We have been in Private Practice 2 years and practicing for over a year. Here are some things we have learned
- Talk to an attorney in your field. Find an attorney that specializes in your field to review your intake paperwork, partnership agreement, review 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, which are also the days we take off. This also includes vacation, holidays off and taking random days off. Entreupenurship can be a lot. To prevent burn out, 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 field can be helpful in avoiding costly mistakes, making rewarding choices, offering guidance 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, head shots, attorney, biller, credentialer, etc). Some costly mistakes we made were not checking portfolios, not asking the right questions when interviewing business 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 will have to 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 this is your responsibility and duty to stay aware of the changes in your field of practice. A recent example of this is the recent Good Faith Law. This law requires changes in our office and in paperwork to 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 would highly suggest so by joining CAMFT, NASW, etc. You may want to join a facebook group or another social media group in your field of practice. Here are a few we follow, Clinicians of Color and Black Therapist Rock. Both suggestions are great ways to stay connected in your field of practice, ask questions, and hear about changes in your field.
-Shareela Allen, LCSW
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