to include in a winning Counseling Private Practice business plan.
You can download our Business Plan Template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here.
Below are links to each of the key sections of your Counseling Private Practice business plan: I. Executive Summary II. Company Overview III. Industry Analysis IV. Customer Analysis V. Competitive Analysis VI. Marketing Plan VII. Operations Plan VIII. Management Team IX. Financial Plan
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Counseling Private Practice Business Plan Home I. Executive Summary II. Company Overview III. Industry Analysis IV. Customer Analysis V. Competitive Analysis VI. Marketing Plan VII. Operations Plan VIII. Management Team IX. Financial Plan
Private Practice Business Plan Template – Free Download
What is a private practice business plan.
Not to be confused with a business case , a private practice business plan is a document that acts as the backbone of your business model and is a crucial step in establishing your mental health practice. Business plans are truly the foundation for any business, and are important for setting benchmarks to measure success. It’s a tool that will give you the opportunity you need to walk through every stage of your practice development to help you clarify your goals and identify your needs. With the information and outcomes it provides, you’ll be better prepared to handle any complications or challenges that may arise as a business owner.
Off-the-shelf business plan templates can be helpful resources, but often aren’t effective for actual private practices. At Valant , we want to make establishing your mental health business plan easier and more successful. That’s why we’re sharing a private practice business plan template for behavioral health practices like yours!
Benefits of Developing a Private Practice Business Plan
There are many benefits to developing a private practice business plan . To name a few, a business plan can:
- Help you identify weaknesses and opportunities, giving you a more comprehensive understanding of the market and your place in it.
- Analyze your business model and necessary operations, enabling you to streamline processes more effectively.
- Establish your services and unique value proposition, enabling you to set yourself apart from your competitors and offer your clients distinct value.
- Set your financial goals, helping to build a stable, successful business.
- Create marketing strategies, offering insight as to which channels may produce the greatest number of dedicated patients.
- Identify opportunities to attract and retain clients, allowing you to find and successfully treat the kind of patients you’d like to most.
- Stay accountable to your goals, keeping your practice focused in its intent.
Using our detailed and comprehensive template will allow you to jumpstart the startup process and help you maintain your momentum as you move towards launching your practice.
What’s Included In Our Private Practice Business Plan Template
Our business plan template includes several categories of questions aimed at simplifying and clarifying your plan for your behavioral health practice. Included in this document are questions about your mission statement, description of your practice, legal framework, operations, EHR system , marketing, organizational structure, and finances. Our business plan template will help you answer all the questions while thinking critically about your business, services, customers, and goals.
We hope the information provided in our template will help you lay the foundation of your successful mental health practice. Understanding the basics of starting a practice is crucial to your future success as a mental health provider. Download our comprehensive private practice business plan template now.
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How To Start a Private Practice
A One Page Business Plan for Your Therapy Practice
THIS POST INCLUDES:
1. Keep Your Business Plan Simple 2. Parts of a Business Plan 3. How to Complete a Business Plan 4. Sample Business Plan: Art Therapy Practice 5. Additional Business Planning Information 6. Free Download Business Plan Checklist
KEEP YOUR BUSINESS PLAN SIMPLE
Many people have a perception of what a business plan entails. They may think business plans are only useful for large companies or businesses you want to get a loan from a bank and need to explain their financial position.
A business plan involves much more than looking at the financial aspects of your business. It involves defining your clients, assessing your strengths and weaknesses in your business, and identifying the resources you need to execute your goals for your business.
Your business plan should be written using simple language. A business plan should be written so that it encourages you to take action on developing parts of your business that need your attention such as resourcing, marketing , and financial planning.
Many business plans are written for the benefit of a board of directors, however, if you are a private practice therapist, your board of directors is you. Therefore it is important to write your business plan using language that will motivate you and help you solve problems that may exist in your private practice.
If you are running a private practice and you are the sole employee, it is easy enough to create a business plan using a one-page process. While it is important to undertake these important administrative and planning aspects of your business, it’s also important that you keep momentum on running your business so that you don’t get too distracted by onerous administrative tasks.
It’s also important to remember that a business plan is often a changing process. As your private practice develops, you may want to change parts of your business that suit your goals at that time.
It’s a good idea to review your business plan at least once a year so that you can make any amendments and future goals for the year ahead. In the first year of your business, you will want to pay close attention to your business plan and possibly review it every month, however, once your practice is established you can undertake a review process less frequently.
A business plan is simply about being prepared.
PARTS OF A BUSINESS PLAN
The content of your business plan should always be based on providing information that helps you progress in your private practice. It is good to include information that is simple, concise and provides actionable steps.
GENERAL BUSINESS PLAN
Essentially, the most important parts of your business plan will include:
- Why do you want to start a private practice
- What are the mechanics of your private practice – income, expenses, staff, administration etc
- What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis)
- What is your marketing plan
These 4 areas are fundamental parts of your business plan. Your business plan should be specific to your private practice, however, we’ve created a sample outline below of the most important details that you should consider based on the above 4 fundamental parts.
DETAILED BUSINESS PLAN
- Private practice name:
- Date of this plan:
- My mission for my private practice:
- My business goals (should be specific and measurable):
- Income avenues:
- Initial cost set up:
- My strengths:
- My weakness (and how to manage them):
- Opportunities for my private practice:
- Threats to my private practice succeeding:
- Marketing Plans:
HOW TO COMPLETE A BUSINESS PLAN
Completing a business plan takes some time and effort. Essentially you are working on a document that is based on goals, expectations, and unknowns. It can feel difficult to determine exact details to include in your business plan when there are so many unknown variables.
From this perspective, your business plan is simply a guideline to get you started. It should always be viewed as a process that requires adaptability and flexibility as you become more experienced in running your private practice.
The business planning process can be overwhelming especially if you are more interested in client work instead of administrative work. In many ways creating your business plan is an introduction to running your private practice.
At times when running your private practice, you will be required to do administrative work that feels more tedious compared to the client work that you want to do. It is good to note any resistance you feel when creating your business plan as it may be a good way to assess your desire to run your private practice with many of the non-client work tasks that you will be required to undertake.
Set a time limit on creating your business plan. We’ve introduced 13 sections above in the detailed business plan. You could dedicate an individual time slot for each detailed item so that you don’t get too overwhelmed with researching a lot of information at once.
The first 3 items are simple information recording items and should only take you seconds to record. If you haven’t already named your business or subsequent website name, then you may want to spend some time on working out what your private practice should be called.
Whenever you name anything whether it be your private practice, services types, products, or workshops, you should always name items from your client’s point of view. Any names should be easy to spell, pronounce, remember, and understand in terms of purpose. Consider the demographics of your ideal clients and be guided by what language and words might mean to them. For example, if you want to appeal to elderly clients, you may not want to name your business: Artz4U
As you work through each item on your detailed business plan, remember to record all information in one central area. A lot of software integrates, so you should be able to combine both word processing documents and spreadsheet documents in one primary document. A program such as Evernote is a good tool to use for creating your business plan because you can access it at any time across multiple devices. Evernote is fairly robust in creating written text, tables, checklists, audio, and more.
Evernote is a useful program to record all of your business information in as a central database. This means you can access information about your private practice at any time. Evernote is also a great way to store and record information from external sources (eg. Internet) that you can use to help develop your business.
You may want to read our previous post about using Evernote for blogging to see how you can also use Evernote for your business planning process. 10 Useful Tips to Use Evernote for Blogging
Evernote is free for a basic account, however, you can purchase a premium subscription for additional features. You will easily be able to use a free Evernote account to create your business plan.
SAMPLE BUSINESS PLAN: ART THERAPY PRACTICE
Included in this section is a sample of how to create your business plan using the parts of a business plan listed above. This sample is simplified to give you an idea of how each section should be used.
It’s important to note that your financial information such as income, expenses, and initial set up are usually specific to your first year. Each additional year after will be different as you may not have the same ongoing costs as you did in your first year. You will also most likely have your lowest income year in your first year until your practice becomes more established.
It is is a good idea to extrapolate your financial calculations out for at least the first 5 years so you can get some perspective over the short and long term success of your private practice. This will also help you plan for any initial savings that you need to inject into your business in the first year. Being financially prepared will help reduce the stress that you feel around meeting income goals.
The more elaborate your business goals are, the bigger your business plan will be. This business plan is a simplified version to get you moving and taking action on establishing your private practice.
All names, websites, and financial information is fictional for illustration.
PRIVATE PRACTICE NAME ABC Art Therapy
DATE OF THIS PLAN January 2019
MY PRIVATE PRACTICE MISSION To help clients experiencing anxiety and depression. A focus on adolescents and building self-esteem.
