Starting a private practice has never been easier, faster, and less expensive. Seriously.
In this article – we break down the VERY first steps to take if you are thinking about private practice – the best part? We bet you could complete this all within a couple of weeks.
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. We have found there are two major categories to start acting on when you are ready to get started:
Generate leads for your first few clients
Of course, starting your practice means having clients – here are a few ways to generate some buzz and get the word out about you & your burgeoning practice:
- Make a list (at first, 5-10 people is good) of people, typically family or friends, that you can e-mail to introduce yourself and provide an overview of your services / what you’re all about –> if you send this note to us (firstname.lastname@example.org), we’re happy to review it for you and provide you with some feedback.
- Introduce yourself to 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.
- Depending on your community and neighborhood, we’ve found it useful to plan and host a “free public event” on nutrition –> find a topic that interests you (diabetes, eating out, staying fit at the office) and get people excited about your cause.
Form the actual business
Here’s a list of the first few things to do – start small, and we promise this will build over time:
- Purchase liability insurance: See our post on Liability Insurance for some details –> this is a must have as you get started
- Form an LLC or Sole Proprietorship: See our post on Forming an LLC –> If you’re practicing by yourself, don’t overspend on lawyers right now (our two cents) – depending on your state, a sole proprietorship may be all you need, but think about the tax implications and more –> it’s helpful to consult with a lawyer, but hold off on a “big kahuna, several thousand dollar bill” if you can. If you have any questions or want another perspective, pls e-mail us
- Put together a basic website: Spend < 1 day (seriously, that’s it) to build the first version of your website. See this post on “do it yourself” websites like Squarespace, Weebly, and WordPress. All you need right now is an “About” Page and if you want, start keeping a blog. We have some examples of RD websites that are super cool –> reach out to us if you want to see them
- Pro tip: Don’t overthink your logo & domain name right now –> this is something that will evolve over time, and it’s totally fine to use your name, or a variation of your name, for now, and iterate on that over time.
This is what we consider to be the “very first steps” in starting a private practice – then comes the next iteration of thinking about prices, your packages, office policies, forming documents like assessment forms and HIPAA notices, and more. We’re here to support you on that as well, and Healthie has some super cool plug ins to streamline the process.
For some of you, hiring a business coach will be a guiding force that helps turn your vision into a reality. Check out our Partners We Love page for business coaches that we recommend. 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??