If you’re reading this, chances are you’re an allied health practitioner considering starting your own private practice or already on your journey as a private practice owner.

Running a private practice as an allied health practitioner can be a fulfilling yet demanding experience that requires dedication, hard work, and a deep commitment to your clients. While being your own boss has its perks, owning and operating a private practice also comes with its unique set of challenges.

In this 2-part blog, we’ll explore the realities of being a private practice owner, including the pros and cons of running a private practice. Whether you’re in the research phase of starting your own practice or already a practice owner, we hope this helps set your expectations and validate your experience.


The realities of running your own private practice: the benefits

Running a private practice can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. It offers a unique set of advantages that empower you to shape your professional life according to your vision and values. From the flexibility to make independent decisions about your services and fees to the opportunity to build your personal brand and enjoy higher earnings, being a private practice owner can come with exciting possibilities.

We’ll delve into the details of each benefit below.


Your schedule, your way

One of the most significant benefits of owning a private practice is the flexibility it provides. As a private practice owner, you can set your own schedule and work at your own pace. This means you can choose what days you work, how many clients you want to see, and how long you want to work each day.

It’s important to note that while owning a private practice provides flexibility, your hours still need to reflect the times that are convenient for your clients. This means potentially being available outside of regular business hours, including early mornings, evenings, and weekends.

While you may have the flexibility to set your own schedule, it’s crucial to consider your clients’ needs and ensure you’re available when they need you. Finding the right balance between flexibility and availability can be challenging, but it’s a critical aspect of running a successful private practice.


Being the decision maker

Owning a private practice also gives you more control over your work. As the owner, you’re responsible for setting the vision and direction of the practice, making decisions about staffing, and deciding on the types of services you’ll offer. You have the freedom to create a practice that aligns with your personal and professional values and goals.

This means you can also customise your services and set your own fees. As the owner of your practice, you have the freedom to tailor your offerings in line with your interests. For example, if you’re a therapist who doesn’t enjoy couples counselling, you can choose not to offer it as a service.

You can also set your fees in line with your values, while taking viability into account. This means you can make the decision to offer low-cost services with lower profit margins if that’s what you want. Being able to align your business with your values can be incredibly rewarding and motivating, and it’s a significant advantage of running a private practice.


The potential to earn more

Running a successful private practice can also result in higher earnings. The freedom to set your own fees means that you can potentially earn more than you would if you were working as an employee or contractor elsewhere.

However, it’s important to note that your income will depend on a number of factors such as the number of clients you see, the fees you set, efficient time management, and your invoices being paid on time. It’s also important to remember that you don’t necessarily take home 100% of the earnings. This means your fees need to cover not only your wage but also the expenses associated with running your practice.

Wondering how much revenue is reasonable to forecast? Check out our simple business calculators here.


Groups? Courses? Webinars?

The freedom and flexibility that comes with running your own private practice also means you have the opportunity to offer a variety of services beyond traditional one-on-one sessions. Online courses, group workshops, and webinars are just a few examples of additional services you can offer to clients.

These services can be beneficial for clients who may prefer a different format of support or cannot afford individual sessions. By offering a variety of services that align with your values and goals, you can provide a more comprehensive approach to addressing the needs of your clients.

In addition to being beneficial for clients, offering additional services can also serve as a passive income source for your practice, increasing profitability. For example, an online course can be created once and then offered to clients repeatedly, requiring minimal additional effort on your part. This can be an effective way to generate income while still prioritising your clients’ needs.


Your own professional (and personal) brand

Running your own private practice presents a valuable opportunity to cultivate your personal brand. In today’s digital age, having a strong personal brand is an effective tool for attracting and retaining clients. By crafting a clear and consistent message that communicates who you are as a practitioner and the value you offer, you can establish yourself as a trusted and credible expert in your field.

Developing your personal brand involves various strategies, including creating a professional website, engaging with your audience through social media, producing content such as blog posts or videos, and networking with other professionals in your industry. As a private practice owner, you have the freedom to build your brand in a way that aligns with your values, using colours, imagery, and tone of voice that accurately represent you.

A strong brand presence can also enhance your visibility in the market, attracting like-minded practitioners to your practice and bolstering your recruitment strategy. This creates a positive cycle of growth and expansion, where a strong personal brand leads to increased clientele and business success.


Work from home? No worries!

Another unique benefit of running your own private practice is the freedom to work from home and provide telehealth services. Telehealth has become increasingly popular, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a convenient and accessible option for both practitioners and clients.

Unlike being a contractor or employee where you have limited control, owning your own practice allows you to shape your services according to your preferences. For example, you have the autonomy to establish a telehealth-only practice if that aligns with your vision. By offering virtual sessions exclusively, you not only get to work from the cosy comforts of your own home but also have the opportunity to reach clients beyond the boundaries of a physical location. This means you can expand your client base and connect with people who may not have access to in-person services.

Alternatively, being a private practice owner grants you the flexibility to manage your schedule and decide which days you will offer face-to-face appointments. This allows you to allocate specific days for in-person sessions, reducing the number of days you need to be in the office. This can be incredibly beneficial for practitioners seeking a better work-life balance.

When managed well, the private practice journey offers many unique benefits and can be full of rewarding experiences. Wondering how it could possibly be anything other than amazing? Read about some of the challenges that come with running your own private practice in the next part, the challenges of running your own private practice.