When you make that choice to be a nutritionist and start your own business it is the start of a new chapter of your life. It can be overwhelming when you finally make the decision, with so many emotions, and at that point, the temptation is to just get on with it.
However, preparation makes everything much easier further down the line, so before you do anything, here are 10 things that successful nutritionists wished they knew before starting out.
1. Choose what you want to do
Being a nutritionist is not a single job description, so you need to really figure out what it is about a nutritionist that really attracts you. For instance, do you want to consult with your own clients or would you prefer to work in a hospital dealing with their intake? That can dramatically change your working day, and also change the kind of business you have.
2. Nutritionist liability insurance is essential for your business
In the excitement and enthusiasm of a new business, it is easy to forget the negatives that could happen, but in the case of claims against you for professional negligence, you really can’t afford to ignore it. Civil claims can cost a fortune to defend against, let alone the cost of damages should you lose, and the reality is that as with all service businesses, there is always the potential for such a case happening to you.
Nutritionist insurance coverage provides protection against any claims based around financial suffering you may have caused. For many nutritionists, failing to secure the right professional liability insurance has proved an expensive mistake. Getting the right insurance for your needs means taking advice from professionals like BizInsure, who will provide expert guidance and cost-effective solutions for all of your nutritionist liability insurance needs.
3. Take a course on business finance
In the rush to get started as a nutritionist and to secure that first client, it can be easy to forget that excelling at the nutritional part of your business is only half the story. You also have all the practical aspects of running a business too, and for most of us, this is all new.
Business finance, even keeping a simple set of books, is really important, and it’s not a skill that we all have. But by being prepared beforehand, and with the help of online courses and other options available, it can be quick and easy to get prepared.
4. It’s not easy
If there is one thing that is important to take in and remember during the exciting planning phase of the business, is that it won’t be exactly like ‘the dream’. When we dream of doing what we love for a living, it usually involves a blissful time and a road to great success going ever upwards.
We all know there will be hard work, no one starting out will forget that, but that road to success often has a few dips along the way, to ensure as you reach the high points, and that is something that can come as a shock to some. Overcoming those challenges to find the success you know you deserve only makes it more rewarding in the long run, and with good Professional Liability insurance to protect you from financial insecurity, as long as you keep working hard and pushing forward, no matter the challenge, that success will come.
5. Understand social media
If you are going to be a consultant and looking for your own clients, then you need to build your audience to secure those clients. That means understanding social media and how it can be used to promote your new business effectively.
There are paid options for services that will do this for you, but the real beauty about social media is the two-way conversation, building a relationship between yourself and your potential clients by sharing a passion for nutrition. People can spot when social media content is not genuine, so while it’s tempting to get someone else to do it, starting out, being yourself, selling your personality and passion for the job will be much more effective.
You can find free guides all over the internet that can help you get your approach right, it’s not complicated, and only takes a few minutes a day.
6. Do it your way
It’s easy to follow along with blogs and websites that explain in detail how to be a success in the industry, and there is a lot of value to looking at how other businesses are set up. However, for a nutritionist, beyond the skills used to develop effective diets for your clients, long-term success is about the results, but also the relationship.
That means being natural, doing things the way you are most comfortable, rather than follow a guide on the best way to interact with clients, or how to develop the nutritional advice that they need. Being comfortable and true to your own ideas is the key to results. After all, you want to be a nutritionist because you love nutrition and want to help people your way, not how someone else does it.
7. Face your fears
Its good advice any time, but when starting a business, it’s really important to face your fears, because you will find new situations almost daily and overcoming them is part of the journey to a successful business.
New situations can be scary, but in your business, you may come up against new situations that you feel uncomfortable with. That can be many things, writing a sales email or letter, making first contact with a potential client, selling yourself and expertise, dealing with finance. All of these things need to be done, and so facing down any fears you have is the route to a successful business. Once you do anything once, you will find it quickly becomes easier and the fear vanishes.
8. Money can be difficult
Starting out your own business means building a client base, and to begin with that can mean little money coming in. Sometimes, people think that once you start a new business, you have made it, but in that first few months, your income could be coming from just a few clients, and that could make things a struggle.
Be prepared for that by saving as much as possible before starting out, and then adjust your own expectations to better fit with the likely income you will get, at least at first. Of course, over time as your client base builds, this issue goes away on its own, but it is important to be prepared for it all the same.
9. Create a blog
As we discussed earlier about social media, having a blog can make a real difference to your business. Of course, your blog should also have good content that your audience will love, but the point is that as a dietitian, you are offering your skills and your personality and attitude.
A blog allows you to really get across who you are, what you do and how you approach nutrition to your audience. As with social media, you can build a following who get to know you, and that can be a valuable resource for a growing business.
10. Only buy what you need
This can seem like an obvious statement, but its surprisingly easy to get carried away in those first few weeks and buy everything you find to make your business a success. This can be an issue because it leads to overspending, and as we previously mentioned, money can be tight in those early months as you build your client base.
This applies to everything, you don’t need state of the art computers and printers to run the business when a cheaper one can do the same job. Similarly, when dealing with nutritionist insurance coverage, you only need cover that actually matters to your professional activities.
Professional liability insurance is essential, but there are others that you do not necessarily need. Some insurances only cover specific situations, such as property insurance, and you only need to cover the things you are actually doing.
Be clear with what you need when looking for nutritionist insurance coverage or any other expense for your business, and you will avoid overspending on things that do not help you grow and succeed.
As you can see, there are definitely things to think about that you may not have realized, from nutritionist liability insurance to knowing how to market your business effectively on social media. However, it is important to remember that these are skills that you can learn and master, nothing here is something you cannot do yourself.
Don’t be afraid to take on these challenges, learn new skills, research and find ways to get things done for yourself because that is part of the learning curve of a new business that makes it all so rewarding when you finally achieve your goals.
The key to launching your business is to plan ahead, gain the knowledge and skills you need before you need them, and be ready for any challenge that you find along the way.