There are always pros and cons to making big life decisions, and starting your own business and practice is no different. Here are a few things I've experienced to help you make your own pros & cons list!
Pros and benefits of starting your own cash-based solo practice...
In case you're new here, my name is Morgan, I'm a PT, and I started my own cash-based solo practice working out of a gym 1 year after graduating with my DPT. I was looking for a way to better serve my patients, myself, and be a physical therapist in a way that made me happy.
The good news — I found it!! For me, starting my own solo practice that allowed me to work with patients and clients in-person and online in a 1:1 setting without worrying about insurance gave me that opportunity.
A huge pro to starting your own practice is being able to treat patients the way you want to treat them and just practice overall in a way that feels most aligned to you. You get to build something yourself and craft it and shape it into what you've been dreaming of as you go. You get to learn invaluable skills of business development, sales, marketing, and organization that you may not be able to learn in any other setting — this allows you to grow in ways you never imagined, and no two days are ever the same. You just continue to grow as you go!
I love that this has given me the opportunity to be creative, find new ways to connect with people, and teach all the things I'm learning. Practicing on my own and coaching have both made me have to step myself up into a leadership role & continue learning more about how to be a good leader.
I've also gained complete time freedom — I have the ability to set my hours and my schedule, changing it as often as I need. I never have to worry about putting in a PTO request 6 months in advance for a family vacation. I don't have to worry about the mountain of notes to do later AFTER work hours.
And the last big pro — I've built a income-generating asset. I get to make my own money, decide how much income I want to make, and the sky's the limit.
It's not all rainbows and sunshine.
Growing your own business is hard, and sometimes just getting STARTED is even more difficult.
What are the negatives of starting your own practice? It's not something I really talk about and I know I don't often see other business owners talk about it either.
It can be scary and intimidating — you're doing something you've never done before and that is really uncomfortable. It feels weird, it's a new kind of stress or anxiety you've never really had before, and it can be pretty overwhelming if you try to do everything all on your own.
Sometimes it can be lonely, especially if you're a solopreneur and ESPECIALLY if you work solely online. It will expose your weaknesses and lay out the things you might not know everything about — and I know that's something that a lot of us fear (PTSD from practicals anyone?) You're going to make mistakes and experience what feels like failures. It will make you doubt yourself.
Building a business is not an overnight thing, it's basically a lifelong commitment. It takes time that you could otherwise be putting towards other aspects of your life and it takes money invested to grow — this can often bring out fears around money for clinicians new to business and that can be uncomfy to confront, I know it has been for me.
You also are responsible for holding yourself accountable to do all your documentation on time, keep all your records organized, and make sure that all the appropriate paperwork is kept up to date for your business.
Oh and on top of that, you have to make sure you're consistently bringing in new patients and making enough money to stay afloat.
It's frustrating. It's stressful. It can be annoying sometimes. Your mind will be operating at full throttle many times when you're strategizing and planning. You basically are jumping into the unknown because you're creating something out of nothing.
So this isn't for everyone. But if you have that little whisper in your ear that this might be for you or you might want to try and you're afraid of one of the things I mentioned above, reach out to me and let's chat. I'll help you find a way through the dark.