Once you’ve set up your Private Practice business the next thing to consider is the systems set up.
Below I will take you through the Private Practice systems I believe you need to set up. These are the systems that make your practice work from an administration point of view. With this private practice set up you will be able to run your practice with confidence.
Once you have your domain the next thing to choose is where to host your email. The two main systems are Google (Gmail) or Microsoft (Outlook).
Both are relatively the same price:
Google Workspace Business Starter – £4.14 per month (as of April 2021)
Microsoft 365 Business Basic – £4.95 per month (as of April 2021)
You can check out the features of both above.
My personal recommendation is Google/Gmail as when you are working with other online apps Google syncs with them a lot easier and I just feel it is an easier system to work with. I also love the features of Google Workspace for Private Practice. You can read more about these HERE.
Once you have chosen your email provider you will have access to an online calendar within the package you have chosen and it would be wise to utilise this.
With Google you can sync with Google Meets or Zoom for quicker and easier notifications to your clients. With outlook you can sync with Teams or Zoom.
If you were to use an online booking tool like Calendly, Acuity, WriteUpp or Power Diary you will also sync this with your calendar. Some only sync with Gmail so be aware of this.
However you choose to work in Private Practice; face to face, online or a mixture of the two. I would recommend you use an e-signature platform to send your contracts/agreements and other forms to your clients. It is much more secure to capture the data this way. You have a record of the client receiving, opening, and completing it. You will both get emailed a copy of the final document.
There are plenty of e-signature platforms on the market but for Private Practice I recommend Signable. They have a pay as you go option but it has all the features of the more expensive systems like unlimited templates, multiuser, personalised email messages and reminder features.
Online Video Conferencing
Nowadays it is really important to have an online video conferencing platform for you to conduct your sessions. You may not want this be your primary source of work but it is good to have the option for clients. It can also open you up to a wider field of clients if you have an online option.
This can be determined by your email provider (Google Meets or Microsoft Teams) or you can use another provider. Zoom is a well tried and tested system nowadays and free to use if you are only doing 1 on 1 work. The key is to reduce the administration as much as possible by utilising your calendar functions or syncing with an online booking system which we will talk about next.
Online Booking System
You may think that when you start in Private Practice an online system won’t be required but it is never too early to get your processes and procedures in order. There will be a cost involved in the majority of systems but it can reduce your admin time considerably each month.
Online bookings systems come in all shapes and sizes but the one I whole heartedly recommend for Private Practice is Power Diary. Power Diary handles the appointment booking, client files, session notes, contacts, email communication, reminders, invoicing and lots more. You can read more about this system HERE.
It definitely isn’t a one size fits all though and you can compare the features of the main systems below:
There are many options of how to invoice or take payments and I have a free download in which I talk in depth about each option you have available.
In short, you can:
- Manually Invoice – using a word or excel template sending these weekly or monthly
- Set up invoices using an online payment system like PayPal or Stripe
- Use a card reader like SumUp
- Use a virtual card terminal like SquareUp
- Utilise an Electronic Health Record (EHR) / Online Booking System
I would suggest you think about what will be easy for you to set up and compete but also what will be easy for your client to do as this is important for you getting paid on time. Whatever you decide physically sending an invoice of some sort is always what I recommend. This will substantially increase your likelihood of being paid on time. It also helps with your cash flow, accounting and offering a professional service.
When you work in Private Practice you will be self-employed so you will need to keep business account records. Check out my blog all about Bookkeeping in Private Practice for more details.
There are various ways you can complete these.
- Excel Spreadsheet
- Your Banking App (if using Starling)
- Accounting Software (like Xero or Quikbooks)
- An Accountant
When you start out an excel spreadsheet will do you just fine. You just need to understand what is an allowable business expense. You can find out all about this via the HMRC website. If you are still unsure, get some impartial financial advice.
These systems are the lifeblood of your Private Practice. They are how you run your business on a day-to-day basis. We can help you with your Private Practice systems set up. We offer a range of services to help get you set up and ready to confidently work with clients. Check out how we can help you in Private Practice or book a free discovery call.