Matthew Bourne: Tips From An Independent OT

March 6th, 2014

Matthew Bourne: Tips From An Independent OT

Why did you decide to start working as an independent OT?

To earn more money, and as my career took me into acute inpatient work, I wanted to keep my community, rehab, adaptation type work up to date.

How did you go about taking your first steps in independent OT?

I enrolled with a couple of OT outsourcing agencies, working for them on and off for a couple of years.

Have you found a benefit from social media marketing (twitter, facebook, google plus, etc)?

No, I am not on any of these and because I work full time  I do not think I could meet any sudden increase in demand.

What were some lessons that you learned in the initial stages of your business/working for yourself?

I had to get my admin systems working well for myself. Everything is done facelessly so you need your reports etc to be able to speak for themselves.

How long did it take for you to turn a profit/how long did it take to achieve a steady flow of work?

As I was working from home and had no ever heads I instantly made a profit.

What was your original goal and have your been able to achieve that vision, if not how have things changed?  

My original goal was to supplement my salary and this has been achieved although it means working long hours to get there, sometimes a 7 day week! My goal has changed somewhat as I have become a senior manager in hospitals and any aspirations of making a career in private practice would have to be significantly more profitable than now for it to replace my 9-5.

What is the best thing about being an independent OT?

Freedom to choose when to work and the hours. I have young children so I can choose hours that do not interfere with my time with them.

What are some tips that you could give to OT practitioners considering starting a business or working for themselves?

Start small and stay in employment initially as you build. Staying in regular employment also gives you resources such as CPD, supervision, etc that help you grow as a practitioner before taking the leap.

Matthew is a private Occupational Therapist covering the Essex, London, Kent and Thurrock areas. To find out more about his experience and background visit his profile here.