Running a private practice entails more than working with your clients in their sessions. As a private practitioner, your role also includes running your business and managing your schedule, accounting, marketing and more! There are some key tools you will need to use in order to run your practice successfully so keep reading for the ultimate toolkit for private practitioners!
Your operations are what happens behind the scenes when you’re not working with your clients in a therapy session. This includes client management, scheduling, billing and other administration work. Having a strong foundation in your operational practices ensures that your practice can run smoothly so you can focus on being the best service provider for your clients!
One of the most important aspects of running a successful practice is having excellent client management systems. You will need to coordinate appointments (and reschedule requests or cancellations), collect the necessary forms from your client, and keep records of your notes.
GSuite is a great place to start as you can set up your email through Gmail, use Google Calendar to manage your schedule and use Google Drive to store your contract and form templates and other documents such as blog posts or other informational content… just be sure that your electronic storage of client records is compliant with PHIPA standards.
As your practice continues to grow, you may find yourself spending too much time coordinating schedules. Consider using an online booking system such as Acuity or Calendly. In these programs, you can set your availability, choose appointment types and client scheduling limitations (i.e. not allowing bookings less than 24 hours in advance).
These programs also sync with calendars such as Google or Outlook so you can be sure that you won’t be double-booked. Simply provide your scheduling link to your clients, and they can select an appointment that works for their schedule based on the timeslots you have available.
Finally, you may choose to invest in one of several comprehensive practice management programs. These programs (such as Owl Practice and Jane App) act as a full-service client management system in which you can schedule appointments, complete charting, manage client billing and, on certain plans, conduct video or teletherapy.
Keeping up with your bookkeeping is incredibly important as a business owner, especially at tax time! Be sure to track all expenses and revenue and keep records of receipts to ensure that you are prepared in the event of an audit from the Canadian Revenue Agency (or whichever regulatory authority is applicable to you).
Starting off with a simple Excel or Google spreadsheet is a cost-effective option to track your financials. Be sure to get into the habit of regularly updating your spreadsheet to input your expenses and revenue and consider using a separate tab to track your home office expenses if you run your practice from your house – a portion of these expenses are eligible for deduction on your tax return.
You will also likely need to set up a payment processing system to collect payment from your clients. Programs such as Wave or Stripe are relatively user friendly and their processing fees are comparable to the market standard.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, Quick Books Online allows you to track expenses and income, issue invoices, accept payment and organize receipts. QBO also connects to your bank accounts so that you can reconcile your transactions in real-time and really stay on top of your finances!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by launching your private practice, be sure to check out my Build Your Private Practice Mastermind Course – you’ll learn all about the business of private practice and how to set your practice up for success! The next session starts at the end of September so join the waitlist today!