This is by far one of the most pivotal questions that business owners must clearly identify an answer for. Without the why people can easily lose their way or fall into the pitfall of the so-called shiny objects.
When it comes down to identifying why for starting a counseling private practice, I like clinicians to take time. To truly sit with the question for several weeks in order to give themselves enough time to be grounded.
When you create the why, it’s important for it to be specific and grounded to key areas such as the work culture, mission statement, legacy, and core values of the counseling business.
Key reasons why it’s important for counselors in private practice to have a clear picture of their why:
- Having your why, helps you know who your ideal clients are.
- Having your why, makes the process of marketing and branding much easier. You can clearly identify who your target audience is when creating marketing content for your counseling private practice.
- Having your why, keeps you grounded. The grounding takes place because as a business owner you feel a sense of purpose that connects to your core values. A simple example is a clinician whose why is defined as, “helping parents raise healthy kind kids so that tomorrow they can navigate life with a strong level of confidence and empowerment. This is my why because I want to see a strong and healthy relationship between parents and kids. A relationship that fosters healthy and successful adults.” The example shares who the client is and why. The example shares why the focus is in important.
Below are key strategies to help you create your why:
Create a mission statement for your business. When doing this, take time to research what other companies are saying. This can be done with a simple Google search. On Google, type in the search box “mission statements for awesome businesses”.
Consider the legacy of your business. When people in the community talk about your business, what would you like for them to say? How would you like for them to remember your business? The answers to these questions help to develop the why. As a supportive activity, you can consider businesses that are popular, have a strong household name, or are no longer around but continue to be remembered. For instance, Mcdonald’s as a company. People often think about how it’s worldwide, has good burgers, affordable prices, strong community involvement, and is known for its growth in real estate.
Create 4 core values for your business. When considering core values, start with what your core values are. This can help to transition the core values from yours to the business if applicable. For instance, if one of your core values is “compassion”. You can if applicable, use this core value in your business. Another approach to creating core values is to search what other businesses have. Most companies have an online website giving you access to pages that highlight their core values. Use what you find as guidance to help you develop your core values.
Create a list of your favorite companies. Create a list of your favorite companies that you follow or genuinely like. Once you have your list written down, take time to identify for each company listed what you like about them. The goal is to learn and grow versus copy. For instance, if you have a company that you follow who has a work culture focused on wellness. Such as giving daily space to practice mediation or yoga for all employees. You feel connected to do this and can create something similar in your workplace.
Consider the work culture in your counseling business. At times business owners skip right over this. The focus is to take time to understand first what a work culture looks like. Consider other places you have worked at. Think about your favorite jobs that you have held. Why did you enjoy the job? What was the work culture like? For me, one of my favorite jobs was at a community park. I had a supervisor who would always take time to ask about my family, to encourage me to continue to study, to show compassion towards my schedule with school and work, and to provide mentorship. Today with my counseling business, Santos Counseling PLLC, I still remember the experience. When creating my work culture, I take time to get to know employees. To shift away from a clock in and clock out. To truly work to support employees live their best life while feeling that the counseling business aims to help them grow in life.