Why working with a private practice can be beneficial .
A few folks have reacted negatively to the idea that Bright Futures is a private practice (aka small business), rather than a not-for-profit type of enterprise. Some people associate the terms “profit” and “business” with greed, and think of “not-for-profit” organizations as kinder and more positive. I was of that opinion myself, until I had to learn about how the two types of organizations compare, in order to construct a plan for Bright Futures.
After doing our homework, we decided to go with a small business model for the following reasons:
Larger agencies can only offer programs and solutions that are one-size-fits-all. Clients must choose from a limited array of services. We tailor our services client-by-client, and family-by-family, to meet unique needs and avoid excessive or inadequate evaluation and intervention.
Not-for-profit agencies must adhere to pre-defined policies that are set by their funding sources and boards of directors. They must predetermine whom they will serve, how they will serve them, and for how long. A small business model allows us to serve a wide array of clients, and to work with clients to define their unique goals. The timing and duration of your relationship with Bright Futures can be mutually determined according to your needs, and not by the policies governing insurance companies, grants, or other external funding sources.
Not-for-profit agencies must continuously expend significant time and resources to locate, attain, and maintain their streams of funding. We prefer to use our time and energy toward providing essential service and produce results as quickly and fully as possible.
Nowhere in the descriptions of small business vs. not-for-profit models did I find discussions of greed vs. generosity. Those qualities reside, to greater or lesser degrees, within the individuals who manage organizations. At Bright Futures, we charge a fair price for meeting clients’ needs that other services cannot; that is our real “bottom-line” measure of success.