Starting a Christian Counseling Practice: Business Formation and Paperwork

What are some obstacles to starting a private practice?

For many of us who grew up in traditional households where one or both parents had careers or jobs working for large companies, the idea of starting our own businesses can be very daunting, especially for those who have no background or education in business or finance. “Where do I even start?” you might be asking yourself. “I don’t know what I don’t know.”

You like the idea of working for yourself and the perks of being your own boss. Setting your schedule to fit your needs, choosing the clients you want to work with, and tailoring your services to the areas where you thrive are only a few of the benefits of owning your private practice.

However, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get to that point. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to keep a successful business going. As employees, we often don’t even think about all the different departments that work together to make a business function. When you consider opening a private practice, you need to think about all those roles and how you are going to fulfill them when you first get started.

One of the most daunting parts of starting your own business is all the paperwork, laws, and legal hoops you have to jump through. This is the step that turns most people off from starting a business. They see the processes they must follow to register their new business and all of the forms they have to fill out correctly and they get scared and give up.

Another reason people do not start their own businesses is the amount of time it takes to get it up and running. Sure, there’s the initial process of conceptualizing, planning, and executing the startup, but then there’s the time-consuming process of getting clients, building your network, and marketing. If you are starting from scratch, getting new clients is a huge task. Marketing 

yourself and your services to potential leads is a full-time job with very little return on your investment until you start gaining traction.

From an outside perspective, it seems like the odds are stacked against anyone who wants to branch out and start their own business. I was the same way before I got started. I thought it was extremely complicated, that it wasn’t worth the effort. But the dream of doing what I love and being my own boss just wouldn’t go away. I knew I needed to find a way to make it work.

So, I started. Sometimes that’s all it takes. Just make a start, and take it one step at a time. I had no clue what I was doing so I turned to any resources I could find.

Christian Counseling Practice Consulting

The resource that made the biggest difference and set me on track to achieve my goal was the consultant with whom I worked. I realized that all the small things that needed to be done to get my private practice off the ground were not so overwhelming when I had someone to walk me through the steps.

My consultant helped simplify things for me and gave me confidence that I could do it. Sometimes, that’s all we need when we start new and unknown things, someone to guide us through and be our cheerleader.

I benefitted so much from my consulting sessions. I started my private practice with the knowledge gained from my sessions with my consultant, and now my dream has become a reality.  Now, I want to extend that same helping hand to others who are on the cusp of realizing their dreams but who just need a little help getting started.

How do I navigate paperwork when starting a private practice?

My consulting sessions are tailored to each individual client’s needs. The paperwork and forms part of starting a business might look different for each person, especially depending on where they are located. I help clients draft intake paperwork that they will give to their clients when they first start counseling. 

One example of paperwork that we can incorporate into your intake forms is a no-show policy. Having a clear, written policy stating the financial responsibility of your clients should they miss an appointment within a certain timeframe not only protects you from potential loss of income but also protects your time and gives clients an incentive to honor their appointment times.

This is only one of many types of paperwork you can incorporate into your intake forms. This can be intimidating as there is not one set way of doing it. I have access to several types of intake paperwork and can point clients to trusted resources to help them in this area. 

Another element of starting a private practice that I discuss with my clients is which Electronic Health Record (EHR) for documentation best fits your needs. In addition to my own expertise and guidance, I have a network of professional colleagues with whom I can confer if any specific problems arise.

How do I navigate business formation?

Business formation is another overwhelming part of starting a private practice. Many potential small business owners are nervous about setting up the financial side of their small business. They don’t want to make a mistake with taxes or retirement planning and get into trouble with the IRS. I guide clients step by step through the process and break it down into manageable parts. I also utilize resources such as articles, videos, and other educational materials to help clients better understand the financial side of things.

While my consulting services will put you on the road to success, it is important to remember I only provide an experienced perspective and a helping hand. Clients should reach out to professionals like accountants to provide them with more expert assistance.

I am Here to Help!

Starting something new and doing something you’ve never done before is daunting. Putting your livelihood on the line and stepping out in faith is scary. You have to decide if your dream is worth it. If making your own schedule, ensuring you have a healthy work-life balance, and aligning your work with your values is worth stepping out into the unknown. I’m here to tell you: it is. It is most definitely worth all the time and effort it takes to get it going. The good news is a lot of the heavy lifting is on the front end of the process. Once you get going, it is easier to run a private practice. Do not let fear of the unknown stop you. Do not let the legalities of business formation and the amount of paperwork overwhelm you. In my consulting services, I take you through each step of the process. You have access to my personal experience and expertise in this area. I’m here to help you succeed and live out your dream. The journey is not so scary if you have someone who has walked the path before to guide your way. Schedule a consulting call today.