MY BUSINESS GOALS
- Become an expert in art therapy and anxiety/depression in my area.
- Create workshops for adolescents and building self-esteem
- Develop a workbook for adolescents that can be purchased online and at workshops
INCOME GOALS (per year)
- General client sessions – 4 clients per day x 4 days x 50 weeks x $80 per session = $64,000
- Workshops – 4 per year x 10 clients each x $80 = $3200
- Workbook – $20 x 200 sales per year = $4000
TOTAL INCOME YEAR 1: $71,200
NOTE: Your income will most likely be more varied as you may choose to take on reduced fee clients or charge more for additional services such as report writing etc. You may also set initial client session goals for the first year and increase them each year after.
EXPENSES (ongoing per year)
- Bank Fees $100
- Accounting/Legal $200
- Education/Courses $300
- Telephone/Internet $500
- Insurance $320
- Office Supplies $800
- Art supplies $2500
- Professional fees $150
- Repairs and maintenance $150
- Subscriptions $150
- Advertising $1500
- Wages (inc. Tax, superannuation/401k, retirement) TBA
TOTAL EXPENSES: $14,470
NET PROFIT: $71,200 – $14,470 = $56,730 (allocated to wages, taxes, retirement planning etc)
NOTE: In the expenses section, we’ve written TBA under Wages etc. You may want to calculate the wages you pay yourself as a set amount at the start and then your income and expenses will need to allow for that level of wages to be paid. Alternatively, you may want to calculate your income and expenses initially, and then allocate the remaining profit to pay your wages.
INITIAL COST SET UP
- Plastic desks x 5 $100
- Plastic folding chairs x 10 $100
- Lounge chairs x 3 $500
- Art room decor $200
- Desktop computer $1200
- Printer/scanner $300
- Art room supplies $1000
- Website and general admin $500
TOTAL SET UP COST: $5,100
- Writing content – good for creating workshops and workbooks
- Public speaking – good for public marketing and networking
- Specialty in working with adolescents (note various training obtained)
- Setting procedures
- Financial acumen – need to hire a bookkeeper/accountant. Set a schedule for reviewing data
- Marketing – undertake a free online course to determine the best methods of marketing online and offline
- Easily distracted – can become distracted by pursuing multiple goals. Set a plan and meet with an accountability partner to stay on track
- I am a sole practitioner – investigate income insurance
OPPORTUNITIES FOR MY PRIVATE PRACTICE
- There are 3 high schools in my immediate area where I could offer my workshops or work with the school counselor on developing programs.
- There are only 2 other therapists who deal specifically with adolescents in my area – neither of them provides art therapy services.
THREATS TO MY PRIVATE PRACTICE SUCCEEDING
- There are 8 other therapists who focus on anxiety/depression treatments. Approach each of them to network for referrals.
- Illness and professional burnout – implement regular self-care and supervision
- Cash flow problems – develop a nest egg to pay bills
- Networking with other therapists in my area
- Contact GP’s and other allied health professionals
- Network with high school counsellors for workshops
- Facebook advertising
- Art therapy association directory
- Counselors association directory
- Build website content and create email list with newsletter
- Social media posting – establish social media plan
ADDITIONAL BUSINESS PLANNING INFORMATION
Below is a list of previous blog posts that will supplement the information about business planning in this blog post. Read these blog posts to dig deeper into each aspect of running your art therapy practice.
- How to Backup Your Important Business Files
- Practice Management Software to Use as an Art Therapist
- 10 Steps to Set Up Your Art Therapy Practice
ART THERAPY HELP
- How to Set Up Your Art Therapy Room
- Link List: Useful Therapy Resource Websites for Forms, Templates and Tools
- Excel (spreadsheets) vs Accounting Software To Record Financial Information
- How to Record Income and Expenses for your Art Therapy Practice
- Strategies to Increase Profit For Your Therapy Practice
- 10 Ways to Increase Your Therapist Income
- How Do I Create an Ecourse for my Therapy Practice
- How To Organise an Art Therapy Group
- What to do when you have no clients booked
- Where to find Clients for your Art Therapy Practice
- 5 Essential Marketing Templates for your Therapy Practice
- Create A Sales Funnel for an Art Therapist
- Design a Simple Layout for Your Art Therapy Website Design
- How to Build an Email List for your Therapy Practice
- How to Create a Free Offer to Build Your Email List
- How to Create an Annual Social Media Plan in 60 mins
- How to Get Started With Google Analytics in 5 Easy Steps
- How to Plan Your Marketing Strategies
- Link List: Online Marketing Courses to Improve Your Marketing Skills
- Review of Free Social Media Schedulers
- The Best Marketing Methods for Art Therapists
- Tools for Organizing Your Social Media Content
- Understand the Marketing Cycle of Your Art Therapy Practice
- How to Establish Your Business Network
- Professional Networking for An Art Therapist
- 10 Useful Planning Tools for Your Business
- 10 Useful Tips to Use Evernote for Blogging
- How to Plan A Productive Year as a Therapist
- Planning Template for Your Art Therapy Practice
- Task Management Software For Art Therapy Planning
- Self-care for the Art Therapist
- Using Art Therapy For Your Own Self-Care
———————— Need help with setting up your Therapy Practice admin policies and procedures? If you need help to set up your Therapy Practice business, we have an Admin Package in the store which contains a collection of essential business documents.
The Admin Package is available in 3 formats, including:
- Microsoft Word
You can read more about the packages in our store HERE .
- Business Details
- Fee Schedule
- Cancellation Policy
- Refund Policy
- Business Trackers
- Social Media Tips
- Business Admin Maintenance
- Business Goals
- Project Template
- Client Intake Checklist
- Client Call Log
- Consent for Services
- Authorisation to release information
- Social Media Policy
EMAIL & LETTER TEMPLATES
- Inquiry Reply
- Referral Request
- Reminder Late Payment
- Response for psychological report
- Response to subpoena
FREE DOWNLOAD: Free Download Sample Business Plan
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Private Counseling Practice Business Plan
Private Counseling Practice business plan for starting your own social service agency
Are you a psychologist, social worker, or marriage counselor? Did you know that you can make money from a prosperous business by going into private practice like any of the trainers mentioned above? Yes, the profession of counseling, social workers, and marriage counselors are one of the largest and most lucrative professions in the United States, open to interested entrepreneurs who are qualified and able to come in as a private trainee and earn a great income. This counseling private practice business plan has the insights.
USA Private Counselors LLP is a professional and licensed consulting (private practice) organization that specializes in helping its clients cope with their challenges, achieve their personal goals, and improve their skills, competence and productivity.
The scope of our private counseling practice business offerings covers areas such as clinical psychology, industry-organizational psychology, all other psychology, psychosocial work, marriage, and family therapy, child, family and school social workers, online counseling services and retail sale of self-help books. And materials and others.
Our business is located between a well-populated residential estate and a business district in Pennsylvania – Smethport, Pennsylvania, USA.
USA Private Counselors LLP, is a customer-centric and consequently operated private consulting firm that offers a wide range of consulting, learning approaches and experience at an affordable fee that is in any way to put a hole in our clients’ pockets. We make sure to work hard to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers because whenever they hire our services, it is related to their professional and personal goals.
USA Private Counselors LLP is the overall best interest of our clients comes first, and everything we do is entirely guided by our values and professional ethics. We make sure to hire professional and certified psychologists, social workers and counselors of various skills who are well experienced and enthusiastic.
Management of Social Service Agency
In the private counseling practice business plan , we ensure that we are responsible for the highest standards by accurately and fully meeting the needs of our customers. We will cultivate a work ambience that gives a humane, sustainable approach to practicing, earning and living in our world for our associates, employees and our clients.
Customers of Social Service Agency
While starting a social service agency it may seem like a dream too high, but we are sure it will attract more customers like celebrities, public figures, and Private Job based customers. As we have done lots of research and feasibility, studies and we are excited and confident that Smethport is the right place to start our private consulting business.
Our primary goal is to satisfy our customers and establish our business location. So people can learn about us and our dress code. Our business plan Private counseling practice is to gain as many customers as possible and expand our Social service agency line to many countries. Profit is a secondary thing, but the primary concern is to satisfy our customers and their queries.
1. How to start a business?
Well, this is the most challenging part because the person starting the business never knows about the future. Whether the business will work or not; it will always be an opportunity, and because of this, many are sacred. Most people ask how to start a business? Therefore, the answer here is, you need to identify the needs of the people. You need to check the latest market trends and what people want to do.
