Are you really ready to start your own private practice? Some say, “yes” and don’t fully understand what’s involved the operation of a speech therapy private practice. In this episode, you’ll learn about our private practice and gain some insight to the daily tasks of a clinic owner.
This podcast was recorded in beautiful San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico. During the recording, you may hear some rain and some some wind. As a matter of fact, at the time of this recording I didn’t even realize that Tropical Depression 16E was passing right over us. Being a South East Louisiana native, it appears that Hurricanes and severe weather tend to follow me around. The property manager even nicknamed me, “Storm Man”.
In this episode:
1:47 – Taking quality time
4:10 – A wonderful business that affords a great lifestyle
4:30 – Serving others and enjoying really good quality time together
5:21 – The many parts of a speech therapy private practice
6:13 – People dislike “flaky” people
6:42 – Three steps you must complete in order to start your speech therapy practice correctly
9:30 – Why I use the UPS Store for my mailing addressDownload PDF Transcription
Need help with your speech therapy private practice? Get help HERE
Transcription of Episode 2:
What makes a good private practice is compassion and effective quality, valuable treatments for your patients, and you can’t be flaky. Because when you’re flaky, people don’t want to come back to you. Well, hello everyone! You’re listening to the speech therapy private practice start up podcast. This is episode number 2. I’m your host Kyle Meades and I am a speech and language pathologist since 1993 and in 2008, I opened up my very own speech therapy private practice. I started by myself and I started out servicing clients in the home. We currently, as of this recording see approximately 1200 patients per month and employ 24 part-time and full-time speech language pathologist, speech therapy assistants, occupational therapist and certified occupational therapy assistants here in the Tucson area. We do excellent work and we’re just so happy to be able to serve others and help other kids and adults to achieve their communication and find motor goals and it’s just a wonderful privilege to help others.
And all of that being said, it’s great to help others and it’s wonderful to help other families but we have to take time-I have to take time for myself. And that’s one of the reasons you’re listening to this podcast now because this is being recorded in beautiful San Carlos, Mexico. And for those people out there who aren’t really familiar with this part of the world, in the South West part of the United States, about 5 hour’s straight South of Tucson, you’re going to get to Mexico and on the Western side of Mexico, is a beautiful area on the water and it’s called San Carlos. So, that’s where we are for the last four days.
One of the reasons i’m doing this, is, number 1, I need a break. Because we have just been able to serve so many people and I’m just really tired and on top of being a full-time dad, a clinic owner, and employer, i’m just really trying to take a break. So that’s why we’re down here. And during this podcast, you may hear some rain and you might hear some wind. It’s a matter of fact, at the time of this recording, it’s about 10:45 at night. The reason this it’s at night is because I just got a “bang” on the door. I was a little afraid to open it because where we are is pretty secluded. There’s not too many people around. I was asked to open the door and when I did, there was a gentleman at the door and he had a nice big flashlight. He wanted to show me the tree that just fell on my car. And I went down there, I looked at the car and I looked at the guy and my Spanish is not too great and his English was not that great. But I smiled at him and said, “it’s ok” because that car is paid for.
I am so happy to not have my health, i’m so happy that I have a nice 2008 Volvo; It’s used. I bought it used but it is paid for. It’s got a couple of scratches on it from the tree falling on it. Who cares! It’s not that big of a deal. And I’m sure this guy really didn’t want to wake me up in the middle of the night to tell that a tree fell on my car. But you know, I appreciate his honesty. I appreciate the fact that this gentleman cared enough and wanted to do a great job and serve others and let me know that hey, when the sun rises in the morning you’re gonna have a nice big tree on your car.
So, anyway, I was able to move my car and get it out from under the tree and I looked at it and a little bit scratch on it. But who cares? In the big scheme of things, I’ve got my health, I’ve got my family, I’ve got my peace and serenity and I’ve got a wonderful business that affords me a great lifestyle.
What I get is time-time with my family, I get time with my friends, I get wonderful time with the people who work with me, too. The therapist who come to the office every day or who go to the homes every day and serve others, we all get to have a really good quality time together. That’s so important and that something I didn’t have while I was working for the “guy” – working for “the man” because, man I don’t know about you guys but it was horrible. I hated going to work. I complained and would just moan and gripe and ugh! Anyway, you know what I’m talking about. So, here we are in San Carlos Mexico, tree just fell on the car. Who cares? Who cares!
