If you plan on opening a private practice, you must create a comprehensive business plan that maps your road to success. A solid business plan can make all the difference in whether your mental health private practice succeeds. But what is a business plan, why is it important and how do you create a mental health counseling business plan? Below, we’ll discuss everything you need to know to develop a winning business plan for your counseling private practice.

Mental health counselor with her patient. Mental health counseling business plan concept image.

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a road map for getting your counseling private practice off the ground and helping it grow over a five-year period. Business plans should detail your goals and the strategies for reaching them. For a private practice, these strategies should include marketing to your target audience and building trust in clients or the community.

Why is it Important to Have a Mental Health Counseling Business Plan for Your Practice?

You wouldn’t try to reach a faraway destination you’d never been to before without directions. In the same sense, you shouldn’t try to build a counseling private practice without a detailed business plan. At its core, a business plan answers the most critical questions about your company — the why, what, who and how of how you’ll do business moving forward.

Creating Your Business Plan

Creating your private practice business plan requires research and consideration. While you’re doing market research and business planning, ask yourself these basic but crucial questions:

  • Why are you starting your therapy practice?
  • How will you do business?
  • How will you market your business?
  • What are the business goals of your therapy practice?

Mental health counseling business strategy image concept.

Why Are You Starting Your Therapy Practice?

Answering why you’re starting your private practice can help you develop your mission statement, a brief customer-facing statement about why you’re doing what you do. For example, are you creating your private practice to support a specific group of people? Will you be employing mental health professionals who treat certain things? What do you most want potential clients to know?

Developing a mission statement is a great way to begin your private practice business plan. You can use your forward-facing statement to align all future planning efforts.

How Will You Do Business?

There are many ways to run a counseling private practice. Consider whether you’ll offer telehealth services or require people to attend in-person sessions. Where do you plan on setting up your physical counseling private practice? You should also consider whether you’ll remain in a single location or plan on expanding into other areas.

What types of counseling will you offer? For example, you could provide individual or family counseling. You might focus solely on counseling clients or keep a psychiatric professional on staff to help diagnose and manage more serious mental health issues.

You should also ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will you accept insurance? If yes, what insurance plans do you hope to take?
  • Where is your ideal location?
  • What is your financial plan? In other words, how do you intend to create a reliable cash flow for your business?
  • What is your company vision?
  • What is your growth plan? How and when do you plan to expand your employees, services or locations?
  • What age groups do you plan to serve initially and moving forward? Will you provide child-oriented counseling or focus solely on adults?
  • How will you go about developing a treatment plan for your clients? Will you incorporate a holistic approach, medications or traditional talk therapy? Something else?

How Will You Market Your Business?

A solid mental health marketing plan is crucial to the success of your private practice business. Potential clients won’t even know you exist without a robust, targeted marketing plan. To create a marketing plan, you’ll need to figure out who your audience is, where they are and why they need your small business.

For counseling private practices, your audience is most likely people in your area who need counselors or mental health professionals. Generally, local marketing tactics will work best, but this isn’t always the case. For example, if you decide to offer mental telehealth services, your potential clients could be located anywhere.

Is there a specific age range that will need your services most? What gender identity are most of your potential patients? What’s unique about the therapists you employ?

To answer these questions, you should perform a detailed industry analysis to see what is or isn’t working for businesses like yours. Consider the potential return on investment versus the cost for each marketing method. Local print marketing materials might work well, as can word of mouth. Social media marketing is generally a cost-effective method, as is content marketing (like running a blog on your website), although both take quite a bit of effort.

There’s no single way to market your business, so you should find the way that works best for you. However, using search engine optimization (SEO) alongside other marketing strategies generally works for every business, regardless of industry or sector.

Young female Mental health counselor.

What Are the Business Goals of Your Therapy Practice?

What objectives do you hope to achieve in the first year after opening your doors? How about in the first five years? Having well-defined business goals is crucial because it gives your company something to strive towards and helps measure the success of your practice. Although your initial business plan should focus primarily on the first five years, you may want to briefly mention any long-term goals you hope to achieve.

Lead to Recovery Is Here to Help

If you need help marketing your counseling private practice, Lead to Recovery is here to help. We are the best treatment center marketing agency and we are dedicated in helping you reach your business goals. Contact us today at (855) 876-7238 or fill out our online contact form for a free SEO consultation that can determine how to drive quality traffic to your website quickly.


Reviewed by:

Matthew Travers
Rehab Marketing Expert

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