Would you build a house without first having a blueprint, or at least a detailed plan? Of course not. For such a major investment, you don't want to make expensive mistakes.

lopsided house

A blueprint helps make sure that the house you envision is the house you get. Otherwise you could end up with something that looks like this picture.

The same holds true for your mental health practice. Does it meet your vision of what you hoped it would be? A business plan is like a blueprint for your practice. With a business plan you define your goals and specify how you're going to get there. It's not as exciting as flying by the seat of your pants. But in this case, there's a lot to be said for predictability.

I asked TPI's Dr. Jeff Zimmerman who writes and teaches about the business of practice, "Is a business plan really necessary - even for a solo practice?"

"Absolutely," he replied. "Here's why":

  • Your practice deserves careful thought and planning. This is going to be your source of income and lifestyle for many years.
  • A business plan lays out a structure and process to help you grow your business. Like a blueprint, it helps you stay on track toward your goal. It outlines the major activities that you've committed to do, and thus helps prevent your overlooking something important, or getting distracted by something unimportant.
  • If you need financing to start or to grow your practice, the bank is probably going to require a business plan.

Jeff added that a business plan is not a once-and-done deal. "It's a work in progress," he explained. "You can always revise it to adapt to changing circumstances or interests. The important thing is to HAVE a business plan. By the time you regret NOT having one, it could be too late."

Jeff will be teaching more about business plans at our upcoming Private Practice 101: Boot Camp in April. In fact, one of the goals of Boot Camp is for all participants to leave with a customized business plan for success.

Don't leave your business to chance. Please join us!

p.s. Here's an audio from our new Blog Talk Radio channel, with Dr. Jeff Zimmerman explaining more about business plans.