2. What are the costs involved in opening a business?
The start-up cost of the counseling business can be low or high depending on your goals, vision and aspirations for your business. The start-up capital for a home-based private consulting business without any overhead can be as low as $250,000 to $350,000, while a medium and large scale value is definitely higher.
3. How to implement business management?
Our management staff and this is based on the performance of the company for a period of three years or more. We know that if it is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best staff for management, which we can get in the industry. They will be more dedicated to helping us build the business of our dreams.
4. What target of this business?
We have a private counseling practice business plan, our target areas are local people, celebrities, and social media influencers, and they can advertise our agency differently.
plan your business.
USA Private Consultants LLP will ensure that the right foundation, structures, and processes are in place to ensure that the interests of our customers employees are well taken care of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to move our business to greater heights, and the training and retraining of our employees will burn at the top of our business strategy.
Define your brand
The new business will have to face the initial problems in establishing a brand name in the head of the customer. We treat our customers well and take care of their needs and recommendations. We also did tailor-made projects for clients. We discuss with our team what the customer needs and how to apply it.
How to promote & market a business
The truth is, if your customers have experienced a big difference in their lives as a result of hiring your company’s services, they will be compelled to help improve your company.
Establish a web presence
Another notable trend in this field is the influence of technology; the advent of technology has led to an increase in the income of private consultants around the world. With technology, it is not easy for private consultants to provide advice to their client’s thousands of kilometers away from them.
USA Private Consultants LLP- may be a new private consulting agency in Pennsylvania, but the board of directors and business owner are considered gurus in the industry. The woman is a leading professional, licensed and highly qualified psychologist and marriage counselor. She can help her clients cope with their challenges and successfully achieve their personal goal in the short term. These are the areas where we consider a competitive advantage.
Why the social service agency is being started
Our owner loves to start new social services agency, but they feel like they can share their social ideas with others. They are learning about social causes and are now going to propose a big agency or business project so that people can also benefit from their practicing department.
How the social service agency will be started
Being talented is one thing, knowing how to make people successful is another; That’s why you need to constantly get feedback to measure the progress and performance of your agency. Keeping all these things mind and with the help of private practice counseling business plan template, the business will be started.
Our mission to start our private practice counselling business is to help our clients and staff to meet their challenges, achieve their personal goals, improve their skills, competence and productivity, and of course, make a profit from the field of counseling. In addition, you can work on starting your own counselling practice agency as well.
Our service offerings are listed below;
- Clinical Psychology
- Industrial-organizational psychology
- All other psychology
- Social work on mental health
- Marriage and family therapy
- Child, family and school social workers
- Online consulting services
Marketing Analysis of Counseling Services
The trend in the field of Counseling Services, social workers and other counsellors over the past half-decade shows that the industry continues to grow. Private consulting services are required regardless of economic conditions, which protect the industry from economic fluctuations.
USA Private Consultants LLP will generate revenue by providing the following private consulting services;
- All other counselling
- Retail sale of self-help books and supplies
After opening a private practice business , our business target cuts across different classes of people and people from all walks of life. We come with a business concept and company profile in the field of psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors, which will help you, work with clients from different backgrounds and different positions.
Generally, starting your own counselling practice services are charged flat rates on an hourly billing rate and a weekly or monthly basis. As a result, USA Private Consultants LLP will charge flat fees to our clients, except for a few cases where special clients will have to pay on an hourly basis.
We note that there is fierce competition among private consulting firms in the United States; So we were able to hire some of the best marketing staff to handle our entire sales and marketing.
Also, our sales and marketing staff will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry, and the goals of USA Private Consultants LLP.
Being more competitive in the field of counselling, the staff, counsellor and practitioners will provide consistent quality service, and our clients can experience significant difference and improvement, and meet the expectations of your clients at all times you can meet.
USA Private Consultants LLP is all set to use the following sales strategies to attract customers. The sample proposal for counseling services will include the followings-
- Introduce our private consulting firm by sending introductory letters with our brochure to key stakeholders in Corporate, Religious Institutions, Families, and Smethport – Pennsylvania.
- Print flyers and business cards and drop them strategically in offices, libraries, public facilities and train stations and more.
- Use close friends and family to spread the word about our private consulting firm.
- Put information about our private consulting agency on bulletin boards in places like schools, libraries and local coffee shops.
- Placing a small or classified ad in the newspaper or a local publication about our private consulting firm
- Advertise our private consulting firm in relevant educational magazines, newspapers, television stations and radio stations.
Well, here is a chart below where you can find monthly sales.
We are also exploring the market and its sales in the marketing plan for counseling center . Well, the counsellng is doing well, as you can see in the chart below.
excellent work, competent advice. Alex is very friendly, great communication. 100% I recommend CGS capital. Thank you so much for your hard work!
We were able to critically explore the private consulting market, explore our opportunities in the industry, and we were confident and able to come up with the following sales forecast. Sales forecasts are based on data collected in the field and some strange assumptions for similar startups in Smethport – Pennsylvania.
Below are the sales forecasts for USA Private Consultants LLP, which are based on the location of our personal training and training company, and of course the wide range of training we offer-
- First financial year : $150,000 to $400,000
- Second financial Year : $350,000 to $500,000
- Third financial year : $500,000 to $550,000
Considering the above counseling services, we have decided to appoint qualified and competent hands to hold the following posts;
- Chief Partner / CEO
- Psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors
- Office Administrator
- Marketing executives
- Customer Service Administrator
Average Salary of Employees
Well, this is the most important process for counseling private practice business plan . However, in the table below we have mentioned all the details about the salary.
In setting up a private counselling practice business plan, size, or cost depends on the approach and size you want to undertake. If you rent a space and want to go big, you will need a large amount of capital as you need to make sure your employees take good care of you.
According to our assumptions, we will follow this plan to increase our business naturally. If there are any natural disasters, we control the things of our human condition. You can see the map.
The Break-Even Analysis is based on our private counseling practice business plan to reach the level in only one year.
Projected Profit and Loss
Our private counselling practice business works well, but we don’t cover the monthly budget, so we try to cover it for the next four months.
The monthly profit chart will be as below-
The yearly profit chart will be as below-
Gross Margin Monthly
The below gross margin lines are showing the future figures, and we hope they will get thicker by the time.
Gross Margin Yearly
Slow, dense lines, as we can see. This year we will cover.
Projected Cash Flow
The psychotherapy finances or cash flow can be seen below where we can not only get out of debt, but also find profits.
Projected Balance Sheet
Download Private Counseling Practice Business Plan Sample in pdf
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Home » Business Plans » B2C Sector
How to Write a Counseling Private Practice Business Plan [Sample Template]
Are you about starting a counseling private practice? If YES, here is a complete sample psychological counseling private practice business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE . Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a counseling private practice.
We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample counseling private practice marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for counseling private practice companies. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
Why Start a Counseling Private Practice Business?
Are you a Psychologist, Social Worker or a Marriage Counselor? Do you know that you can make money from a thriving industry by going into private practice as any of the above practitioner? Yes indeed, the Psychologists, Social Workers and Marriage Counselors industry is one pretty large and profitable industry in the united states that is open for aspiring entrepreneurs who are qualified and competent to come in as a private practitioner and rake in huge revenue.
This is true because, reliable statistics has it that the Psychologists, Social Workers and Marriage Counselors industry in the United States of America generates roughly $15 billion annually. If you are qualified and well positioned, you can get your own fair share of the available market in the industry and smile to the bank on a regular basis.
If you want to partake in this thriving industry, you would need to obtain all the necessary licenses and certifications and then launch your own counseling private practice business. The truth is that, the market is still pretty much open for new practitioners to come in. Although there are competitions at various levels in the industry, but if you are able to come up with a good business strategy, you are sure of getting your own fair share of the available market in the industry.
So, if you have decided to start a counseling private practice business in the United States, then you should make sure that you carry out thorough feasibility studies and also market survey. Below is a sample counseling private practice business plan template that will help you successfully write yours without much stress;
A Sample Counseling Private Practice Business Plan Template
1. industry overview.
The Psychologists, Social Workers and Marriage Counselors industry of which professionals who are into counseling (private practice belongs to) is composed of mental health practitioners who diagnose and treat mental, emotional and behavioral disorders brought about by mental illness, substance abuse or physical and emotional trauma.
These practitioners consist of psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors. It is important to state that the industry mental health professionals who have a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree or a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) degree are not included in this industry.
A close study of the Psychologists, Social Workers and Marriage Counselors industry shows that in the last half a decade, the industry has grown consistently. Private counseling services are needed regardless of economic conditions, which insulate the industry from economic fluctuations.
