When I used to dream about my private practice, I never once considered that it might be part-time.
You see, I thought of private practice more in terms of black and white.
Either you were “in” private practice (meaning you had a brick and mortar building and worked say 40 hours per week) or you didn’t have a private practice at all.
I had no concept of the option to have a part-time private practice.
Starting as a Full-Time Private Practice Can Be Risky
Believe me, I get emails every week from therapists who decide that “This is the year!” to launch their practices. They quit their jobs, sign leases on office space, buy new computers and sign up for pricey online documentation systems.
They don’t start marketing their services until they are “ready for business.”
And what happens?
They get a few leads here and there but it isn’t the massive interest they were hoping for. Next thing you know you’ve seen about 5 clients in a month and have 10x that amount due for your lease and other bills.
Then you panic and think you’ve made a horrible mistake. Private practice wasn’t what you thought. You’re discouraged, fearful, angry, your confidence is blown and now you’re going into debt because you don’t have a steady income.
Try this instead.
How to Gradually Move Your Practice from Part-Time to Full-Time:
- Start treating private clients after work or on the weekends.
- Build a small caseload and continue marketing.
- At some point, reduce the hours at your “regular job” to accommodate your growing caseload.
- Start to shift the balance towards working more hours for yourself.
- When you get to a sustainable (and still growing!) level consider dropping your “regular job” and devote yourself full-time to growing your private practice.
Private practice is what YOU want it to be.
Consider starting part-time. Then either keep it at that level or grow it. It’s up to you. It’s YOUR private practice.
About the Author: Jena H. Casbon, MS CCC-SLP spends her days treating adults with cognitive-communication disorders and her nights helping fellow speech, occupational and physical therapy providers start and grow their own private practices. Her company, The Independent Clinician, seeks to provide information, community and a confidence boost to those who want to get started treating privately but don’t know how.
Jena’s first book is available now: The Independent Clinician Guide to Private Patients. She is also finishing her second (yet untitled) book for SLP/OT/PT therapists on building a web presence (websites, social media and more) to grow their private practices.
Click here to read more about Jena Casbon, MS-CCC-SLP