The Blueprint for a Successful Practice by Gina Spielman is a book for people who have decided to take the plunge and start their own business. Although Spielman is a licensed clinical social worker and writes the book from the perspective of starting a psychotherapy private practice, the book remains applicable to all types of business endeavors. Spielman presents the reader with a “just do it” approach handbook for starting their own practice.
Throughout the book, Spielman discusses topics such as marketing, time vs. cost comparisons, attracting your ideal clients and keeping them coming back. The purpose of her book is to provide a readable, concise guidebook to starting your own private practice. Spielman succeeds in this goal. She creates a book that is free of complicated philosophy and instead provides solutions that are accessible to everyone, business degree or not.
Spielman spends a large portion of the book discussing marketing strategies. I found this part of the book extremely helpful and important as it provides the reader with a place to start. Starting a business is an extremely monumental task and yet, Spielman manages to teach you how to set the foundation for your business in a way that does not seem scary or impossible.
Spielman includes several techniques that I would have never thought of on my own and I feel that this will be the case for many others who read her book. While Spielman always presents the information in a non-threatening, simplistic way, she still manages to bring new, exciting techniques to the playing field. She discusses everything from creating your marketing materials to choosing a business name to deciding which Internet listings you want to put yourself on. Her marketing strategies are extremely thorough and helpful to the person who may be just starting out.
Spielman then goes on to discuss what to do after you have your marketing strategies in place and begin to reap the benefits of doing so. She attends to every detail of the first communication with a potential client, including letting them know they are calling the right place, emphasizing your uniqueness within the field, bringing diversity to your approach, returning phone calls and emails promptly and how to bill efficiently. Next, Spielman addresses the scenario of spending too much time for not enough money. She includes a detailed list of tips on “how to save money and increase your bottom line at the same time.” Additionally, Spielman includes a section on how to deal with clients and non-payment.
In the last half of the book, Spielman discusses the ins and outs of attracting your ideal clientele. She takes the reader through the processing of ascertaining who their “ideal” client is and then closes by briefly discussing different types of clients: clients covered by insurance, self-pay clients, and more. Spielman then includes a chapter on how to keep these clients coming back. This chapter is extremely helpful and Spielman’s tips are, once again, new and exciting, yet presented in a manageable and accessible way.
Overall, my review of this book is highly positive and I greatly recommend this book to anyone who is thinking of potentially going into clinical private practice, or starting their own business. Spielman emphasizes that a business degree is not necessarily needed in order to have a successful practice. Her tips help the reader feel educated and aware of what steps they will need to take in order to begin their own journey of starting a private practice.
The Blueprint for a Successful Practice
By Gina Spielman, LCSW
CreateSpace: November 28, 2009
Paperback, 196 pages