We have been in Private Practice for two years and practicing for over a year. Here are some things we have learned
- Talk to an attorney in your field. Find an attorney who specializes in your area to review your intake paperwork partnership agreement, your policies (workmen's comps, general liability, etc.), contracts, proposals, and any other legal matters you may have.
- Balance work and personal life. You are the boss now, which makes you the boss and an employee. Make time to work ON and IN your business. Set up an administrative day to work on your business. My partner does this on Mondays, and I set my administrative day on Fridays, and the days we take off. This also includes vacations, holidays off, and taking random days off. Entrepreneurship can be a lot. To prevent burnout, take the time off.
- Seek a mentor or coach. Talk to people who are seasoned in the field and seek guidance. Speaking with people in the area can help avoid costly mistakes, make rewarding choices, offer advice in your decision-making, and they can offer referrals to reputable businesses that you may choose to partner with.
- Spend the money and research the business/person (website, headshots, attorney, biller, credentialer, etc.). Some costly mistakes we made were not checking portfolios, not asking the right questions when interviewing businesses and hiring based on their relation to people we knew, and not doing the background work on their work. Some great choices we made initially were hiring a biller and credentialer. In business, you must pick and choose the tasks you take on. Credentialing and billing can be time-consuming, and we opted to pay someone to remove that task from our plate. Not to mention, it was quite affordable.
- Stay connected to the law and changes within your field. You are the boss, which means it is your responsibility and duty to stay aware of the changes in your field of practice. A recent example of this is the current Good Faith Law. This law requires changes in our office and paperwork for clients. You are responsible for knowing these changes and implementing them into your practice. If you are not a part of any Professional Organization, we suggest joining CAMFT, NASW, etc. You can enter a Facebook group or another social media group in your practice. Here are a few we follow: Clinicians of Color and Black Therapist Rock. Both suggestions are great ways to stay connected in your lot of practice, ask questions, and hear about changes in your area.
- Shareela Allen, LCSW