Guide to Starting a Private Practice

Learn how to start a private practice, from tax IDs to customer networks. Discover Healthie's guide to opening your own nutrition private practice.

With your training, certifications and work experience behind you, launching your own wellness private practice can be the next natural step in your career. The opportunity to work closely with your own clients and to help them achieve happier, healthier lives can be a rewarding endeavor. However, for most wellness professionals: education courses and certifications do not include business training. What are the first steps to take when launching a wellness private practice?

You may be thinking…

How do I find clients?”

“How do I market myself?”

“Who do I partner with?”

“Should I be using social media?”

“How am I going to do this?”

Fortunately, here at Healthie we want to help you launch and grow a successful private practice, which is why we provide you with the tools you need. We work with thousands of healthcare providers and know what works!

Here are 5 essential tips to keep in mind as you start your private practice:

1. Keep the big picture in mind when starting your private practice

Although there are some small things that you need to get done before opening up your practice doors, remember not to sweat the small stuff. You’re launching your business, take a step back and think globally instead of fixating on the details. Your logo, practice name, business card design and website can evolve over time, just as your wellness practice does. Don’t let these smaller, projects deter you from officially launching your business.

To get started, write out a list of action-items that you need to accomplish. Then run through that list and prioritize each item.

Your legal and financial items should go at the top of that list, such as:

Streamline your business operations and client management. Get started with Healthie, the all-in-one practice management solution for wellness professionals. Click here to learn how to set up these features with Healthie’s Free Starter Plan today.

2. Exude confidence as a wellness entrepreneur

We know how scary it can be to step into unknown territory.

But the more confident you are in yourself, the further you will go.

While attracting new clients through marketing, it is especially important for you to exude confidence. As a sole practitioner, you are your wellness business when you start out, so never doubt yourself and know that you have all the skills and strengths needed to make your private practice dreams a reality. This also carries over into the pricing and services that you offer. Have confidence and know your worth when presenting services to your clients. Even the most experienced wellness professionals tend to price their services too low when venturing into private practice. Always remember that your time is valuable and you should create prices and client packages that reflect that.

3. Find your wellness client niche

It may seem more difficult to expand your client base if the scope of your practice is limited.

However, by focusing on a specific nutrition niche, you may actually be able to grow your practice. When we have a very broad “client” in mind, our marketing messages tend to also be broad. This runs the risk of being too general and not really resonating with anyone in particular. If you’re stepping out of the clinical world, finding your ideal client can require a shift in mindset.

Determine your target audience early on, and build off of this foundation. Maybe you spent several years working in an outpatient weight management clinic, or working for a sports team. Whatever it may be, being knowledgeable about your niche will help you…

  • Focus your marketing efforts.  
  • Set clear goals for your practice.
  • Create intake flows and handouts for your clientele.

If you don’t have a specific area of nutrition you wish to practice in, then think about where your passions, interests and strengths intersect.

This is where you’ll find your niche.

Then think about the best way to approach your niche. Ask yourself…

What are your target clients influenced by?

What are their needs?

What are their goals?

As you answer these questions, you’ll create a master plan as to how you can further market to your target audience.

4. Utilize your inner circle for feedback as you start your private practice

Starting out with family members and friends as your very first clients is a great way to dive right into private practice without much pressure. These people are closest to you and can provide constructive feedback as you develop your skills and assess the current strengths and weaknesses of your practice.

But remember:

Just because you may know these individuals for years, treat them as if they were brand new clients!

Reaching out to your family and friends is also a great place to acquire new clients.

Everyone knows someone who could benefit from nutrition counseling services. How many times have you been asked for free advice?

Get the word out to your inner circle and you’ll start to fill your schedule quickly! If you’re looking for a template letter to send family and friends, we’re happy to provide you with a template, just reach out!

Once your client list grows, Healthie’s Client Engagement Portal can help you establish wellness goals for clients to track on a daily, weekly, and long-term basis with customizable client notifications/reminders. Click here to try this feature, and many others, for free today with Healthie’s Starter Plan.

5. Market your private practice locally

This step often gets overlooked by those getting started, but it’s one of the most important!

Local exposure will provide a solid foundation needed to achieve your bigger goals in the future.

Stop by local gyms, doctors offices, farmers markets, grocery stores, and community centers to introduce yourself and explain that you are a nutritionist, available for those seeking nutritional care. Ask if you can leave a few business cards and/or brochures behind for anyone who may be a good fit.

Building a business can be a stressful process, but you have the tools you need to make it out on top.

Our mission is to empower nutrition professionals with the specific tools they need to see patients and manage their careers. Creating your Healthie account allows you to set up intake forms, charting templates, set your schedule, and integrate with your website — all right at your fingertips.

Sign up for a Free Starter Account with Healthie to access all of these features risk-free!

The platform helps you manage your business, giving you more time to focus on marketing and client acquisition — the key to growing your practice — as well as extraordinary client care. The first 5 clients are always the hardest, so stay calm and work hard, and we guarantee you’ll be on track for success.

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Make more time to grow your business

Use a platform that automates the administrative, so you can focus on growth and care.

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