Going forward, as people continue to be employed and regain a steady income, private health insurance will become more affordable, prompting consumers to seek private counseling services when needed.
A recent report published by IBISWORLD shows that the Psychologists, Social Workers and Marriage Counselors industry has a low level of concentration, with the majority of firms employing less than five people and no industry firm accounting for more than 1.0 percent of total industry revenue.
The practices and theories of psychology are highly fragmented. For instance, cognitive and behavioral psychologies have developed in isolation from each other. This makes it difficult to create large practices that dominate any particular area.
The report further stated that, the benefits to achieving scale in the industry are minimal because fixed costs are low. Group practices are increasing in number, but these are not large operations either. One major benefit of group practices is the ability to spread administrative costs across several practitioners
The Psychologists, Social Workers and Marriage Counselors industry is a thriving sector of the economy of the United States of America and they generate a whooping sum of well over $15 billion annually from more than 141,495registered and licensed Psychologists, Social Workers and Marriage Counselors scattered all around the United States of America.
The industry is responsible for the employment of well over 231,393people. Experts project the industry to grow at a 3.4 percent annual rate within 2011 and 2016. It is important to state that there is no single organization that has a lion share of the available market in the Psychologists, Social Workers and Marriage Counselors industry.
It can’t be over emphasized that the demand for the services offered by the private counselors grows when public confidence declines and people’s ability to handle the issues on their own wanes. When the housing bubble burst and the US economy fell into a recession, consumer confidence plummeted.
This decline, coupled with high unemployment, falling incomes and bleak outlooks, caused Americans to seek out the assistance of professional psychologists and counselors, benefiting the industry.
However, as the economy slowly continues to recover and consumer confidence returns, demand for their services is expected to diminish. Going forward, clients and potential clients alike will likely require less guidance, high-income households will serve as the primary vehicle of growth for the industry
Lastly, as a private counselor, the key attributes needed to be able to make good success from the trade is patience, enthusiasm, passion about the specific area to be handled, and constant positivity. You are also expected to be highly proactive; you would need to be good at planning, preparation, and certain other organizational skills.
It is one thing to have a skill and it is another thing to know how to counsel people into becoming successful; which is why you must constantly get feedbacks from your clients to be able to measure their progress and your performance.
2. Executive Summary
Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP is a professional and licensed counseling (private practice) firm that is specialized in helping her clients overcome their challenges and achieve their personal goals and improving their competence, capacity and productivity.
The scope of our business offerings cover areas such as clinical psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, all other psychology, mental health social work, marriage and family therapy, child, family and school social workers, online counseling Services and retailing of self – help books and materials et al.
Our business will be located in – between a well – populated residential estate and a business district in Smethport – Pennsylvania, United States of America.
Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP is a client-focused and result driven private counseling organization that provides broad-based counseling, learning approaches and experience at an affordable fee that won’t in any way put a hole in the pocket of our clients. We will ensure that we work hard to meet and surpass all our clients’ expectations as it relates to their career and personal goals whenever they hire our services.
At Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP, our clients’ overall best interest would always come first, and everything we do is guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hire professional and certified psychologists, social workers and counselors with various skills set who are well experienced and passionate in helping our clients achieve their personal goals within record time.
Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP will at all times demonstrates her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a private counseling organization, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible.
We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our clients’ needs precisely and completely. We will cultivate a working environment that provides a human, sustainable approach to earning a living, and living in our world, for our partners, employees and for our clients.
Our overall business goal is to position our private counseling organization to become the leading private counseling brand in the psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors industry in the whole of Smethport – Pennsylvania, United States of America, and also to be amongst the top 10 private counseling business in the United States of America within the first 5 years of operations.
This might look too tall a dream but we are optimistic that this will surely come to pass because we have done our research and feasibility studies and we are enthusiastic and confident that Smethport is the right place to launch our private counseling business.
Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP is founded by Dr. Boston Smith and he will run the business with his business partner for many years Dr. Becky Allison. Dr. Boston Smith is a certified and renowned psychologist and marriage counselor. He has well over 20 years of experience working with top government officials, corporate executives, celebrities and sports people both in the United States of America and Canada.
3. Our Products and Services
Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP is going to offer varieties of psychology and counseling services within the scope of the psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors industry in the United States of America.
Our intention of starting our private counseling business is to help our clients overcome their challenges, achieve their personal goals and improving their competence, capacity and productivity and of course to also make profits from the psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors industry and we will do all that is permitted by the law in the US to achieve our aim and business goal.
Our service offerings are listed below;
- Clinical psychology
- Industrial-organizational psychology
- All other psychology
- Mental health social work
- Marriage and family therapy
- Child, family and school social workers
- Online counseling services
- Retailing of self – help books and materials
4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Our vision is to build a highly competitive and effective private counseling business that will become the number one choice for both individuals and corporate organizations in Smethport – Pennsylvania and the whole of the United States of America.
- Our mission is to provide affordable, professional and highly effective private counseling services to a wide range of clients that cuts across different divides. We want to position Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP to become one of the leading private counseling brands in the industry in the whole of Smethport – Pennsylvania, and also to be amongst the top 10 private counseling firms in the United States of America within the first 5 years of operations.
Our Business Structure
Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP, is a private counseling firm that intend starting small in Smethport – Pennsylvania, but hope to grow big in order to compete favorably with leading firms in the psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors industry both in the United States and on a global stage.
We are aware of the importance of building a solid business structure that can support the picture of the kind of world class business we want to own. This is why we are committed to only hire the best hands within our area of operations.
At Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP, we will ensure that we hire people that are qualified, hardworking, creative, passionate, result driven, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders ( the owners, workforce, and customers ).
As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff / partners and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more as agreed by the board of trustees of the company.
In view of the above, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;
- Principal Partner / Chief Executive Officer
- Psychologists, Social Workers and Marriage Counselors
- Marketing Executives
Client Service Executive
5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
Principal Partner / Chief Executive Officer:
- Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; developing incentives; developing a climate for offering information and opinions; providing educational opportunities.
- Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
- Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
- Responsible for providing direction for the business
- Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Evaluates the success of the organization
Psychologist, Social Worker and Marriage Counselor
- In charge of clinical psychology services
- Responsible for handling industrial-organizational psychology services
- Handles all other psychology services
- Handles mental health social work
- Provides marriage and family therapy
- Handles child, family and school social works
- In charge of online private counseling services
- Retails of self – help books and materials
- Handles any other duty as assigned by the Principal Partner / CEO.
- Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP
- Designs job descriptions with KPI to drive performance management for psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors
- Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders to review the effectiveness of the organizations’ Policies, Procedures and Processes
- Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
- Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
- Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
- Carries out staff induction for new team members
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
- Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
- Updates job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organizations.
- Oversees the smooth running of the daily activities of Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP.
- Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new students, and business opportunities et al
- Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects; assures the completion of development projects.
- Writes winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with organizations’ policy
- Responsible for handling business research, market surveys and feasibility studies for clients
- Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
- executes and evaluates new plans for expanding increase sales
- Documents all customer contact and information
- Represents Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP in strategic meetings
- Helps to increase sales and growth for Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP
- Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports; analyzes financial feasibility for the most complex proposed projects; conducts market research to forecast trends and business conditions.
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
- Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
- Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
- Responsible for administering payrolls
- Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
- Handles all financial transactions for Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP
- Serves as internal auditor for Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP.
- Welcomes clients and visitors by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
- Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
- Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
- Manages administrative duties assigned by the principal partners in an effective and timely manner
- Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the organizations’ products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients when they make enquiries
- Receives parcels / documents for Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP
6. SWOT Analysis
Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP engaged the services of a core professional in the area of business consulting and structuring to assist our organization in building a well – structured private counseling business that can favorably compete in the highly competitive psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors industry in the United States and the world at large.
Part of what the team of business consultant did was to work with the management of our organization in conducting a SWOT analysis for Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP. Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP;
Our core strength lies in the power of our team; our workforce. We have a team that are considered experts in the industry, a team with excellent qualifications and experience in private counseling practice. Aside from the synergy that exist in our carefully selected team members and our strong online presence, Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP is well positioned in a community with the right demography and we know we will attract loads of corporate and individual clients from the first day we open our doors for business.
As a new private counseling organization in Smethport – Pennsylvania, it might take some time for our organization to break into the market and gain acceptance especially from top profile clients in the already saturated psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors industry; that is perhaps our major weakness.
No doubt, the opportunities in the psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors industry is massive considering the number of individuals and corporate organizations who would want to overcome their challenges and achieve their goals and to perform excellently well in their jobs and personal life. As a standard private counseling organization, we are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way.
