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Business Planning for Private Practice

Do you have a business plan for your private practice? Have you ever considered creating one?

Many therapists start building their private practice without a clear plan in place let alone a business plan despite it being one of the main reasons why small businesses fail in their first year.

What is a  Business Plan?

In simple terms, a business plan is a document setting out a business’s future objectives and strategies for achieving them. Traditional business plans tend to follow a standard structure. They’re usually very detailed and have some combination of the following elements:

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market analysis
  • Organisation and management
  • Service or product line
  • Marketing and sales
  • Funding request
  • Financial projections
  • Appendix
Sounds boring, right?

So boring, you might want to stop reading! Maybe it feels a little bit corporate too or over-complicated, overwhelming and time-consuming?

The Benefits of a business plan?

Ultimately, a business plan provides a clear direction for your private practice. It gives clarity, reduces risk and uncertainty, and helps you feel more confident.  Having a clear, concise plan from the start saves time, energy and will prevent some common mistakes so saving you time, energy and stress in the long terms.

A good business plan tells you what you need to do and how to do it. It’s a working, living document. Reviewing it regularly will ensure the running of your business doesn’t consume your time or overwhelm you.

When your business is running smoothly, you can focus on the therapy you provide and maintain the delivery of high-quality CBT. Working in this way also maintains the reputation of CBT as a gold standard treatment, securing your future and ensuring you’re able to continue doing what you love and have trained so hard to deliver.

Business Planning for Therapists

We’ve established traditional business plans aren’t the most exciting documents to pull together! But they do provide a really solid foundation for development and growth they are essential for building successful, sustainable and profitable businesses.

You can Assess, Formulate, Plan and Accelerate your business


Spend time assessing where you are now and where you want to get to. Identify your core values and goals and identify the strategies that you need in place to achieve your goals so that you can create a business and a life you love.


Following this assessment, it’s time to dive into the details. Decide on the fundamentals of your business – the name, style and how it will run.  look at policies, procedures and legalities such as GDPR, contracts and agreements. Once completed, you’ll know exactly what you need to put in place to get going.


Getting your therapy out there is key.  So spend time deciding on how you will make your practice visible to your clients. Also know and building a marketing strategy.


Regularly review where you are and establish how to maintain progress even if things go wrong. An important aspect for therapists is to consider is how you will maintain your own mental health so you are in the best place for your clients.

Running your own business is one of the most rewarding things you can do. You are your own boss, you set your own rules and you can be as creative as you like. But you also have to work harder than ever before. It doesn’t come easy and it’s easy to lose your way. A business plan does some of the hard work for you, creating a solid foundation from which to succeed and grow.

Useful links

A complete guide to getting started in private practice –

Websites for therapists –

How much should you charge per session – Therapist-fee-calculator

Referral companies you can register with – Free-referral-companies-list

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Sarah Rees

Sarah is a fully accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and mental health writer delivering Modern Mental Health for you and with you in Mind. Sarah is the author of ‘The CBT Journal’ which helps you write for your wellbeing incorporating CBT techniques. For more information and to keep in touch have a look at