Starting a private practice has never been easier, faster, and less expensive. Seriously.
But we understand that it can be overwhelming. That’s one reason we developed Healthie.
In this article, we’ll break down the very first steps to take if you are thinking about private practice. The following steps will only take a couple of weeks total, so you can get up and running in no time!
Keep in mind: Starting a private practice is an iterative process. You won’t have all the answers (and infrastructure) when you first get started, and that’s totally okay!
Here are 3 Steps to Start Your Private Practice:
1. Generate Leads For Your First Few Clients
Of course, starting your practice means having clients. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy as getting your website up and running or hanging your “open” sign outside of your office.
To grow your business, you need to generate buzz. Hustling to spread the word in the beginning is essential to create multiple sources of referrals.
Here are few ways to start:
- Announce your practice to family and friends.
- Make a list of 10-15 people, typically family and friends, that you can e-mail to introduce yourself and provide an overview of your services. Announce your practice, your speciality, who you can help and why. Everyone knows someone who needs your services, so sometimes it’s as easy as letting others know you’re open for business. We’re happy to share a sample letter you can send – reach out to us today!
- Introduce yourself to key community players.
- a few local doctors offices, gyms, and local community centers –> say that you’re a nutrition professional, give a brief overview of your background, and say that you’d be happy to support any clients / patients who are looking for nutritional care.
- Host a free community event.
- Depending on your community and neighborhood, we’ve found it useful to plan and host a “free public event” related to nutrition. Find a topic that interests you and your ideal clientele (diabetes, eating out, staying fit at the office) and get people excited about your cause.
2. Form Your Actual Business
Believe it or not, you don’t have to do everything at once to officially form your business. You can start small and build over time.
Here’s a short checklist of things to do to get started:
- Purchase Liability Insurance
- Form an LLC or Sole Proprietorship
- Avoid over-spending on lawyers (just our two cents), if you’re just getting started. Depending on your state, a sole proprietorship may be all you need, but think about the tax implications and costs. Don’t miss this post to help you figure out if forming an LLC or Sole Proprietorship is best for you.
- Put Together a Basic Website:
- Your website will not automatically lead to a thriving practice. When just starting out, spend less than 1 day (seriously, that’s it) to build your initial version of your website.
- This post shares the essential information to include on your private practice website.
- There are plenty of DIY websites like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and WordPress that make it easy to get started.
- Pro tip: Is choosing a business name holding you back from getting started? Don’t overthink it! It’s totally fine to use your name or a variation of your name, and iterate on that over time.
3. Find a Business Mentor
If you’re not going into business with another practitioner, being an entrepreneur can be lonely at times. You will encounter obstacles along the way, and having a mentor to bounce ideas off of or to garner support can make your entrepreneurial journey feel more collaborative. Plus, a good mentor will know how to lift you up when you need it, but still push you to come to conclusions on your own.
Whether you invest in a business coach, join supportive Facebook groups or a Mastermind group, or utilize the Healthie community as your supportive safety net, know that you are not alone on this venture! Check out our Partners We Love page for additional resources we recommend.
Also, keep in mind that your mentor doesn’t have to be in the field of nutrition. Business is business. In fact, it may be more beneficial to pick your brother-in-law’s brain who is very business savvy, for example, to gain a new perspective.
These 3 steps to start your private practice are what we consider the “very first steps” in starting your private practice.
The next iteration includes:
- Creating client packages
- Pricing your services
- Crafting office policies
- Organizing forms and handouts
- Choosing office space
- And more!
Don’t forget to pick up your Private Practice Checklist to keep you focused, and join us for our next Business Bootcamp: Launch Your Practice In 4 Weeks!
More importantly, if you have ANY questions about getting up and running, please please do not hesitate to reach out. There is no such thing as a dumb question, and given that we support nutrition professionals every day, we’ve been around the block and heard it all – the good, the bad, the shortcuts, and the must-haves!
Are you ready to launch your practice?