Missing Piece Blog

Thinking About Opening Your Own ABA Therapy Business?

Colored Play Doh in a row

Have you or someone you know been considering what it might look like to start an ABA business practice? The work of an ABA therapist can be extremely rewarding. However, there are a handful of areas that, if not planned properly, can lead to issues quickly arising along the journey.

Learn how to avoid the common pitfalls associated with starting an ABA therapy business.

Five pitfalls to avoid

Here are five common setbacks that new ABA business owners may experience and how you can avoid them to promote the sustainable growth of your business.

1. Not doing your homework on the front end

Before you start working on your ABA therapy business plan, it’s important that you do your homework, seek industry guidance, and cover all the necessary bases on the front end. Implementing ABA business best practices from the very beginning can increase your chances of success and sustainability. This initial effort will reduce the need for rework and backtracking later on.

2. Under-estimating associated cost

Many business owners underestimate the importance of establishing a realistic budget before launching their ABA practice. Estimating costs and creating a financial plan of action is an essential component in the business strategy for any company. Be sure to consider expenses like the acquisition of necessary technology, taxation, regular maintenance and operational costs, as well as various employee-related expenses.

3. Over-estimating revenue and cash flow

Business owners must fully understand the terms of their contracts, fee schedules, and revenue potential while realizing that payments are not guaranteed. Not having proper billing structures set in place can significantly delay cash flow – this can be crushing to a small business. Accurately estimating costs and planning for cash flow delays is critical to preventing operational halts. Underscoring the importance of thorough preparation is the fact that, without it, owners may need to forgo their personal salary for prolonged periods,   

4. Over-estimating your business skills

ABA business owners often enter the field driven by their clinical passion and love for their work. While this enthusiasm is crucial for pursuing their dreams and establishing a new business, it can inadvertently overshadow the need for a solid grasp of essential business operations. For a business to thrive, the owner must have a broad understanding of various business domains, including accounting, marketing, human resources, and strategic planning.

Since many ABA business owners come from predominantly clinical backgrounds, it may be beneficial to collaborate with individuals with expertise in relevant business areas, such as accountants, lawyers, and ABA billing groups, along with continuing education professionals, peer groups, and various associations.

Alternatively, owners can consider enhancing their business skills through further education before investing substantially in any new business ventures.

5. Unrealistic growth rate expectations

The phrase “If you build it, they will come” is not the strategy you want to rely on to grow your business sustainably. Many providers believe that word of mouth will be enough to generate new patients and close contracts. However, a successful, growth-oriented strategy will include a well-rounded marketing and business development strategy incorporating grassroots marketing, online/social media campaigns, and customer (patient) relationship management systems. Slow, steady, and sustainable is what will win the race. 

Missing Piece, your ABA business partner

The above points are definitely not intended to scare you or deter you from pursuing your own ABA practice. Instead, they aim to expose some often-overlooked pitfalls so that when you begin planning how to start your own ABA company, you can build a successful practice from the very start.Missing Piece provides the highest quality ABA billing services, making us the ideal partners in your new business venture. We take care of a large variety of billing-related operations so you can focus on providing the highest quality care to your clients and their families. Contact us to discuss how we can assist.