Simple: you find a profitable niche that you're excited, passionate and knowledgeable about.
What is a niche (and why you absolutely need to have one)
Let's take a step back: what is a niche exactly?
A niche is defined as:
a job or position that is very suitable for someone, especially one that they like
A niche private practice serves the unique needs of a well-defined (and usually smaller) client population (ex. teens with autism, musicians with repetitive strain injuries, new moms with postpartum depression)
Having an established private practice niche allows you to be a "big fish in a little pond" and treat clients you truly love, day after day.
Why is working within a specialized niche an important (and necessary!) step for many private practitioners?
Many private practitioners are terrified about two things:
Having a private practice niche increases your chances of success by being able to treat a larger subset of a smaller population, while commanding higher prices.
Yes - higher prices.
Why are specialists able to command higher prices? Both clients and referral sources trust experts. Private practitioners in an established niches have a specialization that comes with experience.
If your child had a rare condition, who would you hire to help them:
a generalist who frequently works with their issue or a specialist who has an excellent reputation for quick progress and works solely with their condition?
Would you pay a premium to work with the best person because it would mean a better overall recovery or a faster recovery? Of course you would.
Developing a niche will not only allow you to work with the kinds of clients you like best but will allow you to get paid significantly higher for those services.
Jena H. Casbon, MS CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and private practice consultant. She started her own speech therapy private practice in 2006. She is the founder of The Independent Clinician and author of The Guide to Private Patients and The Guide to Creating a Web Presence for Your Private Practice. Since 2008, she has helped thousands of clinicians get the flexibility, income and freedom they desire from starting their own private speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy practices.