top of page

Your expert comprehensive guide on how to create a successful nutrition clinic

Charlotte, our registered dietitian and founder of the Freelance Nutrition Academy has written this comprehensive guide on the initial steps to create a successful nutrition clinic.

 nutrition business woman reading health nutritionist guide to creating a business

Focus on the right nutrition qualification to suit the needs and goals of your nutrition business

Spend time researching the best nutrition qualification that suits your career ambitions. The BDA explains the difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian in this helpful article. For example, dietitians are experts and trusted nutrition professionals and their profession is regulated by the HCPC. Dietitians can work in a variety of settings. Dietitians crucially provide nutritional care to individuals with medical conditions, who are hospitalised, and severely unwell both in the community and in hospitals. Dietitians can also work promoting expert nutrition advice in a freelance setting and many other experienced nutrition roles.

Whereas, sadly anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. Charlotte was a registered nutritionist with the Afn before training to become a dietitian. Charlotte encourages all nutritionists to apply to the AfN to become associate and registered nutritionists. The good news is the AfN is working hard to try and get the term registered nutritionist protected. Read all about what associate and registered nutritionists can do in this helpful guide by the AfN.

2. Get the right support network to help you launch your business

Launching a nutrition business is super exciting but it also can be quite a challenging and lonely time. I would encourage you to find a mentor and create your support network for those tough business days. Charlotte has a few spaces each month to mentor nutritionists or dietitians, please do reach out to see if Charlotte can mentor you. Another resource can be found on both the BDA and AfN websites which hold lists of additional nutrition mentors you can search through.

Charlotte Turner Murthy Registered Dietitian and Freelance Academy founder

3. Define your nutrition business plan to help you create a successful nutrition clinic

Often this step brings fear about what's involved, but please feel reassured this business plan doesn't need to be a formal document at first and it doesn't need to be used to raise finance or capital. As a first step, try and take a step back and jot down your nutritional business goals, aims and vision.

Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • What is your business goal?

  • Where is your revenue going to come from?

  • Do you want to specialise in a certain client base?

  • When do you want to launch your business?

  • What business assets will you need? Website, clinic space, I.T. equipment etc.

  • What's your marketing strategy?

  • Who can support you?

  • What courses can you take to learn about business?

4. Get switched on to your nutrition and business legal requirements.

Broadly speaking, there are two legal requirements to learn about; your professional working scope and the business legal requirements.

Firstly the first legal area is to ensure you legally practice within your scope of practice as a dietitian or nutritionist. Ensure you are working ethically within this scope provided by your profession. The BDA, HCPC and AfN have guidance on this.

Secondly, running a business has a plethora of essential legal practices.

Here are some examples of just a faction of those important legal requirements.

  • Website terms and conditions.

  • Booking policies.

  • Refund policies.

  • Data protection for your clients.

  • ICO registration

  • Advertising Guidelines

  • Affiliate policies

Nutrition diary - an example of a legal form that needs data protection in place

5. Before seeing nutrition clients, ensure you have the right type of insurance in place.

If you are a registered dietitian the BDA full membership provides comprehensive indemnity insurance which may be worth researching. If you are a registered nutritionist the Afn has provided helpful insurance companies that can provide the correct level of insurance for you.

Before becoming a dietitian, as a registered nutritionist I used Hiscox for many years and found their cover comprehensive for my needs. I recommend speaking to the call centre insurance team when purchasing the insurance as they can advise the best cover for your business needs. For example, if you see clients in your home or clinic space you will also need to ensure you have insurance against a client injuring themselves on the clinic premises.

6. Learn about data security and data protection for your nutrition practice.

This is completely essential before you practice. If you are processing client data you need to abide by the UK Data Protection Act. If you see a client abroad, check you can do this legally, but also check you abide but the EU GDPR rules. Any UK business needs to register with ICO and also needs to understand exactly what data protection (previously known as GDPR means).

Check out our legal basics webinar which covers essential legal concepts which can help you get started. Please note this will always need to be reviewed by a legal representative to ensure it meets your business needs.

7. Understand your business pricing.

How much are you charging your clients? prices can range from £40-£300 an hour based on expertise and specialisms.

Remember that what you charge clients is your earnings before tax, before any personal pension contributions and NI payments.

Your prices will be on a sliding scale, as you become more experienced you can alter and increase your prices. Try and focus on the value you are giving clients and try and articulate what you are providing to your clients for their investment.

8. How are you going to get nutrition clients?

As a nutritionist or dietitian, you are not expected to be an expert on this. I worked in senior roles as director of digital marketing for most of my late twenties which gave me a huge knowledge base to support this business. In general market the usual nutrition information to acquire customers across multiple channels ranging from digital advertising, directories, SEO, PPC, social channels and word-of-mouth business referrals.

If you are seeking mentoring on the nutrition marketing side of your business, Charlotte RD worked as a marketing director for Trainline, Nourished, Chelsea CDV and can help you focus on removing the jargon surrounding marketing and can help coach you.

9. Have you forecasted your business growth?

I always recommend staging your business launch. Work part-time in a salaried role while launching your clinic, then once you have sustainable income start to decrease your salaried working days.

Becoming indexable and searchable online can take time. Building your reputation can also take time so be patient and keep going. Head over to our freelance academy for a free SEO guide.

Expert dietitians and nutritionists diversify their income with passive streams, courses, clients and perhaps a salaried role in the NHS. Passive income is a popular term and it simply can mean generating income from affiliate links and sales. If you are going to do this ensure you do so with integrity to your values and profession. You also need to understand cookie tracking and have legal policies in place first.

10. Learn, grow and develop your business mindset.

I love business and learning about business growth is something I enjoy. I encourage you all to develop an eye for learning, reading about business and developing that much-needed resilience to help you get through those tough days.

I've created a freelance coaching club for nutritionists and dietitians whereby we advocate, support and learn from each other. The first talk is in June, if you wish to apply to join please email us for more information.

If you feel ready to commence your business and want to invest in your learning Charlotte has put together over 14 hours of training in the form of webinars, and downloadable resources which have been created for nutrition professionals seeking expert help to launch a business. This training has been highly rated and reviewed and the Freelance Nutrition Academy is also endorsed for CPD credits. The topics of training include marketing, business planning, tax planning, selecting the right business tools, advertising, client pricing, website building guidance and much more.

53 views0 comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page