For psychologists who opt to run a private practice, they’re also faced with challenges around running a business – from technology to accounting and business development – that did not come with their field training.
In a survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) on stressors for practicing psychologists, the top three reported by respondents were: work-life balance (72%); dealing with insurance and managed care (68%); and concerns about their patients’ safety (63%). In order to balance the stress of just practicing as a psychologist and effectively managing a business – the key is to think like any other entrepreneur or small business owner with these tips:
- Learn how to be an entrepreneur. Consider taking a class on entrepreneurship – online or as a continuing education course at a local college.
- Determine the monetary value of your time and what it costs to outsource for critical business functions from insurance billing and accounting to managing your business technology and cleaning.
- Join a small business peer or advisory group with regular meetings to get support from other business owners and independent operators.
- Seek out a long-term psychologist private practice manager or business advisor who can help you make objective choices that align with the long-term benefits of your practice as a business.
- Make sure you treat yourself like your most valuable employee. This can be a tough one. In the same way that you would treat your top recruited talent with bonuses, generous vacation time and provide them with an optimal environment for personal and professional growth – be sure to give yourself the same treatment so you enjoy working in private practice for the long term.
As a psychologist in private practice, you focus your time and energy on helping others overcome personal challenges. But at the end of the day: you’re running a business. It’s important to use services that fit your needs and keeps overhead in check. The difference between what you earn in session fees and costs for maintaining your office is what determines the long-term health of your company. To learn more about how our own technology helps therapists to keep in touch with your patients, while giving them the freedom to leave the office — and not worry about missing patient calls, download our whitepaper.