Every business faces a threat or challenge at any part of the life cycle of the business. These threats can be external or internal. This shows the importance of a business plan, because most threats or challenges are to be anticipated and plans put in place to cushion what effect they might bring to the business.
Some of the threats that we are likely going to face as a private counseling organization operating in the United States of America are unfavorable government policies that might affect business such as ours, the arrival of a competitor within our location of operations and global economic downturn which usually affects spending / purchasing power. There is hardly anything we can do as regards these threats other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for our good.
7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
The trend in the psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors industry shows that in the last half a decade, the industry has grown consistently. Private counseling services are needed regardless of economic conditions, which insulate the industry from economic fluctuations.
One thing is certain, the trend in the psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors industry is such that if you want to be ahead of your competitors, you should be able to acquire as much certifications as possible and you should be able to have loads of testimonies from your clients.
The truth is that, if your clients experienced huge difference in their life as a result of hiring the services of your organization, then they will be compelled to help promote your organization.
Another notable trend in this industry is the influence of technology; the advent of technology is responsible for the increase in income generated by private counselors all over the world. With technology, it is no easier for private counselors to counsel their clients that are thousands of kilometers away from them. Tools like video calling / Skype, YouTube, live chat and Webcast et al are being used by private counselors to counsel clients in different parts of the world.
8. Our Target Market
The target market for private counseling firms is all encompassing. Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP is a professional and licensed private counseling firm that is specialized in helping her clients over life challenges, achieve their personal goals and improving their competence, capacity and productivity.
As a standard private counseling organization, Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP offers a wide range of services hence we are well trained and equipped to services a wide range of clients (public figures, celebrities and non – celebrities alike).
Our target market as a private counseling firm cuts across people of different class and people from all walks of life. We are coming into the psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors industry with a business concept and company’s profile that will enable us work with the clients from different background and different status.
Below is a list of the clients that we have specifically design our private counseling services for;
- About to wed couples
- Married couples
- Religious organizations
- Working class adults / corporate executives
- Business people / entrepreneurs
- Government officials
- Public figures
- Applicants / school Leavers
- Sports men and women
- College students
- People with undergoing depression
- People with mental challenges
Our competitive advantage
No doubt, the psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors industry is indeed a very prolific and highly competitive industry. Clients will only hire your services if they know that you can successfully help them overcome their challenges, and achieve their personal goals. It is the practice for private counselors to acquire as much certifications as it relates to their area of specialization; it is part of what will make them stay competitive in the industry
We are quite aware that to be highly competitive in the psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors industry means that you should be able to deliver consistent quality service, your clients should be able to experience remarkable difference and improvement and you should be able to meet the expectations of your clients at all times.
Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP might be a new private counseling firm in Smethport – Pennsylvania, but the management team and the owner of the business are considered gurus in the industry. They are people who are core professionals, licensed and highly qualified psychologists and marriage counselors that can successfully help her clients overcome their challenges and achieve their personal goal within a short period of time. These are part of what will count as a competitive advantage for us.
Aside from our robust experience and expertise of our psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors, we have a very strong online presence that will enable us counsel clients in different parts of the world from our online portals.
Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category (startups private counseling businesses in the United States) in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our business aims and objectives.
9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors industry and we are going to go all the way to ensure that we do all it takes to attract clients on a regular basis.
Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP will generate income by offering the following private counseling services;
10. Sales Forecast
One thing is certain, there would always be corporate organization and individual who would need the services of psychologists, social workers and marriage counselors in other for them to overcome their challenges and achieve their personal goals and also to enable them become peak performer in the career and in their family life. This is the major reason why the services of private counseling firms will always be needed.
We are well positioned to take on the available market in Smethport – Pennsylvania and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income / profits from the first six month of operations and grow our private counseling business and our clientele base.
We have been able to critically examine the private counseling market and we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projections are based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar to similar startups in Smethport – Pennsylvania.
Below are the sales projections for Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP, it is based on the location of our personal training and coaching company and of course the wide range of trainings that we will be offering;
- First Fiscal Year-: $150,000
- Second Fiscal Year-: $350,000
- Third Fiscal Year-: $750,000
N.B : This projection is done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same additional services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
We are mindful of the fact that there are stiffer competitions amongst private counseling firms in the United States of America; hence we have been able to hire some of the best marketing experts to handle our sales and marketing.
Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall goal of Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP.
We will also ensure that our clients’ overcome their challenges in record time; we want to build a standard and first – class private counseling business that will leverage on word of mouth advertisement from satisfied clients (both individuals and corporate organizations).
Our goal is to grow Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP to become one of the top 10 private counseling organization in the United States of America which is why we have mapped out strategy that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with not only in Smethport – Pennsylvania but also in other cities in the United States of America.
Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;
- Introduce our private counseling firm by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to corporate organizations, religious organizations, households and key stake holders in Smethport – Pennsylvania.
- Print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in offices, libraries, public facilities and train stations et al.
- Use friends and family to spread word about our private counseling firm
- Post information about our private counseling firm on bulletin boards in places like schools, libraries, and local coffee shops.
- Placing a small or classified advertisement in the newspaper, or local publication about our private counseling firm
- Advertise our private counseling firm in relevant educational magazines, newspapers, TV stations, and radio station.
- Attend relevant educational expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
- Engage direct marketing approach
- Encourage word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients.
11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
We have been able to work with our brand and publicity consultants to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market. We are set to become the number one choice for both corporate clients and private clients in the whole of Smethport – Pennsylvania which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our business.
Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP;
- Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events / programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote our brand
- Install our Bill Boards on strategic locations all around Smethport – Pennsylvania.
- Engage in road show from time to time in targeted neighborhoods
- Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
- Contact corporate organizations by calling them up and informing them of Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP and the services we offer
- List our private counseling firm in local directories / yellow pages
- Advertise our life private counseling firm in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site.
- Ensure that all our staff members wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles are well branded with our schools’ logo et al.
12. Our Pricing Strategy
Generally counseling and consulting services are billed on per hour billing rate and flat fees on a weekly or monthly basis as it applies. As a result of this, Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP will charge our clients flat fees except for few occasions where there will be need for us to charge special clients on hourly basis.
At Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP we will keep our fees below the average market rate for all of our clients by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance. In addition, we will also offer special discounted rates to all our clients at regular intervals.
We are aware that there are some clients that would need special assistance, we will offer flat rate for such services that will be tailored to take care of such clients’ needs.
- Payment Options
The payment policy adopted by Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.
Here are the payment options that Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP will make available to her clients;
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via mobile money
- Payment via Point of Sales Machines (POS Machines)
- Payment via check
- Payment via bank draft
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for private counseling services without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials to clients who may want to deposit cash or make online transfer for our services.
13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
In setting up a personal training and life coaching business, the amount or cost will depend on the approach and scale you want to undertake. If you intend to go big by renting a place, then you would need a higher amount of capital as you would need to ensure that your employees are well taken care of.
This means that the start-up can either be low or high depending on your goals, vision and aspirations for your business. The start – up capital for a home based private counseling business without any overhead might fall between $500 and $2,000, while that of a medium and large scale would definitely be higher.
The materials and equipment that will be used are nearly the same cost everywhere, and any difference in prices would be minimal and can be overlooked. As for the detailed cost analysis for starting a standard private counseling firm with a handful of employees; it might differ in other countries due to the value of their money.
However, this is what it would cost us to start our own standard and world class private counseling firm in the United States of America;
- Business incorporating fees in the United States of America will cost – $750.
- The budget for liability insurance, permits and license will cost – $3,500
- Acquiring an office space that will accommodate the number of employees we intend employing for at least 6 months (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive) will cost – $35,000.
- Equipping the office (computers, printers, projectors, markers, pens and pencils, furniture, telephones, filing cabinets, and electronics) will cost – $10,000
- The cost for accounting software, CRM software and Payroll Software – $3,000
- Other start-up expenses including stationery – $1000
- Phone and Utilities (gas, sewer, water and electric) deposits – ( $3,500 ).
- Launching an official website will cost – $500
- Amount need to pay bills and staff members for at least 2 to 3 months – $70,000
- Additional Expenditure such as Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions will cost – $5,000
- Miscellaneous – $5,000
Going by the report from the market research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need about one hundred and fifty thousand ( 150,000 ) U.S. dollars to successfully set – up a medium scale but standard private counseling firm in the United States of America. Please note that the salary for the payment of staff members for the first 3 months is included.
Generating Funds / Startup Capital for Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP
Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP is a partnership business that will be owned by Dr. Boston Smith and he will run the business with his business partner for many years Dr. Becky Allison. They are the sole financial of the business which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the start – up capital for the business to just three major sources.
