Folks seem to really vary on their comfort levels with this, and that is totally fine. It is important to spend in a way that is in-line with your personal and family spending values. while keeping in mind there is some inevitability that as things get started we might be in “the red,” at least for a little while. Below are some key areas where spending can be really really helpful in getting your practice off on the right foot! We are keeping the list streamlined to the things to spend money on right away- as you begin to grow, we will continue to plant seeds about how to spend to support that trajectory!
Money Organization: it's weird, but spending some money on money organization is actually really important!
- Quickbooks (this will just help in organizing spending throughout the year) you can also use a free service like “Mint” but perhaps the freebie is more temporary
- An Accountant (taking the time to learn to get organized with an accountant can be super helpful in reminding you that you are building a BUSINESS!)
- Consider a book-keeper or finding an accountant that lets you use their book-keeper: this person will enter in your invoicing, do your reconciliations, and keep things neat and tidy.
- Website -- your domain name and a hosting company. Companies like Weebly (which we use), Wix, and Squarespace are one stop shops where you can buy the domain name (aka the site name), and host your site (aka they keep the files on their servers).
- Business Cards
- Brochures or something similar
- Swag (e.g. pens with your name and logo)
- Psychology Today
- Classifieds in newsletters (great for advertising groups and workshops)
- Local magazines and mailers (e.g. neighborhood magazines)
- Google ads (hire someone to set this up, otherwise you won't get the most bang for your buck)
- SEO management (paying someone to get your website to show up on the first or second page of searches)
- Meet and Greets (paying for lunches and coffees out meeting new people)
- HIPAA Training... Katie Malinski is the Austin Goddess of HIPAA.
- Paperwork - "The Paper Office" is a great book that includes sample paperwork.
- Electronic Health Records (EHR)... Simple Practice, Therapy Notes, Practice Fusion…there are so many AND most of these programs offer a free month to test out what you like and don’t like! These range in price from $0-$60 (ish) per month but they really keep you organized! Of course, you can always just keep them on your iPad and back up to a HIPAA compliant cloud... or pen and paper... but EHR has lots of perks! Check out Rob's reviews here.
- Phone service/Fax/Email service (phone service is perhaps the more debatable in terms of spending, and an email service can be purchased together with your domain name (website). These will add a touch of professionalism that an @gmail.com or google voice doesn’t offer. Consider investing in a HIPAA compliant mailsystem like Hushmail or a secure fax line like Sfax. (Note: You can buy Google's Business level for HIPAA compliant file storage and internal email, but this email will not be secure once it leaves your domain name/servers.)
We will keep building on this “what to spend on theme!” It is hard to navigate this stuff without a road map, remember we chat about this stuff at Launch Wellness all the time