Start up check-list for practitioners


by Rangana Choudhuri

Recently I have been facilitating sessions for practitioners in start up mode. This prompted me to write a start-up check list that I would like to share.

  1. Decide on the business niche
    • what is going to be offered
    • what is a client going to purchase?
  2. High-level business plan – vision, objectives (financial goals), strategy and tactics
  3. Decide on sole trader versus limited company. For practitioners sole trader is a much easier route at the start. As the business grows limited company may be more preferable
  4. Company name versus trading under self-name
  5. Trade mark registration
  6. Marketing plan – product/service, price, promotion, place (where will the service be offered), proof (evidence, associations and testimonials/case studies), personal development
  7. Market Research on services being offered. Ask your target audience whether they are interested in your services and if they would be interested at purchasing them and if yes, at what price.
  8. Inform HMRC on self-employed status – only for sole traders. Register with Companies House for limited companies
  9. Professional insurance – holistic insurers provide good rates. If insurance in USA and Canada is required I recommend Howden Insurers. For links visit my website
  10. Accounting requirements – get a good accountant to submit your annual returns.
  11. Banking requirements – open a bank account specific to your business activities
  12. Legal requirements
  13. Grants available – see Business Link
  14. Business Link registration
  15. Projected income and budget
  16. Detailed business plan, if any investment is needed
  17. Decide on branding requirements
    • Name – identity
    • Logo
    • Tag-line
    • Values
    • Business message
  18. Develop marketing materials
    • Website
    • Business card
    • Leaflet
    • Postcards
    • Appointment letters
  19. Develop plan to make people aware of your service
    • Databases
    • Word of mouth
    • Networking groups – one minute pitch
    • Whether or not to advertise
    • Social networking requirements – Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn
  20. Develop a plan to get people interested in your service
    • Providing information – books to read (for example, Journey), Youtube links, and so on
    • FREE introductions/talks
    • Develop your own story
    • Testimonials
    • Referrals
  21. Develop a plan to have satisfied customers
    • Referral system
    • Loyalty
    • Guarantee
    • Follow-up plan
    • Home-work
    • Take home cards
  22. IT system needed
    • Book-keeping – cash in and cash out
    • Appointment calendar and process
    • Computer
    • Printer
    • Audio recorder
    • DVD/CD
    • Data protection act
  23. Capital requirements
    • Furniture – desk/table
    • Computer
    • Shelves
    • Cabinet to securely store client records
    • Projecter
    • White-board
    • Flip chart
  24. Continuing education
    • Supervision
    • Training
    • Annual case studies
  25. Resources/suppliers to consider
    • Business coach/mentor
    • Accountant
    • Lawyer
    • Web designer
    • Insurance company
    • Copywriter
    • Graphic design
    • Printing marketing materials
    • Computer as well as basic office suite
    • Networking groups
    • Venues to give talks
    • Consulting rooms
    • Satisfied client's
    • Friends and family
    • Image – how to present oneself
    • Office/therapy room – candles, aromatherapy, space clearing, clean coverings
    • Books to give away.

    If you have any questions or suggestions about this list please contact Rangana Choudhuri at vitality email

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