How To Avoid Bankruptcy In Your RD Private Practice: Everything You Need To Know

by | Apr 12, 2021

Starting your RD Private Practice can seem daunting at first, especially since there is so much that we weren’t taught in school about starting your own business. So as RDs, many of us have a lot to learn in building the successful RD private practice that we dream of creating. Today, in this article, we will focus on the financial aspect of things and talk about the 3 common mistakes business owners make that lead to bankruptcy so that you know everything you need to know about how to avoid bankruptcy in your own RD nutrition coaching business.

However, before we get to those 3 common mistakes, first, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tony Stephan, and I’m a dietitian business coach. I help RDs make more IMPACT and more INCOME through nutrition coaching. However, before I became a dietitian business coach, I was an RD nutrition coach (just like you). I served thousands of nutrition coaching clients over a time span of 12 years while managing my very own nutrition business. My successful nutrition coaching business is what led me to where I am today. Now allow me to share everything you need to know about how to avoid bankruptcy in your RD private practice.


Around two-thirds of small businesses survive after the two-year mark, and nearly half survive after the 5-year mark. It’s a sobering statistic, isn’t it? But that is the reality of owning a business. It takes smart decision-making and a willingness to adjust to the market. So what do you need to know for your private practice to survive the 5-year mark and beyond? That’s exactly what we are talking about today. Let’s dig in!


One of the common pitfalls of general business owners who don’t survive actually goes back to a simple rule of economics: supply and demand. If your product doesn’t fit the market or if no one wants the product you offer, then failure is bound to happen. 

But here is the good news for us as RDs. Nutrition coaching is very much in demand and will always (likely) be needed. You’ll find that there are so many people out there who need a nutrition coach just like you daily!

So that is the good news, there are people out there who NEED you, the nutrition coach!

However, here is the challenge: Oftentimes, you MUST convince potential clients of your value. 

The nutrition space is vast and has a huge “supply” of businesses that offer nutrition services and products. So there is great demand for your private practice nutrition coaching business, but you must be ready to prove what makes you valuable and what makes you different from the competition. 

So if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd and show your worth to potential clients, here is my tip for you: Find what makes you different from your competitors and draft your pitch! Once you have your pitch, practice it! That way, you’ll be prepared when you talk to your next potential client.


Creating your price in your private practice is probably one of the most difficult aspects of starting your business. And it’s difficult for a reason: If you charge too low, it’s difficult to make a profit. If you charge too high, it can scare customers away. So we are all looking to find that sweet spot where you make enough money to sustain your business but charge a fee that is perceived as fair to your clients. 

For most of us, RDs, it can be easy to undercharge what we are worth. After all, sometimes we feel pressured to lower our prices due to the great supply of low-priced nutrition products and services out on the market. 

However, I’m here to tell you: DON’T undercharge your services! This is a common mishap that causes many RDs to not make the income they deserve in their private practice, AND it can also lead to burnout ( as undercharging can stretch your energy too thin). 

If you’re looking to make more impact and more income in your RD private practice, here is my tip for you: Take time to think about what you really believe your services are worth. Consider the time you’ll put in and the value you will bring to your clients’ lives. Now, what do you think your time, energy, and efforts are worth as a professional?  Once you have quantified that, create your price and stick to it!

There will be people who may still perceive your price to be too much. Heck. Some people might expect you to work with them for free. Those people likely won’t become your clients, but that’s okay because not everyone you cross paths with will become your client. It’s important to remember that you are an RD, the nutrition professional, and not everyone will be ready to work with you since not everyone is ready to commit to change. But if you communicate your worth and what makes you different, you will get clients who will pay what you are worth!


We all know that client attraction and marketing are important, but unfortunately, this is one of those topics that was not a part of the dietetics curriculum in school. For many of us, RDs, learning how to market and attract clients is critical to making our business sustainable!

You could have the BEST dietitian coaching services in the world, but your RD private practice will struggle if you don’t know how to attract potential clients to your business.

What also doesn’t help is that marketing can be very confusing as there are so many directions you can go with it. Should you pay for ads? Should you print out flyers? What should you do to attract people to your business and get clients?

It’s a simple question with no easy answer, but I’ll give you a hint. When I was a nutrition coach starting out in my dietitian nutrition coaching business, I eventually came to make six figures without paying a dime for a paid advertisement.

How did I make six figures without paying for ads? Conversations. Some of the BEST advertising for your business is CONVERSATIONS because people only buy from those they know, like, and trust!


The reality of being a business owner is that owning a business isn’t easy, but it’s certainly possible, and you’ll find that the possibilities in owning your own RD private practice are limitless! 

Making it to the 5-year mark requires making smart decisions, communicating your worth, and knowing how to attract your ideal clients. 

If you’re looking to start your own nutrition coaching RD private practice, you’re in the right place. I’m proud to be a part of the movement of dietitian entrepreneurs who are making more IMPACT and more INCOME! In the Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification, we teach our students how to set their dietitian nutrition coaching business up for success.

Want to get started in building your own nutrition business?

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