7 Tips for SLP Graduate Students Interested in Private Practice

speech pathology graduate students private practice

If you are currently a speech-language pathology student or recent graduate and have dreams of owning your own private practice someday, it’s never too early to start preparing for that future. As a business owner, you’ll need to wear many hats, and there are several things you can do right now, while in graduate school and during your clinical fellowship to start developing the skills and knowledge you’ll need to succeed; it that starts with learning as much as you can about the industry and the next few practical things:

Choose a name

It’s important to have a name in mind for your private practice. Start by checking your state’s corporation website for availability of the name. You should also check the U.S. trademark database to see if the name is already in use nationally. If you are certain about starting your own private practice, it’s a good idea to reserve the name. You may also want to consider trademarking the name to prevent anyone else from using it.

Establish a social media presence

To start building a social media presence for your private practice, it’s best to use your practice name as your social media handle. To attract followers, begin by posting content related to therapeutic activities, such as videos and tips. Make sure to use relevant tags and keywords that are inclusive of your ideal clients or target audience for your practice. This will help increase your visibility on social media and attract potential clients.

Build personal credit

When obtaining business funding, having a solid personal credit score is a key factor that lenders consider. By maintaining a credit score of 750 or higher, you increase your chances of getting approved for loans, credit cards, and other forms of financing that can help support your business.

One important way to ensure a good credit score is to stay on top of your personal bills and payments. By consistently paying your bills on time, you demonstrate your ability to manage debt responsibly and build a positive credit history. This can help you establish a strong credit profile that lenders will be more likely to approve.

Get a DUNS number

Your DUNS number, or Data Universal Number System, is a unique nine-digit identifier that represents your business. Think of it as the social security number for your private practice. This number is used to track your business’s financial and credit history, as well as other important demographic information.

While it’s not required for all businesses to have a DUNS number, it’s highly recommended if you plan on doing business with other entities, such as government agencies, corporations, and even some grantors. Having a DUNS number can help establish your business’s credibility and legitimacy, making it easier to secure loans, grants, and contracts.

Get an EIN

An EIN (Employer Identification Number) is a unique nine-digit identifier assigned by the IRS to identify a business entity. It is similar to an individual’s social security number and is used to report all business earnings to the IRS by entities that pay you.

Obtaining an EIN is a necessary step for most businesses, as it is required to open a business bank account, apply for business licenses and permits, file tax returns, and hire employees. You can apply for an EIN online, by fax, by mail, or by phone.

Open a business bank account

It is important to keep your business transactions separate from your personal account. To achieve this, it is recommended that you open a business account and obtain a credit card that accompanies it. This credit card can be used to purchase materials, and it should be paid off in full each month. This practice will help you build your business credit. To open the account, you will need to provide an EIN and proof of corporation.

Purchase a home

If you plan to become a homeowner, buying a home while you are still a W-2 employee can help demonstrate that you have a stable and established income. However, once you become an entrepreneur, particularly if you are new to the business world, qualifying for a home loan can be challenging and require careful maneuvering.

This post was originally a collaboration requested by @SpeechSleepRepeat.

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