One of the most exciting decisions you will make as a private practitioner is identifying the services you will offer. This big decision will set your practice on a course for years to come and will influence almost every aspect of it. Invigorating and overwhelming at the same time, it the decision process requires a careful balance of vision and pragmatic planning.

Start with the big picture: your goals and the opportunities you are most excited about.

Pinpoint your ideal clients and divide them into demographic groups like: age, gender, relationship and parental status, employment status, and ethnicity. Compare your qualifications and experience with the needs in the community. You may need to do some interviews on where service gaps exist that you may be able to fill.

As private practitioner, you can set your own hours: reflect on your personal obligations, and think about how you want to structure your business hours around them.  Think long term, so you don’t have to change your office hours frequently.

Read on for more information on some areas of practice that others have chosen; considerations on practice hours as well as a primer on virtual counseling.