Establishing Your Private Practice



Starting a private practice can be a daunting process. Here are some of our top tips to consider when starting your practice.

Establish what you offer

This might sound obvious but it's very important to identify what you are offering. Whether it be therapy for teenagers or acupuncture for adults, if you are clear about what you are offering and to whom this will help you move forward. As you are starting a business, it is often recommended to write a business plan, which will help to focus and clarify your thoughts.

Setting up

Once you are clear about what you are offering there are lots of practical things to consider and sort out, including:
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Supervision
  • Finding a therapy or treatment room
  • Purchasing equipment

For advice on finding the right therapy or treatment room read our guide here.

Marketing

Now it's time to generate interest, build the brand and find some clients.

Website: The best place to start is to build a website. Many people assume this a long and expensive process. However, there are great platforms out there such as "Wordpress" and "Wix" where you can build a website on your own with limited technical knowledge. Alternatively, there are website companies who will be able to build a small brochure website quickly and inexpensively.

Social media: Build your online presence with social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Post interesting articles, or if you can, write articles yourself and post them to your network.

Join existing databases: There are many database and networking websites that charge a small fee but will help you drive traffic to your website and build a client base. For example psychfinder.co.uk is a great database website for practitioner psychologists.

Local advertising: don't forget about local advertising in cafe's and newspapers. These can be a great way to build a local, community customer base.

Legal and financial

Once you start to receive customers you will need to think about how you will store customer details and record contacts securely. There are plenty of applications such as "Base" which are platforms to record your clients details and financial information securely. If you grow in size "Sage" is the most widely used financial software. It will be important for an accountant to advise on whether to set up your business as a limited company or sole trader. They will also be able to assist with tax returns.

Finally...


Although daunting initially, setting up a private practice can bring lots of exciting opportunities, independence, financial reward and flexible working. Good luck!