As we are wrapping up 2017- and my very first year of starting a business!- I wanted to share some of my favorite tools for running a nutrition private practice. A lot of what you use depends on the needs for your business. These work best for me running and insurance-based practice and also accepting virtual clients. I am posting this now because so many of these types of things go on sale on Black Friday- it’s a great way to save some money when you’re starting out!
Here are some of my favorite books/resources that I looked into prior to starting my private practice:
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Toolkit
- 6 Months to 6 Figures (great for motivation and organizing yourself)
- Marjorie Geiser’s Website (she has since retired but she has a book- Just Jump)
- Making Nutrition Your Business
- State’s website about how to set up an LLC
There are lots of ways to set up a website and I decided to run mine as a self-hosted site through wordpress.org (NOT wordpress.com). Here are my site details:
- Host: Siteground (have had great luck with them after bad experiences with Bluehost)
- Framework: Genesis
- Theme: Hello Foxy created and installed by Hello You Designs
- Free photography: pexels.com
- Headshots: Tara Lilly Designs (highly recommend her if you’re in NC!)
There are other options for setting up a site such as Wix and Squarespace. Those are easier and more intuitive to set up that WordPress.org but then you are limited when it comes to customizing, adding features and changing things around. I also believe SEO optimization is better using WordPress (ie how easy your site is to use on Google). There was a learning curve for WP but completely worth it to me.
There is a thought in being a business owner that you should just pay someone to do something for you if it takes you too much time to figure it out yourself. I completely agree with that, especially when it comes to technology and building a website. But I also think you should have the basic knowledge about how to tweek your website because it’s such a huge part of your business. I like being able to change some wording or swap out a photo on my own.
Electronic Health Record
I have tried several E-H-R (Sorry, my computer kept correcting this to EMR) systems out there through free trials and contract jobs, specifically Kalix, Healthie, Kareo and Simple Practice. I decided to go with Simple Practice because it was the most cost-effective for the features I would be using. Clients can schedule their own appointments and sign my paperwork, and I can bill insurance directly from the program for 25 cents per claim. I feel like the program is the most user-friendly and least complicated compared to everything else I’ve tried.
P.S. If you sign up for Simple Practice using this link then we both get a $50 credit towards our account.
I also wanted to make a note about virtual meetings… that wasn’t in my criteria for searching for an EMR. There are free secure programs like doxy.me or I just have clients sign paperwork if something is not secure.
I still use Acuity scheduling right now because I really love it, and so do my clients. I like that I can embed a calendar right on my website so they can make appointments without being prompted to log in or create an account (esp for follow-ups). I trialed a lot of embedded calendars from other programs on my site and acuity’s looked the cleanest and most simple. I also like that it syncs with my google calendar 2 ways, so if I have a personal item on my google calendar then my clients automatically cannot make an appointment during that time. I also like that I can customize emails for each different type of appointment.
Simple Practice does a lot of this, but I just like acuity better. I may make the switch the Simple Practice calendar in the future once I have time to work out some of the details of SP.
I joined Acuity before they increased their prices, which is part of the reason I’m still hanging onto it for now. I’m planning on running some programs in the future where I could see that I might need a separate scheduling program.
Promotional and Marketing Products
My favorite place to get things printed is Vista Print. I have used their templates to design business cards and also designed flyers on my computer and uploaded them. Both turned out really well. They have crazy coupons so sign up for their email.
When I need paper products printed online, I order them from Staples and pick them up later that day!
If you’re looking for a temporary / part-time office space and can’t find someone to share with, I recommend looking into Regus or another virtual office space. I was able to rent an office for $15/hour. Such a great deal with no commitment!
I hope this information is helpful to everyone! Please let me know if you have any questions and I can add more information to this post