Here are some valuable tips on how to open an adolescent counseling center.
Adolescent Counseling: Special Considerations
Special considerations apply to the startup of any health-related business or clinic. But in the case of adolescent counseling startups, the issues are particularly acute. Once it's up and running, your organization will regularly deal with vulnerable young people who are in the midst of crisis.
That means you need to approach your startup with a certain amount of gravity. Cutting corners is professionally and ethically unacceptable, and could jeopardize your center's ability to obtain/maintain licensing and certifications.
From the outset, your adolescent counseling center needs to be staffed by licensed counselors who are willing to operate in a confidential work atmosphere. Strict protocols need to be place from day one to ensure that your clients receive quality care in a safe and caring counseling environment.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) website features an entire section dedicated to providing adolescent counselors with the resources they need to provide first-rate counseling and client care.
Should I Start a For-Profit or Nonprofit Adolescent Counseling Center?
Adolescent counseling centers operate as either for-profit companies or nonprofits. As an emerging entrepreneur, you'll need to decide which approach is the best fit for your counseling philosophy and personal goals:
- For-Profit Counseling Centers. For-profit counseling centers have a dual focus. Obviously, the care of adolescent clients should always be your first priority. But the center must also be profitable enough to deliver an adequate ROI to you and your investors. Since it is privately owned, your clinics assets and profits belong to you -- but so do its liabilities.
- Nonprofit Counseling Centers. A nonprofit counseling center is governed by a board of directors and is subject to laws concerning nonprofit organizations. No one owns a nonprofit; it is its own legal entity. So although you can earn a paycheck, you can't take profit or an ownership interest from the organization. But on the upside, nonprofit status allows you to solicit charitable donations and to apply for grants that unavailable to for-profit operations.
Writing Tips for an Adolescent Counseling Center Business Plan
We know - writing a business plan can be a daunting task for a new entrepreneur.
But here's the good news: With a few tips, any entrepreneur can create a successful plan for their business. If you can get past the mystique, you'll see that a business plan just describes where your adolescent counseling center is headed and how you intend to get there.
Although there are many uses for a business plan, it's most important function is to guide your decision making and strategic planning.
Before you begin, we recommend reviewing a few sample business plans.
Investigate the Competition
Prior to launching an adolescent counseling center within your community, it's essential to see how strong the competition is. Try our link below to find competitors near you. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of adolescent counseling centers near you.
Before you open up shop, make sure you know what you will offer to your customers that provides a significant advantage over your competition's offering.
Learning More About the Industry
As part of your due diligence on opening an adolescent counseling center, it's a smart move to learn as much as you can from somebody who is already in the business. If you think owners of nearby adolescent counseling centers will give you advice, think again. It'd be crazy for them to teach you the business.
On the other hand, an individual who has an adolescent counseling center on the other side of the country may be more than happy to give you a few tips, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
How would you find an owner of an adolescent counseling center who is willing to advise you because you live in different cities?
Here's how we would do it. Try the useful link below and key in a random city/state or zipcode.
Purchasing an Adolescent Counseling Center
Many experts advise against starting an adolescent counseling center if you can buy an established operation. Yet the process of buying an adolescent counseling center introduces a new set of challenges.
There are no reliable shortcuts in buying a business. For most prospective business buyers, the first step is to contact a business broker.
A good business broker serves a number of useful purposes. From locating available companies to helping seal the deal, your broker will have the experience and skills to help you successfully navigate the purchase process.
Franchising May Be a Better Way to Go
If you are a newbie entrepreneur, your best bet may be exploring whether it makes sense to franchise instead of doing everything yourself.
Before you consider starting an adolescent counseling center, you would be wise to check out whether purchasing a franchise might increase your chances of success.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you currently own an adolescent counseling center, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to adolescent counseling centers, this isn't the right place for you. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.