Did you know that many therapists are wasting money while building their private practice? Do you think this may be you?
I’ve noticed some key areas where therapists could be wiser in how they spend their money, particularly when they are just starting out in private practice.
Some of these expenses are completely unnecessary. Others are worth spending some money on but not to the extent that some therapists do.
I want to outline some of those areas where money is wasted, and my theories as to why some therapists overspend when starting a private practice.
4 Money Wasters in Private Practice
1) Website Designers
- I know this is a controversial thing to say. But, I think therapists waste money on paying someone to design a website that doesn’t attract clients like they had hoped.
- Paying someone to build a website from scratch can cost a minimum of $5,000, and often much more! That’s a pretty penny to pay up front.
- There is a belief that if you spend $5,000 or more on a website, then that website is going to fill your practice with clients. But, usually designers are not focused on SEO.
- You may have a beautiful, user-friendly website that clients are not finding.
- Using a website building tool, like Squarespace (*affiliate link), is a much better option. This will cost you around $20-30 a month rather than $5,000 plus. They have templates available to help you make an attractive site while also focusing on SEO.
- Once you have steady revenue, then you can choose to upgrade your website and hire a designer if that is still something you would like to invest in.
2) Renting Full-Time Too Early
- I often hear it said, “If they build it, they will come.” But, if you have a gorgeous office space but no clients yet, then it is just money wasted.
- Renting a space isn’t going to fill your practice faster. It is just going to add a much larger overhead cost.
- Instead, you could start with teletherapy from home, or look into subletting an office one or two days a week.
- Wait until you have the level of revenue that justifies having that kind of expense.
3) Unnecessary Credentials
- Don’t hear me wrong. I am an advocate for getting the necessary credentials and training you need to offer the type of therapy that you specialize in.
- But, I often hear therapists say things like, “I’m going to go get EMDR certified because I hear that is what I need to do to fill my practice.”
- If you are seeking certifications just to help fill your practice, then this is a waste of your money.
- If you are finding it hard to fill your practice with clients, then that is a marketing issue, not a credentialing issue.
4) Paid Ads
- I’m not anti-paid ads. If you know what you are doing, or you pay someone who knows what they are doing then this can be a useful expense.
- But, often many folks set a high budget and create a Google or Facebook ad when they don’t know what they are doing. If the ad is not performing well, then this can drain your account without benefiting you.
- If you want to explore using ads, I would suggest hiring someone who has experience doing this or testing out an ad with a smaller budget first.
I hope you have noticed a theme by this point. Spending money in private practice is not bad. And even spending money on the things mentioned in this article isn’t bad.
I just want to caution therapists from throwing money at things in the hope that it will draw in clients or grow their practice when it may not give them the results they were expecting.
Why Is Money Still Being Wasted In Private Practice Building?
I see so many therapists making these same mistakes over and over again.
Most therapists understand that they shouldn’t be spending money they don’t have, or spending money on a solution that is not working. So it raises the question: Why are therapists still making these mistakes and wasting money in private practice?
I have a theory on that.
One of the most difficult parts of building a successful private practice is marketing. And the thing that we are selling to potential clients is a relationship. With us.
So if you are experiencing any type of self-doubt, insecurity, or imposter syndrome, then it may feel tempting to cover that up with spending money on websites, ads, etc. You may hope that those things may cause potential clients to want to book with you as their therapist.
The reality is: you are the thing that you are selling to potential clients. I truly believe that if you are genuinely yourself then there will be people out there that need your help and want to work with you.
Reflect and Pause Before Spending
So, next time you go to spend money on building your practice. Take a moment to think through if this expense is what is really going to benefit you or your clients.
Want More Resources On Budgeting?
If you are reading this article, then you may be interested in some of my other videos on the financial side of private practice.
I have a video on exploring the startup costs of private practice and some more tips on how to save money.
And, here are a few ideas on how to start in private practice without spending a ton of money.
Until next time, from one therapist to another: I wish you well!
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