Is It Time for a Consultant? Business owners are usually multi-taskers and do-it-yourselfers. But sometimes an outside consultant can help you boost your private practice. In Private Practice
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In Private Practice  |   June 01, 2017
Is It Time for a Consultant?
Author Notes
  • Natasha Carby-Joseph, MA, CCC-SLP, is the owner and lead clinician of Therapy Essentials, Inc., a provider of speech-language services in Central Florida. She is also a consultant with The Therapists’ Corner, a private consulting firm for prospective and current private-practice owners. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Group 17, Global Issues in Communication Sciences and Related Disorders. natasha@tetherapy.com
    Natasha Carby-Joseph, MA, CCC-SLP, is the owner and lead clinician of Therapy Essentials, Inc., a provider of speech-language services in Central Florida. She is also a consultant with The Therapists’ Corner, a private consulting firm for prospective and current private-practice owners. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Group 17, Global Issues in Communication Sciences and Related Disorders. natasha@tetherapy.com×
Article Information
Practice Management / Professional Issues & Training / In Private Practice
In Private Practice   |   June 01, 2017
Is It Time for a Consultant?
The ASHA Leader, June 2017, Vol. 22, 42-43. doi:10.1044/leader.IPP.22062017.42
The ASHA Leader, June 2017, Vol. 22, 42-43. doi:10.1044/leader.IPP.22062017.42
Small-business owners have many talents. They are innovators—the dreamers and the doers among us. Regardless of all that passion and those wonderful ideas, not all will succeed.
“Success” is a funny thing, and there is no one way to achieve it. Various formulas can help, but there is no standard recipe. You might have the greatest idea ever—but without the skills to plan, execute and organize a business, success can be elusive.
A consultant or business coach can partner with you if you’re faltering, helping you build a thriving practice through assistance with many specific tasks—here are eight of the most critical.

A consultant helps you to leverage your natural talents and delegate tasks that are more challenging—resulting in increased productivity.

1. Identify strengths and weaknesses
A private practice owner wears many hats. You learned the skills for some of those hats in school. You also have areas of strength and weakness. A consultant helps you to leverage your natural talents and delegate tasks that are more challenging—resulting in increased productivity.
2. Set goals
The direction of your practice lies in your goal-setting. Without clear and concise goals, your practice is like a ship without a sail. This includes long- and short-term goals as well as professional and personal goals. Many coaches provide their clients with homework. This homework allows for the conversion of goals into actionable next steps.

Weeding out the OK ideas from the great ones allows you to focus on tasks that will grow your business.

3. Focus and prioritize
In the midst of running your practice, it may be challenging to find time to focus. But determining where and when to direct your time and efforts can make a world of difference. You may think all your projects are equally brilliant and important—but they likely aren’t. Weeding out the OK ideas from the great ones allows you to focus on tasks that will grow your business.
4. Provide accountability
Identifying strengths and setting goals is a waste of time without follow-through. A consultant makes sure you effectively execute your plans, holding you accountable for carrying out tasks that achieve your goals.
5. Offer knowledge and perspective
Small-business owners don’t have a board of directors helping to make decisions, but a consultant can play that role. An outside view of your business can help you address issues—such as upcoming changes in insurance companies’ payment structures, inefficient office practices, and identifying underperforming employees—before they negatively affect your bottom line. A consultant can also help you look at the big picture—for example, how your business can and should adapt to changes and trends in the health care and education worlds.
6. Support and motivate
Motivation can be hard to come by when you are caught up in the mechanics of your practice. It’s common to get stuck in a rut or feel bored, discouraged or even overwhelmed in your business. A consultant can help you remain inspired, avoid mediocrity, and maintain continued growth. (See “Strong Callings” for more about staying motivated and avoiding burnout.)
7. Expand your network
Private practice owners may view others who provide similar services strictly as competitors. A good consultant can introduce you to other professionals in your field or related fields who can help you to move your practice to the next level. Your private practice colleagues may became your best referral sources and even provide you with other business opportunities.
8. Help you become a better business owner
When a consultant helps organize the back end of a business—billing, contracts and paperwork, for example—it frees up your creativity and progress. You can commit to long-term plans, adopt habits you can continue throughout your career, and focus on expanding your client base and revenue streams. And isn’t that why you chose to start a private practice in the first place?
Connect Session Helps You Avoid Private Practice Pitfalls

Natasha Carby-Joseph, co-author of “Putting Your Dreams To Work—Keys to Setting Up Your Private Practice,” will present on pitfalls to avoid at ASHA’s Private Practice Connect, to be held July 7–9 in New Orleans.

In “Do You Have the Private Practice You Want? Ten Pitfalls to Avoid,” Carby-Joseph will offer guidance for private practice owners who have built their businesses by modeling what others have done, but are not satisfied with the results. She will help participants take an honest look at their practice and make a plan to get where they want to be.

Private Practice Connect, co-located with Schools Connect and Health Care Connect, is designed specifically for private practice owners. Attendees may attend sessions at any of the three conferences.

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FROM THIS ISSUE
June 2017
Volume 22, Issue 6