I've made a lot of progress, I just haven't had a chance to post! First of all, I've signed a lease to rent an office 1 day per week. I like the neighborhood, I like the building, I like the office, and I like my landlords. So I'm pretty happy about that, and it allows me to move forward with other things, like getting business cards printed and publishing my website. More importantly, I have an office, which makes my practice feel much more solid and grounded. Now that I'm paying rent, I'll be more motivated to start getting clients.
My rent is about $25 / week, that is, per Saturday. I think that is pretty reasonable, and it does not feel like a huge financial investment. My first day is this Saturday, and of course I have no patients yet, but I think I'll go there, soak up the atmosphere, and maybe do some writing.
I can't start seeing clients yet because my Associate license is still being processed. That's another bit of progress I've made: I completed the application, settled on a supervisor, and submitted all the paperwork. This included an official MSW transcript; and a certification of my license from New York. It's been about a week, and according to the DOH updates, it is now being processed. Who knows how long that will take, but I'm hoping I have my license number in the next week.
I weighed the risks and benefits of going "live" with my practice, and only scheduling any new clients in two weeks or so, hoping that I'd have my license in time; but I decided that that was too risky - for all I know the application will be delayed and then I'd be in a weird spot. So I'm just getting my website ready so that I can go "live" as soon as I have my license number.
Speaking of websites, I've been designing a simple site using WordPress.com themes. WordPress is a blog site but it is pretty simple, using pages, to tweak the blog so it looks like a website. You can also purchase a URL for your site, which I did a few days ago.
I'm still working on the website text - it is hard to know how much info too much info. I've noticed a trend in private practice sites: Its the scatter-shot method - mention as many specialties as you can, with the aim that something will catch the eye of the viewer. The general consensus I've seen is that it's actually better to focus on a niche. But since I'm starting out new, I haven't really found my niche.
Anyway, I tend towards simple, and I'm somewhat averse to selling myself, but I also want a website that will connect with potential clients, so I'm writing somewhat more than I'm naturally inclined.
In summary, I feel like I've made a lot of progress in February. My original "launch" date was Feb. 1; that didn't happen because I got a job. But I've made a lot of the second half of last month, and I expect that sometime in March I'll launch my website, start dropping business cards around town, and list myself on a few sites. Then we'll see if anyone calls.
Malpractice insurance - can't decide which plan
Business cards - can't decide which design
Phone - do I need a separate phone or phone line?
Client info and disclosure statement - write it
On top of all this, I keep reminding myself that I'm actually going to have to do therapy too. That in itself is pretty intimidating.