Six Steps for Starting and Maintaining a Successful Online SLP Practice:
- Establish a Smart, Careful Financial Plan: For many aspiring TeleSLPs, this means maintaining outside employment while working and developing telepractice part-time. For others, such as LightHouse-Therapy , finding funding and jumping in full-time with staff may work best. This decision deserves some thought, of course, revolving around your particular life situation. Consider which corporate structure works best for your financial start-up and growth. Be prepared to be patient yet stay focused and determined, even tenacious. RESOURCES: www.telepacticecommunity.com, your accountant and lawyer.
- Create a Cost-Effective Web presence: Have an effective, affordable technological online solution. Create the right website for your enterprise considering issues such as SEO; CRM; MHR; SSL; ease of use; calls to action and more. Get help in planning as well as ease of updating and enhancing the site. Researching and identifying the video platform that most precisely provides solutions and tools for your particular needs, budget and service type(s) will save $$$ and time; it is critical. RESOURCES: www.telepracticecommunity.com coaching; comparative video platforms; 5 Ways to build .
- Build Marketing and Promotion into All That You Do: First, identify your audience, your niche; that can be a guide to where to promote at first. Be smart with your Dollars, Pesos and Euros, which means think social media first – Facebook; Instagram; Google; YELP. Consider both regional and national prospects for markets. Begin to build your newsletter/blog email list now! Remember that your best customer is your last customer for reviews, success stories, and word-of-mouth referrals. RESOURCES: TelePracticeCommunity ; FB Telepractice for SLPs ; The Independent Clinician.
- Get Top-Notch, Affordable Training on Providing Telepractice Services: Key learning targets include: a. hands-on competency in using the platform; b. comparison of various platforms; c. knowledge of professional and legal issues as they relate directly to your endeavor; d. finding, creating, using and storing treatment and assessment materials; e. identification of optimal, ongoing resources for your practice (financial; peer support; technology; marketing, etc.). Key issues are the cost of the course (tuition, travel, time off work); content focus; hand-on practice; video platform comparisons; and ongoing support. RESOURCES: www.telepracticecommunity.com ; Waldo Hospital; ASHA Portal ; national & state SLP conventions; SLP.com .
- Decide What Type of Services You Will Offer: Your service provision will probably spring from what you are most comfortable with- your niche. Telepractice offers unique prospects for personal clinical growth and collaboration. Gone is the temptation to circle the wagons geographically. Be prepared to collaborate with or partner up with others such as www.aphasiatoolbox.com for adult services. RESOURCES: www.telepracticecommunity.com ; ATA .
- Be the Best Therapist and Entrepreneur You Can Be: Gaining competency and confidence in telepractice itself should not be difficult if you exploit the resources noted above. What counts most is that you provide quality, effective services that clients and customers appreciate. Recognize that no one resource has all of your answers. Continue to grow as a clinician and hire staff who share your dedication to excellence. Telepractice is all about change so stay on top of changes in technology, services and reimbursement. RESOURCES: www.telepracticecommunity.com ; ASHA SIG 18 .