I am pleased to offer this article written by my colleague, Karin Mizgala.
I know that most of you didn’t start your practice for the money. And if you’re like most busy health practitioners and counselors it’s hard to find time to breathe let alone to plan, especially when it comes to the money side of your practice. However, even if you don’t feel comfortable in the world of profits and losses, debts, taxes, budgets and retirement, learning how to take control of your money and having a financial plan in place will make you more successful. Here are some of the key benefits of having a financial plan for your practice:
1. It will Help You Realize Your Goals
Your financial plan is your opportunity to be totally clear and honest about what you really want. When you write down your goals you are far more likely to achieve those targets. Your financial plan will also help you set priorities and to commit to measurable milestones in your life and in your practice.
You will know exactly where you are going and how you are going to get there. I always remind people that a good financial plan is not only a means to achieve their financial and professional goals. It i also a means of realizing their spiritual aspirations too. Your financial plan starts with a vision of possibilities where you set your intentions for your private practice. What follows from there is a systematic, step-by-step, process for fulfilling your life’s purpose — and the financial objectives that will help you get there.
2) You Can Make More Conscious Decisions & Better Choices
How much money did you really make last year? No, seriously. Do you really know? The scary truth is most practitioners don’t. Most of us don’t have a handle on our expenses either, and many are in debt or behind in their taxes. Having a financial plan allows you to make conscious decisions based on realities. Where are you now – and where do you want to go? Only when you have a handle on these two things can you make informed choices and good decisions. Only then can you be truly successful.
3) You Will Be Less Stressed
Having a counseling or holistic private practice demands a lot of juggling. The greatest pressure often comes from the financial side of our lives. Student or business loans, overdue taxes, past due receivables, or simply a bookkeeping mess, can take a lot of joy and satisfaction from our careers. A simple, easy-to-use financial plan will give you a system to follow that will help you feel more organized and in control of your money so you can focus your attentions on what you love – working with clients.
4) You can Focus Your Energy and Make more Money
A little strategic planning will allow you to focus your energies better. Where do you want to spend your time? And where do you actually need to spend more time – or less time? There are many activities vying for your attention. Your financial plan gives you the practical information you need to direct your energy, time and attention — and your financial resources. For example, it contains invaluable information you need to make realistic and effective pricing and marketing decisions.
5) You Will Be a Better Role Model for Your Clients
If you’re like a lot of therapists and healing professionals you might feel guilty about wanting – or needing — to make more money from your Practice. Money is an issue that many of your clients might be struggling with as well. By becoming more comfortable and on top of your own finances, you can serve as a more effective role model, a trusted resource and source of inspiration to your clients. This will put you in a better place for encouraging them to get a better handle on their finances as well.
6) You Will Feel More Empowered, Better Organized and More in Control – of Your Life — and your Private Practice
One of the great feelings of satisfaction that comes from taking charge of your finances is regaining control of your life and your practice. With your financial plan in place, you will feel more organized and more empowered than ever before. You are likely already doing great work in your private practice and you deserve to make a good living and to not struggle financially. Your new financial plan will allow you to live the life you want.