Looking to start your own private practice?
For my first year in practice, I spent way too much time trying to figure out all the best practices for my business.
The challenge us RDs have is that the majority of us are “Type A” in which everything needs to be lined up perfectly before we can move on.
So instead of fighting that, I want to save you time (and money!) in recommending the top platforms and systems I personally use that have helped start and grow my private practice.
This all is very helpful especially to those of you that are still working a full-time or part-time job, like I did for the first 1.5 years in my practice. But I’m happy to announce that I have moved into my practice full time!!
Not only am I now full time, but I have an expanding practice with a wait list and multiple revenue streams.
Can you imagine what that would look like for your business and your life?
I hope you are able to do the same, but at a faster pace than I did. 🙂
*This page includes affiliate links in which I earn a percentage of a purchase. It in no way effects the cost to you nor your shopping/purchasing experience. Thank you so much for supporting my business!
Table of Contents
Optimal Client Support and Satisfaction
I tried Healthie, Simple Practice, Kalix, and others before finally (finally!) landing on the best platform out there.. Practice Better.
This platform is truly the best EHR out there, with so many helpful features that clients are able to easily access from their computer, tablet or phone.
The best part? I started for free before my practice grew to where I could use the paid plan.
Even better? There’s a free plan for you to check out! I highly recommend starting there and making a “test client” account to see both perspectives.
Secure and Reliable Online Office
A terrifying thing happened to me in my first year of private practice.
My computer crashed. And with it went all of my documents. 😱
Since learning that horrible lesson, I use Google Workspace to manage everything I need for my business. Email, documents, surveys, and HIPAA-compliant client backup.
Use code 377JQCLQNCKAKA9 for a 10% discount on the Business Starter Plan.
Use code J3KJWRXKXUJ4PLN for a 10% discount on the Business Standard Plan.
Jump-Start Your Private Practice
After trying to use the starter template forms from Practice Better, I decided to create my own more comprehensive forms from onboarding to the exit process with clients.
Forms are sold individually or packaged for a discount. I created these resources with the links to share forms between colleagues within Practice Better portal (they are not PDF handouts).
Start with the free Discovery Call Inquiry to get a feel for how the form links integrate into your PB account in seconds.
Customized Meal Plans for Every Client
Yes, there are several out there that you can find to give you a way to provide your clients with a structured meal plan.
But this one… this one is a step above. Because it works for you, not the other way around.
I describe EatLove to my clients as “Pinterest, but everything is automatically filtered and good for you.”
Adding in this completely customizable meal planning system will give your private clients more ideas for what to eat without requiring hours of your time to create a meal plan for them. This has been a game-changer for my biz.
As a registered dietitian, I often find certain clients benefit from certain supplements.
However, a virtual private practice can make supplement recommendations feel like there are too many barriers.
Not with Fullscript!
We use Fullscript as our online supplement recommendation tool and dispensary. Clients also get a discount, which makes it a win-win.
(Fullscript also integrates seamlessly with our EHR, Practice Better!)
Connect and Sell with Emails
While not my favorite marketing method, there is definitely proof in that it works. (I’ve converted clients straight from emails!) And this is another option that can start free while you grow, then move up into a paid plan.
My email list is also where I give special offers. It’s a great way to provide more services and value while making some extra money.
Pro tip: Save yourself $ by not building a complete website just yet. Start with a free landing page to build and grow your email list, then work on your website once you get a solid feel for your niche, market, and message.
Level up Your Content
This one is a necessity! I create my social media images, logo, handouts, and more on this simple-to-use website. While the paid version is not required, it can save a lot of time in resizing posts (from IG to IG stories to FB) and gives you more pictures and templates to use!
You can always pay for the upgrade for a month or two, use the heck out of it and download everything, then downgrade to the free version.
If meal plan freebies don’t make sense for your market, use Canva to create a well-planned tip sheet, guide, or eBook!
Let Instagram work For You
A big part of my practice focuses on reaching potential clients directly through social media.
While some may prefer the traditional MD and insurance path, I really enjoy this way more in connecting directly with people that are struggling with kidney disease.
I took the course, Beat the Algorithm*, to learn a lot of the basics of Instagram marketing because I had started to gain traction with IG leads.