I wanted to talk about this episode tonight- is private practice for you? A lot of times people say, “you need to be careful for what you wish for you probably get it”. In my case, I really wanted to start a private practice. If you heard my other episode, you’ll see and hear that I really wanted it. But you’ve got to be cut out for this. It’s really a big deal. Private practice involves referrals, it involves marketing, insurance, billing, payments/collections, scheduling, follow up, customer service, maintenance (if you’ve got a building), paying the rent, making sure you’ve got your professional liability and your general liability insurance. You’ve got all your ducks in a row. You’ve got your phone systems and your computers and your internet going and you’ve got your printers and ink and toner. You’ve heard the other episode-you know what I’m talking about. So, when you start this private practice, you’ve got to make sure that you can stay on top of it, because I’m going to be very honest when I say this: What makes a good private practice is a compassion and effective quality, valuable treatments for your patients and you can’t be flaky; Because when you’re flaky, people don’t wanna come back to you. You’ve got to show up and making sure that your clinic is operating and that your clinic is clean and tidy. So you got to make sure that you can do all these things. So that’s the first step. Is private practice for you and something that you think you’re cut out for? Because if it is, you want to go through the right steps to get your private practice started.
So, what are those 3 steps that you want to complete in order to start your very own speech therapy private practice? Well, number 1: You want to choose a very professional name. You wanna have a name that is easy to pronounce. You want to have a name that will represent you and your business well. You want to have a name that will stand alone in your community. You want to have that name that is incorporated. Now, to get that name incorporated, you want to choose the appropriate legal structure. You can go talk to an attorney and spend a few thousand dollars getting the advice of an attorney. I did that the first time I started my own private practice. The second time, I use the services of the para-legal. The services of the para-legal were only a few hundred dollars compared to a few thousand dollars. So, that’s gonna be up to you. I’m not going tell you what to do. I’m not a lawyer, I’m a good speech pathologist, but I’m not a legal expert. That’s my disclaimer there. But we used the second time, the services of a good para-legal in our town. They were able to incorporate our name and get the articles of incorporation for us. That’s the first step – to choose a name and get the articles of the incorporation. Once you have the articles incorporation, you move to step number two.
Step number two, is you go to the IRS website at the .gov address (I’ll leave these in the comment section at the bottom of this podcast so you can use the information) and you register that business that’s just been incorporated and you will get an EIN number. And that is basically a social security-like number for a business. So, it’s a tax identification number that you file for your business. So that’s the second step.
The third step is you take those two documents (the articles of incorporation and your EIN number) to the bank. and that’s where you can open up your business checking account under your business name. That way, you’re not mixing any personal money with the business. You don’t wanna co-mingle those funds. Again, I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a legal expert. Talk to your accountant, your tax professional or your lawyer or whomever wanna speak to about that. But that’s how I did it. Again, my story is my story. And that’s how I did it.
So that’s what you wanna do to get your business started.
Another thing I wanna add is you don’t want to use your home address at all for mail. Because once you start seeing patients and putting that information out there, you’re gonna get people coming by that address that’s listed on the web and you don’t want people knocking on your door at 2:00 am. It does happen, I promise you. What we do is, we use the services of the UPS store. The UPS Store is the United Partial Service store. They are all over the country. You can simply rent a box with the UPS store and you simply sign a letter of agreement with UPS store and they become your legal agents to collect your mail. Not only will you receive your mail at the UPS Store, they can receive those packages for you legally as well. In our business, we get all of our packages and our mail and insurance payment check mailed to our UPS Store which is a box number. It’s nice to have that buffer between me and the public. I just wanted to throw that out there. You can also use the P.O Box address at the United States Post Office, but again, I’m not sure if they will accept packages for you. I like the personal service we get at the UPS store. I’ve used UPS store for years and I know it sounds like an advertisement, but it’s just a good service.
I hope this is been a good, valuable podcast for you. Is Private practice something that you would consider? Are you cut out for this because in the earlier part of that private practice start up, the owner ends up doing most or all of these things: Referrals, marketing, insurance and billing, all of the scheduling, all the follow up, all the phone calls, all the customer service. Do we treat in the home versus the office? What about professional liability? What about general liability insurance? All those things you’ve got to consider when starting and opening up your own speech therapy private practice. I’m going to leave you again some action steps: I want you to go PrivateSLP.com and I want you to sign up for my email course. It’s a three email series video course that will be delivered to your in box. In each video, we’ll cover these topics, “How to choose that name and getting incorporated?” the second email is going to be “How to obtain that Tax ID number” and the third email is entitled “How to obtain your business checking account”. There’s a “contact me” link there, and you’re more than welcome to ask questions and leave me some feedback. I’ll be more than happy to answer your questions on the podcast. If there’s anything I can do for you, please feel free to reach out to me at PrivateSLP.com. This is Kyle Meades with PrivateSLP.com and thank you for listening.