Opening your own practice isn't as easy as making the decision and watching clients walk through your doors. You need to seriously consider the costs associated with starting a business so you're prepared and can build the strongest possible foundation for your business. Some standard expenses that should be on your radar:
You need to think about the big things, like the cost of renting space, as well as the smaller necessities that come with having a business. Don't forget that you're going to need a phone line, or may be responsible for some of the utilities, for example. You need to check with your local area, as well, to see if you need to apply for a business license.
These expenses cover things you need to operate your business, and may vary both the longer you're in business and if you choose to grow your practice at some point. Some examples include any outside professionals you might hire to help you with your practice, such as a graphic designer for marketing materials or an accountant for filing taxes. Additionally, any material you purchase on your own, such as a ledger to keep your financial records, or the lotions and creams you use during massage therapy sessions. When considering your practice, write down any operating expense you can think of so you have a good idea of what you'll be spending to maintain your business.
Capital Expenses (One-time Purchases)
You're going to need furniture for the reception area and massage room, as well as lighting, but these expenses aren't ongoing, like most of your operating expenses. Even though you won't need to budget money each month for these items, you're going to have to know what the upfront cost of these expenses are and prepare. You might also need to add computer, printer and fax equipment to this list, too.
For your practice to be successful, you are going to have to market your business. Better to prepare for this expense ahead of time than wait until the you open and realize you need to spread the word. Get some estimates about pricing for any marketing initiatives you think you might undertake, such as advertising or brochures, and include this cost when working the numbers for starting your own practice.
Although it might seem overwhelming to consider every possible expense, anticipating unexpected expenses is far better than being taken by surprise. Don't be afraid to consider your situation from seemingly unlikely scenarios: What happens if the toilet overflows? What if the power goes out for days?
If your funds are limited when you first open your practice, be selective about what you will buy initially and what you can put off until later. You must have liability insurance, but maybe the marketing brochure can wait. You must have a safe place to practice, but maybe the gurgling fountain in the reception area can come later.
Calculating client demand and understanding when your practice might breakeven are also good resources when thinking of starting your own practice.