These are the areas we intend generating our start – up capital;
- Generate part of the start – up capital from personal savings and sale of his stocks
- Generate part of the start – up capital from friends and other extended family members
- Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank (loan facility).
N.B: We have been able to generate about $50,000 ( Personal savings $35,000 and soft loan from family members $15,000 ) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $100,000 from our bank. All the papers and document has been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.
14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The future of a business lies in the numbers of loyal customers that they have the capacity and competence of the employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business (company), then it won’t be too long before the business close shop.
One of our major goals of starting Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running. We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to offer our private counseling services a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are well prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.
Safe Refuge Private Counselors®, LLP will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and re – training of our workforce is at the top burner of our business strategy.
As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more as determined by the board of the organization. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.
Check List / Milestone
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Incorporation: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts various banks in the United States: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of All form of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Leasing a standard office facility in a good location plus reconstruction: In progress
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating part of the start – up capital from the founders: Completed
- writing of business plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
- Design of Logo for the school: Completed
- Graphic Designs and Printing of Packaging Marketing / Promotional Materials: Completed
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of the needed furniture, office equipment, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
- Creating Official Website for the business: In Progress
- Creating awareness for the business in Smethport – Pennsylvania: In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
- Establishing business relationship with vendors and key players in various industries: In Progress
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The Practice of Therapy
Resources, tips and advice for success private practice.
In that blog post I did last year on the business models in private practice , I talked about the difference between a business model vs. a business plan. I used a clinical analogy that most of us in the field can relate to:
Business Model = Treatment Approach
Business plan = treatment plan.
A business plan is simply roadmap that outlines how you will grow your practice. B usiness plans are a statement of business goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for reaching them. They can be either detailed or more general. A good practice business plan will help keep you on track and help guide where to put your energy.
The thing to think about in creating a business plan for your practice, is that it really is essentially a map for how you will get to where you are going. So the first thing to figure out is where you are going, then work backwards from there to create your business plan. After-all, if you don’t know where you are going, how are you going to get there?!
Think about is where you would like to be with your practice a year from now. Where would you like to be 5 to 10 years from now? A place to start is to think about your personal goals and aspirations. For most, part of this is financial. Other parts of this are probably more about your personal values and what you see as your mission in life. In other words your “why”. The first step is to get some clarity about all of this for yourself.
Other than personal goal setting or reaching certain income level, business plans are also often used to get financing for your practice. And the reason anyone would need financing would be to have the capital and income they needed to help grow their business to a certain level or to be self-sustaining. Banks and other lenders are going to require a pretty in-depth and comprehensive business plan before they will loan you the money. Without going into a lot of detail about this, here is a great resource from the Small Business Administration on business plans: https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/write-your-business-plan
Whether you are going to try and get a small business loan or not, (and I would say avoid doing this if at all possible) it is still a good idea to have a business plan that you can work from and that will keep you on track. It is also a good idea to write all of this down. Here are some steps to take in creating a simple business plan for your private practice.
Create a mission statement and vision for your practice
What are your values and how do you want your potential clients to be treated with they come in the door? What do you strive for as a person and as a mental health practitioner? This can also be your “why”. These will be the guiding principles that will be what grounds you and from which you operate your practice. Write this out.
Know your KPI’s. One of the main components for any business plan is to know your financial goals and have some KPI’s, Key Performance Indicators. You would then track your KPI’s to see how you are doing in achieving your financial goals. Usually this is simply having a specific dollar amount you want to achieve. Other KPI’s might be around the number of sessions held or how you spend your time. Regardless of what you have as your KPI’s, have a way to track and look at this often. One of the best ways to figure out your KPI’s is to work backwards from the numbers you have set as your goal.
So for example, if you have set a goal for yourself to be making $100,000.00. We can break this down more. Working “backwards” from $100,000.00 we can figure out what you would need to do each day in terms of seeing clients and having sessions:
$100,000 ÷ 12 (months) = $8333.33 a month
$8333.33 ÷ 4 (weeks) = $2083.33 a week
$2083.33 ÷ 5 (days) = $416.66 a day
$416.66 ÷ $100.00 (per session rate) = 4.16 sessions per day
In this example we have used “gross numbers”. You will need to factor in your time off and other expenses. You will need to do more than just have 4 sessions per day at $100.00 per session to reach the goal of $100,000.00 in take home pay. So to cover your expenses and time off, you will either need to see more clients, raise your rates or both. In other words, you will need to bring in more than $100,000.00 if you have set that as your goal.
Track and know your expenses
In order to have a solid business plan, you need to know what your expenses will be. Office rent, phones, office equipment, and advertising are just a few of the expenses involved to run a practice. But there are several other expenses to take into consideration. These are what I call the “Hidden Expenses” (Again, here is the blog post I did on this subject) . The point being, know what your projected expenses will be in order to factor that in with your business plan and budget.
Plan your cash flow
Sometimes it is hard to predict when we will have a high volume of clients vs. a low volume. Generally most practices slow down around holidays. If you are not seeing clients, it also means you are not bringing in any money and your expenses are still there. So you need to plan for times when your case load and volume of sessions go down.
The best way to handle this is to have a buffer or savings that will cover those down times. Put into your financial plan regular savings. Treat it like you were paying a bill; something you owe to yourself.
The other thing to consider as you think about cash flow is to consider ways to diversify your income. In other words, do more than just see clients to bring in the amount of money you need to reach your financial goals. (More about diversifying income here) .
Create and keep a budget
With your projected income and expenses, create a budget that will help you track your KPI’s, expenses and cash flow. Look at this and update it often.
A marketing plan is the primary tool for bringing in new clients. If you were to tell someone what you do and what kinds of people you work with in your practice, how would you describe it? In other words, what is your “elevator pitch”? Your marketing plan is driven by a clear concise message that you get out to the public through your marketing efforts. Investing your time, effort and resources into your marketing plan is where you will get a ROI, (return on investment). The ultimate goal of any marketing plan is to bring in new clients. So learn all you can about marketing your practice and then put a plan into action. More on marketing here…
As you grow it might mean having to spend money on things that will facilitate that. For example, moving to a new office or adding support staff. Investing in your private practice can be done either financially or in terms of time. And the old adage of “you have to spend money to make money” is true. But you need to know how to invest wisely. Learn what is going to be the best ROI with both your time and money. Also what will truly help you grow.
This is where having a long term plan comes in. Where would you like to be 5 or 10 years from now with your practice? What are the small steps and investments you will need to make in order to reach those long term goals? Put plans and actions in place in your business plan now to help you reach those long term goals.
Business plans can seem intimidating to some. But the time spent in developing a good business plan for your private practice will be well worth it. Let it be a living document that changes and grows as your practice grows. Refer to it often so that it can be a roadmap for your growth. The good news is that you can tweak it anytime you want to….and you should!
Some other good resources
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How To Develop A Private Practice Business Plan
- May 30, 2022
- Becky DeGrossa
Last week, Howard Baumgarten of Smart Practice Central joined me to share his expertise with the CounselingWise community. In the webinar, he talked about the importance of having a private practice business plan for counseling, as well as what goes into creating one.
One of the things I took away from his presentation was to be successful, you need to be prepared, and you need to have a plan.
As the owner of a small business myself, I know that having a solid plan in place has been a vital aspect of CounselingWise’s growth and success. I’ve found that having a plan is what drives a business forward to achieve its goals . Without a plan, as Howard mentions, you are less successful.
During the webinar, Howard talked about the 11 different parts (or “modules”) of a business plan . Each part is equally important and pieces together an organized view of any business. Today, I am going to highlight five parts of Howard’s business plan. To learn about the other six (equally as important) parts, be sure to check out the webinar replay here .
Before we dive into the different parts of a successful business plan, I want to lead you with something to think about. During the webinar, Howard advised, “ Think about your business plan as a matter of survival in your professional life . It’s an opportunity for you to really organize yourself and appraise what is going on in your business.”
5 Key Parts of a Successful Business Plan
1. the four c’s of your vision.
If you are familiar with the SWOT technique (a planning method use to evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), then the 4 C’s will be something you relate to .
Because he didn’t want to focus on a person’s weaknesses or threats, Howard viewed this planning method through a different colored lens.
The 4 C’s stand for:
- What Are Your Capabilities? (your strengths)
- What Are Your Challenges? (your weaknesses)
- What Are Your Chances? (opportunities)
- What Are Your Concerns? (threats)
This piece of the counseling business plan is key to evaluating your practice from a personal and professional level.
Take out a pen and paper and jot down all of the above as they apply to you. Get a piece of paper and breaking it into four columns. In each column, write down your professional and personal capabilities, challenges, chances and concerns. One thing to keep in mind—it’s okay to have the same thing in multiple categories.
