How to Improve Your Private Practice Therapy Business in 10 Steps

Here are ten actionable tips to improve your business right away.

1. Keep calm when answering your phone

Setting up your private practice therapy business for success begins with how you greet potential customers. What do you say when you pick up the phone? Make sure your voice is calm, welcoming, and you identify yourself and the practice immediately.

2. Greet clients at the door

Attending counseling for the first time can be intimidating. If possible, greet clients at the door and welcome them into your waiting room or office. Never leave anyone standing out in the cold or waiting for extended periods of time. If you can’t greet clients at the door —maybe you’re currently in session—make sure your waiting area is inviting and stress-free. Play soothing music and lower the lights to calm their nerves.

3. Keep a clean and organized space

Your physical space plays a significant role in your client’s comfort level. Are your furnishings up-to-date or does it look like your practice exists in the early 1980’s? Similarly, are your waiting room and offices clean? Take the trash out regularly, organize any bookshelves, and create a safe, open environment. Oh, and toss those magazines from two years ago. No one’s reading them.

4. Focus on quality care

Think back to those role-playing days in your graduate Psych. classes and make sure you’re utilizing the skills you practiced. Engaging your clients and listening during sessions is what sets a great therapist apart from a good one. Be good at your job—simple and easy.

As Larry Page, the co-founder of Google said, “Always deliver more than expected.”

5. Make customer service a priority

Keeping clients coming back is a priority, right? But, you also have to worry about chasing down balances from non-paying clients or sending numerous reminders to people that have a history of being no-shows. Even if administrative tasks leave you stressed, be professional and kind at all times.

6. Don’t be so private

Yes, it may be a called a private practice, but that doesn’t mean you should keep it all to yourself. Get out there and start meeting people. Network with your colleagues. Introduce yourself to other counselors in your field, and reach out to possible referral sources, such as doctors and school administrators. Networking gives you a better understanding of the work and allows everyone the opportunity to learn from one another.

7. Create systems

Don’t onboard each new client from scratch. Create a templates to save some time. Open it up with a new-client welcome letter and all the necessary forms and policies they’ll need to complete before the initial intake. Then, all you need to do it make copies of your template and share with potential clients.

8. Invest money into your practice

Spending money can be difficult, but it’s one way to move your private practice therapy business to the next level. Remember that outdated waiting room? It’s time to update it. Similarly, invest in software to help manage your administrative duties. Hire a part time assistant to help implement both projects, if necessary, so you can focus on client care.

9. Focus on marketing

If you want to grow your private practice therapy business you need people to know about it. Send direct mailings, advertise in local media, volunteer in the community—just do something to spread the word about your services.

10. Contract with an answering service

Have you been managing your office phone off hours? Don’t burn yourself out. Instead, hire an answering service to handle any calls that come in when you’re not in the office. Your clients want to talk to a real person. The idea of leaving a message may unnerve them, since they don’t know if someone is checking the mailbox.