Updated: Mar 29
One of the most common places I've seen therapists get stuck once they are official is not knowing what to do next once they have their business entity officially set up. You will have your business license, you're registered with the state, you know what delivery method you're using, you have your documentation and payment processor all set...but crickets. Where are all of the patients?
The Biggest Mistake
The biggest mistake you can make when starting up your practice is keeping the news to yourself. New practice owners I've spoken with who have the strategy of "I have a website so I'll just wait by the phone until a patient calls" tend to stay patient-less for a long time, all the while continuing to see their bold confidence in starting a practice dwindle away.
But never fear, the solution is here!
How To Launch Your New Business
Once you're official, you have two different options on how to get the word out there that you're ready to see patients. I don't have catchy names for these options (yet), but I mainly refer to them as a "soft launch" or a "super launch."
Which is right for you? Read on or check out this video.
The "Soft" Launch
I've heard the phrase soft launch used across various industries, so it isn't something that is just applicable to therapy practices.
You know how on Food Network shows when restaurants get a makeover and they open to just a particular list of guests on the first night? That's one way of viewing this type of launch. You're going to softly announce that you're open to your family, friends, etc and invite them in to check it out. You will probably also start to post things on social media and might even join a networking group, but it's a pretty low-stress situation.
This type of launch is best for therapists who might still be working full or part time or have other obligations that make them feel like they're already spread pretty thin, but it's important to them to start their practice so they can start treating patients the way they want to. They don't have a major sense of urgency to fill their caseload ASAP and might be looking to go at the pace of 1 new client every month or 2, or they only want to have a caseload for their private business of ~5 or less. It's a relaxed vibe and this therapist is okay taking their time to get to where they want to go.
The "Super" Launch
On the other hand, we have the "super" launch. This type of launch is completely on the other side of the spectrum and the vibe here is go all out, shout it from the rooftops that you're open and looking for patients, balls to the wall, going HAM, there's-no-other-option, need-patients-ASAP type situation.
I will say, this is how most of my launches and events go (but I'm trying to find a balance between the two) and it is a high-stress and high-adrenaline feel, but it can be much more of an impact and yield the results you're looking for much quicker. This type of launch can be exhausting, fair warning, but it's also a lot of fun to get excited and share the excitement with others.
This is best for the therapists who just quit their job or they're planning to in 30 days or less, they know they're 100% in, and they're willing to do what they need to do to get their own private patients. They want to see a full caseload ASAP.
This type of launch is also different from the soft launch because there is a specific date on the calendar for the opening of the practice that you share publicly with everyone, so there's no backing out and you can create some serious momentum.
Which Type Of Launch Is Right For You?
Take into consideration what your current state of being is and where you really want to be in the future and how soon. There is a time and place for each type of launch, however most of the therapists I work with who want to do a soft launch end up switching over to a super launch after some time has passed because they realize they want to reach their goals sooner than they thought.
The good news is that neither option is better than the other, it really just depends on you.