I have been asked several times if it is easy to start a business. The simple answer is yes, it is pretty easy to start a business. But, starting a business is not maintaining a business. I have seen many people start a business with great plans and hopes for the future. Sadly, they did not do the preparation they needed to do before they launched their venture and their businesses didn’t last very long.
In the field of therapy/counseling/psychology, there are challenges that are unique to this field that we need to be aware of at the beginning.
- Plan on not making much the first 3 years. You may really find a niche and take off, but many of us had to build the business and this takes a few years. If you plan on the 3 years or more before it really takes off, you are not disappointed if it takes that long and you’re thrilled if it happens faster!
- Make sure you have all the appropriate licenses and insurance before you open your doors. You want to make sure that you are in compliance of state, county and even city rules as you move forward. You can get most of this information online, but you can also call your City or County Clerks and get help from them.
- Make sure you have a budget for your expenses, including advertising. The reason companies spend so much money on advertising is because it works. You need to make sure people know you are there!
- Be prepared to spend time in your office during your scheduled hours, even if it’s not busy. Unless you specify, hours by appointment only, people will be disappointed if they come by or call and there’s no one there.
- Where will your income come from? If you take insurance, you must get on the insurance company’s list/make an agreement. If you are only going to take self-pay clients, what will the area you live in allow you to charge (i.e.what can people afford) and how large a pool of self-pay clients exist where you are?
Now this is just to get you started, but if you plan well, you are much more likely to succeed which may include sticking with it longer and not just giving up. Follow your dreams and live a happy life. Ultimately, that’s what I believe we are here for!
See you next time!