By having your capabilities, challenges, chances, and concerns outlined on paper, you can better plan for the future of your practice and your personal life .
It forces you to take what’s kind of hazy and abstract in your head and makes it a tangible reality. That way then you know where you stand and how to move forward with your vision for your practice.
2. Your Mission Statement
The next part of the private practice counseling business plan I want to highlight is your mission statement. In Howard’s presentation, he said to ask yourself…
“What is my purpose? What was I born to do? What do I really want to do? How do I want to affect the populations I am working with? What am I empowered to do?”
By answering the above questions, and really digging down into the meat of the reason you get up every morning , you will develop a wholehearted mission statement for your practice.
But what does developing a mission statement look like in practice?
For his therapy practice, Howard’s mission statement is, “ Build something new in order to change something old in order to grow .”
One thing to keep in mind when writing your own mission statement…
Make sure you are writing the statement in lay terms , and not professional/clinical terms. Try to stay away from words like “depression,” “anxiety,” etc. You are writing this not only for yourself, but also for your clients.
3. Your Services
This is the who , what , when , where and why of your services as a private practitioner.
This part of the private practice business plan is key to giving you the clarity you need in terms of the services you provide , and the services you may want to offer in the future.
- Who? Who are you working with? Who are the populations you treat? Do you work with couples, adults, children (what age children?), teens? What kind of couples do you work with? For example: high conflict, couples about to get married, etc. Really dig deep into the “who” of your services to determine what clients you have and what clients you want.
- What? What are the issues you want to focus on? If the “who” is couples, what type of couples issues do you want to work with? Howard’s example was that he likes to work with couples that have a high degree of conflict and are tired of fighting with each other.
- When? When are you providing your services? When you are first starting out, as Howard mentioned, it could be Fridays and Saturday mornings. When you build your practice more, you can shift your hours more and more. Determine when you want to practice and include it in your plan.
- Where? Where do you want to practice? Maybe you want to do a day in a doctor’s office. Maybe you want to offer therapy out in the community, or in the wilderness. Think creatively about where you want to practice. It will maximize the benefits of your services.
- Why? For the why, you will want to see your mission statement. The why is all about your passion and purpose.
- How? How do you treat your patients? This is all about your treatment intervention style (EFT, mind-body-connection, EMDR, etc). What are your technique leanings?
This part of the plan is powerful. It helps move you in terms of defining yourself and who you are. You will also draw from this part as your quick “this is what I do.”
As you are completing this part of your business plan, keep in mind that you will probably have three or four different sub-sections under each of these .
Answer each question for each service you offer or want to offer. Eventually, this will all be useful information that you’ll want to include on your website.
If you’re thinking ahead and want to use this exercise to generate content for your website, check out how to write informative specialty pages .
4. Personal Growth
To grow professionally, it’s important to take care of yourself so you can grow personally.
In order to have a healthy work-life balance, you will want to focus on 4 main areas :
- Nutrition: Are you eating a healthy, well-balanced diet?
- Sleep: Are you getting enough sleep?
- Exercise: Are you moving your body?
- Spirituality: Are you expressing yourself spiritually? This could look like anything, such as a religious practices, time in nature, yoga, etc.
Think of things that are important to you on a personal level and write them down. Personal growth is a key piece of your business plan.
Because if you don’t grow yourself, how can you expect to grow your private practice? It all works in concert, together.
The Administration part of the private practice business plan can be hard, especially if you are used to being a one-person show.
And if you think you can run the show without any professional support throughout your entire career, you will be spread very thin .
As part of your counseling business plan, you need to create an administration plan to ensure you have the support you need to build a successful practice—and keep your sanity.
Think about the people who you currently have supporting your practice professionally. Then think about the people you may want to include in your group of practice professional support.
Naturally, some people may not be ready for this, so think about this part of your private practice counseling business plan when you are ready.
You know you’re ready when you say to yourself, “I am getting really sick and tired of doing this admin task, and I am now in a place where I can afford to hire someone to do it for me.”
By getting support, you free up emotional space so you can pursue things that drive your interests and passions . This is a vital piece to your professional growth.
Administrative support includes but is not limited to…
- a medical biller (if you accept insurance),
- a bookkeeper,
- an accountant for tax purposes,
- a financial manager/adviser,
- an investment banker,
- a corporate attorney,
- an insurance agent,
- a commercial real estate broker (rent or buy)
- and a virtual/actual assistant.
Each part of the counseling business plan that I discussed today is vital to a successful practice. Your business plan, however, really isn’t complete without the remaining six. To learn about all 11 parts, and to learn more from Howard about a successful business plan, watch the webinar replay here .
You can also download the Business Plan Template here .
One last tip : Don’t just write your plan and forget about it. Howard recommends going back every six or so months to revisit the plan and stick to your goals.
You can also watch my interview with Howard Baumgarten, founder of Smart Practice Central, below.
Enjoy the replay!
Running Out Of Things To Talk About In Therapy
Talk therapy is, unsurprisingly, all about talking, so when there’s nothing much to say, it can feel like a wasted session! However, these moments of silence can actually be a great time to start exploring something new, and to delve deeper into emotions, behaviors, and relationships. In this guide, we’ll take a look at why
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How To Tell A Client You Are Raising Your Rates
To keep pace with changes in healthcare and inflation, it’s likely that you will have to change your rates many times over the course of running a private practice. While this is necessary to ensure you’re always offering the best service, informing clients of a price increase can feel awkward. Clear communication is necessary to
Self-Esteem Treatment Plan: Help Clients Feel Better
Our perception of ourselves has a direct impact on how we live our lives, and those with low self-esteem are often held back by a negative self-image. Low self-esteem can be helped through therapy, with methods such as CBT challenging core beliefs. In this guide, we’ll take a look at methods for treating low self-esteem.
Private Practice Counselling Business Plan
About to start a counselling private practice? And looking for an easy-to-follow guide on writing a business plan that works? Our private practice counselling business plan template is for you!
But before getting into the specifics let’s first first address 2 key questions…
Quite literally, it’s a plan for your business, your therapy business.
Each practice is as individual as the therapist it supports, and that’s what a business plan is, a support for you as you step into the shoes of being a self-employed professional.
It’s also a structure to help you to clarify what you want and a guide of how you are going to go about it as a new private counsellor.
How my counselling business could benefit from it?
A business plan will help you:
- Analyse the environment in which your practice is going to be established
- Identify which areas in counselling are in high demand
- Establish what services you would be offering
- Differentiate you from competing private counsellors
- Set up your financial goals
- Create a marketing plan for your counselling business
- Stay accountable to your business goals and aspirations
And with the basics out of the way let’s get straight into our template…
1. Profession Overview: Environment, Trends & Competition Analysis
The first piece of a counselling business plan is often looking at the environment in which the practice is going to be established. So ask yourself, what is going on in the therapy profession as you set out to create your counselling practice, and what is likely to be the impact of that on your plans? You might consider for example:
- Client Issues currently in the news
- Trends in the structure of practices (eg sole practitioner vs group practice)
- Employee Assistance Programs and Health Insurers
- VAT and Income tax issues
Ask questions, read the journals of the professional bodies, attend meetings where these issues are discussed. Learn about the business aspects of the profession you are planning to make your own.
Look around at your colleagues who are already in practice. Speak to your own therapist and supervisor. What are they doing that you like and dislike? Can you learn from their successes and their failures? How have they rooted into the community in which they are based? If you find these ideas difficult to engage with, consider doing some market research.
We none of us exist in isolation. No man is an island, as the saying goes. The environment in which we practice will influence and shape our practice.
So, a city practice will differ from a country one. Clients in the city may care less about privacy and more about proximity to a bus stop. Clients in the country may not want to see someone who they will later meet in the supermarket, and so may choose to visit a therapist in the next town. The issues a city client brings will differ from those of a country town, which will differ again from a practice in the suburbs. Where are you planning to locate your practice, and what are the unique challenges and strengths of that location and its inhabitants?
You can read more about creating a business plan for your practice, and lots of other advice about finding your way through the maze of starting a private practice in “This Business of Therapy: A Practical Guide to Starting, Developing and Sustaining a Therapy Practice.”
2. Market Positioning: Establish Your Place in the Profession
Having got an overview of the profession and started to form an idea of the bigger picture, how do you see yourself fitting in with the broader environment you explored in the previous section? Are there any opportunities that offer themselves and which might help you in setting up your own unique counselling business?
