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Five tips for starting your own allied health practice

Five tips for starting your own allied health prac
Photo: Starting your own allied health practice
If you’ve just been certified and ready to ply your trade to as many people as possible, you’ve probably tinkered with the idea of opening your own allied health practice.

Though it can be a challenge, especially if you’re more of a practitioner than an entrepreneur, opening your own practice can be rewarding and fulfilling – more so than working for someone else.

It does take a bit of patience and some planning. It also requires start-up capital. When it comes to funding, you should consider researching small business loans.

Here are five tips for starting your own allied health practice and put it on the track for success.

Create a business plan

Before you research loans or funding, you need to create a business plan. Where are you planning to open up? Will you rent or buy outright? How will you attract clients?
Fortunately, you can find templates and guidance from the government, notably the NSW allied health business plan template which you can download here.

Remember to use SMART plans: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-limited.

Know your budget

Though we’d all like to open up in the swanky suburbs and in a bespoke clinic – some of us are uncomfortable with taking on that much risk.

You have to set a realistic budget that includes any equipment you might need, whether you’re buying or renting your clinic, and if you’re putting on staff straight away. At this stage, you may want to enlist an accountant or financial adviser for help.

Research available small business loans

There are many types of small business loans available to allied health professionals – though going to your bank shouldn’t be your first and only option.

Savvy Managing Director and finance expert Bill Tsouvalas says that looking for a trusted broker can help you find what types of business funding is out there from multiple sources at once.

“A business finance broker usually has access to a lending panel, which comprises many banks, lenders, and other funding sources to help match your goals with the right kind of funding.

You may need seed capital to begin with to purchase or lease equipment or property. After that, you may need lines of credit. So, it’s worth finding a broker you’re comfortable working with in the long-run.”

Educate yourself about government support

Healthcare is a government priority and there is support available for new start-ups and other clinics.

The Federal Government has given businesses support during COVID-19 lockdowns and the Commonwealth Department of Health has initiatives and programs that your allied health business could take advantage of.

State government business hubs often provide mentoring and support, such as Business Victoria. Research grants and other incentives thoroughly – they could give you the leg up.

Remain positive – the obstacle is the way

With any new venture, you may encounter teething problems. Don’t worry – often the hard parts are just reminding you that better times lie ahead of the obstacles. Don’t be discouraged – get the help you need when you need it and push through!

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