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The Practice of Therapy Podcast ( helps therapists, counselors, and other mental health clinicians start, build and grow in their private practices.  Whether you are just starting into private practice or have been in it a while, The Practice of Therapy Podcast will give you information to help you grow and succeed!

Sep 27, 2021

Today we talk about preparing for emergencies in private practice. As a solo practitioner, certain things need to be in place before you have an emergency on your hands. If you haven't started preparing yet, then it's not too late! Gabe Nelson joins the show to explain exactly what you need to do to be ready for the worst possible scenarios. Tune in as we chat about saving for emergency funds, getting the right insurance, and ensuring you are protected as a business owner.

Meet Gabe Nelson

With almost three decades in the financial services industry and more than a decade as an independent small business owner, Gabe Nelson already had an established thriving practice and solid reputation in his industry when he recognized an interesting trend among some of his favorite clients.

More and more, he found himself working with self-employed professionals and solo-entrepreneurs. And as a business owner himself, he was fired up about helping them navigate the unique challenges they were facing – because he was just like them.

He understood that independent professionals have specific needs. Most financial advisors don’t know exactly what it takes to transition from employee to independent contractor status or establish long-term financial security without relying on a regular paycheck.

He also knew that with more of the workforce becoming self-employed every day, more people could benefit from working with an advisor who knows how to plan for the whole financial picture, including legal, estate, financial, retirement, life, disability, and more — with an entrepreneurial spirit.

So he took his passion for providing a personal touch with hands-on problem-solving and solution-oriented comprehensive planning and decided to focus on serving solo entrepreneurs.

Preparing For The Worst Possible Event

We're talking about preparing for emergencies or preparing for the worst thing that could possibly happen. It would help if you protect yourself from a crisis as a practicing therapist. This preparation should come in handy whether you're running a solo practice or a group practice. There are certain things that you need to start thinking about and putting into place.

For instance, make sure you have money set aside in case something happens. If something does happen to your practice, and you're not able to keep working or seeing your clients, then what is your plan? The pandemic was a great test run for a lot of people. The beautiful thing about therapy is that you can still see clients virtually and do a lot of your practice through telemedicine.

Start Saving For Your Emergency Fund Today

If you haven't yet, then it's time to set aside a certain amount of money in your practice. It would help if you considered how much money you are willing to save. It can be anywhere from three months to six months or even twelve months. Gabe recommends that solo private practice owners reserve twelve months of their income for emergency use. As a solo practitioner, that business checkbook is kind of like your personal checkbook. Many people think that if their business is doing well, they are going to be okay on the personal side. However, that is not always the case.

Do You Have The Proper Insurance?

The next step is to start making sure that you've got some adequate insurance in place to protect you from those types of things that could happen. No one ever likes to talk about insurance. I mean, no one's talking about life insurance, and they don't want to talk about disability insurance. These are all things that you need to start thinking about when you are an adult businessperson and running a practice. Make sure that you've got an adequate amount of life insurance in place. Gabe is a huge fan of just Straight Term Life Insurance; keep it simple, get as much coverage as you can, and for the lowest cost.

Who Will Take Over Your Business?

If something does happen to you, what is going to happen to your business? Do you have another set therapist or a firm that is set and ready to buy your practice from you? That way, you can realize all of those years of hard work you put together to benefit your family? Over the last ten years, the investment advisory world has gotten big into that because they realize the trust and relationships we build with our clients. That's a piece of protection that most solopreneurs don't think about.

Find Protection As A Business Owner

Lastly, it would help if you had some business owner protection. What if there is a fire at your workplace? What if there is a flood in your home? Do you have some of those protections in place that would at least give you some replacement of income? It would help if you had some insurance protections that would replace your computer or your software. Business owner's insurance is a policy that combines both property and liability coverage into one package. Don't forget to consider other types of insurance like life insurance and disability insurance.

Being transparent… Some of the resources below use affiliate links which simply means we receive a commission if you purchase using the links, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for using the links!

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Meet Gordon Brewer, MEd, LMFT

Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast & Blog. He is also President and Founder of Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC. He is a therapist, consultant, business mentor, trainer, and writer. PLEASE Subscribe to The Practice of Therapy Podcast wherever you listen to it. Follow us on Twitter @therapistlearn, and Pinterest, “Like” us on Facebook.