This program can be done through several weeks or you can do it like me and crush the whole course in a weekend! 🙂
Passive Income with Website Optimizing
I took Erica’s SEO Made Simple and it has changed my business in so many ways!
I have been able to utilize the information that I have learned in every aspect of marketing for my business.
This is worth its weight in gold! Seriously, if you want a virtual practice like I have, you need to learn all the tricks in this course.
Within Erica’s SEO Course, I learned about blogging the smart way. With Keysearch, I’m able to look at what people are searching for online.
I can then write content that will reach more of my audience.
This can help in multiple ways! Driving more traffic can mean passive income through ad revenue and more potential clients.
Use code KDISC for a bonus discount here!*
(This image is a screenshot of real traffic to my website!)
Learn Your Finances and What to Charge
Starting your practice but don’t know how to set up your client packages? Not sure what to charge or how even what your financial goals are?
Check out my Google Sheet set and video tutorial on RD2RD.com. This is something I used when I just started my practice, and still use to this day!
With these calculators and planners, you’ll be able to see how your rates will influence your take-home pay, your expenses and more.
Secure, Smart, Easy Payroll
As my business grew, so did the expectations of being, well, a business.
Enter Gusto. This is a payroll system in which you can create automations to not only pay yourself biweekly, bimonthly, or monthly, but also pay independent contractors, employees (yay expansion!), and even send out legit tax documents without breaking a sweat.
Gusto is incredibly helpful in ensuring your business is doing things the right way with step-by-step directions as you go through the enrollment process. It saved me a ton of time by telling me exactly what I needed and where to go to be legit.
Financial Strength with Profit First
One of the best things I did for my business when I started was set up my Profit First accounts (after reading the Profit First book, of course).
And while it can feel overwhelming at first, it’s incredibly empowering.
I use my local credit union to set up my different PF business accounts (Expenses, Payroll, Taxes, and Profit). Then I set up my Novo Bank account as my income account.
With Novo, I can set up automations that pull the percentages for each of my PF accounts immediately from all of my income! Then once or twice each month, I simply transfer the auto-calculated amounts from Novo into my different PF accounts.
Simple, effective, and incredibly helpful. I get a birds’ eye view of the financial health of my business and can quickly evaluate how I’m doing with expenses, payroll, taxes, and look forward to that quarterly profit distribution!
Click here to open a Novo account and get $40! (I’ll also get $40 too, so thank you for your support!) ☺️
Bookkeeping in Less Than 15 Mins a week
Something I still do myself because, well, it’s too easy, is bookkeeping.
And it’s so easy because I have a streamlined system set up in QuickBooks. Paired with my Profit First method, I’m able to knock out my bookkeeping at the end of each week in under 15 minutes. It’s incredibly simple and saves me hundreds of dollars a month by not needing to hire a bookkeeper!
Another benefit of QuickBooks is their reporting system. I can pull my P&Ls for the month, quarter, year and compare them to the previous time period to watch my business grow and help me set financial goals.
Click here to save 50% on your subscription plus a $50 Visa giftcard!*
Make Money While Spending Money
Finding a good business credit card can be incredibly helpful. Not just for the harder times, but for the good times! A friend, who is very knowledgeable in the credit card game, highly recommended I use Chase Ink. I’ve been using them since I started in 2018 and will continue to do so!
Not only is this part of how my bookkeeping is so quick (all expenses possible go through my credit card), but I’m earning points back with every expense.
These points are then used for my travel expenses to go to conferences like FNCE and NKF Spring Clinicals. What a great way to enjoy the benefits of supporting your business!
Books to motivate You
Fair warning: Don’t go down the rabbit hole of being the “forever student” in which you always continue to try to learn and don’t apply. I found by pairing these additional sources to troubleshoot my problems, and help brainstorm with podcasts allowed my business to grow in an organic way.
Dietitians in Private Practice
Insurance and Billing for Dietitians
Mindset and Marketing Mastery for Dietitians in Virtual Practice
EatLove Insiders (for those with EatLove practitioner membership)
Practice Better Inner Circle (for those with Practice Better practitioner plan)
The Leveraged Practice Podcast
The Nutrition Diva’s Quick and Dirty Tips