I had been teetering on the brink of dipping a toe in the independent sector for some time. The course gave me everything I needed to actually make a start. Before attending I had concerns about the legal side, bookkeeping, insurance, marketing, feeling isolated & unsupported, and about maintaining links with the public sector.
The course included a useful mix of logistical detail, discussion and interesting anecdotes from several speakers with different experiences to share. One piece of advice which I have found to be invaluable was to buy very little in the way of assessments, equipment and stationery until it is actually needed. One speaker relayed how she had bought envelopes in bulk and a few years later the several hundred remaining had lost their stick and were still taking up a disproportionate amount of cupboard space. The underlying message of only buying what you need, when you need it helped keep me out of the red in the early stages.
Prior to attending the course I knew very little about ASLTIP and its role in supporting SLTs in IP. I had no idea that local groups of IPs met regularly, provided supervision for one another and had a thriving online discussion forum. All of this information helped dispel the belief that I might be pondering a clinical query alone for weeks, unable to pick up the phone to a colleague because I had none.
A career change from SLT to businesswoman is quite a leap and the pros and cons of being self employed were honestly discussed and left us in no doubt that going independent was not the ‘easy’ option and not necessarily more lucrative. The transition to becoming self-employed was made much easier by the framework that ASLTIP provided on the course including where to start, links to essential websites, signposting to templates and sample documents on the ASLTIP website and basic business/tax advice.
I believe the course is an ideal starting point for those SLTs who have no idea where to start, those who have a few independent clients on the side and want to expand, and for those who are in two minds about which direction their career might take in the future.
Jan Baerselman / Speech and Language Therapist / ASLTIP
The views expressed in the blog do not necessarily represent the views of ASLTIP. Publication does not imply endorsement.
ASLTIP’s membership has been growing rapidly since 1989. We are a support organisation run by our members. The executive board is always grateful for new members and new ideas.Apply for a membership