How to Choose a Business Model

How to Choose a Business Model For Your Group Therapy Practice

How to Choose a Business Model

Video: How to Choose a Business Model For Your Group Therapy Practice

You may have heard the quote attributed to Walt Disney, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” That is only partially true. As a healthcare professional in private practice, you are a business owner. Achieving your dreams requires the right business model.

 A vital aspect of your business plan template is evaluating which business model is right for your private practice. Owning your own business is not framed as a generic business entity. You need to know yourself and choose the business model that suits your abilities and ambitions as well as your customer’s needs.

You may have the ability, insight, inspiration, and ambition to impact thousands, even millions of people. There may be scores of people who want and even need what you can provide. However, if your day-to-day activities consist of meeting one-on-one with clients in an office, your impact is going to be limited. You are thinking big but working small.

Not only are your potential clients and customers being denied what you could provide, but you are denying yourself the satisfaction, fulfillment, and financial rewards of helping so many people. It’s not enough to have talent, insight, and ambition. You must have the right business model to carry your dreams into reality. So, in this blog, we will explore the following:

  • The three business models
  • How to choose the right model based on a SWOT analysis
  • The importance of flexibility
  • The primary thing hindering your practice management
  • Helpful tools to assist you in your entrepreneurial journey

The Three Types Of Business Models for Mental Health Private Practice

The 3 Types of Business Models

Your business model is a part of your private practice business plan that represents the services or products you want to offer the community you serve. There are three basic models, business-to-customer, business-to-business, and membership model. We will discuss all three separately, but you will see similarities and crossover points. Your mission statement and vision for your business will dictate how you function within these models. Many businesses are a combination of more than one model.

  • A Business-to-Customer Model: When someone begins the process of opening their own private practice, it’s likely a business-to-customer model is the first thought. In this business model, medical and mental health professionals sell products and services directly to customers. The advantage of the business-to-customer model is that it allows businesses to develop direct relationships with customers, which can lead to increased loyalty, repeat purchases, and referrals.

A business-to-customer model can encompass many healthcare providers, from small businesses to large corporations. Healthcare providers may think in terms of seeing patients and clients in one-on-one sessions, whether in person or through telehealth, writing treatment plans, and all the traditional methods of serving customers.

This description is accurate for a business-to-customer model but also involves group sessions, selling self-help services and books, in-person educational courses, online courses, and coaching services.

  • A Business-to-Business Model: A business-to-business model is a practice of selling products and services to businesses. This is a different demographic as you seek potential clients. You are looking for opportunities to sell products and services to other private practitioners, clinicians, and healthcare providers. In this model, you are in the business of improving the lives and businesses of other business people. As a result, your reach expands to impact all of their clients and customers.

The advantage of the business-to-business model is that it allows businesses to generate higher revenue by selling on a larger scale to other businesses. It may involve corporate consulting, business coaching services (both one-on-one and group coaching), mentoring, writing books about areas of business, and retreat leadership.

  • A Membership Model: The membership model is when customers pay a recurring fee or subscription in order to benefit from your products and services. The advantage of the membership model is that it creates predictable revenue streams and creates customer loyalty.

One of the critical factors that has contributed to the success of the membership model is the rise of digital technology. The internet has made it possible for your business to offer subscription-based services on a global scale, reaching a massive audience without the need for physical office space. This model involves licensed products and services such as course curriculum, digital course platforms, and subscription podcasts.

Choose the Right Model for Your Group Therapy Practice With a SGOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis

A great tool to help you see what model best fits your business needs is SWOT Analysis. SWOT is strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is designed to develop a full awareness of all the factors involved in making a business decision. Here are some things to remember when performing your SWOT analysis

  • Do a full analysis: You will want to look at your increasing abilities, new opportunities, and ideas that fit into your mission and vision. Yet, you also need to look at everything from day-to-day office tasks, marketing strategies, bookkeeping and cash flow, to how much office space you have available. All these factors and more go into making business decisions.
  • Follow SWOT in order: The order is important because working from a strength-based approach helps you understand all the great things you have going and are working for you and your clients. When we focus on strengths, it allows us to see ourselves from a place of empowerment. 
  • Perform a SWOT analysis regularly: SWOT is not just for startups. It is an important practice before any company action, whether you are exploring new initiatives, revamping internal policies, considering opportunities to pivot, or altering a plan midway through its execution.

The Importance of Flexibility for Your Group Therapy Practice

Your business model is not a fixed concept. As your business changes, the business model you started with may require additions or alterations. It is common to start a business with a business-to-customer model in a solo practice and eventually move to a group practice and then to a business-to-business model as things such as coaching or mentoring opportunities develop.

As you perform your regular SWOT analysis, you will see your strengths developing and find ways of improving weaknesses. This will create new opportunities and also create the need to face new threats. Staying flexible and seeking improvement may lead to a variety of ventures, such as:

The possibilities are endless. The parameters are set by your SWOT analysis. When your abilities and ambitions begin to outgrow your current business model, it is time to adapt.

The Primary Thing that Holds Your Group Mental Health Practice Back

By understanding what business model is right for you at each stage of your business evolution, you have the potential to develop your practice in any way you desire. However, there is one primary thing that holds you back – your comfort zone.

Thinking bigger, doing something new, or changing your business’s operations is scary because your brain is wired to keep the status quo. Your brain will tell you you are doing too much and dreaming too big. You’ll think that staying small is the right decision and that you don’t need to expand. Your brain is comfortable doing this thing you’re good at right now. This current thing has no knowledge gaps. You’ve done the learning, and now your brain wants to settle in for twenty years of sameness. Some may argue there is nothing wrong with that. What’s wrong with staying put and being comfortable? What’s wrong with being happy where I am? Well, if your purpose is to impact the world and connect people with your products or services because your abilities make a difference, then this question isn’t about you and your comfort level. It’s about helping more people. Getting out of your comfort zone is required if you want to increase your reach.


Soribel Martinez

Soribel Martinez is a Licensed Clinical Psychotherapist with dual graduate school diplomas, an MBA and MSW, with over 25 years of experience. She is the owner of SMPsychotherapy and Counseling Services, which has given her the hands-on business experience and know-how to help you reach your greatest potential.


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Helpful Next Steps

Now that you are ready to develop the right business models for your private practice, I want to help guide your process. Order your Private Practice Business Assessment to start setting yourself up for success. Click here to apply!

For more on developing your life and business to live the life of your dreams, check out the new book, Unbreakable by Soribel Martinez, LCSW, CEO of SMPsychotherapy and Counseling Services. It’s a story of one woman’s journey through adversity and how you can use her principles to build your successful life. Get your copy here..

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Every private practice owner’s guide to Bookkeeping, Money Management, and Investing so your private practice works for you.

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