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Plain sail into your own private practice

You may think that only a handful of counsellors stumble across the TOP SECRET map to success, when setting up their own private practice. I’m here to show you that navigating the choppy waters of business doesn’t need to be perilous! I’ll share my secrets. With a trusted business counselling mentor by your side, you’ll be in safe hands. I’m a mindset counsellor and coach, teaching business know-how to qualified counsellors and therapists so they feel more confident in business.

We all know that small business owners are the backbone of the UK economy. To become a counsellor with a successful private practice, you need three things:

  • A clear and achievable business plan
  • A positive mindset
  • Support and guidance

Sadly, according to research by Fundsquire, 20% of small businesses in the UK fail in their first year; and around 60% fail within the first three years. To join the 5.5 million successful entrepreneurs living their dream, you need a mentor who can help you focus on the essentials, so you hit the ground running.

Starting from scratch

Let’s think first about start-up costs.

You are the linchpin in the business. One of the keys to your success will be your professional skill, and the most significant cost will be your wages, salary, or drawings from your business. You also need to think about these financial expenses too:

  • Systems – record-keeping and IT equipment
  • Location – your space, its furniture, and furnishings
  • Marketing – branding, social media, your website, and marketing costs
  • Administration – business stationery and office supplies
  • Legal and professional costs
  • Travel and transport
  • Communication – Phone and internet

Location, location, location

If you’ve decided to find a room in a shared space or a serviced office to work in, it’s essential to cover those costs before you start paying yourself. Location expenses are one of the main reasons businesses run into financial difficulties, so it’s worth making sure you plan for this before you set up your practice.

Don’t tie yourself to a long lease or tenancy. Serviced office spaces will provide far greater freedom, usually have shorter agreements, allow you to scale up as your practice grows, and often enable you to pay monthly rather than quarterly. Serviced leases tend to include business rates, but not all do. Check what’s included to avoid any unwelcome surprises. If you’ve found your ideal location but not factored in business rates, service charges, registered office address fees or internet access costs, you could find yourself having to work extra hours to fund these additional expenses.

If you have decided to work from home, you will need a quiet and safe place to see your clients, and there will still be setup costs. You’ll need to buy office furniture and computer equipment. Remember that being at home during the working day will also push up your monthly utility bills. It’s essential to check that there are no restrictions on your property title that limit the type of business you can set up, and that your house insurance allows you to run your business from home and whether or not you must report your new venture to your insurance provider.

Getting the essentials right

Setting up in business comes with certain legal and professional responsibilities. You may need an accountant, commercial solicitor, or financial adviser to deal with the legal aspects of starting a business.

Should you set up a limited company, or can you be a sole trader or partner? How you run your business is your choice, but it’s essential to understand your options and the risks. Getting it wrong could prove costly.

A solid business insurance policy will protect you should anything go wrong, paying any compensation and covering legal costs. Professional indemnity insurance, employers’ liability insurance and cyber insurance are just three types of policy you may need to consider. Good advice is essential.

Advice and guidance

Would you love your own personal business genie for support as you navigate what’s bound to be a challenging period for any inexperienced entrepreneur?

You will need to hone your talents and develop new skills with research and study.

Do you block out time for marketing and strategic thinking?

Do you know how to balance working in the business and working on the business?

Counsellors setting up in private practice wear many hats! A realistic approach that plays to your strengths will be essential. You may need to delegate marketing or administration to allow yourself time to manage the client-facing aspects of your role. Not everyone is a natural delegator. It can help to share your ideas with a mentor who has your best interests and success at heart.

Whatever it was that brought you here today – an algorithm, universe alignment or your dreams pointing you in the right direction – you’ve found your own magic genie lamp!

Let’s discuss your plans to see if my Mindset Reset™ program for counsellors will help you achieve your vision. Drop me a message. I’d love to help you build your own thriving private practice.

Key takeaways

  • Start-up costs are the expenses incurred during the process of creating a new business. Every business will have them, even if it’s a home-based private practice.
  • A solid business insurance policy will protect you should anything go wrong.
  • The planning stage is the most important.
  • 60% of small businesses fail. Keeping costs low and avoiding unnecessary expenses can be the key to success.
  • If you want to maximise your income, you need to balance working in your business with working on your business.
  • A business mentor can help you focus your time on the priorities that will lead to success.

 

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