As a qualified and highly skilled practitioner, you have probably given some thought to setting up your own business and reaping the benefits of all that hard work and training for yourself.
Training in a chosen discipline definitely equips you to be a fabulous practitioner, but doesn’t necessarily provide the skills required to build a successful and sustainable Sole Practice. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Counsellor, Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist, Personal Trainer or Dog Groomer, there are certain unavoidable truth’s that must be embraced when establishing your own business.
One of the most important strategies is to actually have a strategy as you embark on the journey, so if you’re considering establishing a Sole Practice, these six steps can help you focus on the things that can’t be ignored.
1. Know What to Expect
You need to have a strong understanding of the value your services bring to your target market. Do your research, identify your clients, your competitors and your industry’s characteristics and the results will give your practice a strong direction and help you stay in touch with what your clients want, and how much they're willing to pay for it.
2. Get organised
Establish the commercial basis of your practice, including professional indemnity insurance, registrations, PAYG, GST (if relevant) and other details such as venue, office hours, website set-up etc.
3. Use systems to schedule your time effectively
As a Sole Trader, chances are you will be working on a ‘sessional’ basis, so the ability to simply and quickly create bookings, (and repeat bookings), send invoices, and enter expenses will be the cornerstones of your operations.
4. Ensure you get paid for the services you provide
Keeping track of client bookings and conducting sessions is only part of the picture. If payments are slow or not received, you don't have an efficient business.
5. Track how your business is performing
Sometimes it can feel like you are doing well, but does this transfer into reality? You need to be able to easily see what’s happening in your business and take appropriate action when needed to organise it better if necessary.
6. Keep marketing your business to generate sustainability
Remember, your practice is unique, and is largely built around you. The industry you work in is likely to be constantly changing and evolving, so you need to continue to work on how you engage with your clients. Don’t forget to leverage your credentials or add to them when you complete ongoing professional development, your clients need to see that you are evolving too.
Click here to read or download the full 6 Steps to Success in a Sole Practice.