Begin to form an idea of the client you would like to work with. This is a step often missed. Think of a client you have loved to work with. What was it about them that appealed to you? Was it the issue they brought? Their personality? Their willingness to engage in the work? Their understanding of their process? Do you like working with women or men, young people or old, wealthy or financially strapped? Do you like parents or adolescents or couples?
Try to get as specific as you can. Bear in mind this doesn’t restrict who you work with, it helps you to create a better understanding of what suits you best.
- Do you know who you would like to serve? What issues draw you?
- Who is an ideal customer for you? What are their struggles and their aspirations?
- What will differentiate you from a neighbouring colleague?
- What will differentiate you from a practitioner of other modalities?
- What is special about what you have to offer?
If you are struggling to know how your therapy practice might be unique and different from your colleagues’, read more about “The Second Pillar: Knowing Your Practice,” in my book, “This Business of Therapy: A Practical Guide to Starting, Developing and Sustaining a Therapy Practice.”
3. How to Write a Counselling Service Description That Attracts Clients
All therapists have similar basic qualifications and offer similar services. But while yours and my services may appear to be similar, they are unique. Try to get a feel for the unique shape, colour and texture of your practice. How do you see yourself offering services to clients? What will those services be? How will they be structured? How do you describe what you do? What benefits will your work bring to those who you work with?
For example, you may offer your counselling sessions online, or I may visit a client’s home. You may offer a fixed term contract or have views about endings. You may feel strongly about anonymity while I may feel strongly about time boundaries. I may have experience of working with anxiety or of loss and bereavement. You may like to sit on the floor or offer your client a glass of water or a cup of tea. I may like to offer playdoh or crayons. I may wish my clients to find forgiveness for themselves and others in their lives, and you may wish them to stand up for themselves or find their voice. My own personal experiences of life will influence the therapy I offer to my clients, and so will yours.
In this context, it is important not to focus too much on your counselling qualifications. You can do the job, that is a given as far as most clients are concerned. What they want to know is that you are interested in their problems, and that you hold the hope of something better for them in the future. The 80/20 rule is helpful here. 80% of what you say about your practice should be about your clients, and 20% or less about you.
4. Private Practice Counselling Business Marketing Plan
Having a plan for how to market and attract clients to your counselling practice is an essential, unless, like I said above, you don’t care whether you get clients or not, and you don’t care about wasting time, money and effort on marketing to people who will never be clients.
A marketing plan is important to take you out of the ideas you have into the reality of taking action. Despite what the Law of Attraction proponents might suggest, a client cannot find you unless you can be seen and heard. A marketing plan sets out how you are going to be seen and heard. Your marketing plan should address the following questions:
- How do clients find you, where do they come from? (Note, if you haven’t formed an idea of who your client is likely to be, this step will be difficult for you!)
- When they first make contact, what is your aim for that first meeting?
- Do those people who make contact and who are suitable as clients for you stay as clients? If not, why not? What could you do differently to encourage them?
- Will your clients recommend you? If not, why not? What could you do differently to encourage them?
- How can you increase your income?
Be as specific as you can here. For example, if you are expecting clients to come through GPs, be clear about which GPs you are going to target and why. If the client you are hoping to attract experiences depression, research which GPs support an holistic approach to depression, and recommend counselling or psychotherapy as part of their treatment plan.
Because your aim when first speaking to a potential client is to find out whether you might be a good fit for them, think about the questions you might ask to elicit this information. What would tell you the client is a good fit for you?
In relation to increasing your income, if you struggle to turn away clients who cannot pay you your full fee, find a way of dealing with this, such as referring to a local low cost service, or having a specific number of low cost clients at any time.
Most importantly, note that we are not talking here about selling someone into a service they don’t want or need. We are not talking about coercing or manipulating. We are talking about opening a door and welcoming those who wish to enter, and are a good fit for what we have to offer.
To learn more about effectively marketing your practice read, “The Third Pillar: Growing Your Practice,” in “ This Business of Therapy; A Practical Guide to Starting, Developing and Sustaining a Therapy Practice.”
5. Risks Analysis: Challenges When Setting Up A Counselling Private Practice
There is risk inherent in every venture. The challenge when setting up a private counselling practice is to identify the risks and to find ways to mitigate them with the appropriate supports. What risks do you face in setting up or expanding your practice? Typical risks include:
- Financial risks such as losing money, or not having enough financial support to see you through the early lean phase.
- Emotional risks such as feeling overwhelmed or isolated, and fear of failure.
- Informational risks such as not knowing how to do something, or not knowing who could help.
- Reputational risks such as doing something you’re not competent to do and harming your reputation.
- Legal risks such as failure to implement relevant legislation (GDPR, Child Protection, health and safety, taxes)
Again, get as specific as you can. The more specific you get about identifying the risk (or the fear) related to being a private counsellor, the easier it will be to find a solution to help.
What supports might you need to help manage these risks? Supports might include information you need to find (eg what are the laws and how do they apply to me?), skills you need to learn and grow (for example, financial management skills such as bookkeeping and budgeting), or people supports (eg having a tribe of supportive colleagues who you meet regularly and who understand what you are experiencing.)
6. Financial Projections to Guide your Counselling Therapy Business
For example, the income in a therapy practice can be seasonal, with peaks and troughs at different times of the year, depending on client attendance. You will need to plan for the troughs, and to put some money aside in the fertile times to carry you over the lean ones, or the times when you are on holidays or sick.
Financial information also helps to form a ground from which you can set your fees. Too often, therapists look at their fees from the perspective of patients, and don’t pay enough attention to their own needs. For example, how much of a client’s hourly or sessional fee do you pay out for your rent, or your supervision? All of the fee doesn’t go into your bank account as disposable income, and the amount does not seem so big when you reduce it by the costs you will have to pay out.
Before starting you will need to clarify several parameters, such as:
- What time do you have available for your practice; think about both the client hours, patient work related hours and the practice admin and promotion hours.
- What price range are you thinking about setting for your fees?
- Start getting an idea of the costs you will likely incur, such as rent, insurance, supervision, professional memberships, CPD etc
If you are starting up, you should have some projections or budgets, that show how you expect your practice will perform financially in the first year or more of its life. If you are already in practice, in addition to projections, your business plan should also include historical information, such as an income and expenditure account.
– Here’s an example of a budget for a small practice
– Here’s an example of a cash flow projection for the next 3 months: small practice cash flow projection
– Here’s an example of an income and expenditure account. https://thisbusinessoftherapy.com/example-income-and-expenditure-account/ ( Note that it’s very similar to the budget, except the figures are historical rather than estimated for the future.)
If you worry about managing your finances, and don’t know where to start, you’ll find lots of support in my book, “This Business of Therapy: A Practical Guide to Starting, Developing and Sustaining a Therapy Practice,” it’s a guide to earning a living from the work you love.
7. Executive summary: Your Counselling Business Plan in a Snapshot
8. Counselling Business Plan Checklist: 16-Question Guide to Writing your Plan
As you prepare to write your own private practice counselling business plan, refer to this list of questions:
- Name: My practice is going to be called…
- Location: My practice is going to be based…
- Structure: My practice is going to be…
- I am setting up this practice because I am passionate about…
- The values that support my practice are…
- It is important to me that clients of my practice will benefit from working with me in the following ways…
- Clients will come to me because…
- They will pay for my services because…
- I bring these personal qualities to the work…
- I have had these experiences…
- And acquired these skills and expertise…
- I can sabotage myself by…
- My practice will be based…
- These words best fit the environment I’d like to operate from…
- My main competitors are…
- These existing services most closely match mine…
- My offering is different from my peers in that…
- My Offering: I am going to offer these services…
- I am going to provide my services to…
- I am most drawn to working with…
- Their problems are…
- Their challenges are…
- Their desires are…
- My services will benefit them in these ways…
- These factors are unique to me and my practice…
- I see my clients as coming to me through the following channels…
- I am going to reach these clients to let them know I am available to help them by…
- I have this much time available to work with clients (per week, month year)…
- I am also willing to spend this much time to work on developing my practice (per week, month)…
- My clients will be willing to pay me this much…
- They will pay me this because…
- Clients will continue to come and see me for…(weeks, sessions, months, years)
- It will cost me €… to see clients (per hour, week, month)
- These are the business risks I will be facing…
- My practice could be vulnerable in these ways…
- I intend to respond to those risks by…
- Viability: My therapy practice will be not only survive, but will thrive because…
- I want to earn € after costs, each (week, month, year)…
- The following financial statements reflect my plans as set out above:
- I intend to monitor my financial results by…
Related posts, the one that got away…, adding a little love to your marketing, integrating therapy and business: growing your practice, have you outgrown your circle.
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