To provide high-quality psychological services in an increasingly competitive marketplace, practitioners must learn to apply basic business skills to their professional activities. Resources in this section focus on business strategies that can benefit both your clients and your practice.
General Business Strategy
Have You Charted Your Mission?
Having a mission statement helps you communicate who you are and what professional services you offer, gives you a clear professional identity, assists strategic planning and decision making, keeps staff and partners on the same page and provides a sense of direction.
Putting Business into Practice
The business of practice is growing increasingly complicated. Developing a business mindset can help psychologists thrive in today's marketplace.
Learn to Speak the Language of Business
Most psychologists must deal with business issues such as budgeting, contracts, billing and marketing. Learning the language of business will help you communicate, advance your career, tap into new markets and manage the business aspects of your practice.
Your Business Plan: Steps to Success
A business plan helps you set goals and guides decisions about how to achieve your goals. It can also help you communicate with those who might use your services and get small business loans and new contracts.
Is Your Practice Client-friendly?
Creating a client-friendly practice involves a good office environment, accessibility, sensible scheduling, helpful staff, and privacy and confidentiality.
Using Practice Consultants to Your Best Advantage
Tips on using practice consultants, such as setting clear goals, asking for references, interviewing and making informed decisions.
- Making Business Decisions Following a Disaster
- Demystifying Provider Contracts (PDF, 217KB)
Interpreters for the deaf revisited
APA Practice looks at the issue in light of updated guidance about the Americans with Disabilities Act
Are You Protected? Insuring Your Office Practice
Unexpected and often uncontrollable events have the potential to threaten your practice and your financial future. This article outlines some of the insurance options, including professional liability and other types of coverage, that practitioners should consider.
Renting vs. Buying Office Space: Pros, Cons and Tips
The pros and cons of renting or buying office space, such as flexibility, maintenance, equity and landlords.
Avoiding Administrative Overload: Four Strategies
A guide to when it's advisable to hire administrative help for your practice, when to outsource and when to hire someone part- or full-time.
- Avoiding contractual pitfalls
Strength in Numbers: Advantages of Group Practice
The creation of a group psychology practice can be an effective way to offer an integrated menu of psychological services in a health services marketplace that values "one-stop shopping."
Hiring Administrative Staff: A Basic Overview
How to assess your administrative needs, write a job description, determine pay and benefits, advertise the position and hire staff.
Putting Job Descriptions into Practice
Potential job applicants make decisions about applying for a position based on the job description; therefore, carefully constructing it will help you attract the most qualified people.
Important Issues in Supervision
Learn about the legal, ethical and administrative issues faced when supervising others, such as record keeping, boundaries, informed consent, scheduling and performance evaluations.
Streamlining Your Office Operations
When it comes to office operations, you can achieve more by doing less. By reducing the complexity and number of steps you take to operate your practice, you can get more done in a shorter time and with less effort.
Put It in Writing: Your Office Policies and Procedures
Your practice policies and procedures manual should address organizational mission and structure, administrative procedures, facility management, client record policies, human resource issues and workplace health and safety.
Creating a Professional Will
- Your Professional Will: Why and How to Create (PDF, 387KB)
Sample professional will and additional resources for practitioners
Tools and resources from the APA Practice Organization to help you create a professional will, including a sample professional will, further instructions and considerations in preparing a professional will, and Information for Professional Executor: Files, Passwords and Contacts List.
- Sample Professional Will (PDF, 260KB)
- Further Instructions and Considerations in Preparing a Professional Will
- Information for Professional Executor: Files, Passwords and Contacts List (PDF, 242KB)
- Are You Prepared for the Unexpected?
Strategies for Finding Professional Opportunities
Tips for finding new professional opportunities, such as identifying new employers, networking and posting your CV or resume.
- Networking: Are You Connected?
Making the Best Use of Your CV
Your professional CV provides a summary of your academic and employment history and professional activities and organizes them into a few easy-to-navigate categories.
Things I wish I'd learned in grad school
Learn to hire a good accountant, polish youtr business skills, understand common contract pitfalls, negotiate equipment and determine your own salary.
Employment Options: Practitioners Find Balance, Opportunities in Part-time Jobs
In this article, three practitioners discuss the rewards and challenges of holding one or more part-time positions. The article concludes with tips for handling part-time employment.
- "Spreading out what I do keeps things interesting"
Checklist for Closing Your Practice
The items listed below serve as a basic checklist of actions and considerations you may need to attend to when closing a psychology practice.
Get Ready Now to Sell Your Practice
When psychologists retire, relocate or shift their focus to a new professional activity, few consider selling their practices. The relative rarity of a successful practice sale, coupled with a lack of available resources to guide practitioners through this challenging endeavor, leads most to simply "close up shop." In doing so, they miss valuable opportunities that can provide lasting benefits to their clients, community and the next generation of professional psychologists
10 Tips for Selling Your Practice
Before selling your practice, you should get a professional appraisal, be willing to compromise and know the tax consequences.
Market Trends and Opportunities
APA launches new outcome measurement database
New resource provides free access to a comprehensive, searchable database of measures that psychologists can use to monitor patient progress
- Staying Ahead of the Curve: Four Environmental Trends to Watch
A Framework for Evaluating New Practice Opportunities
In evaluating new opportunities for your practice, consider things like your practice, the environment, the target market and the competition.
- How to expand a psychosocial program
- Serving and protecting
Market Opportunities: Creating Psychologically Healthy Workplaces
APA is actively involved in educating employers and others about creating and maintaining psychologically healthy workplaces.
Teaming up: Pointers on Successful Collaboration with Physicians
Psychologists collaborate with physicians to provide a range of services and to treat patients with a variety of disorders. For example, they help patients make lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation, or manage their medical illness, such as by adhering to a diabetes treatment regimen.
Paid in Full: Tapping into the Self-pay Market
Introducing practice areas that provide opportunities for non-insurance-based services, such as forensics, organizational consulting and life coaching. Also tips on how to find the market and develop your business.
Practitioners Tap into the Self-pay Market
This article profiles three practitioners who have successfully incorporated self-pay services into their practices, leaving managed care and health insurance behind.
Practice Management Tools
Utilize our practice management tools like understanding your target clientele, charting your professional mission, corporate relations, tracking client sources and DSM-IV Codes to ICD-9-CM Codes.
Should you consider doing independent medical examinations for workers' comp?
The American Psychological Association (APA) Practice Directorate has completed a state-by-state review of workers' compensation laws, regulations and related policies concerning psychologists' ability to conduct "independent medical examinations (IMEs)."