At least not right away. Each of these things can be valuable for your business, but don’t need to be a blocker to get started.
1. An office
Yu Wang, a nurse practitioner, started her own practice in 2022 with Headway. Because she built her solo caseload from zero patients, it was a part-time gig — just one day a week — that she could comfortably run from home. Only now, one year later with a full-time schedule, is Yu considering finding an office space so she can see patients in person.
“At the beginning, I really don't think it's necessary, because everything can be virtual,” she says.
It’s true: The Covid era ushered in a “remarkable transition” to virtual care, according to RAND researchers in a recent study published in the the JAMA Health Forum, and even today, nearly 60% of Headway providers today run their practice from home.
2. A business bank account
There’s no requirement that you keep your business income in a separate business bank account. Providers on Headway receive guaranteed, biweekly payments for care they’ve provided that can be deposited into a personal account.
A business bank account is a good idea, though, if you’re not great with money. Yu maintains a separate bank account and credit card: “Otherwise, it just seems to get a little messy,” she says.
Andy, on the other hand, doesn’t keep a separate bank account for his psychiatry business, but acknowledges that he’s disciplined about habits like setting aside money for self-employed tax payments. In fact, talking to a tax professional during your first year in practice can be a good first financial step to avoid any surprises, and make sure you're prepared.
3. A personal website
Yu doesn’t see any point to having a professional website. She says that she’s filled her ideal caseload by sourcing patients from marketing her practice on sites like Headway, Psychology Today, and other specialized healthcare directories.
“At the beginning of last year, I was thinking about having my own website,” says Yu. “And it just seems like, number one, it costs a lot of money. And number two, it doesn’t seem like it’s necessary.”
Andy agrees. He started his practice with a website, but took it down about 6 months later because he was getting more patient referrals from other sources.
"I built it myself. I liked it. It was nice,” he says. “But once I filled up, which was very quick, I was like: Why do I have this website? I keep getting referrals and I can't take them. So I took it down. I think things like Psychology Today or getting referrals through friends and family are sufficient.”