Here are Five Pitfalls to Avoid
Have you or someone you know been considering what it might look like to start your own ABA Therapy Practice? The work of an ABA therapist is extremely rewarding on so many levels; however, there are a handful of areas that if not planned properly can lead to issues quickly arising along the journey. Take a look at five common pitfalls associated with starting an ABA therapy practice, so that you can successfully avoid these setbacks.
- Not Doing Your Homework on the Front End
Before you start working towards your own ABA therapy practice, it’s important that you do your homework, seek industry guidance, and cover all the necessary bases on the front end; this initial effort will reduce the need for rework and backtracking later on. Connecting with accountants, lawyers, and ABA billing groups, along with continuing education professionals, peer groups, and various associations can be a great way to gain clinical expertise and expand your business insights. Increasing your chances for success and sustainability starts from the very beginning.
- Under–Estimating Costs Associated
It’s not uncommon for business owners to under-estimate, and sometimes even fail to establish, a feasible budget before working to get their business off the ground. Estimating costs and creating a financial plan of action is an essential piece in the business strategy for any company. Be sure to consider expenses that can tend to be overlooked such as purchasing necessary technology, taxes, overall business maintenance and upkeep, and different types of employee-related costs.
- Over-Estimating Revenue and Cash Flow
It is important for business owners to not only fully understand the terms of their contracts, fee schedules and revenue potential, but also to realize that payments are not guaranteed. Without proper billing structures set into place, cash flow may be significantly delayed which can be crushing to a small business. Properly estimating costs, and planning for cash flow delays, is critical to avoiding a complete shutdown of operations. It is also good to keep in mind that owners may go an extended period of time without taking a salary, thus making preparation an even more significant factor.
- Over–Estimating the Business Skills You Bring to the Table
Most ABA business owners are in this field because they are a clinician with a love for what they do. This passion that drives clinicians to follow their dreams and open a new business can sometimes blind considerations for the necessary logistical business operations. Possessing a general understanding of lots of different business areas and skills such as accounting, marketing, HR, business strategy, and so forth, is significant as a business owner. Someone with a primarily clinical background may want to consider partnering with business experts, or even furthering their own education in business before investing significantly in a new venture.
- Over–Estimating Growth Rate
The phrase “If you build it, they will come” is not quite the strategy you want to fully rely on when it comes to growing your business in a sustainable manner. It is not uncommon for providers to believe that word of mouth will be enough to generate new patients and close contracts. A successful growth minded business strategy will include a well-rounded marketing and business development strategy that incorporates grass roots marketing, online/social media campaigns, and customer (patient) relationship management systems. Slow, steady, and sustainable is what will win the race.
These five points in no way are meant to scare or prevent you from pursuing your own ABA Therapy practice; rather, these are to make you aware of different business aspects to be considering as you begin.
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