May President's Message

10 May 2017 4:41 PM | Carol A. Bouldin (Administrator)

Do You Have a Business Plan?

Do you have a business plan?  What is that you may be saying? A business plan is a basic vision of your business. Think of a business plan like a treatment you do in therapy. It’s an assessment of where your business is right now. It’s also like a treatment plan as it guides your intervention within your business.  Think goals. The business plan does not have to be formal but each of you should have one in place if you are in private practice or you are wanting to be. I would take an hour or two and sit down and really think about how you want your business to be. This type of writing does not have to be formal enough to be presented to a bank for a bank loan. However, it should be written down after you have spent some time figuring out a vision for your business.  This is where you get to dream and dream big. The basic plan should include:

  • Why: Why are you a therapist? Why you are providing your services?
  • Who: Do you want to serve, the type of clients you enjoy working with; those you don’t enjoy working with. Remember we can’t serve everyone nor should we try.
  • What: What services do you want to include; are you the best couple’s therapist or are groups your thing? Do you teach and will you be bringing that income into your business (which has tax benefits)? Think about what you or your team provide to your clients; it could be as simple as individual therapy, couple, family or maybe a psychoeducational class like parenting or grief and loss.
  • Where: The location of your business will it be a home-based business or in an actual building, sharing an office with several other therapists or will you rent one room or share with another therapist? If you are in a building, does the facility fit your business? Are you in a professional building or in a strip mall? Is the building big enough? Do you need more treatment rooms or are you adding therapists and interns to your practice?
  • When: When will you start your business or if you have one started, when will you add more services, clients or maybe treatment rooms? Maybe you want to add supervision or another therapist to your practice.
  • Resources: To whom in your area do you refer? Who are your referral sources (You should be able to name at least 5)? What staff do you need to make this happen? A virtual assistant, office assistant, biller or answering service? What do you need to make this business work for you instead of you working for it?
  • Goals: Take where you are now and where you want to be in say 3 months, 6 months or next year. We can’t get to a place if we do not have any idea of where we are going.

I would try to project out at least two years, three would be optimal. Then review your plan yearly. Ask yourself how close am I to my goals? Do I need to make more money? How many clients did I serve? Do I need to purchase health insurance? Did I take enough vacation time? How is my social media plan working? Did I blog consistently?

Having a vision in the form of a business plan will make you more successful as a business owner. There is something about seeing all of your wonderful accomplishments over the year that is motivating.  Keep the plan simple at first; you can always make it more detailed along the way.

As your board president, I wanted to thank you for your support and encouragement many of you have provided to me during my last two years of service. I have enjoyed my time as president and I have learned a great deal. I have heard from many of you that the newsletter is something that you read monthly and you have enjoyed the information shared. This newsletter is the work of a few dedicated hands, thank you Carol and all who contribute regularly. After this month’s election, I will be handing the reins over to the very competent Janetta Peltz and I trust you will continue to support her as she leads our organization. Please think about becoming involved in IE CAMFT; it is helpful to the chapter but it also gives back to us personally. Additionally, you get to meet and work with some awesome people. I am humbled by all the fabulous work each of you are doing and collectively all the healing that our community is receiving from your tireless work. Our world continues to need us more than ever and I hope that IE CAMFT will continue to support the work and provide trainings to help each of us become better clinicians.  I will continue to be part of this organization as your Past President and encourage you to step out of your comfort zone to see the magic that happens outside that zone. Godspeed to us all.

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