Danielle Castillo made the leap into running her own business full-time last summer. Previously, the San Diego, Calif.-based licensed therapist maintained her private practice on a part-time basis only and worked at a community college.
Castillo recently spoke with the GoPayment Blog about her practice and using GoPayment services to simplify the payment process.
GoPayment: You’ve covered quite a few areas in therapy. What do you currently specialize in?
Castillo: I work with clients undergoing difficult life transitions, those dealing with anxiety and depression. I also work with families, especially families with young children and the transition that a couple goes through during that stage. In addition, I teach parenting workshops and workshops to teachers.
What has been the best part of running your own practice full-time so far?
I think just being able to grow the business and to offer more workshops in the community.
Are your clients feeling the effects of the current economy?
Financial stressors are definitely impacting clients today. Here in San Diego, there are people who have lost houses and some who have lost jobs, too.
What has been one of your biggest business challenges, and how did you overcome it?
It was dealing with a system for clients who wanted to pay with debit or credit cards, especially debit cards. I had gone with another service prior to GoPayment and was getting charged fees. I’d sit with clients for 10 minutes at the computer and then have to tell them the payment didn’t go through — not because they were denied but because of the system’s setup. It made me want to give up on the credit card system for awhile.
It sounds like GoPayment has simplified the payment process for you.
Yes. I’ve been using it since October 2011. I have an office and also teach workshops, so having something portable, instead of using a system through a computer, really helps. If I’m teaching a workshop, I can use my iPhone, and at the office I use the iPad.
I also accept insurance, and clients have different co-pays. The Intuit system lets me set up the different co-pays as menu items. I can then send a receipt to clients, making it convenient and paperless.
What’s in the upcoming lineup for your practice?
Now that I have the basics set up and streamlined for my private practice — paperwork, payment system, website — I have some precious time freed up. I’ve been working on a Facebook page, where I post articles and resources related to wellness and living well despite the challenges of modern life.
I’m also hoping to make more time for blogging. I just redesigned my website, and I am going to be updating its blog biweekly with new posts. And I have a parenting blog I’m working on called Creative Parenting in the 21st Century.